The best store in the world: Hammacher Schlemmer

A very quick post.

For many years I had twelve feet of LPs. After my ears got accustomed to listening to CDs, I decided to convert the records I actually listen to, to CDs. I bought a converter device. It was OK but had its flaws. Mostly, it didn’t stop by itself so I’d wind up leaping madly across the room to put the recording on pause. (My leaps were most likely entertaining to witness. I was entertained by doing them.)

Then I saw that Hammacher Schlemmer was selling a TEAC one-thing-does-all device. It plays cassettes, it is small, but is a turntable and plays records, it is a radio, a CD player and will convert anything to CDs. It probably makes coffee, too, although I haven’t gotten that far in the manual.

I bought it a couple of years ago and have been using it ever since.

Last week, I was doing my Rosenkavalier and had happily converted acts 1 and 2. Then I put the first act 3 side on. The record button did not light up in red, as it is wont to do. Uh-oh. It seemed to have lost its wont.

I tried the troubleshooting technique. No. Double uh-oh because, although the device plays all sorts of stuff, it has internal speakers that are not brilliant, so after I finished converting the records, I figured I’d get a CD player and good speakers to replace the device and did not want to buy a new one, since I have only a foot or so of records left to convert.

What to do? Well, call the place I bought it from. Which I did.

Hammacher Schlemmer has the most cheerful phone people. I explained to the lovely lady phone person what had happened, and said I thought I’d need their recommendation of a TEAC dealer to fix my thing.

“Well,” she said, “actually Hammacher Schlemmer has a life-time guarantee on anything we sell.”


My mouth dropped open. Nowadays that happens regularly, given the Horror, but never for something amazingly great.

I think I said, “Lifetime…guarantee?” Yes, she assured me. “Let me ask you, do you live anywhere near our store?”

Yes I do.

“Then,” she said, “just bring it in with your invoice, but if you don’t have the invoice, I can look up that number for you.”

I had the invoice.

“Aren’t you great!” she said.

Nah. I’m not great. Hammacher Schlemmer is great.

All I now need is a box and a cab.

Oh, and for you…


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