I used a Walmart service to get a personalized Atheist ring. Walmart sells a variety of styles of band rings with engravings of one's choice of up to 30 characters on the outside and 25 on the inside (spaces included). I got the idea of ordering a ring that had “Secular Humanism” on the outside and my name on the inside. That put me well within the character limits and, as you can see from the 3ird picture,  there is plenty of room on my ring, inside and out, for more engraving. Accordingly, it seems that such a ring could be ordered with a more lengthy reference to Atheism on the outside and, possibly, a reference to it on the inside in addition to one’s name.

I was concerned that the salesperson at Walmart might refuse to sell me the ring with what I wanted engraved on it but I was very polite and she did not. After that I was concerned that the ring maker might refuse to make the ring but it did not. Of course, provided the references to Atheism desired on such rings are not vulgar, there is no legitimate reason for such rings to not be obtainable through the Walmart service.

The ring I got is made of stainless steel, has brass trim and is 8 mms wide. It listed for $38.00 ($40.28 with tax).

 

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No matter what one might think of Walmart I don't see why it should be denied the opportunity to serve Atheism.

You could say the same thing about McDonalds and a whole lot of other companies. However, remember that such companies made it big by giving better deals to the average person. That is, the average person voted with his or her money for them to make it big. Moreover, keep in mind that there was no law in your town that said people had to buy from Walmart instead of from the small businesses there. Again, they did so because Walmart provided them better goods, services and values than the small businesses there and there was certainly nothing wrong with that. Likewise, there would be nothing wrong with another company coming along and providing better goods, services and values to the average person than Walmart. Anyway, I don't think the small businesses that you are talking about would be serving Atheism as Walmart seems to be willing to do in the form of selling personalized Atheist rings. 

"Better" goods and values is questionable. Part of Walmart's business model involves using the promise of large sales volume to commission special, cheaper models of appliances, etc. -- lower quality to go with the lower price. And, not visible on the price signs, taxpayers subsidize their business model as well more than we do for other companies, with many Walmart employees still needing public assistance.

It is noteworthy that the staff at your Walmart didn't object to "Secular Humanism" on your ring. There are "True Believers" for whom "secular humanism" is a horrible enemy, as much as are "atheists". I'd still choose a local business.

(Edit: or, perhaps, an internet business, if I didn't care about seeing the ring ahead of time.)

I think the Walmart salesperson sold me the ring with Secular Humanism on it (which as you know is a form of Atheism) because she felt pressure to comply with Walmart policies (fearing that she would lose her job if she did not). Likewise, I think the ring maker made the ring because it felt pressure from Walmart to do so (fearing that it would lose Walmart orders if it refused). A small business owner would not feel such pressures and, therefore, would be more prone to not sell such a ring. As such, one would probably run into more resistance if one went to a small business to get such a ring.

I really don't think Walmart products are junky. Walmart can't afford to get the reputation of selling junky products. I think it is able to sell goods and services at lower prices because it runs a tighter ship than its competitors rather than because it sells lower quality products. The average person attests to this. The average person is not a dummy when it comes to recognizing what the best values are. The average person is attesting with his or her money that Walmart is providing the best values when it comes to offering quality goods and services at reasonable prices and this is why Walmart is number one in the industry. Let us not forget that the average person is what businesses should be all about. I believe that if we think logically instead of with our emotions we will have to acknowledge that Walmart is doing the best by the average person.

Finally, people are not supposed to make careers out of flipping hamburgers or being inventory clerks. They are supposed to be responsible enough to qualify themselves for some sort of trade or profession. Accordingly, positions with Walmart, except for the supervisory ones, should really be stepping stone types of jobs for responsible people to have while qualifying themselves for bigger and better opportunities. Therefore, demanding that jobs like flipping hamburgers or being inventory clerks should be sufficient for raising families is undermining of the basic work ethic. Walmart is providing jobs for responsible people to have while they are in the process of qualifying themselves for more lucrative occupations. 

 

I quit shopping at Walmart mainly because of the poor quality.  Their frozen and refrigerated food has far less taste than other places in town, some of which have the same price.

Out of approximately 10 electronic products I've purchased there, about 9 of them failed long before they should have, some within a week.  The microwave oven I purchased failed within a couple of weeks.  It's replacement failed in the same time period.

I don't purchase anything electronic or electrical anymore.  The same for frozen and refrigerated food.

I have never had such problems at Walmart and I buy almost everything there.

Why is it that the vast majority of the purchasing public disagrees with you? That is, Walmart is and has been the number one retailer in the industry because the vast majority of the purchasing public has been very satisfied with its goods, services and prices.

I just don't understand why your perspective is so different from that of the vast majority of the purchasing public.  

I would guess that you've been lucky.

I'm willing to pay more for a quality product because it will cost me less in the long run.  

It appears to me that most people don't realize that, so they keep wasting money on inferior products.  I've seen that in other stores as well.  Many stores sell inferior products because people will buy them because of the up-front cheap price.

As for the tasteless food in Walmart, I see two reasons why a lot of people will buy it.  One, maybe they can't afford more expensive food, and two, most of them have younger taste buds and olfactory sense than I do, so they can still detect some flavor in those foods.

Perhaps I've just been unlucky in my purchases, but I doubt it because I've purchases 100s of things from many stores, and It's obvious that cheap products are not a good value.  

I now purchase most things on the internet, where I can read all the reviews and comments on products, and chose those that have the best reviews.  So far, those products have less trouble than what most stores in town stock.

I have bought major well known brand names at Walmart at the cheapest prices available. That is, I have bought Sony, RCA, Samsung, Hewlett Packard, Schwinn, Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, Wrangler, Timex, Stanley, Centrum, etc., etc., there. Are you saying you can't buy these products there? I don't believe it because I have bought them there myself. The vast majority of the purchasing public disagrees with you because it has made Walmart the number one retailer in the industry and the people of the purchasing public are not dummies. Moreover, for the most part, they are not poverty stricken either. I just don't see that what you are saying is true. Anyway, Walmart sure sold me a quality personalized Atheist ring.

It's kind of hit and miss.  You'd never be able to tell from the packaging.  Even with the model numbers, it's often only the difference of there being a 'b' or 'c' or something stuck on the end of the model number.

A lot of manufacturers have to switch out some internal components with cheaper ones, in order to meet the price-point demanded by Walmart.  Walmart doesn't just sell things ridiculously cheap by working on a slimmer profit margin, although that's true in most cases, as well.  They force manufacturers to sell to them at lower prices, too.

It's mostly a problem with mechanical tools ... say vacuum cleaners and such ... in which you might have some plastic internal components, when they would otherwise be metal.  You're probably better off with electronics, in which there's only so much they can actually swap out.

I have never had any trouble with the products I have bought at Walmart Joe and, even if someone doesn't like a product that he or she has purchased there, Walmart has an excellent return policy. The bottom line is that the purchasing public is not stupid and it has made Walmart number one in the retail industry for a very long time. Think about that. Very logically instead of emotionally, the reason has to be because Walmart provides the best values. Nothing else makes sense.  Again, it sure sold me a quality personalized Atheist ring.

And you won't have a problem with such modified products in most cases, no ... at least not in a way that you'll notice.  You just have a slightly higher instance of failure, over time, with the cheaper parts.  A 90-day return policy won't help when the product wears out quicker, over a series of years, so I don't see what that has to do with anything.

I don't share your optimism about the purchasing public at all, though.  I find them to mostly be completely incapable of making decisions beyond immediate price-point decisions.  Personally, I do almost all of my shopping at Kroger, Target, and Trader Joe's, where they don't treat their employees like crap.  Kroger is even union.

My main point was that your interpretation of what Spud was saying was completely off.  He wasn't saying that Walmart doesn't sell the major nationwide brands of products that are generally good quality.  He was saying that the products of those major companies are often modified (not always, but often) to meet Walmart's lower price-points, such that what you think is the same model, at first glance, is actually a more cheaply constructed version of that model.

You mentioned that you shop at Target. I went to Target once and saw a Schwinn bike there that was exactly the same as one that I had just bought at Walmart but it listed for $10.00 more. Accordingly, the Walmart product was not of lower quality than the Target product it was just cheaper. I believe this is the case in general and it seems that the purchasing public that, despite what you say, does not consist of a bunch of fools, believes the same thing. When it comes to money Joe most people just aren't fools.

The purchasing public has made Walmart number one in the retail industry for a very long time and the only sensible explanation for this is that Walmart has been offering the best values.

I believe you, without realizing it, have been thinking with your emotions instead of logically. That is, you revealed in your last post that you have an ax to grind with Walmart when you said: ….where they don't treat their employees like crap….In that passage you revealed that you very probably have not been thinking objectively when attempting to decide what retailers offer the best values. Anyway, again, Walmart sure sold me a quality personalized Atheist ring.

 

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