Monday, March 22, 2010

Gimme the gun lady!

My married friends have often expounded the joys of creating your registry. Given that we have a house, I thought, sure it's fun for you, but what do we need?! I was wrong. You hear that? I admit to being wrong! Creating our registry was the most fun I have ever had shopping. I got to create the ultimate wish list and didn't have to pay for anything. I think I could do that every day for the rest of my life. Why doesn't every store have a registry?! Can I register for Shrove Tuesday? Halloween? The second Tuesday of July?! 

So what do two people with a house need? I've purposefully left gaps in what we have figuring that *hopefully* one day we'd get to register. New flatware is a definite. Ours is a mishmash of non-matching stuff from university, my parents, and a set from Ikea. New dishes! Dollar store plates are great, but we've realized they come from the dollar store for a reason, they stain. Thankfully they're cheap enough to replace, but maybe being grown ups and having non-staining Gordon Ramsay plates is a better idea. Matching glassware, ooohhh ahhhhh. A four slot toaster! Oh my gosh! We can make our bagels at the SAME TIME! Last but not least, a new KitchenAid 600 Pro Series mixer. *drool* This is definitely pricey, but with the completion discount after our wedding, I don't mind buying it myself later.

First we went to Crate & Barrel. The drawbacks of registering here are:
a) There are only C&B stores at Yorkdale Mall, and one in Calgary. A new one is opening in the Distillery District in Toronto soon, which seems like an odd location choice to me. 
b) People can download and print my registry online, but they can't shop online and have it delivered to us. Boo! Why do the Americans get all the good stuff?!

The pros of registering at C&B:
a) Their stuff is beautiful. This place is kid in a candy store fun for me. I want EVERYTHING!
b) They have a great price range in their items. I have items from $1.50 up to $140. 
c) The completion program is 10% off the remaining items. It's not a ton, but every penny helps. I'll take it!
d) They gave us a free gift for registering with them! I have no idea what we're going to do with it yet, but I'm sure you'll see it at our wedding somewhere. 

Next we popped over to The Bay. We met with our consultant who decided she'd rather tell me eight different ways of how I can return or exchange what we receive while Dan's eyes glossed over and my fingers itched to get my hands on the SKU gun. After what seemed to be an eternity, we got our gun and went to town! It turns out we're Gordon Ramsay whores and registered for both his pots and dishes from Royal Doulton. So pretty.

Pros of registering at The Bay:
a) Really wide selection of items from board games, to dishware, to linens, to small appliances. 
b)  There's a Bay store near just about everyone. 
c) Great price ranges and great range of product lines.
d) Really great completion bonuses. If we register for luggage for instance, we get 50% off afterwards if we buy it ourselves. Score! 
e) It's Canadian!

a) You can't add or subtract items from your registry online. You can change quantities, but that's it. You have to go to the store to update properly and add new items. 
b) No online shopping. Seriously, why can't we do this in Canada?!
c) It took me two days to access my registry online. There were "technical difficulties" with the website. 
d) No photos of the items on the registry list like on the Crate & Barrel site. It's a bit tough to decode their shorthand for the different items (I can remember trying to shop for another girlfriend off her registry list at The Bay and ended up making some saleswoman there escort me around and decode all the items one by one). Photos would also be helpful for when I go online to update quantities, etc, I need the visual cue to remember what some of the items are. 

Secrets to registry success: Give yourself lots of time. An hour at Crate & Barrel was adequate, but I'll probably go back again and add a few more items. Two hours at The Bay was not enough time given that we spent 45 minutes talking about the joys of exchanges, returns, and completion bonuses. 

Make a list! I'm really happy I made one because after we left The Bay I realized we had only crossed about four items off of our list. I'll go back another day this week and try to finish up (sans fiance who hates to shop). 

Which brings me to: Bring snacks. Men generally hate to shop. If you can sprinkle a few treats in his direction you'll all end up happier at the end of the day!

And one last note. I felt like I was beeping just about every SKU in the store, but when I went online and revisited what we had, it really doesn't look like much! It's better to register for a lot and have the completion bonus to go back and get the left over items at a good discount, than to register for too little and leave your guests frustrated that there's not much for them to choose from for your showers and wedding gifts.

Happy shopping!

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