Serendipity At Blaine’s Farm and Fleet

z1 I had no misgivings dragging my reluctant wife into Blaine’s Farm and Fleet last Saturday night. Mind you, she’s much more an urban creature so anytime I can get her into this store, it’s an accomplishment. She’s a good sport this time and quickly located a classic, 5-quart Crockpot at Farm and Fleet. It was normally $30 but discounted 50% off so the sale price was $14.88. Our last Crockpot, which hadn’t been opened, was given away as a house-warming gift about one year ago. That price is hard to pass up and even if it’s only used 6 times over the course of the next few years, a garage sale could fetch between $5 and 7. 

Anyway, the checkout person after seeing this item robotically asked us if we wanted the replacement insurance on the item. I smiled and chuckled inside for two reasons. One, this item is inexpensive and not sure if the cost of a replacement plan would be a good value. Two, who ever heard of a replacement plan on a Crockpot?

z4Being relatively new to this item, I glance over the owner’s manual, there are 10 Crockpot recipes included. Of these 10, not one is vegetarian or vegan, which means none of these recipes align to my eating approach. I don’t expect a vegan based recipe or two; however, a few veggie-based items would be useful. Anyway, perhaps vegetarians will have to be creative and subtly adjust the ingredients accordingly. One recipe says “chili” but includes ground beef so actually you could ignore that ingredient. All the other recipes include titles that include bourguignon, ribs, sausage, beef, roast, as well as two chicken recipes. Need I say more about their target market?

z3If I could be snarky for one moment about the veggies, I hope it doesn’t overheat or freak out if we only cook vegetables or vegetable stew.

Finding the Crockpot at Blaine’s Farm and Fleet is serendipity indeed…after giving away our other unopened Crockpot a mental note was made that at some point, we’ll need another. We originally visited Farm and Fleet looking for bird suet, ice melt, and then virtually ran into the end cap display selling these items over 50 percent off…it’s too good to pass up.

If I’m ever asked where I purchased my Crockpot, the fact that it was purchased at Farm and Fleet will not be the first store most people would have in mind. Did you get it at Macy’s? Kohl’s? On the other hand, Target? No, it was purchased at a store that specializing in farm implements, tire installations and hardware. Nevertheless, I’m all about value and less about fine shopping ambience so within my modus operandi, it’s a win.

Thinking about the replacement plan some days after my purchase, I decided to call their customer service to get an idea about the cost of the replacement plan for this item. I know many consumer advocates recommend not purchasing the warranty or replacement plan although curiosity on the low cost of this item prompted me to inquire.

z2The one-year replacement plan would cost $2.99 and the cost of the two-year plan was $4.99. The cost structure is based on the actual cost of the item. For items that are less than $24.99, the cost would be $2.99. I was somewhat surprised they didn’t factor in the original cost but $2.99 is an inexpensive fee for this item. Had I known the low cost of the one and two year replacement costs, I may have given the option further consideration at checkout.

Because the nearest Farm and Fleet is about 40 minutes from my home, my visits may only be quarterly. However, I always find interesting items in the store regardless of when I shop. I don’t think I’ve ever left there empty handed. Is it due to the amount of sales they have, interesting selection of goods or value? Or all three?

 

Kevin Schwarm

I have over 25 years of professional experience in business, information technology (IT), and customer service. Industry experience in retail, medical insurance, higher education, non-profit, financial services, and property and casualty insurance. Customer focused professional interested in providing value (save time, money and aggravation) by evaluating and analyzing information, services and products with a unique perspective.