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Jonboy

Maplin administration

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Some of the stores are dealing with things differently and somewhat oddly.  I visited the Kingston branch yesterday as I needed some individual components but they were not selling them individually, despite info to contrary on the Maplin web site.  They'd shrink-wrapped entire cabinets and storage bins, selling them as job lots - including the multi-drawer cabinets.  This could be a bargain for anyone with an electronics workshop but I just wanted a few bits to make up some turnout drives. All I got were some soft dusting brushes, an LED pen torch and a couple of enclosures for future projects.  All very cheap though.  The staff gave every impression of being utterly fed up and not caring anymore. I don't really blame them for this.

 

I then travelled over to Hammersmith, where the store was still operating in the traditional way and I got nearly my whole list of items, plus a cut price graphics tablet. This store had a much better atmosphere and the staff were still keen to help, despite their circumstances.

 

Walking around the two stores, I was aware of what I'd be missing, the convenience of having a source of electrical & electronic components on the high street. I'm not very good at planning what I need so it's useful to have somewhere to go to get items ad-hoc.

 

Mark

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Walking around the two stores, I was aware of what I'd be missing, the convenience of having a source of electrical & electronic components on the high street. I'm not very good at planning what I need so it's useful to have somewhere to go to get items ad-hoc.

 

Mark

 

On the other hand, there are plenty of places on the internet that do next-day delivery with low postage charges.

 

If you aren't fortunate enough to be able to pop into the high street during the week, mail order can be quicker than a real shop.

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I got nearly my whole list of items, plus a cut price graphics tablet.

 

Mark

I bought a cut price graphics tablet years ago thinking it would be useful.

I did try and I think it works on Win 10.

It's still around waiting to find something to use it for! :jester:

 

Keith

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On the other hand, there are plenty of places on the internet that do next-day delivery with low postage charges.

 

If you aren't fortunate enough to be able to pop into the high street during the week, mail order can be quicker than a real shop.

 

What the internet doesn't cater for is going to the shop with a half-formed idea and having a browse to find something that'll do the job, maybe having a chat with a knowledgeable person in the process.

 

Being retired and now having the benefit of a 60+ Oystercard is quite an advantage. 

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What the internet doesn't cater for is going to the shop with a half-formed idea and having a browse to find something that'll do the job, maybe having a chat with a knowledgeable person in the process.

 

Very much so and I would hate to see all physical shops disappear.

 

It's possible though that the time will come when visiting an on-line shop becomes much more like visiting a real one in terms of browsing and talking to staff. Maybe there will even be an option to be visible to other virtual visitors as you walk round - sometimes chatting to other shoppers can be as (or more useful) than the staff. 

 

(I have on one occasion followed a shopper out of a shop to quietly point out that he might want to take more advice before following what the shop staff had told him...)

 

Delivery from on-line shops is still likely to remain an issue though.

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What the internet doesn't cater for is going to the shop with a half-formed idea and having a browse to find something that'll do the job, maybe having a chat with a knowledgeable person in the process.

 

Being retired and now having the benefit of a 60+ Oystercard is quite an advantage.

In a way that’s what forums like these achieve. Same problem of working out who really knows what they’re talking about and who’s blowing hot air!

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In a way that’s what forums like these achieve. Same problem of working out who really knows what they’re talking about and who’s blowing hot air!

 

Quite.

 

And overall I would much rather live in today's world with all the information available on-line than go back to a time where model/electronics/hardware shops were much more plentiful but there was no internet.

 

I find a forum generally much more useful for advice than someone in a shop I don't know who may or may not know as much as they think they do.

 

(Which isn't to say that I don't ask for advice in shops, and indeed I'm fortunate in that I have access both to the internet and local model shops - yes - more than one!)

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What the internet doesn't cater for is going to the shop with a half-formed idea and having a browse to find something that'll do the job, maybe having a chat with a knowledgeable person in the process.

 

 

In recent years I don't think Maplin fulfilled that role either. It's range became much too limited and I don't reckon the staff were particularly knowledgeable either. I was in one of the stores about 18 months ago when a 3rd-level student was looking for advice about an Arduino for an art project and the Maplin guy knew next to nothing - I was able to offer some help.

 

...R

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Quite.

 

And overall I would much rather live in today's world with all the information available on-line than go back to a time where model/electronics/hardware shops were much more plentiful but there was no internet.

 

I find a forum generally much more useful for advice than someone in a shop I don't know who may or may not know as much as they think they do.

 

(Which isn't to say that I don't ask for advice in shops, and indeed I'm fortunate in that I have access both to the internet and local model shops - yes - more than one!)

 

The problem with internet forums is that people can offer advice but their expertise/ability is unknown. Ask how to solder and you'll get a variety of opinions, some of which are good, while some aren't. With a model shop the proprietor at least possibly had some experience but also wanted to create a  relationship with customers, so was unlikely to talk a load of b*ll*cks, which does happen of forums. So how does the person seeking advice or guidance know what advice to follow?

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Quite.

 

And overall I would much rather live in today's world with all the information available on-line than go back to a time where model/electronics/hardware shops were much more plentiful but there was no internet.

 

I find a forum generally much more useful for advice than someone in a shop I don't know who may or may not know as much as they think they do.

 

(Which isn't to say that I don't ask for advice in shops, and indeed I'm fortunate in that I have access both to the internet and local model shops - yes - more than one!)

 

 

Given the amount of waffle and rubbish written on forums I find a forum distracting 

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A quick Google shows that some retailers do 'encourage' Checkout staff to scan as fast as possible, and some report being 'let go' for being too slow. Indeed there is an entire Facebook page/site dedicated to overly speedy checkout assistants at Aldi. It is a thing.

Exactly the reason I stopped using my local Aldi. The checkouts have a ridiculously small area for the operator to put the things they scan onto and virtually nowhere to rest your bag when you are packing things from said area. The time the operator found no room to put scanned items and tried to shove them further down the chute, causing some items to fall on the floor (breaking two items in glass containers) was the time I called for the manager and complained about the scanning procedure. Her unsympathetic attitude caused me to decline to pay for the items I had 'purchased' and a swift (and final) exit followed.

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The proper procedure in Aldi is to put the scanned items back into the trolley, then transfer them to your own bags at the shelf by the window, at whatever speed suits you.

 

In practice people, including myself, like to get their own bags packed at check out, but you have to be prepared to do so quickly. Customers behind you in the queue get frustrated by a slow customer packing everything ever so carefully: made worse if then followed by faffing around at the payment stage.

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Might be a good time to get components from Maplins, although I am not sure about their arithmetic. Two zener diodes and two resistors for a total of 9p...

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What the internet doesn't cater for is going to the shop with a half-formed idea and having a browse to find something that'll do the job, maybe having a chat with a knowledgeable person in the process.

Had something akin to this recently. I was after a blu-ray player as a birthday present and my first port of call was Amazon, which then sold out of the model I was interested in nearer the date. To cut a tedious story short, I found an alternative device which I was able to online click n collect at my hometown bricks and mortar high street branch.

 

Whilst collecting in-store I had a conversation about dvd upscaling, 4K tellies and various other bits n bobs. I already felt pretty good about supporting the store and with online discount code only paid £4 more than what Amazon wanted, with the added bonus of a decent conversation, knowledge the item I'd bought probably hasn't been the ball in a warehouse footie match and some unfortunate zero hours sap hasn't had to cart it around Suffolk belching diesel to deliver it.

 

The point being, I suppose, if you are a bricks and mortar chain, if you get your online presence right and follow it up with effective pricing, marketing and competent staff, you need not fear online bought cheap goods lobbed over the garden fence in the general direction of your door.

C6T.

Edited by Classsix T

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Re the off topic issue of Aldi checkouts if using a basket there is in my experience sufficient space on the end of the tcashiers surround to pack a bag - one of the large Sports Direct (other shops are available) ones is great for the contents of hefty basket full.

knowledge the item I'd bought probably hasn't been the ball in a warehouse footie match and some unfortunate zero hours sap hasn't had to cart it around Suffolk belching diesel to deliver it.

Think how got to the store. Edited by Butler Henderson

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Think how got to the store.

Delivery of 20 items to one location rather than one item to 20 locations, do the math Sherlock. Or perhaps you're in favour of wagon versus bulk carriage? (ffs).

 

C6T.

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The problem with internet forums is that people can offer advice but their expertise/ability is unknown. Ask how to solder and you'll get a variety of opinions, some of which are good, while some aren't. With a model shop the proprietor at least possibly had some experience but also wanted to create a  relationship with customers, so was unlikely to talk a load of b*ll*cks, which does happen of forums. So how does the person seeking advice or guidance know what advice to follow?

 

I take the reverse view.

 

Unless I've had a chance to build up a relationship in a shop, I have no idea whether the person I ask knows what they're talking about or not. 

 

On a forum, if somebody is talking absolute rubbish then other people will usually point this out (politely or otherwise) and it's not usually hard to see where the consensus is.

 

Also, given that there is often no right answer, I'd rather have a variety of opinions even though it then leaves me to decide which to go for.

 

How many ways are there to clean track? Ask on here and you'll get all sorts of views and experience. Ask in a model shop and you may be told to buy a track rubber and use it everywhere. But it's not the only answer and some people would say it's the wrong one.

 

I'm afraid that too many times I've come across confident sounding sales people who were either just misinformed, presenting their opinion as fact or deliberately misleading to get a sale. (And in fairness I've heard the reverse, e.g. telling a customer that they're welcome to buy the £30 gold plated SCART lead but the £5 is just as good...)

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I'm afraid that too many times I've come across confident sounding sales people who were either just misinformed, presenting their opinion as fact or deliberately misleading to get a sale.

So you've been to PC World as well?

They used to have (still have?) a help desk for technical queries

I've never heard such a load of bullsh*t from their "techy" guys when asked about some aspect of computers.

 

Keith

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So you've been to PC World as well?

They used to have (still have?) a help desk for technical queries

I've never heard such a load of bullsh*t from their "techy" guys when asked about some aspect of computers.

 

Keith

 

I don't think I've come across anyone in PC world who even sounds competent in the field - although I have only been in a few times as each time has been a waste of time...

 

I applied for a job at the local Halfords' parts desk many years back when I was between jobs. According to the manager I didn't get it because I knew too much about parts already and he didn't want to jeopardise his job?!

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PC World stopped being primarily a bricks-and-mortar store long ago. A friend of my son’s works there, he reckons at least two-thirds of people who walk in the door treat it as a shop window for on-line purchases.

 

Regarding deliveries, I find the current system to be a thorough nuisance with no redeeming features whatsoever. Items appear at all hours of the day, sometimes up to 9:00 pm with no reason or pattern, and no often with no idea which courier has any given item. UPS are quite good, APC are ok, RM I find quite useful - and if you are expecting a package from overseas, it will ALWAYS be RM (unless from the USA, in which case it will be UPS) because other couriers don’t deal with the Customs clearance and charges. I also notice that eBay/PayPal labels are always for RM.

 

We seem to have transitioned to a delivery service primarily intended to facilitate huge volumes of drop-shipping.

 

The rapidity with which RM transitioned to a casualised workforce was embarrassingly obvious.

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Exactly the reason I stopped using my local Aldi. The checkouts have a ridiculously small area for the operator to put the things they scan onto and virtually nowhere to rest your bag when you are packing things from said area. The time the operator found no room to put scanned items and tried to shove them further down the chute, causing some items to fall on the floor (breaking two items in glass containers) was the time I called for the manager and complained about the scanning procedure. Her unsympathetic attitude caused me to decline to pay for the items I had 'purchased' and a swift (and final) exit followed.

 

You can do as Colin suggests in the next post, or you can buy a couple of dedicated bags that clip onto the sides of the trolley and hold the bags in the open position. This method allows you to slide all your purchases straight into the bags. You can then tidy things up in the large packing area.

You can also have a payment card or cash in your hand ready to pay. The staff do no have the most interesting job in the world so at the very least as punters we can try to help them.

It is probably a good thing that you have decided not to use them. I can fully understand the attitude of the manager when faced with a person who is disrupting the smooth running of the system. The two newcomers to the UK supermarket have been a revelation but the cheap prices do require an input from the buyer as well as from the seller.

Bernard

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So you've been to PC World as well?

They used to have (still have?) a help desk for technical queries

I've never heard such a load of bullsh*t from their "techy" guys when asked about some aspect of computers.

 

 

Agree 100%.

 

More than once I have had to bite my tongue to stop me intervening in an explanation from a clueless salesperson to a clueless customer.

 

At the same time their prices are generally OK and I like to see and feel before I spend a lot of money.

 

...R

Edited by Robin2

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You can do as Colin suggests in the next post, or you can buy a couple of dedicated bags that clip onto the sides of the trolley and hold the bags in the open position. This method allows you to slide all your purchases straight into the bags. You can then tidy things up in the large packing area.

You can also have a payment card or cash in your hand ready to pay. The staff do no have the most interesting job in the world so at the very least as punters we can try to help them.

It is probably a good thing that you have decided not to use them. I can fully understand the attitude of the manager when faced with a person who is disrupting the smooth running of the system. The two newcomers to the UK supermarket have been a revelation but the cheap prices do require an input from the buyer as well as from the seller.

Bernard

 

The job on the checkouts in Aldi must have been more "interesting" in the early days in the UK before bar code scanners where to save having to put price labels on everything, the checkout staff had to memorise the price of everything the shop sold.

 

I found it quite impressive that it all worked, though of course there was no real check that the correct prices had actually been rung up.

 

(Edit): Big Jim has kindly pointed out that it would have been Kwiksave not Aldi...

Edited by Coryton

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That’s my abiding memory of ‘Kwik save’ back in the 80s the checkout girl sliding all the stuff through on my parents monthly ‘big shop’ and keying in the prices without looking at the till

 

Then eating the big bag of plain ‘wheel’ crisps on the way home in the car!

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That’s my abiding memory of ‘Kwik save’ back in the 80s the checkout girl sliding all the stuff through on my parents monthly ‘big shop’ and keying in the prices without looking at the till

 

Then eating the big bag of plain ‘wheel’ crisps on the way home in the car!

 

Ah yes of course that was Kwiksave not Aldi....

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