When They Realize They Need You More Than You Need Them

, , , | Right | July 23, 2021

The comic book store I work at does trade-ins for cash and makes a lot of money reselling vintage and hard-to-find comics. If it is a trade-in under $500, we are allowed to do it without the owner’s permission. A middle-aged man comes into the store with a long box full of comics, announcing he wants to make a trade-in.

Customer: “I have a lot of older Marvel and DC issues in here, gonna make a killing off of this. Probably be able to pay off my car with what is in here!”

Me: “That would be great, wouldn’t it? All right, if you want to leave this here, I can appraise everything and get you an offer in a few hours.”

The customer agrees and leaves. I let my coworker take over and start looking at what he brought in. His “older” comics are all X-Men, Spider-Man, and Superman issues… from the 1990s. These are virtually worthless. There are over 200 issues, and after pricing them all between a dime and a dollar each, his total comes up to maybe $50. When he comes back in, I have the printout of the value of the comics waiting for him.

Customer: “Well, little lady, how much am I going to be walking out with today?”

Me: “Well… not a lot, unfortunately. Here’s the breakdown of the current value of your comics.”

I hand him the list. His face gets red, and for a moment, I think he is going to either have a heart attack or come over the counter at me.

Customer: “These are mint condition. Mint! You priced these wrong!”

Me: “Sir, that is the value of the comics in mint condition. They’re not worth a lot. Most late 1980s to early 2000s comics are massively devalued.”

Customer: “But these are complete sets!”

Me: “Again, that doesn’t make them worth any more. The issues themselves just aren’t worth anything. I can show you if you want?”

He silently nods, and I turn my monitor around and pull up a few titles so he can see they truly are only worth a dime.

Customer: “Refresh it. That has to be old information.”

Me: “I can do that, but I don’t expect it to change.”

I refresh the page and nothing changes — still the same price.

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry. That is the price we can offer you for the whole box. I can pay you out in cash or a store gift certificate if you want.”

Customer: “I need at least two hundred more. Fifty won’t cut it.”

Me: “Sir, I can’t do that. Unless you have more comics to trade in that aren’t from the nineties?”

Customer: “Little lady, you don’t understand how good customer service works. It’s 250 or nothing.”

Me: “Then nothing it is. I can’t give you five times what these are worth and expect to keep my job. Have a good day.”

I passed the long box back to him, while he sputtered and tried to find a way to recover from his failed attempt at haggling. Giving up, he took his worthless comics and left.

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If There’s A Tournament He’s The Jester

, , , , , , | Right | July 22, 2021

Our comic shop is located in a busy section of downtown. During the weekends, people will try and park in our small lot to go to other stores or just walk around. We have a sign stating that we will tow off non-customer cars. I am working on a busy Saturday when I see a man park and begin walking in the opposite direction of the store. I walk out and flag him down before he gets far.

Me: “SIR! You can’t park here if you’re not a customer! You’ll have to either move to another lot or use the city parking garage down the street.”

Older Man: “Miss, I am not going to be long. I’ll be back in a few hours. I’m sure your store will survive my car being there.”

We have a tournament starting soon and our lot WILL fill up very quickly.

Me: “We actually need that spot. We have a tournament starting soon and—”

Older Man: “That’s nice. I really don’t care.”

He walks off. I go back into the store fuming.

Me: “Hey, [Owner], that guy is going to be taking that spot up for hours. What do you want to do?”

Owner: “You know the number. Call the tow truck.”

I smile evilly and call the towing company. They arrive in half an hour and tow off the vehicle. We have their business card for when this happens. The tournament starts soon after his vehicle is removed and is in full swing a few hours later when we see the old man come back, looking around where his car used to be. He comes stomping inside, face red.

Older Man: “You! You f****** b****! Where is my car?!”

Me: “Towed, about three hours ago. Here’s the card for the company.”

I handed over the card for the towing company, and he simply took it with one shaking hand and walked out. Right as he got outside, he let out this roar of rage, grabbed the plastic trash can we keep out front, and threw it at the window. Since the window is plexiglass, the can just bounced off the window and rolled back to the man’s feet. The entire store was quiet for a moment, and then someone started to giggle. Soon, we were all laughing, fake roaring, and pointing at how stupid he looked. He flipped us off and stormed off, never to be seen again.

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Magic: The Boobening

, , , , | Right | June 16, 2021

I am the youngest and only female staff member in the comic shop where I work. I am also described as being a short, really busty Tinkerbell. This has caused some problems in the past with customers, but this is by far one of the weirdest experiences I’ve ever had.

We’re running a “Magic: The Gathering” tournament, and due to there not being enough people, I agree to jump in and play, too. When I get to the second round, I am put against a man a few years older than me who always comes in with his mom.

Me: “Hey, [Customer], so I know you’ve been playing this game for years. I started, like, three months ago. So, try not to crush me, all right?”

He smiles and nods, and the game goes on. I’m doing surprisingly well and manage to beat him in two out of three games, sending me to the next bracket. After we shake hands and he congratulates me, his mother comes to the table while we are getting our decks back together.

Mother: “You know, you really don’t have to resort to… those tactics to win. Is that what [Store Owner] told you to do today?”

Me: “Uh… what?”

Mother: “You know! Obviously, these boys can’t play well if they’re distracted!”

Me: “Distracted by…?”

Mother:Those! How much tissue paper did you stuff that shirt with, anyways?! You look like Dolly Parton!”

She’s waving her hands towards my chest, which has now gotten the attention of other players around us. Both her son and I are now blushing from the attention being focused on us.

Me: “Ma’am, they’re real. There isn’t anything stuffed down my shirt. And I can’t do anything about their size or whether or not people stare at them. I won because I got lucky, that’s it.”

Mother: “Well, he should still be allowed your spot, because you distracted him!”

Me: “Hey, [Customer], did I distract you with my feminine charms?”

Customer: “Your what?”

Me: “My boobs. My huge tracts of land. Were you too distracted to play?”

Customer: “Um… no? No, you’re a minor. I swear I wasn’t checking you out!”

Me: “I know you wouldn’t, but seriously, tell your mom that. Okay, off to the next player!”

The son looked a little embarrassed, but at least his mom shut up and let us all finish the tournament, standing in a corner to pout like a child. He still ended up doing really well, and we joke about me cheating whenever he loses to me in a game.

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Isn’t Nerdy Stuff All The Same?

, , | Right | February 8, 2021

We sell merch related to films, manga, TV, and comics.

Customer: “Sorry, but do you have anything related to physics?”

Me: “Sorry, we’re a comic book store. We sell merch related to films, manga/anime, and comics like Spider-Man.”

Customer: “See, my friend, he’s studying physics and it’s his birthday.”

Me: “Maybe The Big Bang Theory merch?”

Customer: “Okay!”

I show her the merch; she doesn’t want it. 

Customer: “But anything else related to physics?”

Me: “I‘m sorry, we’re a comic book store.”

Customer: “What about maths? He loves maths! ‘Cause he’s studying physics!”

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Wonder Woman’s Outfit Is Much Skimpier Than I Remember

, , , , | Right | January 20, 2021

The comics store where I work buys card games and comics for either store credit or cash. We often have people bring in their collections to get them appraised or to just clear out of their house. One day, a customer in his early forties comes in with a long box of comics. It should be noted that I am the only female working in the store, and I am also only sixteen.

Me: “Welcome to [Store]! Looking to trade or get them appraised?”

Customer: “An appraisal, please. I have some Marvel and DC sets in here from the 1960s and ‘70s that I’m looking to try and sell online.”

Me: “Not a problem. Go ahead and put the box here and we’ll see what you’ve got!”

I start pulling out his comics, all bagged and boarded, without really looking at them. I suddenly realize that the boards and bags are the wrong sizes to be regular comics, and they feel heavier than they should. When I do finally look, my face, neck, and chest turn red from blushing.

Me: “Uh, sir… we… we don’t buy these kinds of magazines here.”

The customer looks down and stares at his collection of vintage Playboy magazines on the counter.

Customer: “Oh. My. God. I grabbed the wrong box. And I just showed my Playboy collection to a teenager. I am so sorry!”

Me: “It’s okay, sir. If you want to bring the right box back, I’d be more than happy to appraise comics for you.”

He quickly gathered his magazines back into the box and shuffled back out the door. He did come back later with his comics, as well as a bag of Hershey’s chocolates as an apology.

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