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Cheap- Me - Maybe Not Really!

Services for Real Estate Pros with Gryphon

shopping pic

I love to shop. Hands down it is one of my favorite past times. I am also an avowed bargain hunter. Coupons, sales, discount stores, GOB liquidations, these are all some of my favorite things. I love it when I can get a great deal, a buy below retail or even better, below cost. These sorts of deals really make my day.

On occasion though, and despite the fact I am a self proclaimed "Discount Diva" I do pay full price.  No I haven't lost my mind or gotten lost in Neiman's and had to ransom my way out with a purchase. It is just this --- not only am I a discount shopper, I am also a value shopper.

Actually the most accurate way to describe it is that I am solely a value shopper. Usually this means buying at a discount, because for me many times full price isn't an accurate cost. Sometime though, the value is more than just the number on the receipt.

A perfect example of this is my former dry cleaners. I stumbled across them when we moved into our first house in Virginia. They were the nearest dry cleaners and I thought I would give them a try. Turns out they were a little more expensive than I had been used to paying before, but they were close and convenient so I continued to use them. Now I'm sure at this point you are probably saying, close, convenient, what is the value in that?? Drive a little further, save some money, bargain shop, be a typical deal hunter. And normally that would be my reaction as well, except, and here is where the "value" comes in, this was a mom and pop operation. They did all the dry cleaning in house, knew all their customers by name, noticed and fixed loose buttons and hems and got rid of those coffee stains I always forgot to mention.

The real clincher for me came the evening I was stuck late at the office getting ready to leave for a two week business trip. My phone rang.

New Forest Valet here - we are getting ready to close and we have your dry cleaning here. The dry cleaning you said you absolutely needed to have by today for business trip tomorrow.

Me - I know, I'm sorry, I got stuck at the office. I'll just have to make do with the clothes I have. If need be I'll buy some stuff on the road.

New Forest Valet - You don't need to do that. You live just around the corner. We'll just drop it off on our way home. You can just stop by when you get back to pay for it. Have a great trip.

I had thought that they were valuable before, but at that moment I realized how truly priceless they were.

So the question becomes -- What really is value? Can we put a price on it? In these days of discount anything and everything, should we choose a service, goods or  service provider solely on cost alone? As a "Discount Diva" I love a great deal, but I love worthwhile value even more.

And if you are ever in need of a dry cleaner in Arlington, VA, New Forest Valet can't be beat!


Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

That dry cleaner store is worth their weight in gold now!  In this day and age, service like that is not typical.......hang on to them!!!

Nice post about great service!  They just created a "Raving Fan" in you!

Ann Cummings

Nov 11, 2006 10:54 AM
Eddy Martinez
Nationwide Funding Group - Highland Park, CA
Rossis a great store to shop for clothes.In regards to real estate the service you get from a real estate professional is the actual value.
Nov 11, 2006 10:55 AM
Boomer Jack Boardman & Carl McIntyre, the Codgers
Noted Curmudgeons - Saint Paul, MN

Great story!

I had a hardware store and a drug store, that I patronized for more than 30 yrs, both were family owned & provided great service. A couple of years ago, a Wal-Mart appeared a mile or so away. Last year both closed, one after another, because they couldn't compete. People placed price over service. Now every time folks complain about service at Wal-Mart, I tell them they got what they deserved for abandoning our little local retailers for cheaper prices.

I found another hardware store & druggist farther away who now enjoy my patronage and I enjoy their service. 

Nov 11, 2006 11:14 AM
Melissa Kruse
Gryphon - Lewis Center, OH

I totally agree that you get what you pay for, and in some cases I am happy to go the cheap route. But when it comes to sevices or things that are important to me, I really look at the overall value, not just the cost. I think that in this day and age of the discount brokerage, internet etc, that providing value is what will really help realtors stand out.

Ann - unfortunately we moved to Ohio and I had to switch dry cleaners. That was probably one of the hardest things about the move. It has taken me five years to find a dry cleaners here in Columbus that ever comes close to comparing. Customer service can't be beat.


Nov 11, 2006 11:56 AM
"The Lovely Wife" The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

"The Other Lovely Wife"

Oooo...Shopping...Did someone say...Shopping?

So, how far off topic can I go Babe? LOL.

What a great post this is and clearly you understand the actual meaning of "value"...While you and I understand that concept their are many in this world that do not. Although that is sad it helps us...TO SHOP!

See, I can sorta stay on topic when I feel like it...LOL.

TLW "The Lovely Wife"...Sorta On Topic...ROAR!

Nov 11, 2006 12:59 PM
Melissa Kruse
Gryphon - Lewis Center, OH

If it has to do with shopping it is never off topic. LOL  I actually had a wonderful shopping day. Many purchases, lots of value. A great day!


Nov 11, 2006 01:02 PM
"The Lovely Wife" The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL
I spent my day shopping too! Lots of great clothes on sale at Dillard's...I now have to give some clothes away to make room in the closet for what I did today...LOL...TLW...ROAR!
Nov 11, 2006 01:08 PM
Rick & Ines - Miami Beach Real Estate
Majestic Properties - Miami Beach, FL

Nothing like Shopping!!!  When do we go next girls?  I also agree with Ann - a service that is not "typical" is worth so much. 


Nov 11, 2006 01:15 PM
Teri Isner
Keller Williams Realty at the Lakes - Orlando, FL

Great story but if coupons are your thing check our cellfire.com

Nov 11, 2006 02:18 PM
Jacqulyn Richey
Prominent Realty Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate
I am a confessed bargain hunter addict. BUT there are some things that are worth paying more for, especially when good service is involved. -Charles
Nov 11, 2006 03:17 PM
Melissa Kruse
Gryphon - Lewis Center, OH

TLW & Ines

Shopping in the rain. Sounds like a great idea. I could use a few new things. Don't tell DR though. He thinks I shop to much as it is, rain shopping might push him over the edge.


Thanks for the site. It looks interesting. I now need to figure out if it is compatable with the crackberry.


Glad to hear I'm not the only bargin hunter here in the rain and that others agree that some things are worth paying for.

TOLW - My word is passion - do you think the rain gods are referring to my love of shopping?

Nov 12, 2006 06:22 AM
"The Lovely Wife" The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

"TOLW"=The Other Lovely Wife

I can't believe you got passion on that...LOL...

I seem to always get that stupid elderberry. I think it's a set up. The RainGods send it my way because they know I want a youngerberry...Yah...Twisted and Paranoid. LOL...

Have you seen the Ines Malls? They are pretty cool...Her and I have a blast at her Mall...We shopped and then had dinner at a fancy restaurant with tiled floors. The tiled floors were important. We wanted to break in our new heels...We picked a restaurant we could spend the night in case we got tipsy!

TLW "The Lovely Wife"...Wearing New Clothes...ROAR!

Nov 12, 2006 06:41 AM
Rick & Ines - Miami Beach Real Estate
Majestic Properties - Miami Beach, FL
You crack me up TLW- and you are welcome to join us TOLW at my malls (I wish) and dinner afterwards......on Rick :)
Nov 12, 2006 11:16 AM
"The Lovely Wife" The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

"The Lovely Ines"

I keep TOLW's boxes checked so I know what she's up to...Looks like she is not around right now. I had to come see what I wrote that cracked you up...Yah...That is funny. I am old I just remember telling TOLW about your Mall...Glad I cracked you up...Laughter is good for the soul...

TLW "The Lovely Wife"...Cracking Myself Up...ROAR!

Nov 12, 2006 11:34 AM
Melissa Kruse
Gryphon - Lewis Center, OH

The mall is great!!!! I could do some serious damange there. DR should be thanking his lucky stars that I didn't discover it when I was still doing monthly trips to Miami, (not the virtual kind). Dinner afterwards sounds good too. I'm partial to the Biltmore though for nitecaps and a place to lay my pretty head if I'm tipsy. Their pool is just oh so nice to work off a hangover. =)

Passion again. The raingods must be smiling.


Nov 12, 2006 12:13 PM
"The Lovely Wife" The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

"TOLW"...Did you really get passion again or are you just messing with me?...Biltmore is good. They have carpet, I think...Now I have to buy a bathing suit at The Ines Malls. I will wear it under my evening gown just in case the tipsy hangover makes me forget to put it on before I go to the pool...LOL...TLW...ROAR!

Man I just looked down...Passion babe...Really!

Nov 13, 2006 07:24 AM
Rick & Ines - Miami Beach Real Estate
Majestic Properties - Miami Beach, FL

I had to come back to see if I would get "passion" ...but no......I got "Peach".............very disheartening.


Nov 13, 2006 08:31 AM
"The Lovely Wife" The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Here you go Ines...You need some too...





Don't forget to tell us all about this book...Assuming that with three boys you ever have time to read...TLW...ROAR!

Nov 13, 2006 10:22 AM
Melissa Kruse
Gryphon - Lewis Center, OH
I'm back to pears, kiwis and such. No more passion. Oh well, I'll just have to make up for it by shopping in the Ines mall. Bathing suit shopping sounds more fun in the virtual world than the real one. =) TOLW
Nov 14, 2006 03:45 AM
"The Lovely Wife" The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

"TOLW"...I like that virtual bikinis...In the virtual shopping for bikini world...We have no gravity, no wrinkles (for me), perfect boobs, perfect a*s...Much like a Barbie Doll...Is this a public post...Oh well...At least they'll know we have a sense of humor...Damn avocado...TLW...ROAR!

Nov 14, 2006 04:33 AM