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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Unfiltered Story #194435

, , | Unfiltered | May 19, 2020

As an avid thrifter, I frequent the three thrift shops (Goodwill, Salvation Army) in my area almost weekly, if not more. I’ve never had issues with rude staff at any location, and they’re always friendly and conversational. This takes place when I’m standing in line to checkout.

Clerk: And this one is $5.

Customer: Why? It’s not a good brand. All of the others are $2.50!

Clerk: It’s been marked up because it’s not a child’s t-shirt. It’s a men’s shirt.

Customer: But it’s not even a good brand. It should be $2.50.

Clerk: I’m not allowed to give it to you for that price, as it’s a men’s shirt, not a children’s t-shirt like the others.

Customer: Well, I want it for $2.50. It’s not a good brand!

The clerk calls for a price check and the manager comes out, and she explains.

Manager: Yes, it’s $5.

Customer: But it’s not a good brand!!

(At this point I can’t help but wonder why the lady is so adamant about getting it if “it’s not a good brand” in her mind.)

Manager: It’s $5. It’s a men’s shirt, and that’s what we price them at. I won’t give it to you for $2.50.

Needless to say, she didn’t get the overpriced, off brand shirt. Seriously, why tries to barter at a Goodwill?! Yeah, they got it for free but they have bills to pay like every other organization.

Those Who Won’t Pay The Price Will Pay Some Other Way

, , , , , | Right | April 15, 2020

I used to work in a thrift store. And without a doubt, the very worst part of working there was the hagglers. Customers always assumed they knew how much something was really worth, especially in the collectibles section. I never bothered to count how many customers gave me grief about the prices, even though I had no control over the prices whatsoever.

At least once or twice, somebody had the gall to tell me to go to the back and tell the people who put on the price stickers that their prices were much too high, and one old man told me to my face that God didn’t love me because I was robbing the customers of their hard-earned money.

I especially dreaded when the workers put two different stickers on the same item by mistake, because the customer would demand the lower price every time. 

We had a few regular hagglers and my stomach would sink to my shoes every time I saw them. My most memorable moment was when a regular came by like usual, and I dreaded her the most because she was the “my way or the highway” kind of person. While she never got physically aggressive or anything, I could just tell she was a woman who knew what she wanted and wouldn’t take no for an answer. 

I can’t remember what item it was, but she was very adamant about purchasing a particular collectible that day while being just as adamant about not buying it for full price. As usual, she tried everything possible to get us to knock the price down, and she hung around the area for at least an hour. 

When she walked away for a bit, a man came to collectibles, saw that same item, and decided to buy it. He didn’t say anything about how much it cost; he just wanted it. How could I refuse? I wrote him the sales ticket, he came back with his receipt in good time, and he left with his little prize fair and square. 

You guessed it: the same lady came back — I swear my heart skipped a beat or two — and saw that the item was gone, and all I can tell you is that she was not a happy camper.

It was all I could do to refrain from telling her, “Well, gee, lady, maybe if you weren’t so picky about the price, you could have gotten your hands on it first. And you wouldn’t have saved that much money, anyway.”

I totally understand people who must stick to a strict budget, and I understand the need to save. Even so, as I witnessed there, and still witness from time to time at my current job, the lengths some people will go to save a measly two or three bucks are simply astounding.

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Unfiltered Story #190869

, , | Unfiltered | March 26, 2020

(We have a regular that comes into our store often to look at items behind our jewelry counter, and when she does she doesn’t notice anything that happens around her. On my way to help her I put on a giant sombrero to see if she would notice, and she doesn’t. As she leaves, and I am disappointed, a male customer approaches and gestures toward me.)
Customer: How much is that?
Me: (gesturing to the hat) The sombrero?
Customer: No, you.
Me: Uhhh do you want to see anything?
(He picks out a pair of shoes from behind the counter and I lead him to my register to check out. He gets distracted and goes off to look at shirts, and I stare at my manager across the store hoping he’ll come shut my register down before the man gets back. Thankfully, he did, and I didn’t have to deal with him any longer.)

Unfiltered Story #190590

, , , | Unfiltered | March 25, 2020

(I work at a thrift store and the way our pricing works with clothes is that we have set prices for women’s shirts, dresses, etc. The prices are on signs all over the store. A customer comes up and places two dresses on my register. They are clearly dresses.)

Customer: Excuse me, how much are these?

Me: Dresses are 4.99, ma’am.

Customer: But I found them on the 3.99 rack!

Me: Well, I believe you, but they’re dresses, not shirts…

(At this point, my manager just happened to be nearby so she walks up.)

Manager: What’s the problem, ma’am?

Customer: I found these over there, on the 3.99 rack!

Manager: Well, I’m sorry, but these are dresses, someone must have put them on the wrong rack.

(The customer leaves her items and walks out, muttering to herself.)