By now you know that I generally feel all warm and fuzzy toward my bookstore customers, (frickin’ Lip Lady) so today I shall enlighten you with our process of buying books and the ummm.. “splendid” customers I get to deal with.
The policy at our bookstore is that a person may bring in their gently-used books at any time and we will go through them, figure out what we can take, and give the customer a choice of either store credit or cash. Our store is somewhat small, so we are unable to take a copy of a book if we already have one in stock. When this happens, I politely tell the customer that they are welcome to try bringing those books back at another time, because it’s quite possible that we would be able to take them then. The most we offer for any one book is $3, but most often it is around a $1 that we give. Our bookstore is here to make money, not to make other people money.
So probably the worst type of book-buy customer I get is the Cat Hair People- those individuals who bring in a box or two of books and as I’m pulling the books from the box, cat and other assorted pet hair is wafting up out of the box. Really?! Yes, I SO wish to purchase these books covered in fur; I bet we could even charge MORE for them! After all, people pay big dollars for fur coats right? Why not for furry books? The dead bugs and spiders in the bottom of the box are always a plus too. Let me just break out the Benjamins for your shitty condition books. And shame on you for treating lovely books that way!
The next kind of customer are the Crank-Ass Money People- those citizens looking to make as much money off of their books as we would. I had the distinct pleasure of dealing with one of these this morning. She brought in books, and I made her an offer. She looked at me in disgust and said, “That’s it? NO, I’m not going to take that because THIS (she picked up a title) is a brand new book, and I brought in THIS (she pointed to a copy of The Help) book last week, and you gave me $2 for it, and NOW you are selling it for $16.” I explained to her that THAT particular copy of The Help was a specially ordered new copy we had gotten, which was why it was marked so high, and that HER copy of The Help we would have sold for $7.98. Her reply was, “Well, MY copy was a NEW copy too.” At which point I wanted to ask her why she sold her copy to us for $2 if it made her so distressed. I also wanted to tell her to “Suck it, Bitch, and get the fuck outta here before I pound you.” But I just smiled and said, “Have a nice day.”
The final crapper customer I get is the one who steals a cart from SEARS and brings it filled with boxes of books, and then parks their stupid faces right in front of my counter, and observes me going through and scanning every book, even when I have told them it will take a bit for me to go through them. Some will try to up-sell their books by saying, “Oh that’s a great one, and I just bought it,” or “See? I take really good care of my books.” Others will be completely obnoxious and ask , “So how much are you going to give me for that one?” after EVERY SINGLE book I scan. But the most awkward are the ones who just stand there. Stand there silently and just watch me work. Grrr.
I realize I bitch alot about my job, but I do believe I would bitch alot about ANY job, and this one is really the best job I could have because the presence of books gives me a high me. I just have to take the good with the nasty punk-assed customers that come with it. XOXO
8 responses to “The Book- Buying Process”
I’ve bought numerous books at used and rare book stores and only have sold some books once. I had a great experience while selling. I did have a whole box of books with me and when she let me know it would take a little while and I could look at the selection I did. Before I was done looking she was done. People need to calm down. If you don’t plan on reading it again atleast you got SOME money and most the time I give my books away so someone else can enjoy it for free.
That’s exactly my point- most of the customers that are so worried about HOW MUCH they are going to get bring in books that have been sitting in the back of their closet or in the garage for the past 2 years.
Wow…I never thought a small bookshop could get such bitchy customers…I hope you get enough cool customers to make your day though.
There are good days; yesterday wasn’t one of them.
Capitalism works – unless your capitalism is trying to trump my capitalism.
Sounds like I don’t want you as a customer….
The ones who lurk and watch you scan are just looking at your boobs.
I love used book stores. And I never bitch about my resale value.
Well, I’d much prefer if they would come out and ask to see them then,