Thursday, July 10, 2008
They Put the “Hard” in Hardware
If you have an older home, or just like older accents, you’re probably familiar with VanDyke’s Restorers. We’ve bought a variety of stuff from them over the years. Most recently, I bought some spandrels from them to make some shelves and have been on their mailing list again ever since.
Their catalogs, in fact, have prompted Carole on to the next project. (Not that she needs much prompting. My mother has never been the sort of person to do just one or two things at a time, finish those, and go on to the next. No. Let’s do 80 simultaneously instead. Long-term chaos is so much more preferable. Don’t misunderstand. It all gets done and turns out in the end. We just have very polar work approaches. But I digress).
She has already planned what she wants to do for the kitchen and bathroom. (As if outside and the two bedrooms weren’t enough for this year.) Enter the VanDyke catalog.
I’ll admit, they have a good sale going on right now for the cabinet hardware and the plumbing fixtures she wants, so I’ll cut her some major slack. (That’s the new kitchen fixtures she has picked out in the photo.) The big box places want twice as much and then some. And you know me. It’s online shopping. It’s sale prices. I’m there. That’s where the problem comes in.
I guess I’m spoiled. In today’s technology-driven world, I think of a catalog as a “companion piece” for a shopper. Simply a marketing tool to drive traffic to a Web site. Do tons of people really even use the enclosed order forms anymore? Do throngs flock to the 800-number except when they have trouble with the Web site? I don’t think so. I think they’re like me. They look at the catalog. But when the sale is made, it’s done online. Because if you want to buy fixtures at midnight, that’s the way to do it.
That’s why you’d think that their Web site would make this a seamless process. But it doesn’t. In fact, when I keyed in the product codes from the catalog, the search engine found nothing. Nada. Zip. Bupkiss. Zilch. Zero. Silly me. How dare I expect this to be easy? Same thing on two of the three product descriptions. Only through diligence (read: pissed off determination) did I find the items online that I wanted to buy. Or at least, I hope they’re the right ones. I can’t be sure.
Since hello! Once I actually found the items, they had a product number completely different from the catalog, even though the pictures, item description, and prices were the same. Awesome. Let’s confuse the process just a little more.
I guess that’s why they call it “hard”ware.