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Pre-Packaged Discounts

, , , | Right | June 3, 2018

(I work in a clearance home improvement store. The bed linen we stock is a mix of current catalogue stock and dribs and drabs of discontinued linen at heavily reduced prices. The older stock tends to end up looking a little battered, because customers often rip open the packaging carelessly to look at the bed linen inside. On this occasion a woman approaches the counter with a quilt cover reduced to from $150 down to $20. The plastic packaging is quite shabby, and torn in a couple of places, but the bed linen inside is undamaged.)

Customer: “What’s wrong with this quilt cover?”

Me: “Nothing, ma’am, it’s just discontinued stock.”

Customer: “But why is it so cheap?”

Me: “This quilt cover isn’t being made anymore, so any stock we have left is the very last stock available ever in this design. In order to sell the last of it, we’ve marked it down. Lucky for you, hey?”

Customer: “The packaging is torn.”

Me: “Yeah, that happens sometimes. Nothing to worry about, though; let me just tape it up for you.”

(I go about taping up the otherwise useless plastic packaging so that it’s now completely sealed.)

Customer: “Can I get a discount?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “Because the packaging is so torn. Can I get a discount?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I can’t discount an item that isn’t faulty.”

Customer: “But the packaging is torn.”

Me: “I understand, but you’re not buying the packaging. You’re buying the quilt cover, which is undamaged.”

Customer: “But the packaging is torn! Can’t you give me a discount?”

Me: “This quilt cover was $150 at full price. I really can’t discount it any further. But I tell you what: if you get it home and the cover is faulty, just bring it back in with your receipt and we can give you a full refund. You’re still getting a pretty good deal!”

Customer: *huffs* “Fine. But I don’t understand why you can’t give me a discount for the packaging.”

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