K Mart Online – Your Alternative To Stale Popcorn, Non-Existent Price Tags & BlueLight Specials
Apr 28, 2003 (Updated Jun 5, 2010)
K Mart has had a bumpy road, in fact, that is an understatement. With Wal-Mart and their “roll back” prices, Target stores popping up everywhere and of course the internet, it seems like K Mart never stood a chance in the retail business. The online site is by far an easier way to shop the K Mart line of products and take advantage of the products that they sell at a discount. As I mentioned in other reviews, I am a big Wal-Mart and Target shopper [although Wal-Mart has been ticking me off lately] but you simply can’t argue with some of the prices on items at the online K Mart site. If you like to do the “after the holiday” shopping on seasonal items, you can always pick up a good deal at the site. Some people are a little leery shopping at the online and retail K Mart stores due to the possibility that they might shut their doors. Hey, there is always a chance that it might happen but usually there is at least a few weeks advanced warning.
My best piece of advice is to think about any major purchases, do some research on the warranty [who will be responsible for it if K Mark online goes under], shop around for the best price, factor in the delivery charges, see if they have an additional warranty plan on top of what comes with the item [again, see who will back it up if they go out of business] and the overall reputation of the product you are purchasing. The online site sells some very big items – most of the time at a great price with free shipping – what you have to do is take a step back and look at the big picture and shop according to the facts, not the sale prices.
So far I’ve only had a few issues when navigating the site, a few blank pages here and there or items that don’t have the correct item listed. You’ll only have one pop up when you initially go to the site and that is usually a notification about a special sale, free shipping or announcement about an upcoming new product. Everything is laid out in a very easily accessible manner but I do have a small complaint about the results of some of the searches and they way that they are displayed. Sometimes if you type in a word that you know will have a lot of results you will be shown the most popular returns to the query with the other results listed on the right hand side of the page. If you aren’t familiar with the way the site is arranged you might overlook the links. I really think that if these results were listed under the most popular items it would make navigating the site a lot easier.
Online Vs. Retail Stores
What I really find amazing is the fact that the retail stores suck so badly that you can’t get a price on an item but you can go online and buy a hot tub, tanning bed or exercise equipment. There is such a huge difference between the online site and the physical store that I wonder why I even bother to set foot inside the dumpy, cluttered and scummy stores. The biggest problem with the retail stores is not knowing what the price is on items other than clothing that are usually tagged, but not always. It seems that the K Mart retail stores are hit or miss – some are clean and well stocked and others are run down, in bad locations and are understaffed. Thankfully the online site seems to run much better than the physical stores – but there are a few bumps in the road from time to time. If you are a regular consumer of K Mart stores you might really like what the website has to offer, especially the sales and clearance items.
What You’ll Find…
Well, if you have ever been to a retail K Mart store you know about the main products that they sell; clothing, shoes, sports equipment, work uniforms, baby furniture, school supplies and seasonal items including gardening supplies, plants and trees and weeding products. The website offers you all that and more – much, much more. If you are looking for high ticket items like tanning beds, hot tubs, air conditioners, power tools and large sheds, the site has it. Sometimes it’s easier to have it delivered than to try to find someone with a truck that can transport it from the store to your home. One thing that totally blew me away was the large above ground pool that was featured on one of the pages in the home section. Chances are this isn’t something that you would come across strolling the sometimes cluttered aisles so the website has a definite edge over most of the physical stores.
Some of the major names that you’ll find at the site include Hoover, Canon, Little Tikes, Black & Decker, Rival and of course Lego! When you first hit the site you’ll see a toolbar at the top that will allow you to explore the different sections and areas that are available or you could use the search engine to find exactly what you are looking for. The site really seems to pimp the Martha Stewart line of products so if this is your weakness, then visiting the site will be a most rewarding experience for you. Some other things that you can pick up at the site include home health care products, DVD and VHS players, jewelry, video game consoles and games, maternity goods, watches and more. This is just a small selection of items that you’ll find at the site, so be sure to give it a good once over to see if there’s anything that catches your eye.
This is the part of the site when you will find the bargains that K Mart online is offering. The real trick is to look through all the listings – even if you aren’t interested in some sections because you never know when you are going to find an oddly placed item. Consider this section the clearance part of the site where everything that is on sale or being sold at a reduced price will be listed. I’ve found that the listings and sections change often so it is well worth the time and effort to check out what is listed. The first section I go for is the toy section [big shock huh] that seems to get a lot of the ‘used to be hot’ items, non-sellers and overstock products. You’ll usually be able to find a few video game titles, toys that were hot last season and occasionally some great steals. The last time I was there they had some of the Monsters Inc. figures that I was glad I had the chance to snap up at a 65% savings.
Outside of toys and games you’ll also be able to get some great deals on clothing for kids and adults, selected electronics and computer related items, seasonal merchandise and more. If you are looking for baby related item, this is one section that you will want to check often because they seem to update it every few days with new stuff like car seats, toddler toys and games, play sets, cribs, mobiles, strollers and teethers. Sometimes you hit this area and there are tons of products, other times only a handful. This is a great way to pick up items for holidays and birthdays and take advantage of some real savings. The clothing might not really be all that appealing but they do usually have some cute baby sleepers and one-piece outfits – more so after the holidays.
Since I am a toy collector [mostly Lego, Nightmare Before Christmas, Simpson’s etc] I try to hit the site at least once or twice a week to see what they have in stock. Shopping at the retail store is an extreme pain since none of the items are tagged and the shelf tags are almost nonexistent. The site is hit or miss when it comes to finding toys that you want. When you first enter a key phrase like “Lego” you’ll be given a minimal set or return items – if you aren’t paying attention you’ll miss the listings on the right hand side of the page. Over the past year or so I’ve purchased several Lego Technic sets from the site, clearance priced toys and games, children’s clothing and a few house ware items that I was never able to find at the retail store.
K Mart accepts MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover Card for purchases online. You can also use your debit / bank card providing that it carries the MasterCard or Visa logo and there are funds available for the transaction. You can also use your K Mart gift card for online purchases by entering the codes in the appropriate area when you are in the check out process. I’ve used both MasterCard and Visa when sopping at the site and never had any troubles with billing, different total amounts on the statement, over charges, double billings or credits when merchandise was returned.
Shipping has to be one of the most bizarre parts of the site. If you are just ordering one or two items – or several of the same type items [books, CD’s, DVD’s etc] it is pretty straight forward and easy to understand but if you are placing a large order that has large and small items, products from different departments or oversized merchandise – things get to be a bit difficult to understand. You can see your shipping total in your shopping cart and if you need to make an adjustment or have an item expedited, you can do so at the site when you are ordering or by calling one of the toll free numbers listed below. For the most part, the shipping fees are average for most items but as usual, larger items or special orders will be a bit more. Be sure to look for coupons for free shipping or ‘super savers rates’ online or when advertised at the site. You can also look in the special “free shipping” area of the site to see individual items that are shipped to you at no charge. Some of these items include clothing, exercise equipment, patio furniture, basketball set-ups and more. This is a great way to get products that are not only on sale – but ship to you for free!
There are several ways to make a return of a purchase from the K-Mart online site. You can return it to your local physical store as long as they are not in the process of closing or downsizing [call to make sure before you go] and you take along your sales or packing slip showing that the item was purchased online. Most items come with a 30 return period unless otherwise stated on the product information page. Please make sure that you read all the information about the products warranty and return policy before you make your purchase. Some items cannot be returned. If you are not close to a K-Mart, Super K-Mart or Big K-Mart you can return your item to the main return center for a refund or exchange. Just like every other site, you will need to pack it in the original container with all the necessary paperwork, warranty information and all accessories. It is also recommended [by myself and the site] that you send the return item with some type of delivery confirmation or if it is a high-ticket item, with insurance.
Kmart.com Returns Center
4955 Mason Road, Suite B, Door B
Atlanta, GA 30349
I have only had to return two items and I sent both of them back to the above address. The credits were issued within one billing cycle but you are told that a credit can take up to 30 days to appear on your credit card statement. In some cases it might be a little longer depending on when your statement is prepared and mailed out to you. When I called customer service to make arrangements for the return they were polite, quick to answer all my questions and always asked if I was satisfied with the transaction and results of the phone call.
3100 West Big Beaver Road
Troy, MI 48084-3163
Attn. Customer Service
 245-6278 – Order questions, general customer service
 635-6278 – 24 hour customer service
 637-6611 - fax
In addition to these phone numbers, there are numerous online help forms and sections that can help you with most of the common questions and concerns that you may have when ordering or using the site. If you can’t seem to find an answer, feel free to contact the 24 hour customer service team for more assistance.
The Bottom Line
While some people might have a bleak view of K Mart, particularly the physical stores, the online site is a much better alternative for those that are looking for bargains. If you have never shopped though the site or haven’t visited the site to see what is available, you might just be missing out on some great sales. Overall the site is easy to navigate, offers you a nice search engine, allows you the ability to use K Mart gift cards for purchases and carries a wide variety of products to choose from. K Mart isn’t one of the sites that I purchase from on a regular basis, but I do visit the site often. When I do order, about once every two months, I am pretty confident in my purchase and that it will be delivered in a timely fashion, well packed and backed with a 30 day guarantee [on most items that it].
As always, thanks for the visit!
^V^ Freak ^V^
© 2003 Freak369
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