If you've read this blog long enough, or if you know John and I, you'll know that one of our favorite stores is Essex. Essex is a retail outlet that has the appearance of a junk store, but if you take the time to look around, you'll find amazing deals on brand name products. These products range from electronics to toys to household items and much more. After my mom left Saturday afternoon, John and I decided to venture over to our local Essex to see what they had. I was not expecting to find much of anything, but I was proven wrong, and we walked out with these items:
Melissa and Doug Deluxe Wooden Doll High Chair. If you are familiar with Melissa and Doug products, you'll know they're very well made and very pricey. We already knew we wanted to buy Hannah Grace a doll high chair for her birthday, but the only ones I had seen in stores were fairly cheap quality for around $20. I had seen this high chair from Melissa and Doug on Amazon for $50, but there was no way I wanted to pay that much for something made for a doll (especially when Hannah Grace's real high chair cost the same amount). However, the price on this high chair at Essex was $25, and since the date was from early February**, it was 60% off, making it a whopping TEN DOLLARS.
Madame Alexander Dolls Nursery Stroller. A doll stroller was another present we wanted to give Hannah Grace for her birthday. I had checked the strollers at Babies R Us and Target and was not impressed with any of them. They were all very short (so she couldn't grow with them), small, and like the doll high chairs, were made from cheap materials. When I saw this stroller at Essex, I reviewed it on Amazon and thought it would be the best option. John and I weren't wild about the $25 price tag, but when I considered the fact that it's $47 on Amazon, and we were getting such a great deal on the high chair, it was worth the money.
Janome HD 3000. Y'all, I still can't believe this thing is sitting on my kitchen table. A couple of months ago I started researching slightly-higher-end (in the $300-$500 price range) sewing machines for the fun of it. The sewing machine I had been using was given to me by my mom when I graduated from MTSU, and while it was (and is) a GREAT machine, especially for beginners, it was unable to do a few things I was wanting it to do. Having never heard a bad thing about Janome, I began to research their machines. I knew I didn't want anything super fancy, but rather, a sturdy basic machine with the extra things I was looking for. I was torn between this machine and the Janome HD 1000; the biggest difference was that the HD 1000 had a front loading bobbin and the HD 3000 had a drop in bobbin. There were also a few complaints about the HD 3000's automatic needle threader, and that made me leery to consider purchasing it. ANYway, while we were at Essex on Saturday, I thought I'd see what machines they had in stock (I've only ever seen Singer and Brother brands, so I wasn't expecting much). As I approached the aisle, I was stunned to not only see a box with 'Janome' printed on the side, but a box containing the very machine I'd spent two months researching, at $140 less than Amazon's price. I was excited, but I was realistic in knowing that we couldn't really just drop that much money on a sewing machine (especially when I didn't truly need it), but I mentioned it to John anyway. He didn't say no, but he didn't say we should buy it either, so I sort of just forgot about it.
To make a long story short, John and the manager wound up talking, and since we were "considering" spending so much money, the manager agreed to give us an extra 10% discount. This meant that the sewing machine that cost $350 on Amazon was suddenly sitting there for $189. Sold.
I also happened to spot a guitar made by Taylor and pointed it out to John. It was priced ridiculously low, and knowing a couple of people who were wanting that very guitar, we put it in the buggy with the rest of our stash. John's already received one (maybe two) official offers on the guitar, so it'll soon be out of our house, but I know he is happy to help someone get a nice guitar at a great price.
John and I joke that we cannot ever walk in an Essex unless we have spending money, because we always seem to find hard to resist deals on products we actually want. After this last trip, I'm thinking we should stay out of a store for awhile! But we sure are happy about our purchases!