For the past couple of years, I've been looking to replace my 1991 bedspread. Yeah, 1991. So, I keep things for a while. What can I say? If it still works, I'm not likely to get rid of it...unless I'm tired of it. And, well, after 20+ years of the same bedspread, you could say I'm tired of it. LOL
But finding a bedspread that is not $300-400 and doesn't look like it belongs in a bachelor pad, a college dorm room, Grandma's guest bedroom, or a cathouse is like finding a vein of gold in your garden. At least, that's how it seemed to me. It took me two years to find our new comforter and my mom's creative financing idea to convince me to order it.
My mother was visiting for Lily's birthday party. A conversation we had during her visit spurred me to search on the internet again for this elusive quarry. I'm picky. I know it. I wanted a light background with a floral pattern. Not Grandma's floral print, but something modern, timeless, and elegant. No geometric patterns or stripes. Something feminine, but not frilly. (I don't ask for much, do I? grin) Yes, I knew it was going to be hard, but I didn't think it would take two years.
Then Mom suggested I look on this one store. I'd never considered this particular store because it's known for being pricy. I would most likely find something (although, believe it or not, there wasn't that much to choose from), but I wouldn't want to pay that much. This is when Mom came up with the creative financing. We had some gift cards coming to us because we'd taken a health survey. (It used to be really easy. You answered a few questions; they sent you the cards. This last time, it took 6 weeks to complete, and you had to keep track of your eating habits and your exercise habits to get the card. After which, they try to tell you how to improve your health, except they don't really know that much about your health and, in my opinion, are coming from the Dark Ages. And... I digress...) She suggested using the department store credit card then paying it off with the gift cards.
With that idea in mind, I pulled the site up and found this beautiful comforter. It was... $400. (Of course.) But wait! It was on sale for $199 (because the pattern was being discontinued) plus tax, minus a 15% discount and free shipping. Hm... With the gift cards, I would pay maybe $40 out of pocket for it. That sounded really good to me. Really, really good.
I didn't have the department store credit card, so I had to sign up for it. (It's been shredded now that it's paid off.) Within minutes, I'd bought the comforter, ordered my gift cards, and couldn't wait to swap out my old one for the new one.
Fast forward about three or four weeks to Saturday. The department store card had arrived, the gift cards were here, I'd been using the comforter for a good two to three weeks now, and it'd been on my mind to go and pay the card off before I forgot and late charges accrued. (Thirty percentage rate on this card. Insane, which is why it's been shredded.) Charlie was home, so I could escape.
I ran over to the store and walked up to a customer representative. "Excuse me. Do you know where I can make a payment on my card?"
"You can do it here, ma'am."
"Great!" I pulled out my card and the gift cards and set them on the counter. "I'd like to use these gift cards to pay on it, and I'll pay whatever's left over."
She shakes her head. "I'm sorry, but you can't use gift cards to pay off your credit card."
"That makes no sense to me. The money is on the card. The store's been paid. It's as good as cash."
"It's policy, ma'am."
"That may be the case," I was getting a little hot, "but that's not right." I took a deep breath. "I'm not upset with you. I understand it's policy, but I'd like to speak to your manager."
She went to the phone. A few minutes later, she asked, "How much do you have on the card?"
"I think it's around $180."
She conferred with the manager on the phone before asking, "And you'll be paying the rest of it off?"
"Uh, yeah." I'd already told her this.
"Well, my manager said that we could do it just this once."
She couldn't see it, but I was doing a little happy dance inside. (grin) "So, how much is on my card exactly?"
She crossed to the register and pulled up my account. "$150.89, so you will owe eighty-nine cents."
Eighty-nine cents. Apparently, another discount for opening the account had been applied to my balance. (grin)
Uh-huh, I got a $400 comforter for eighty-nine cents. The only thing that would have made this even better would be if they owed me money.
But I'm not going to be greedy. I'm okay with my deal. I think eighty-nine cents is pretty good.
And, yes, I heard that penny squeal all the way home. (grin)
My new bedspread.