0195F: Shopwise Thoughts

On the first Wednesday of every month, Shopwise offers 10x the normal rewards points for all purchases up to P10,000. It's a crazy day to shop and one that requires a fair amount of patience, but in the long run it pays off. Since you get 1% of the value of your purchases back as rebates, anything that increases your amount of points that significantly is pretty worth it. And thus I've long since reorganized our grocery budget to front load most purchases at the start of the month with incidental runs for things like vegetables or eggs later on.

And spending all that time at the grocery leads to a number of observations and theories.

Reusable Bags - The old Shopwise system involved a bonus for all groceries that could fit into a reusable bag. So in the early days of the Sietch, Tobie and I hit the grocery almost weekly in order to break up our purchases to fit into the three bags that we owned. Since the system changed, we now have at least 7 bags in circulation every time we go to the grocery. I like using these bags since it feels like he responsible thing to do and they hold more groceries per bag. I'm always disappointed that other folks just complain about the policy and expect the baggers to find ways to store their groceries in cardboard boxes and such. Thus when we show up at the counter with our bags, you can see the relief on the cashier's face that she won't have to worry about stuff like that.

First Wednesday Customer Patterns - Tobie and I have been experimenting with shopping at different points in the day on the infamous First Wednesday. Early in the day your main competition are the senior citizens who spread out to all the counters as much as possible. Each will delay your queuing with their senior citizen cards and little booklets that the cashiers need to study, fill out and update accordingly. Go too late just before closing and you're competing with everyone who just got out of work. The shelves are already looking a little sad and you have little to no hope of getting fresh vegetables. Thus far it seems best to shop in the afternoon or right before 06:00pm.

Checkout Conveyors - For one reason or another, the conveyor belts of almost all the Shopwise checkout counters aren't working. It's a minor annoyance, but not intolerable given that the counters are also pretty short, so it's not like there's much distance between the end of the conveyor belt and the scanner.

Baggers - For one reason or another, baggers are a rare commodity at Shopwise. I get it, the need to bundle up groceries in boxes takes up more man hours and the effort of assisting customers who fill up multiple carts of groceries takes up time. But really, why can we never have enough baggers at the counters? Instead Tobie and I end up bagging the stuff ourselves.

Points Redemption - The old system required one to go to customer service to run a balance check and then determine how many points you intend to redeem. Recently they finally updated their POS to allow customers to redeem points right at the counter. So convenient. But don't use points for purchases on First Wednesday! They won't count towards the 10x bonus!