True Customer Tales: Give Me a Break

A well dressed older lady, strung with jewlery like a Christmas tree, just tried to buy a stack of books which she'd obviously re-priced. This is a vanishingly rare occurrence- I've had more people try to pass counterfeit bills (3) than try to falsify prices (2, counting this gal).

We have two people that price books, myself and the owner. Both of us are intimately acquainted with the other's handwriting. Messing with our prices is like trying to photoshop a movie stars face onto your body- stupidly easy to do poorly, nearly impossible to do well, and even if technically perfect everyone still knows it's fake.

Now, sometimes we miss stuff and a book with an old price from some other shop in it will slip past. But this gal had a stack of six, all with weird prices in an alien hand. So I take a closer look and LO! there are the ghosts of the 'real' prices, faint impressions surviving erasure- the very reason we price with a heavy hand.

Official policy in these situations is to downplay the fraud and politely but firmly refuse to honor the fake price. Which I did. And this gal had big brass balls- she actually expressed amazement that I would't sell her this stack of $5-10 books for two bucks each. So I patiently showed her the erased prices, showed her a couple of books I'd just priced to provide examples of what I'd expect to see, explained that $2 just isn't a price we use and observed that someone had altered our prices.

"But on ALL of these? What are the odds!" she appeared genuinely aghast.

"Mmmmmm." I replied, gnawing on my tongue to prevent an outburst of disbelieving laughter.

I restored the correct prices and she actually bought two of the six, so my softshoe around the obvious ended up earning us a couple of bucks.

But COME ON now.
Repricing used books that are already a fraction of retail?
That's low.

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