A Basket Full Of Karma

, , , , , | Right | June 10, 2020

At my thrift store, each department uses secondhand selling websites — eBay, for one — to find out what a particular item seems to be going for in the market, and prices items that way. As such, anyone who tries to haggle is told that we simply don’t do that.

A customer comes in and sees a picnic basket for two behind the counter and asks so see it. It comes with two of each utensil, as well as space for a nice lunch and a bottle of wine to be stored.

Customer: “Wow, I really like that item… but not for [our low price].”

Me: “Sorry, sir, the price is as marked. Housewares determined they’re going for that price when used. We cannot haggle.”

Customer: “Hmm. You know, I bought a new one for [$5 higher than our price], retail price.”

Me: “Uh-huh.”

The customer is silent for a beat as he almost obsessively checks and rechecks every inch of the item.

Customer: “Wow. I really do like that. It’s really cool. But not for [our price]… Maybe [half our asking price]. But not [our price].”

Me: “Sorry, sir, we still don’t haggle here.”

He is silent for another beat, obviously waiting to see if I’ll throw in a “but…” in there. When I remain quiet, as well…

Customer: “Well, I really like it, but not for [our price].”

He waits again.

Me: “…”

He finally heaves a very long, very exaggerated sigh and does a full-body sag of epic disappointment and dejection before he reluctantly stops fiddling with the basket:

Customer: “Well, I guess I’ll have to think about it.”

I put it behind the counter once more and say in a falsely cheerful voice:

Me: “Thank you for your interest, sir! If you decide that you really do like it enough to pay our asking price, you just ask me to bring it out for you.”

Customer: “Well, I really do like it. Just not for that price.”

Me: “Have a good day! Bye-bye now!”

I mutter under my breath:

Me: “You don’t actually like it… you just want it cheaper, you cheapskate haggling jerk.”

He comes back the next day, and I can see that he is preparing to sigh over the item again. He oh-so-casually asks if I have talked to Housewares to see if they’d be willing to part with it for his offer, reiterating yet again how MUCH he likes it, and how he just needs us to come down a little on the price.

Me: *Smiling sweetly* “Oh, I’m so sorry, sir! A young gentleman came in two hours ago and bought it already. He said he was going to take a date out for a picnic lunch as soon as the weather turned nice.”

It was a pleasure to see the man’s face fall when he realized how he had missed out. 

It’s actually very common for someone to try wrangling discounts out of us. Some even threaten that no one else would “pay so much money” for the item they want. Almost every single time that happens, someone else will come along and snatch the item up for the asking price without batting an eye.

In our store, you snooze, you lose!

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