29 November 2008

Bargain Hunting

I often write about thrifting on this blog as a way of finding the good stuff cheap, but lets not forget the old fashioned bargain hunt. While I usually loathe internet shopping, how could I resist these:

They are from the fabulous overstock page on the Land's End website. Originally $60, these pants were marked down to $14.99 (hmm, wonder why), hemming including and the shipping was free. Plus, the color is called 'Cranberry', so quaintly New England it makes you sigh, even if the pants are made in Hong Kong.

Free shipping can be a funny thing, and you pretty much get what you pay for. I ordered these pants 2 weeks ago. 1 week ago, according to UPS tracking, the pants were left at my back door while I was out. After a good look around the house and the back yard, no pants. So I called UPS, and explained the situation. They said 'we delivered your package'. I said 'But I don't have my package'.They told me fairly bluntly and a little rudely that it wasn't their problem. I said 'so that's it, then?'. They told me I should call the shipper.

So I called Lands End. Let me tell you, they gave me some right proper old fashioned customer service. After asking me for my order number and confirming my address, the operator said, in a charming midwestern accent ' darned UPS' and assured me a new pair would be sent to the hemming department the following Monday. End of the week and the pants arrive. Sure , she referred to me as 'Mrs.' throughout the phone call, but service like that is hard to come by these days. If we could get back to combining that kind of polite service with American manufacturing, in ten years time we'd be laughing at the current economic fiasco. But that's just my wistful opinion.

These pants have a perfectly classic straight cut, and the cloth is a first rate, heavy wide wale corduroy. Being such an avid thrifter, its a treat to buy fresh. As I tried them on, my wife half-jokingly said to our young son 'It's a miracle, Daddy bought something new for himself.' Well, it only happens when the price is right. Being cursed with a combination of permanent mild poverty and inherited old world stinginess, it's something I can't help.

Of course I plan to wear these Cranberry Cords on Christmas, perhaps with a white cable knit sweater. In the meantime, I think they'll make a fine semi-regular addition to my winter wardrobe, with a tweed jacket or blue blazer perhaps. Look for their virgin run sometime later this week.

9 comments:

Alan said...

Great looking trousers! I have two pairs of red pants from their Overstock section. Sure gives a little variety to navy and khaki in the closet.

Jocke said...

Great looking trousers indeed!
I have a similar pair of red cords in my closet, however they're starting to wear out :(

Matt said...

Good hunting.

I spent hours yesterday scouring ebay for inexpensive wwII repro army boots. Ebay won this round

Sartre said...

Nice. I would certainly wear these.

The Preppy Pauper said...

In the midst of everyone fawning over the stalwarts like Brooks Brothers and J.Press, I was afraid to speak up about good ole' Land's End. They offer the same classic American clothing and their quality is comparable to any premium retailer. I once forgot to include a suite number in a business delivery address and they too were happy to resend the order. I have bought lots of stuff from them and I am always very happy with the merchandise. They are also one of the few U.S. online/catalog retailers who know how to ship to Canada without hassles (and no I don't work for them)!

Anonymous said...

My experience with LE's customer service reps has been like yours: They go out of their way to be helpful. I always contact them by e-mail and they always give detailed replies. I only wish that they cut their OCBD shirts as fully as BB. Unfortunately, LLB, whose merchandise is generally higher in quality that LE's doesn't get high marks for customer service: They frequently ignore email altogether. However, they do get good marks for the cut of their OCBDs: Not quite as full as BB's, but certainly more comfortable than LE's. Unfortunately the cut of the LLB OCBD collar is too short, while LE's collar is pnly minimally shorter than BB's. Wht can't they just measure the BB collar and duplicate it exactly?

Erika said...

My father had two pairs of cords very similar to those pictured but in a bright red and forest green when I was a child. Great holiday pants. And as in New England, I'd imagine they stood up to Chicago winters quite well.

ms. mindless said...

thanks for the tip. i just bought the man in my like these in the cranberry and the blue. i love to have some awesome cheap finds under the christmas tree!

Andrew said...

Awesome find!

I went to the site right after reading this post to order myself a pair. I have been wanting a pair of red cords for a long time. Alas, they don't have my size!