Norfolk, Shopping

8 Tips For Sale Shopping With Wheels

Ok so I know it’s probably a little late for catching the best after Christmas deals, ‘January Sales’ as they used to be called, back in the day when there wasn’t constantly ongoing sales everywhere. Back when you really got a bargain and shops didn’t just bring out a load of summer stock, junk, a mass of bikinis it seems.

I’m not going on a sunny holiday anytime soon, even if I was you wouldn’t catch me in a half price bikini, or any bikini.

But I did hit the sales last week, a bit by accident really as I was meeting friends for lunch and needed to get some last minute gifts for those awkward January birthday people (I’m sure they don’t like being born in January any more than I like them being).

Shopping with wheels can often be a mission itself, with overpacked stores and inaccessible lifts, but shopping in January apparently means trawling through a huge pile of stuff. My recent trip encouraged me to write this post, so you can all hopefully be more prepared for the experience than I was.

Tip 1. Don’t do it

My best advice to you would be just stay at home, have a cuppa and browse the World Wide Web and all it has to offer.

But if you, like me, aim to leave those four walls on the odd occasion, go out into the world and be sociable. Actually browse physical departments, see and touch real things, sniff books (yes), see for yourself some things are poorly made, are definitely not ‘high quality’, or do not ‘fit all’. Then the following 7 tips might come in handy.

Tip 2. Plan your route

Know what you want, and if you don’t know what you want then at least know where you want to browse. I tend to start all shopping trips in a cafe with a coffee (yes I do actually drink coffee, even though tea is my true love). It’s a great base if you’re meeting up with friends. It’s also good for getting your thoughts together and planning a route of where to go and in what order.

Tip 3. Take regular breaks

If you’re anything like me then a good coffee or brew will be needed at regular intervals to get you through the day. Knowing the where and when of your next pit stop helps motivation and persistence. A brew is a great reward after a purchase if your shopping trip is one with aims.

Tip 4. Plan an escape route

A bit like Hansel and Gretel, it might be an idea to leave a trail of breadcrumbs on the accessible route through the shop, as shops can become a maze during the sales, extra crates of bargains blocking the isles, boxes dumped everywhere, promotional stands, left over Christmas tat. I have actually got myself stuck in a shop before with nowhere to turn and unable to reverse. No lie.

Tip 5. Take your patience

Shopping can be stressful. Particularly when your head or joystick is the height of many peoples bags. God I hate rucksacks!Its every man/woman for themselves. People push through, always in a rush. Nobody ever has time. Everybody heads for the automatic doors even though many are perfectly capable of just pushing open the ones adjacent. Do you know, I’d use the push one if I could, it’d be a lot quicker than trying to cut in between the stream of people charging about as if they might miss out on some illusive bargain.

This brings me on to….

Tip 6. Be persistent

Where there’s a will there’s a way. Don’t give up, be kind and polite but not too kind and polite. Stand your ground in the lift queue (you know the stairs and escalators are probably faster don’t you?), don’t let people push in, push on through those automatic doors. If it helps just hum the Bond or Mission Impossible theme tune through your head. Or out loud if you dare?!

It may be easier to cut in if you travel by foot as we wheelers fear we may drive in to you, but remember you’re also more likely to come off worse!

Tip 7. Ask for help

Be it a friend, a fellow shopper or a store assistant don’t be afraid to ask for help. If there’s something you need, can’t reach, it’s upstairs, don’t just think oh well I’ll get that online (unless you want to and it’s cheaper I guess).

On to my recent experience…

Tip 8. Don’t assume

Accessible isn’t always accessible. Just because you can enter a store it doesn’t mean you can peruse what’s on offer. I realised this on my recent shopping trip when I went into Pandora to purchase a birthday gift.

This shop frustrates me enough anyway, the queues outside, the one in one out thing, the whiteness (it hurts my eyes!), the impression that you are only a somebody if you have a Pandora jewel. I do in fact have a bracelet (I’m obviously a somebody), even though it’s not really my thing, all that bling. But I wear my bracelet all the time and love it. It’s not shiny or sparkly, I am not weighed down by my collection of charms. I have three charms and have done for almost three years. They have a tea theme, and I received them at my 30th birthday afternoon tea party. This is all I have, and all I want.

Anyway back to the issue at hand, my personal taste is neither here nor there. I queued up as I was expected, and while waiting to be seen I wanted to have a browse, get some ideas of what I might like to gift this person. But I couldn’t. All I could see was a white wall, I basically felt as though I was in a white padded cell with a load of people that were in on a secret I wasn’t. I do wish I’d taken a photo for you but at the time I was so focused on finding a gift that blogging totally slipped my mind. If you’ve ever been to Pandora you will know that everything is displayed at eye level. Standing eye level. My eyes are seated. Also much of the stock is set within the counter, a counter you look down into. A bit like a museum exhibit with no front window. I am not high enough to look down. Unless I’m looking at the floor. You will also know if you’ve visited Pandora that you can not just seek out a member of staff for assistance, you have to queue if you want to look at something closer or buy it. I don’t even know what to look at, or where to start looking. I can see only white. Eventually, after waiting, and waiting, and getting my PA to describe some charms in minute detail, I get a member of staff to assist by bringing me some trays of jewels to view. Still I am asked what kind I would like to see. I don’t know. I have no idea what you have!

Yes there is a catalogue to flick through. But I could do that on the World Wide Web.


Do you have any top shopping tips with or without wheels?

48 thoughts on “8 Tips For Sale Shopping With Wheels”

  1. Great tips! Fortunately I have somebody with me at all times when out, I don’t have an electrical or self-propelled chair, so cannot go out without company. I do often get parked though, which is a little frustrating.

    Tip 1 seems like the best option by far, but I know that sometimes you just need to or want to get out of the house, like my recent outing – first time out the house in 5 months!

    Pandora sounds like an awful place to shop! I can’t believe that we still have such inaccessible stores in 2018.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know what you mean about getting ‘parked’. When I haven’t had my electric chair due to it breaking in the past I’ve felt so frustrated and out of control being pushed. The electric chair allows me so much independence, even if some stores don’t help that!

      Like

  2. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to go shopping while being seated. I give you credit for trying. People really are in too much of a rush and should slow down and pay attention to others around them. My tip would be to never try to shop alone. Always have at least 1 friend who will happily assist you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do always have someone with me luckily, I couldn’t get things off selves etc without assistance.
      Yes, we all seem so busy in our lives these days that we don’t have the time to look around us.

      Like

  3. D’yiu know, I actually hate clothes shopping, but I had (for me) a successful trip yesterday – and then left, like a scalded car!

    I’m much better off in a hardware shop lol! That’s happiness right there!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. This was for replacement jeans ugh! But it’s done & dusted. Basically I hate changing rooms and being able to see myself from angles I’m not ever supposed to see

        Liked by 1 person

  4. These tips definitely apply with or without wheels! I avoid sale time like the plague, I really don’t have the patience to deal with forty people mauling and fighting over a reduced price suit jacket in Next…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. There should be an app to help people with wheels find the most wheel friendly stores. Maybe you could use your creativity to devise it! I like Tip #1 best – stay home and have a cuppa. I am not a good shopper. When I have to do it, I usually go to small stores with more limited choices. I can’t handle the huge ones and tend to get in and get out of those as fast as I can!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I left a comment when I first read this but I can’t see it, and I’m wondering if it was when I had problems with WP the other week (realising NONE of my comments had submitted because of problems with my account after updating my blog!)

    You’ve given some fantastic tips, and some are great for wheel-less shoppers too. This does really give me a sense of some of the challenges you face though, so I think your last point of perseverance is probably a really important one. I find that I need to plan fairly well, take lots of breaks (though finding somewhere to park your bum around the shops can be a challenge of its own!), and be mindful of how much I’m carrying if I’m getting groceries and such too. I’ll also take this moment to admit I’ve never stepped foot inside of a Pandora shop!!
    Great post lovely 🙂

    Caz x

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    1. Thank you 😊
      No, I didn’t receive another comment, silly WordPress!
      I guess that’s one good thing about having wheels, I never have to find somewhere to park my bum, and every cafe has a seat for me!

      Like

  7. Haha you’ve brought such a unique perspective to shopping in general, I loved reading this! I feel like sales bring out the worst in people especially around Christmas time, everyone’s just pushing and shoving in an attempt to get the best deals etc etc. Just gets so stressful and I’d much rather shop the sales in bed, and just wait for them to be delivered to my front door xx

    Liked by 2 people

  8. My sister works at a Pandora do I sent this to her! Enjoyed the piece. I feel sales shopping is pretty tough going at the best of times x I did most of Xmas shop on line this year for time purposes and so I didn’t have to carry it !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oooh I’d love to hear your sister’s thoughts?
      I often do a chunk of my Christmas shopping online too. It’s great for when you know what you’re looking for, but sometimes I need a good browse of the shops for inspiration!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your experience at the Pandora store made me giggle. Aside from rarely having the cash to get anything, the fact the cases at most jewelry stores are set at standing eye level makes me feel like a second-class person so I generally avoid them.Here’s a silly picture for you: I have a service dog and his favorite thing is going out on errands, Imagine all of the pitfalls of a badly laid out store with a 60 pound Golden Retriever whose tail never stops wagging the entire time added into the mix. Hilarity ensues.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha, I bet he/she gets you into some situations!
      Yes the layout of most jewellery stores is indeed very inaccessible to someone using a wheelchair. I’d never real realised that Pandora was that bad. I couldn’t see a thing!

      Like

  10. ‘Take your patience’ ‘My eyes are seated’ love your tern of phrase! Since becoming increasingly chronically fatigued (not in a chair with wheels, just any chair or surface I can have a rest on basically – the floor sometimes), I’ve realised how many lovely people there are if you just ask “I’m sorry to bother you but I’m actually really struggling here.” You are so right, regular breaks are a must to maintain sanity. I always have in mind where my nearest pit stop (and toilet) is as I can’t just leg it there when I’ve had enough – because by then enough is already enough! I also agree, this abject whiteness everywhere these days is so soulless.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. I think you have to bring humour to situations like this. Although it is actually a very important subject. Humour can help people relate I find.
      Yes I think people as a whole are mostly much kinder than we perceive them to be.
      Ah yes! I have a mental mind map of accessible toilets!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t have any tips to add, but I feel your frustration re bags because when I was out and about with Cindy my guide dog, a lot of people carried bags at her head level, and more than once I got into discussions with people who thought it was ok to bop her on the head because they had no spacial awareness and just kept on walking.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Back in the 90’s I worked with Coventry Uni (I was a geography student) to create an accessibility map of the city centre precisely to make planning a route easier.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t know how much as it was published after I graduated (ahem) years ago.

        There were a good few of us, each buddied up with a person who had accessibility needs. All were different, then we put everything together to form a master copy. But this was back in the dark ages lol!

        Liked by 1 person

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