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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hell In A Sell part 2

Okay, so I don't know how I forgot quite possibly the most important part of this whole post-- who knows, maybe I blocked it out of my memory, or maybe I was so exhausted from dealing with all of the clowns and crazies that it was simple omission, but either way, here it is now:

After our garage sale was over (well after) and we were picking up, a car pulls up and a lady gets out.   Let me basically just give you our entire conversation, line by line.  It might be a little off, it's not word for word verbatim, it's been 7 days after all, but it's pretty close  And when it sounds ridiculous--  please rest assured, dear readers, I do indeed have witnesses to this.    I'll put commentary in parentheses.

We'll call this lady Chippy-- she was chipper.  Like a chipmunk.

Chippy:  Hello there!
Me:  Hi!
Chippy: I read about you on Craigslist!
me: great
C:  I have a business myself, with my mother.  We're just starting and looking to collaborate with you.
me:  Awesome, what do you sell?
C:  Mainly books, but we are looking to branch out in many different areas.

(I feel at this point like I'm in an infomercial.  "collaborate" ,  "branch out",  who TALKS like this?)

me:  Well, we DEFINITELY have a lot of books here.  Let me show you where they are.
C:  great

(I lead Chippy over to where we literally have about 7-8 boxes of books.  2 of them are file folder sized cardboard boxes, 1 is a milk crate, and the others are all pretty decent sized sterilite bins.  They are all filled to the brim, and it's a combination of Bibles, textbooks, hard cover books, and paperback novels.  There are a few "Let us show you how to make money"  books that you get for free from calling some ridiculous phone #, but for the most part they are quality books.  There were even some Harry Potter!)

me:  Here's all of our books-- we have some more inside, but this is what we can offer you today.   We usually sell them for 50 cents to $1 per book, but if you're buying in bulk, we can do a wholesale price of 10 to 25 cents a book, or you can just buy them all and we'll give you a hell of a deal.
C:  Yes, I am sure interested in all of them.  How much?

(I don't know how this happens, but I'm getting ready to say $60-$80, which I thought was great considering there HAD to be at least 400 books there, when Brian walks behind us at that exact moment and says "Give us $20".       I don't know whether he was tired, or cranky, or ready to get out of there, or  a combination of all of the above, but I almost fell over in shock.  I'M the one who usually gives ridiculously low prices, not him!  That's less than 5 cents a book!   Of course she's going to jump on that, I'm thinking, and now I'm wondering if we're going to be hurting for books in the next couple of weeks. I find out of course that later we had 12 more boxes inside, and Brian of course knew this,  so of course, it was fine.)

C:  $20?
me:  Yes, and I can't believe he gave you such a low price.
C:  That's not really a low price.
me:  Excuse me?
C:  I sell these on eBay, and sometimes I only sell them for a penny.
me:  (I wanted SO BADLY to say "that sounds like a personal problem", but refrained instead and said) a penny?
C:  That's the way the book business goes.  I'm sure YOU know,  I'm sure that you can only sell 6-7 books a weekend.
me:  Actually, we sell about 6-7 books an hour, and at $1 each, generally.
C:  Plus there's shipping and all of these other associated costs.
me:  Look, at less than 5 cents a book, you're getting a heck of a deal here.  You can sell them for a penny and probably still make money with S&H charges.
C:   (I can't understand for the life of me why she's not running away with this deal, and on top of that she's ARGUING with me),  No, I can't really make money on this.
me: Then don't buy them.   (getting aggravated).  Quite honestly, you're stupid if you don't buy these books for $20.
C:   You said there were books inside too.  Are those included in the $20?  Because HE (she looks at Brian)  said ALL of the books for $20.
me:  He said ALL of the books out here.
C:  Are you sure? Because I'd like the books outside.
me:  No, it's only the books out here, but there are over 400 books here, and they are good titles.  Do you want them or not?
C:  (I honestly can't remember what she said, but it was something enough to make me literally turn my back on her and start picking up.   I'll usually stick with someone for a long time just to make a sale, no matter how aggravating they are, but at this point, I'm realizing that my BEST case scenario is that I only make $20 and it's really not worth the hassle.  I'm kind of hoping she'll just go away.)

C:  While I'm here, are you interested in collaborating on a business venture?
me:  (To myself, I'm thinking "here we go again", but also, I'm kind of interested and always listening for new ways we can be better at what we do...  so I ask...)   What kind of business venture?
C:  I have an exciting new prospect where you we can liquidate businesses.
  (I only ever hear exciting new prospect as a phrase when someone is either trying to sell me on a home-business idea or a new religion, so I'm immediately wary, but still listening)
me:  liquidate what kind of business?   I'm not interested in buying anything else, only selling
C:  (looks at me like I'm stupid)... no no... liquidate YOUR business.
me:   Isn't that what we're doing right now at this garage sale?
C:   no no... allow me to help you liquidate your business
me:  Help me HOW?
C:   I can provide you contacts.
me:  We don't need any contacts, but thank you anyway.
C:  no no, you don't understand.  It's a joint venture.  You provide me with manpower, because it's just me and my mom, and I provide you with elaborate contacts.
me:  What?  (I'm totally dumbfounded at this point and hoping Brian will come rescue me soon.  He's trying to move furniture inside as quickly as possible, so he never does actually come to my rescue until much, much later).  I don't need contacts.
C:   It seems like you...
me:   We do just fine, thank you very much.
C:   But, you can provide me with manpower...
me:   Of course you want us to provide you with manpower.  This is a win-win for you.  This is a lose-lose for us.  I can't imagine you'd even suggest it.  You get manpower from us, which you desperately need, and we get nothing in return from you.

(I'm getting SO aggravated now, and I immediately start throwing items into boxes-- I still can't even tell you whether they were the right boxes or not.  I'm pretty sure I threw my own personal sunglasses into one of the bins as well!  I'm also walking around a LOT and she's trying to keep up with me/follow me.  The entire time I'm trying not to be rude, but I'm becoming more and more curt with each passing sentence)

C:  Well, allow me to tell you how we can get you some cheap labor.
me: (I am SO ready to be like "you 10 seconds ago said you needed MY manpower, wtf are you smoking?!?  but instead say..)   labor?
C:  Yes, I can get you some amazingly cheap labor.
me:  I don't need labor.  We have labor.
C:  It's not as cheap as mine.... I can guarantee..
me: (cutting her off).    Brian has employees, I have employees, they work on salary.  We do a lot of work ourselves.
C:  (Getting more argumentative), But, you still have to pay them. Mine, It's so cheap, you can't find... anything cheaper.

(At this point, Trish walks by, who is our friend who literally lives around the corner from the warehouse.  She figured out early on that whenever our AC comes on it makes noise in her backyard, so she knows immediately if we're at the warehouse or not.  She used to come around just to visit but now she helps us a great deal.  It's a win-win,  we love having her around and her company, and she's actually a big help-- and in return, she gets a TON of really quality free merchandise!   I hated to use Trish as an example, but it just happened at the perfect time...)

me:  (pointing at Trish)... see her?  She how well she works?  She works for me for free.  Can you beat that?
C:  I...
me:  I didn't think so.

(I turn around and walk away, half smiling, half winking at Trish and vowing to explain to her later while I called her free labor loudly and publicly in front of a total stranger. But yet, here it comes again.)

C:  I really can help you.
me:  We really don't need your help.  We do just fine on our own, we have a great partnership, we have a lot of great opportunities that are coming to us, we have lots of contacts, we have a blog---
C:  I know, I read your blog, and read your Craigslist posts, it's great, I know you're doing great.  I've read all of your posts so far.

(I'm actually worried right now as I write this that C may come and ax-murder me in my sleep for this post-- but hopefully that doesn't happen.  She knows she was out of line, I think, and at least I'm not naming her or photographing her on here.  So that should give me brownie points.  And I'd be happy to work with her in the future, as long as she can actually offer me something.  Oh, and I'll definitely sell her books again but definitely not for five cents a book!)

C:   I actually googled your phone number too, and found a Craigslist ad months ago you wrote seeking Saints season tickets.  You said you were willing to pay up to $5000 in the ad, so I KNOW y'all aren't hurting!

(I'm usually very good about keeping my composure, but I swear, you could have seen my jaw DROP to the floor.)

(I understand that when you do things publicly, like write about every move on facebook, or manage a blog like this one, or post your phone # on Craigslist, etc-- that you open yourself up to a lot of scrutiny, infamy, whatever you want to call it.   Just as celebrities (not saying I'm a celebrity, just a comparison) can't complain about paparazzi photographing them on the way out of their car to the supermarket,  I shouldn't complain about people mentioning my posts.   BUT--  celebrities certainly have a right to be offended when someone photographs them nude on a vacation or behind closed doors of a safe haven or wrecks their kid's school performance to get to them, a line has been crossed in that instance, and that is definitely how I felt here.    That ad for Saints tickets was something I did personally-- I didn't link it to the blog, or my facebook, or mention it to friends-- I didn't put any identifying information in it other than my phone # which was necessary for the purpose of the ad, etc.    I was totally dumbfounded, not just that she would cyberstalk me, but that she would mention it to my face on our first meeting, and to gain leverage in this argument!     It would be like if I wanted you to go into business with me, and you refused, and I said "well, I followed you to Macy's yesterday and I saw your credit card get declined at the point of sale, so I figured you probably need the money."      At this point, I'm over it, but it really bothered me at the time-- I was PISSED.)

me:  Excuse me?  We are doing quite well, but that's none of your business.
C:  I just meant--
me:  I don't care what you meant, would you like the books or not?  You have 5 minutes to decide whether you are taking them
C:  I guess I'll take them.
me:  Good.

(Brian comes out at this moment,   C goes to her car, returns with the money, pays me, I turn around, and VERY loudly exclaim that I'm NOT helping her move the books to her car...  Brian looks at me like WTF is going on?!?!    I walk off....   C moves her car closer to load the books, and then it's..)

C:  Can I keep the rubbermaid totes?
me:  No, not for $20 you can't.
C:  Okay, no problem, I'll just dump the books in my car
(I almost felt sorry for her but didn't)
me:  okay

(I walked off again and she came to find me)

C:  Can I keep the cardboard boxes?
me:  Yep.  (as curtly and rudely as possible)

(I walk away again... out of the corner of my eye I see Brian helping her load the boxes, and I was slightly peeved at him for that, but he let me know later that it was only because she wasn't doing it quickly enough for his taste and that he wanted to get rid of her.)

(We leave quickly before someone else can keep us there for longer...  oh, that reminds me of a story from last week I forgot to tell you,  see below... and I manage to recap the entire sordid tale to Brian over   Saints Football.   Fortunately there was liquor and jambalaya.   Oh, and we lost, which made it even worse-- but it's not really our fault because our coach BROKE HIS LEG during the game.  Has that EVER happened?    It was kind of the tip of the crazy Sunday iceberg).


So, speaking of customers coming at the last minute (we've found multiple times that the biggest assholes /idiots are 90% of the time the ones that either come at 7am or half an hour after we've closed)...    a few weeks ago we're picking up the sale, when I hear a noise.  We have this alleyway we have our sales in, and we keep the fence open while we're picking up, but once we get 85% picked up, we close the gate/fence and that way no one will come in and disturb us, and people get the idea we're closed.  Except this one gentlemen, who pushes the gate open.  I tell him we're closed, he doesn't speak very good English, he asks again if he can look, I say, against my better judgement, that he can.    There are only maybe 12 things still out.  He heads right for a table that has a set of playing cards, and a golf game.  He asks me how much for the golf game, I tell him $1.   He asks me how much for the playing cards (which came from a casino)  so I tell him 50 cents.  He asks me how much for both, I say $1.50 (duh?) --  he asks me if I'll take 50 cents for both, I tell him I'll take $1 for both.    I try to explain to him that way the deck of cards is free (which seems pretty fair to me).  He tells me that he'll take the deck of cards.  I hold out my hand for money and he has to go back to wherever he came from to get it (why do these people even shop in the first place??)    he comes back and asks me no less than a dozen questions about the cards.  Each time I have to repeat my answer about 3 times because of his poor English.  After he's wasted no less than 20 minutes of my time (where I could have been picking up and getting out of there sooner),  he picks up his cards and drops his money on the table.   In pennies.    I didn't even bother picking it up.   He struggles with the fence and can't get it open.  I don't try to help him.  I hear Brian (who heard the clang of the pennies)  utter his typical "SERIOUSLY?"   and I'm pretty aggravated too at this point, so I just knock the pennies off the table and on to the ground and continue my work.  The guy eventually left.

I don't mean to sound rude or be rude-- but come on, I would NEVER make someone RE-OPEN to give them FIFTY PENNIES.  I don't even understand why these people are shopping and buying things if they are SO BROKE!

Disclaimer:  If I've wrote about you and you're upset about it,  (Because apparently a lot more people read our blog than we ever previously thought possible)-- let us know.  We'll come to some kind of agreement.  We're very reasonable people.   We use this to vent and to show our readers ALL aspects of this business.  Including the really aggravating, annoying, terrible moments.    Thank you for allowing us to share some of that.  We probably caught you at your worst, and we understand that.  That's why we didn't name names! :)

Until next time...


  1. It's okay, you just have to get through those moments and look forward to better times. :p

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