Jean Louis as 'the man'
We went to John Lewis (big department store in the UK) today… we had eaten lunch and didn’t have anything else to do. There are 4 floors in John Lewis, and even though we’ve been there a hundred times, I don’t think I’ve seen everything Johnny has to offer. In fact, I had never walked through the baby section before. Recently, however, my interest in all things baby has gone up considerably. I considered my stroll through the baby section as an opportunity to do a little research, something I like to do before spending a lot of money on an item.
So… there we were… standing in front of what felt like an ocean of baby strollers, pushchairs, buggies, car seats, and prams. At first it felt very foreign… but then, I noticed the showroom like arrangement, the different makes and models with their various features and accessories, and slick-looking salespeople walking around showing potential buyers the new features on the latest models. Suddenly, a warm feeling came over me and I knew exactly where I was: a car dealership!
For some reason, people take on a certain persona when they walk into a dealership shopping for a car… and I noticed that my attitude toward the showroom was beginning to change as well. I was scrutinizing different designs, taking the pushchairs for test drives, comparing the handling on different models, and admiring the suspension on the high-end strollers, all the while eyeing the salespeople suspiciously, wondering if I could talk them down from their asking price.
Unfortunately, there’s no wiggle room on the prices… and these puppies were expensive. In fact, the car analogy isn’t too far off when you consider that for the price of one of these strollers we could have paid for our Happy Honda six times over! It’s pretty bad when you’re looking at a stroller and all you can think about is how many cars you could buy for that price!
It’s not just the stroller, though, it’s the carrying cot, the car seat, the car seat adapter, the rain cover, and on and on. The salesman did show us a cheaper solution that was more of an all-in-one package kind of approach, but the handling was awful, like a front-wheel drive KIA. I wanted the Mercedes with the nice tires and aluminum wheels… glides along effortlessly and turns on a dime with one hand! Of course, if you go for the strollers that actually have tires, it’s possible you could get a flat… I wonder if they sell roadside breakdown assistance for that?
You would think people are crazy to spend that much money at John Lewis on a stroller, but ‘the man’ knows what he’s doing. Johnny will tell you that your kid’s spine won’t develop correctly if you don’t buy the special infant carrying cot. Then Mr. Lewis will point out that if you loved your baby as much as the other parents, you wouldn’t have a problem giving him your money to assure your child’s safety… “After all,” he says, “how can you put a price on your own child’s well-being?” Well, as it happens, they have put a price on it, and it’s around £1000.
Thank you for your help in the store, Mr. Jean Louis, but I think the Bullards will be looking on eBay to see if they’re selling our child’s well-being for around the price of just one car.
Have a favorite stroller/pram/buggy that you would recommend? Or have any tips on finding a deal that will help us stick it to the man? Leave a comment…. we could use the help.