Trolleys a la cart

Today I’d like to share one of the many pearls of wisdom that I have; a little gift for my loyal readers to hopefully make your life just that tiny bit better.

This particular tip is a good one because it’s about supermarkets, and I’m sure most of you visit supermarkets to buy things on occasion. If you don’t, then keep reading anyway and pass the tip on to your butler.

Supermarket trolleys, or carts or trundlers. Whichever regional term you use for the things, when faced with a bunch to choose from at the start of your shopping journey, have you ever wondered if there’s an art to picking out one that won’t start squeaking or wobbling when you load it up? Well, there is. Sort of.

Clearly, the best way to tell is a little test drive. Pick one, give it a quick little tour round the area, note for any pull to one side or problems changing gear, turn off the radio and listen for squeaks and make sure the dealer lets you see how it goes at highway speeds. But that’s time consuming, we just want to pick one and go.

Obviously, you do can do an incredibly fast visual inspection. The one with bent wires and a wheel at a different angle to the rest? Don’t pick that one. The one that looks ok but has a receipt and a plastic bag discarded in it? That’s probably fine to use, don’t be put off. On the other hand, trolley boys wander all over the place collecting the things, you’d think they could drop that stuff in a bin as they pass. I dont know, maybe their pride in their work doesn’t last past the second time people can’t put the full size and half size trolleys in different bays in the trolley return. That annoys me and I only have to see it once a week. But I digress, you came here for secret knowledge.

If your shop is anything like mine, they have their own brands. I specifically mean the value/basics/essentials range and the premium/choice/luxury range. My supermarket and many other I’ve been in apply this to the trolleys as well. Most of them will be in the normal livery, but some are in the premium or value branding. And here’s the trick: Pick the value ones. Most people, given a choice between the 3, will subconsiously avoid the value one because obviously it’s inferior and it doesn’t cost anything to use a “good” one instead. That means the ones with the cheap branding get used less and so are probably in better shape.

Use this secret next time you’re out for groceries and enjoy your smooth, lightly used experience as you effortlessly manouver past fools bogged down by their own obsession with status (also by dodgy wheels).


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