You've all heard of it, you know that wonderful interactive game system by Nintendo that was released before Christmas 2006 and no retailer on the plant seemed to have in stock.
Even months after the holidays have pasted and discount retailers such as Walmart and Target continue to run the advertisement video over empty cases bearing the sign "Due to this and that we are currently out of stock".
Even though the system remained to be close to impossible to obtain my husband desired one. He would make sure that each trip to Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Comp Usa etc included a strategically placed pass through the electronics department and down the aisle containing those empty glass cases in the hopes that just one box would have been secretly put there just for him. With each pass also came the sad sigh and the bubble of hope popped by that dust gathering empty glass display case.
After a few months of looking with no luck, and no sign of the inventory replenishing itself I began to search online hoping to find some glimmer of hope. I read message boards, searched online store inventories and began to question the true existence of this machine. Was it just a made up marketing scheme? Why was this thing SO hard to find? Why did only the people on ebay seem to have these units?
Then it occurred to me why not ask the simple question "find a wii"? With this google I found digg.com and a post entitled Find a Wii in your area, Target is holding out Here I read about how Target and other retailers might not have the item on the floor, but you can check there stockroom to see it's availability(more on this to come). Also the post had a link allowing you to use Target's website to check if your local stores had one in stock.(This link isn't showing all the info anymore) You would simple need to change the zip code to your area and it would show you a listing of your local area stores highlighted in red (not available) yellow (limited availability) and green (available). There was a second link to Gamestop/Eb games Again, change the zip code and poof your local store stock was listed. With these two new tools I thought finding one should be a snap.
So I began checking these links every couple weeks, just to see if possibly one showed up. With every check I would see nothing, no units available. A couple months passed and still no luck. Then we went to Wichita to visit my MIL. Just for the heck of it I went to the sites and typed in the local zip code. No luck, nothing at Target. Then I tried the Gamestop link, nothing, nothing, nothing, 1-3, nothing, 1-3, nothing, nothing.. Wait! 1-3??? The Gamestop in Wichita at the mall had them??? AHHHH! So we were off to the mall to get our unit.. how exciting, all the searching and waiting had finally paid off. Parked the car and rushed into the building and right to the store. "Hi, do you have any?" "No, sorry we just sold out last one about an hour ago." AN HOUR?!? AHHHH!!! No, no, no. so close and yet soo far. We headed back to the car. You could see the disappointment on my husband's face. The brave face he tried to keep acting like it was ok.. It WASN"T ok. He had been waiting months for this new toy and we had missed the op to grab him one.
That was the turning point.. the moment I decided I was going to FIND HIM A WII. I was going to get one for him and surprise him.
We had learned from the gamestop guy that they received their UPS shipments on Wednesday so by the time the computer site was refreshed they may be all gone. A piece of information I thought I would use if I couldn't find one otherwise.
So I started monitoring the target website link. Nothing but red, not available. Then one day while shopping I couldn't find the type of diapers I was looking for. I know you are probably wondering what this has to do with wii.. well I couldn't find what I wanted and I knew they offered them. I had remember reading about how some of the scanner units at Targets have numbers on the sides of them. You could punch in upc codes into the scanner and see if that store had the item available in their stockroom. So I thought what the hey. I found the boxes that were similar to the one I wanted and figured out how the code worked for that brand. I nervously punched the number into the scanner. Ding! There it was. They had boxes in their stockroom. Now to just find someone to help me. After much ado about nothing. I explained how if you punched the upc code in it showed they had some in the stock room. With an amazed employee in front of me, she called the stockroom and got me the diapers I wanted. She stated she didn't know you could do that. Yet as I looked at the sign above the scanner I felt a little more reassured, it said scan a price, check our stockroom. That's right, they wanted me to check their stockroom.
SO if they wanted me to check, check I would.
I continued monitoring the website. Nothing, nothing, nothing. The one day I read that best buy, circuit city and toys r us were going to have them in stock. I had read it to late though, I was sure they would all be gone. Then I checked the site, nothing here, but other zip codes were starting to get them, Especially Minnesota, home to Target's home office. Hmm.. must be nice to live there.
Then magically when I check our store, BING! one store was GREEN. I couldn't believe it. It had to be an error. So I checked again the next day, WHAT? more stores not red? Some said limited, but the store on Center street was GREEN. This was it. I was going to take the kids to school and then we were going to buy a unit for my husband. We went to the first store. I was SO nervous, this was it. In we went, right to the electronics. EMPTY CASE.. ok fine I'm going to check the scanners. CURSES! No number buttons!!! (NOTE* newer targets have gotten rid of the buttons on the scanners. However here is a way around that too UPC code If you go to this page you can look up upc's for lots of products then just scan them at the store. This will help you find out if they have them in stock. hehehe ;)) So I asked the lady and she said automatically, no they didn't it. I told her that the site was showing the did. So she went to talk with a fellow employee. She returned to tell me Sunday they were suppose to get more. So we proceeded to a different target.
We strolled on in and towards the electronic dept, but first I found a scanner. They had buttons.. WOO HOO! So I typed in that magically number 207-25-0001 hit enter and DIng! Stockroom - YES
I was so excited. This was it. I went over to electronics. Looked in the case NOTHING. To employees stod there yapping about something that had happened the previous night. (NOTE this was a MONDAY) I asked the guy, "do you have any of these?" "The Wii? NO." I replied," your scanner says you have some in the stock room." "Uh, just a minute." He went to an different employee. They huddled. I watched as they figured out what to say. The other approached me. "We don't have any. What happened was this.." he began as his eyes remained shut.."We had some on Friday and you have to check them out when they leave so they are showing up in the stockroom, even thought they aren't there." Anyone got some hip waders? I was steaming. He just stood there and lied to me. He couldn't even look me in the eye it was such a big lie. I could feel the steam beginning to come out my ears. HE had lied to me. I said, "but your scanners show you have them in the stockroom." " It has to be reset." "OK?" I said.. ready to explode. I was SOO PISSED. I leave immediately. There was no way I would do any of my other shopping there.
We dediced to go to one more Target, the one that had been green since Sunday. When we got there I checked the case, nothing. I checked the scanner, nothing in the stockroom. Well then maybe my search engine was wrong.
Later that evening I told my husband of my experience and how I was ready to bitch slap that guy for lying to me. (ok maybe that's extreme, but i was still fuming, even as I write this many days later I'm fuming) Hubby said"Did you look to see how many they had in the stock room?" I had even thought of seeing if it told me a number.
Next day I checked the site again.. more yellow, more green. GRRR!! I'm TOO MAD.:( I will wait and see.
Next day (it's wednesday) I decided I needed to get a birthday present and some other things I would try some others and see what I could find. Quickly checking the site on the way out almost every Target in the area had them, some of the yellows had even turned to green. So upon dropping the kids off at school I was off. The first Target I went to I punched in the numbers.. in stockroom - NO.. ok let's try a different one. Next store.. darn they have scanners with no buttons. Ok one more.. let's go back to the liar target.
I enter the store, check the case, empty. I find a scanner and type in the number - in stock room? - YES 4 (3-1-3) So they are still there. Shouldn't have the system been reset by now? I find an employee. "Can I ask you a question?" I take her to the scanner. I say" If I punch in a number and it says you have them in the stock room, do you really have them in the stock room?" "Hmm, oh a wii? NO, we don't have any of those." "Then why does it say you do?" "I don't know, you should ask electronics. I was told we didn't have any. I didn't even kn ow you could do that" I said,"the signs says you can" I thanked her and proceeded to the electronic dept. There stood Mr. Liar. What was I going to do?? I could take him on. I could get a manager. Or I could try to control my temper and simply leave. Did I really want to cause a scene? I decided it was best for me to leave and get my husband. I didn't want to be banned from Target for life.
I went to my husband's work I was fuming.. how could hey do that? How could they lie to their customers? What kind of business practice was that? grrrrr. I started telling the story to one of his co-workers. This just made me madder. I started showing them the websites. We pulled up the gamestop one. It showed that they had some one the way and a store in CB had some in stock. NO time to check it out though, too many errands to run.
Once the errands were complete and our second son collected from school we decided we would check out the local game stop. Waiting in the car, holding my breath hubby proceeded into the store. He started talking to the guy behind the counter. He talked and talked. What was going on? Why was this taking so long? After 15 minutes or so out he came, package in hand. He had obtained his goal. He had a Wii..that mysterious creature.
After playing the Wii sports game which comes with the system (249.99) I know why everyone is desperately searching for this gaming system. You can bowl, box, golf, play baseball, and tennis. There is nothing like it. We are playing doubles in our living room. We can have family bowling night. We can hit the green and practice our swing. We can get out frustrations and work up a sweat boxing against each other.
Plus any age/skill level person can play. We purchased Wii Play which comes with it's own controller (this gives us 2 controllers). There is a game in which ride on cows and race each other. Our Daughters, 2 and 4, can play this with no help. It's great that they can be included in the fun. We took the unit to my parent's house so we could show them how fun it was. A bit leery at first, we soon had them bowling with us. Afterward my mom said,"You will have to bring that back again." What a great thing that can have appeal to such a wide group of ppl, even those with little or no gaming skills.
Kudos to Nintendo for seeking out a new market of gamers and offering a unit that allows those individuals to get off the couch and involved.
As for Target, I'm sure I will get over my disgust with being lied to, but I don't think I can think of the retailer, especially that location in the same light. Shame on them, makes me wonder what else they are hiding in the storeroom.
Until next time.. have a spicy day!