Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Pick the Bic from the pocket, please January 14, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
Tags: , , , , , ,

NOW WE ALL KNOW that merchandise is returned to stores every day and restocked on shelves, right?

But how thoroughly are those returns checked, if at all?

Recently my husband shopped at the Target in Northfield and bought two pairs of jeans for our college-aged son, currently home from Boston on holiday break. These were purchased with cash as we have canceled our Target REDcard. We are choosing to be proactive rather than follow Target’s advice to “monitor our account” for possible fraudulent activity.

That said, we are always please to find jeans that fit our long-legged and slender 19-year-old.

Surprise. These jeans purchased at Target came with a Bic lighter stashed inside a front pocket and repositioned in this staged photo.

Surprise. These jeans purchased at Target came with a Bic lighter stashed inside a front pocket and repositioned in this staged photo.

I wasn’t pleased, though, when I discovered a Bic lighter buried in a front pocket of one pair of jeans as I removed labels to launder the pants.

Bonus two: A receipt to Walgreens tucked into the other pocket. This receipt was visible.

Bonus two: A receipt to Walgreens tucked into the other pocket. This receipt was visible.

A receipt to the Northfield Walgreens store was tucked inside the opposite pocket.

I assumed the jeans were not worn as all labels were attached and the pants appeared in new condition. So I tossed them in the wash.

Jeans purchased at Target with a receipt in one pocket and a Bic lighter in the other.

Jeans purchased at Target with a receipt in one pocket and a Bic lighter in the other.

It’s a good thing I always check pockets before doing the laundry. I wish Target would do the same before restocking merchandise.

But I suppose they have more important things to worry about than Bics in pockets.

HAVE YOU EVER FOUND anything unexpected in the pockets (or elsewhere) of just-purchased merchandise or discovered the merchandise had been used? Let’s hear.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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38 Responses to “Pick the Bic from the pocket, please”

  1. treadlemusic Says:

    No, I’ve not had anything like this happen to me!!!! It doesn’t surprise me, though, as I have watched how returns are merely tossed into a cart (to be wheeled to the appropriate dept. for restocking later, I presume). It is very interesting, though and sets my imagination going…………….

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    Wow—a bonus lighter comes with purchase evidently! That is too weird. I can’t recall ever finding anything like that in any purchases at all. I am sure it happens more that we think it would but now I am going to be on alert! 🙂

  3. Jackie Says:

    A bonus Bic, oh lovely 🙂 I haven’t personally found anything in pockets but wait til you hear this….. A friend of mine found a 3 carat diamond in a sealed package of nylons. She had it appraised for 3 Thousand dollars. She did what she could to attempt to find the owner (after talking with a lawyer) reporting it to the police. She got to keep the diamond,she sold it to help put new shingles on their garage. Crazy stuff

  4. Weird. I suppose staff are inundated with returns and things get missed. I deem these types of things a “Friday afternoon thing” where people are less attentive to the task at hand and are more focused on leaving work.

    • Now there’s a thought.

      I hope you had a safe commute this a.m. We had to take the son to the airport; dropped him off at 5:30 a.m. Not a good drive from Faribault on snow-packed roads.

      • Two hours for normally takes one. Slow and steady arrives alive. Red Wing to Hampton was a white-knuckle affair. The situation improved significantly when I reached Hwy 52.

      • People did seem to be driving for the conditions except for a few over-confident (aka crazy) drivers. We saw only one vehicle in the ditch. Fortunately I-35 from Burnsville south was plowed on the drive home. Just had to watch for occasional slippery spots due to the blowing snow. Keep it slow and steady on the drive home this afternoon.

  5. Lanae Says:

    I bought a mircowave from Target in Owatonna that came in a sealed box or so I thought. I unpacked it when I got home and was ready to use it when to my surprise it was dirty inside, used, gross. The weather was slippery out and I didn’t want to go back. I called the store and one of their employees who lives in Waseca brought a new one to my home and picked up the old one. They knew I was pretty upset–ok pissed.

  6. WOW! I bought a purse one time and in the back zipper pocket was a $20 bill – BONUS! Happy Tuesday:)

  7. jhc1218 Says:

    When I purchase my car in 2006, I found a shell (ammo) in the glove box. It was previously a rental in NY state.
    -Jocelyn

  8. That is insane! I have never experienced such a thing. So not good.

  9. Wow I’m not surprised even though its never happened to me personally.

  10. cecilia Says:

    unsettling actually.. I would only use cash at target now too.. actually it may be a good idea if we returned to a cash society.. cards are no longer safe.. nice duds though.. c

  11. Marilyn Says:

    Count me as another on the list as I cannot coordinate to use a lighter. Thankfully they still make matches. I think the only thing we need them for in this house is candles. I think it was my Mother (or someone she knew) who bought a new dress with fingernail/toenail clippings in a pocket!

  12. McGuffy Ann Says:

    Wow. I am glad it wasn’t anything worse!


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