Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thriving and thankful

With some of the recent events going on I've been thinking about how thankful I am to have everything I do right now in life. A fiancée, an exciting and fulfilling job, a really nice place to live, a car to get around and more. Friends who have been laid off from their work, with families and house payments. San Francisco seems like a better place to be than Riverside even though it has a higher cost of living. So much more opportunity here, and the economy has been hurt less.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wedding Registry Reviews - Bed Bath & Beyond & Macy's

So with the wedding just under 6 months away, my fiancée and I set out this past week to create a wedding registry and 2 stores, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Macy's. We weren't too interested in registering at places like Crate and Barrel, Target, Amazon, or anywhere else. They didn't have good return policies, were only online, didn't have convenient locations, or the type/style of products we would like in our home.

Bed Bath & Beyond - This was our first stop. Not having created a wedding registry before this was an excellent first experience. We walked to the Customer Service desk and asked for help creating a registry. A manager jumped out of no where to welcome us, shake our hands and welcome us to the store. We were immediately offered a chair to sit in and bottles of water. They paged employees on the store PA system to get someone over to help us and we were met by a nice young girl who got us started. After filling out a couple pages of paperwork we we're offered a guided tour through the store, or the option of going it alone. We had a checklist for common items, and I was handed a scanner! This is the stuff the guys live for. Every 10-15 minutes an employee or the manager would walk up and check on us, see if we had any questions or needed help. It was especially easy to find the code to scan for products, every item's price on the shelf had a bar code, sets of products had barcodes for each item in the set as well. Adding a product to our registry was only one click and a "beep" away.  When we were finished, we received all of the catalogs, info, policies, and a print out of our list in a nice gift box with a bow.  Online has more options and a wider product offering than the store location we went to, but it is a little frustrating to shop on their website. It would be really helpful if they had better search and filtering options, as well as product reviews. BB&B has a really good return program and offers a nice completion program of 10% off  any items on the list you did not receive. Managing the registry online is pretty easy to do. We spent about 2.5 hours here then grabbed some dinner.

Macy's -  We were able to goto the 2nd largest Macy's here in downtown San Francisco. The store is 8 stories tall, has a separate multi-story building for menswear. We headed up to the 6th floor to get a registry started. We were helped by an older lady, who struck us as a "cat lady" if you know what I mean. The store was nice and had plenty of choices. Macy's tries to push one of their Macy's credit cards on you to get $100 free, but that wasn't worth it in our opinion. We found most everything we wanted there since we had done some reconnaissance online beforehand.  It was crazy we went from the 6th floor to the 7th, to the basement, to the 6th again. Pretty fun experience because it's such a HUGE store. We left with a print out of our items and a business card with the email of the lady who helped us. No fancy box or extra materials to take home. Their online registry manager is undergoing some changes this weekend so we can't access it, and she couldn't show us how to manage it, but I'm sure we can figure it out. One pain about adding items with the scanner at Macy's is that you had to scan the upc barcode which was on the bottom of every box on the shelf. Try holding a big heavy box of fine china, and a scanner and scan the item without dropping it, not that easy.