Thursday, November 3, 2011

Misadventures in Bargain-Shopping: Vampire Diaries Season One

So, I haven't really mentioned it, but on Monday I did just as I said I would and indulged a little in all that Halloween could have offered.  While I didn't throw in Dead Space or a movie, I delved deep into the core rulebook of Vampire:  The Masquerades and really really started getting into the mindset of the game.  I figure the knowledge will likely go unused save for maybe making a character for the fun of it, but it's interesting to think of a game of that sorts that isn't Dungeons and Dragons (or Exalted, but I haven't really read into those either) and especially with such a lore that's been crafted for the game.  It's...quite impressive, really, how much effort they put into creating this real, detailed world while still leaving enough vagueness to allow everyone and anyone to really create just what they want to make.  Which is the point, of course.

But that's not the point of this post, as the point of this post is to talk about my growing interest in vampire things because of really getting into V:tM.  Now, I know it's fairly 'easy' to get into Vampire things nowadays as they're so mainstream it hurts, but as we are wont to do, we try and seek out the 'best', whether it's objective or to our tastes so that does add a little challenge, at least.  Vampire Diaries, as my good friend Saki-Chan assures me, is one of those things to seek out.  But don't take my efforts as an official endorsement of the product of course; I've yet to watch the first season (what I purchased....eventually) and likely won't for a week yet, as I'm waiting for a time when I can watch it along with Saki-Chan, since she's so mired in its collected knowledge already.

Honestly, I probably wouldn't even be making this post if the way in which I got it wasn't so hilariously counter to the last misadventures post I made, which was on purpose for that reason entirely.  Re-familiarize yourself with that experience before we go on; it makes it better I assure you.  So it all began Sunday night, after I'd put up the Halloween post, while I was talking to Saki-Chan and she, as she has done lately, was talking about the Vampire Diaries in an excited manner that mirrors much of my own when I'm going on about something I really enjoy.  While she's throwing out plot lines and character backstories, I'm taking it in as best as someone completely unfamiliar with the territory can (read:  not very well) but gain more and more of an interest in it.  Seeing as a trip out was in order the next day, I told myself I'd take a look around to see if the first season was on sale anywhere.  Not too far-fetched to imagine, right?  Vampire show being on sale on Halloween Day seems almost a given.

It was not, of course.  Interestingly enough, Target was selling the first season for $45, another store for $50, and neither were on sale.  It was a little odd, I thought that the price wasn't the same at two different stores, but it's hardly surprising, and as much as I trust Saki-Chan's judgment, I don't trust it enough to throw out $45 sight unseen.  To be fair, I don't trust -anyone's- judgment enough to throw out $45 sight unseen.  No offense, anyone who may be offended by this, I'm sure you can understand.  So, with that prospect out of the air, I decided simply to wait; a deal would come, I'm sure, or I would find a way to force one.  The latter, as you might suspect, happened.

The following day, the first of November (or the day that will forever be known as the day I spent $119.19 at GameStop, yet only walked out with a single game*, Uncharted 3) I was out and about once again and happened to land at Wal-Mart where I, again, checked to see what the price of Vampire Diaries Season 1 was there.  To my continued surprise, it was different there as well priced at $39.96 (or, for all intents and purposes, $40 a full $10 less than another local store) which was unfortunately still too much.  That's when my plan, bitter as it might have been to consider, began to form.  From the last misadventure, I still had a gift card from Best Buy with a slight amount of money on it burning a hole in my wallet, and it was at least worth a shot to see what they priced the show at.

Upon going into the store, I made a detour first to the Customer Service desk to find out just how much my gift card had on it.  There behind the counter was a girl who I'm going to call Victoria because I -think- that was her name, but I forget.  She was more than happy to help and, in very short order, I was informed the card still had $16.15 on it and with that in mind I went off to the Movies section.  Here, it was less surprising to see that the show was not on sale (the first season anyway), but the price of $45 made me a little more than annoyed.  Why couldn't it be $40, like at Wal-Mart.  I'm sure you can see the writing on the wall, but just then the idea struck me and I couldn't help but start to laugh at the reflective nature of it all.

Another visit to the Customer Service desk saw me asking Victoria if Best Buy's Price Match guarantee extended merely to sale items, or to the normal price of items and being informed that it was the latter.  So long as it wasn't from a store akin to Sam's Club (basically a store that sells bulk items and thus might have naturally lower prices) and the much-loathed "the competitor has to have it in stock" restriction was met, any price could be offered.  Having just been at Wal-Mart fifteen minutes prior, I knew it was there, well-stocked, and priced nicer, so I asked if she would set it up, and one call later to Wal-Mart to confirm what I already knew, she wrote out a note that guaranteed the price, asked me to get the set and take it up to the registers as per normal.

I'm having a hard time explaining it, but I'm sure you can just imagine what I was feeling at that moment, having such a pleasant experience in much the same circumstances as a previously terrible was a little strange.  Victoria's help was wonderful, however, and I was more than happy with my dealings with her and, as you might've already worked out I ended up walking out of Best Buy having only really spent $24 on the complete first season of Vampire Diaries, which is a fair enough price, I think.  I'll know more when I watch it, but if nothing else, I have this story of the journey no matter how I enjoy the outcome.  A story that can only make me laugh for reasons I can't quite place, and one that reassures me that there are still real bargains to be found out there if you work hard enough at them.

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