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A Cancer Of Convenience

, , , , , | Right | September 30, 2019

(We have a regular who comes into our thrift store once every couple of weeks to look at our wares, make lots of loud noises about the things she wants, and then react, loudly, in horror at the prices. She has been caught switching tags in the past. Why she has not been banned yet is unknown. As such, she is not exactly beloved within our store.)

Customer: “Oh, I like that item. And that one. And that one. Please take that out of the case so I can look at it. That’s awesome; I really want that. Wait, it’s $70?!”

(I didn’t price the item, but I do know enough about the way we handle prices to know that getting it for that price is an absolute steal.)

Customer: “You know, I just came from the doctor’s, and we got a test done, and I might have cancer.”

Me: “Yikes. That’s a bummer.”

(While cancer is serious business, the timing of her mentioning this is suspicious. She wants a thing. Thing is expensive. Now she might have cancer. Hmm…)

Customer: “They’re going to do some more tests to confirm it, but I need to do something nice for myself to keep from flipping out about it, and my family’s not being supportive right now so I’m shopping for myself only, and they don’t deserve anything tonight.”

Me: “Okay.”

Customer: “Are you sure there’s no wiggle room on that item? Because I really like it, but I don’t know. It’s not awesome enough to pay that much for it.”

Me: “Sorry, but that’s the price we’re selling it for. We don’t further lower prices on things until they’ve been sitting around for over 30 days.”

Customer: “Are you sure you can’t discount it to like, $20? Even though I might have cancer?”

Me: “Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the answer, ma’am.”

Customer:My God, you are so heartless!”

Me: *fed up with her tactics and going full-on sarcastic* “That’s right, ma’am! I totally am! I’m a raging monster!”

(My supervisor and coworker are just around the corner, and they’re making muffled choking noises.)

Customer: “I totally believe it! You won’t even discount for somebody who may be dying of cancer!”

Me: “Ma’am, our thrift store exists to give money to [Local Charity]. Even if I was allowed to discount someone else’s department, it would be taking money from [Charity Focus]. Maybe you should just save the $50 difference for the treatment of your possible cancer.”

(I have been making announcements that the store is preparing to close for the night at the 30-, 15-, 10-, and 5-minute marks. Finally, I announce that we are fully closed and to please bring all purchases to the front. The woman is the only one left. She putters around for five more minutes before coming up to the registers. She tries to haggle on multiple items, says, “I know that!” when we tell her repeatedly that we do not haggle, and then tries to haggle some more. My supervisor finally tells her to make her choices, pay, and leave, as we are closed and she needs to get out. She tries to give my supervisor the puppy eyes and says:)

Customer: “Look, I really want that item, but not at that price. If you can discount it to what I’m offering, I can make a huge profit on it in my online business.”

(Bingo. That’s why she wants the discount. She is willing to cheat a charity to make personal profit.)

Customer: *continuing* “Then, I would have lots of money for my cancer treatment.”

(She was refused again, and she finally walked outside, huffing and puffing and complaining loudly about how heartless we were. Naturally, she left a pile of stuff for us to clean up. The item? The very next day, someone saw it and paid the money without batting an eye. As for the woman? She came in a few weeks later, the picture of perfect health, and never mentioned cancer again.)

This story is part of our Hagglers roundup.

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