When I started this blog way back when, I vowed it would be an honest presentation of what I went through as a used bookstore owner. The good, the bad and all the in-between. Okay, I’ve not been very good about adding to the blog but hey, it’s hard work being a used bookstore lady. I’m not one who sits back and reads all day. I’d love to but when the boxes of books are all around me and those books are screaming at me to let them out I have to do as I’m told. Every day it’s sorting, pricing and shelving (SPS). I’m not complaining. That’s just the way it is. Reading for me is generally when I’m home.
So the other day, it came down to a battle of who’s the stronger. Me or a customer. To end the suspense, of course, it was me. But really, right? My store. My rules. Though I do feel I’m usually overly generous. Sometimes I can’t be. My priority has to be keeping the store alive. If I lose a sale or customer over principle than so be it. I can live with it.
I get it that pricing is arbitrary. But yet I have a pricing system that I think is very fair. Each book is generally individually priced taking into account many factors – out-of-print, condition, value, etc. – as well as what is being offered on the internet. When someone comes in looking for store credit – especially someone who has never been into the store before – and is demanding and questioning my quote and then my pricing all I can say is you aren’t going to win. I can and do dig in my heels. And frankly, I don’t need additional books. I need buyers. So if my quote isn’t satisfactory then you are welcome to take the books away with you. I won’t be upset nor take it personally. Just like my quote isn’t a slam to the customer but based on what works in my store. I got through the situation. He got through it as well and maybe no one was the winner in the long run. Of course, try as I might it did affect me. I don’t like people walking away thinking I wasn’t fair but yet are they taking into account my situation? I’m not getting into the nitty-gritty of the situation because I want to move past it.
About an hour later after the gentleman left a woman comes up to the counter with two books. One she is buying and one she wants to show me. Still reeling from the situation earlier I’m bracing myself. Now what? She shows me a book she brought in from an outside sale bin. All hardcover books are $1.00. Paperbacks 50 cents. She opens the book to show me that someone tucked in a one dollar bill. Someone paying it forward. Ah…perfect! That was the way I ended my day and that’s where I’ll end this blog entry.