Build-a-Bear “Pay Your Age Day” Brings Chaos & Entitlement to Stores Nationwide

Posted on Jul 12 2018 - 1:28pm by Kelley
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I’m sure most of you have heard of the Build-a-Bear “Pay Your Age Day” fiasco going down at mall’s nationwide right now. We went to our mall in Charlotte, NC this morning. I wanted to share our experience based on the things I observed and our experience.

I was expecting it to be chaotic. My friend and I planned ahead as soon as we decided to go by letting the kids browse the website and making wish lists and calling our store ahead of time to learn they were opening early. However, I had NO CLUE this would be the outcome. I’ve gone Black Friday shopping before. This was 10000 times crazier than that! Stores were forced to shut down lines an hour into opening!

We left our house at 7am and hit up Dunkin’ Donuts on the way for COFFEE and breakfast. Got to the mall and in line at 7:45. There were already people there. I remember the anxious feeling in my chest as I was pulling into the mall and four cars turned in ahead of me. At 7:45am when the mall didn’t even open until 10am. That should’ve told me what a circus this was going to be.

Line by 8:30am was wrapped around the entire length of the mall

When we got in line, we were the seventh family there and we felt like we hit the jackpot! Plopped our butt’s on the floor and just hung out and waited. Don’t think we didn’t earn these bears folks. We waiting for two hours with NO AIR CONDITIONING, because Carolina Place didn’t even turn it on until the mall officially opened at 10! We were dripping hot messes… literally.

Once we got inside Build-a-Bear, it was not a quick process. BUT, I will give the staff a HUGE PROPS, because they didn’t short your kids on the experience even with the wait. I heard some moms mumbling as we left that we were lucky to get in and out. Make no mistake… we did NOT get in and out. Once we got inside Build-a-Bear, we waited for an hour to stuff our bears. But, that’s, because the staff took their time letting each child do the full process which was nice. Also, three year olds do not understand the un-stuffed animal will eventually be the pretty, fluffy, stuffed animal they picked off the wall. That was a fun hour argument, LOL!



Overall, we had a smooth experience, but I do realize that hasn’t been the case for everyone. I might be telling a different story and I KNOW I would feel frustrated if we didn’t snag one. I’m not saying you’re feelings are not valid. But, as a mom I have a few tips for you, because seeing and reading the comments on social media and hearing the snarky remarks from moms as we left, I have one thing to say… we are NOT entitled to deals like this. Just, because Build-a-Bear is offering this deal, every single person is not entitled to it. I’ve been that person left feeling disappointed if something didn’t work out for me and my family. So, a few notes from a mom who felt really disappointed and attacked for being able to snag this deal today for my kids :

  • Build-a-Bear very clearly stated this was a WHILE SUPPLIES LAST deal. Unfortunately, supplies only lasted a few hours. But, that was part of the deal.
  • Yes, many stores opened early and didn’t publicly announce it. But, when a highly anticipated deal or sale like this is going down, be prepared! Call the store ahead of time to get the deets like we did to know they were opening early. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard complain it’s not fair the stores didn’t announce they were opening early.
  • Never walk up right when a store is supposed to open for something like this and expect to walk right through the line. That’s just never going to happen. There will likely ALWAYS be someone ahead of you. That’s life.
  • You aren’t entitled to a coupon or rain check if they sell out. Yes, it’s nice of them to offer the coupon to people who were in line and missed out before they sold out. I’ve seen people upset they didn’t get one coupon per person or upset it wasn’t for more money. Again… you were not ENTITLED to the deal in the first place. The coupon is a nice offer, but rain checks should not be expected. Again, it was WHILE SUPPLIES LAST. 

Look at it this way…. if a football team works hard all year then makes it to the Super Bowl. They didn’t win. Is the NFL going to give them a head start next season and say “you tried last year, so here’s a special boost to get ahead for next time!” Absolutely not! Just, because you waited in line and didn’t get the deal, you aren’t entitled to be first next time or for a second shot. 

I realize it might suck hearing this from a mom who did snag stuffed animals for her kids, but I didn’t snag them, because it was easy for me. We woke up while it was still dark outside and waited in line for hours just like you. We didn’t just waltz in there with no line and get our pick of stuffed animals. It was so disappointing to hear some of the remarks from sone of the moms as we left, because they were mad we got them and they weren’t going to. I just smiled politely as we passed each one of these people and kept moving on.

Sadly, this is part of the reason why so man of us are raising such entitled kids in this world. I would urge you to take a second. Look at the big picture. And BE KIND. You have no idea what others have gone through, what their weeks have been like, what their circumstances are. And just think.. just, because something doesn’t go your way, doesn’t mean the company is to blame or they’re horrible or ill prepared. I promise you they were prepared. Prepared doesn’t necessarily mean stocking up on product more than usual. If you owned a business, would you stock way more product that usually to sell for $1 or $2 when it’s normally $38, because you’re offering this one day special? I wouldn’t! I’d have the offer for what I had available and that’s it. The employees were top notch in the midst of the chaos at our store. 

I’m bummed for any of you who didn’t snag one today. I wish all the kids could have such a fun affordable experience on a daily basis. But, please don’t hate on the children who were able to have that experience today. At the end of the day, we’re all just parents trying to make fun memories with our kids.

Did you head out to your local Build-a-Bear hoping to take advantage of today’s deal? Did you get in!? Let us know where you’re from and your experience in the comments!

4 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Courtney July 12, 2018 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    I’ve always wanted to try build a bear. What a cool event!

    • Kelley July 13, 2018 at 10:32 am - Reply

      Too bad it was clouded by the chaos! Build-a-Bear will always hold such fun memories for my kids though!

  2. Jessica Holoka July 12, 2018 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    They ended up having to close stores for the day around here because it was so chaotic! Thankfully you were smart about it and planned ahead!

    • Kelley July 13, 2018 at 10:32 am - Reply

      I knew it would be crazy, but I never expected the crazy that went down!!

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