This post is a sponsored post on behalf of Kmart via Izea. The opinions are mine.
I have to admit that I haven’t stepped foot in a Kmart for a while, like probably since before they merged up with Sears. But this assignment was totally worth it. Basically, the plan was this: take a $500 gift card and figure out what was cool to buy at Kmart. They want you to know that they’ve got all kinds of gifts and stuff people want. That was the basic theme. I was game for the idea, and I even came up with a way to do some good in the process. Here’s what we did, and what I found along the way.
Bring Along the Kids
My six year old daughter came through the front doors, and the girls clothes was to the right. She looked over and said, “These are beautiful,” and sunk into a rack of winter coats. That particular one in the picture is a Disney princess one, so that had to go in the cart. I thought I had her trained so well, with Bob the Builder toys in her little pink purses when she was 3, but no. She loves princess things. Alas.
Yes, I’m the kind of dad who buys clothes as part of the holiday gifts. My folks did it. Why should I be any different. There were lots of clothes my daughter willingly would wear. We didn’t exactly equip her, but she got a few things she absolutely *had* to have.
My nearly three-year-old son was another matter. He needed some clothes. I found everything he would want there, and with really no effort. And again, there was lots of good variety, and I felt like everything was great and of a quality I expected.
Since their merging with Sears, Kmart has upped their name brand game. They had a few that really surprised me, like Dyson vacuum cleaners. Those are pretty high end, right? And they had Craftsman tool supplies, which was nice, because I remember the “old” Kmart where their tools were more like pretend ones made out of chalky metal. But, I didn’t really buy any of that. I went right to electronics, and then into toys.
I had a hunch that I’d have some fun in their electronics section, and I was right. They had quite a display of flat screen high definition TVs, and I knew most of the name brands. I’m not high def enough to tell you if they were really killer, but I give points for the brands, at least. They also had a small, but decent assortment of new movies on DVD. Their CD collection at the store I went to was small, but who buys CDs these days?
It was in games that I was impressed again. They had a really good selection of XBOX360, PS3, and WII games (we have a Wii at home), as well as DS and PSP games. I was surprised, plus I had that sort of “secret” feeling of realizing that I bet most people looking for games around the holidays have Kmart on their radar.
Here’s where I got clever. I had my kids pick out some toys to donate to Toys for Tots, so that this sponsored shopping spree could also be used for good. It was a lot of fun. There were all the name brands you’d expect, like Nerf and Star Wars and things like that.
The toy section was actually the best kept and best stocked at the store where I shopped. Some of the other sections seemed to have been attacked (this was, after all, the day after Black Friday), but toys? Fresh as a daisy.
In the End
If you click on the picture of the bill, and zoom in, you’ll see the biggest surprise I got from the entire experience. The shopping spree was for $500, and I went just a hair over at around $567. But, if you look at what I SAVED, I saved over $200 during this experience. Some of it was from holiday sales, but some was just their regular weekly stuff. So I saved over 30%? Is that right? That’s what the biggest surprise was, to me.
And Now, the Contest
Dad-o-Matic readers (you!) have a chance at doing your own version of my $500 shopping spree at Kmart. The official rules are here. But in a nutshell, here’s what you can do. One’s a bit of work, and the other is a lot easier (hint, hint).
(1) Place a comment on this blog post. Include a description and SKU or item numbers of items on your holiday wish list that total $500 or less. Contest participants must send their email address with the comment to the Participating Blog. This should be done in the private field provided by the Participating Blog and should not have to be included publicly in the comment.
(2) Use Twitter to tweet the message found on the blog post:
” RT @chrisbrogan is giving away a $500 Kmart Gift Card on his blog – simply tweet or comment to enter http://urlbrief.com/27bb3f”
*** That was updated. I had the info wrong.***
Now, I’m not telling you what to do, but step 1 takes a lot of typing, and step 2 is retweeting a link to this post.
Again, check out the official rules here because I might have left something out.
Good luck, and I hope you win. The experience opened my eyes, and I also found a way to give a bunch of kids some surprises this holiday season. Seems like a win, eh?
By the way, if you want to learn more about Kmart Gift Cards, that’s here.
The preceding was a sponsored post. For more information about the sponsor (Kmart), see Izea.