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Anyone noticing how more and more customers (not dealers) are asking for a discount on items. I am not talking about items priced over $20-$25, I am talking about items priced as low as $5 or less. Looking around anyone can tell this is not a Flea Market or a Yard Sale, did they misread the sign that says ‘Mall’ . I do not believe that these people would have the nerve to walk into a regular store and ask if they will take $5 for a $10 shirt.
I know a lot of customers do not realize how the Mall system works, that not all of the items are owned by 1 person. The space is rented out in Booth form and 99% of Mall’s charge the dealer a percentage of sales (most malls charge 10%)
**A couple years ago a couple came in with a really cute little boy, probably around 4 years old. Making nice I told them if they needed anything to let me know and commented how cute the little boy was. No more then 10 minutes after they started shopping the man came to the counter with a vintage complete in the box Tip It game that was priced at $9.95. He asked if I could take $5 for it. As nice as I could be I told him that no, it was not our policy to discount small items. He proceeded to tell me that he thought that the game was overpriced and I replied that was what the dealer priced it at and that was what I would sell it for. He proceeded to ask if he bought it if he would have to pay tax, I asked if he had a Resale Number and he asked, ‘What is that’. I told him that he would have to pay tax as all dealers were required to report and pay all sales tax on items they sold. He turned and walked off muttering something, that I am sure I would not have been happy about if I heard it. 5 minutes later here came the ‘cute’ little boy carrying the game, and asked if I could take $7 (ohh the offer went up), I guess Dad thought that I would give into the ‘cute’ little boy, sorry can’t do it. He did not get 20 foot from the counter and yelled out ‘old lady would not take it Dad’ Well that really made my day, I wanted to yell out, ‘I am only 44 and the game is $9.95 and the tax is .60cents’
**Sometimes we do get Dealer’s who come in expecting a larger discount - One of the Dealer’s in the Mall acquired a real nice collection of Roseville Pottery several years ago. While she researched her finds in the Roseville book to determine the pattern, she did not price them anywhere near the book price. She purchased the items at a good price (which was set by the seller, and she paid what the seller asked, did not ask for a better deal) She has a great reputation as selling items based on what she paid for the item, she does not make big money on her sales, but sales a large amount of items and has a a lot of Dealer’s that regularly check her items and purchase for resale. A Pottery Dealer, who is well known in the area, came in and asked to see in the Dealer’s case which held the Roseville. The price he wanted to see was priced at $99.95 and stated on the tag that the book price was $210. The Dealer/Buyer asked if the seller would take $50, and I stated that no the dealer would do 10% but that was all. He informed me that he was a dealer (as if I did not know) and he was buying it for resale and needed some room to make some money. He wanted me to call the Dealer and make an offer, I explained to him that the Dealer had a policy in her booth that she would only do 10% and because her items were priced very reasonable we followed that policy. Of course the Dealer/Buyer purchased the piece. The Roseville piece was seen the next week at an Antique Show marked $240 FIRM, guess whose booth it was.
**Working the shop one day, I received a telephone call from a lady who sounded like she had too much caffeine . She did not say Hello or anything, quickly spilling out doyouhavecrybabies (do you have crybabies?) My response being WHAT? She repeated it again even faster, if you can imagine. I thought it was a joke and replied, ‘none so far today’ and laughed, well she did not laugh. She asked if we would be getting any, still thinking it was a joke, my reply was ‘no, but I am sure some will show up before the end of the day’ She then described that she wanted a pair dressed in bib overalls. I said ‘okay’?. After I hung up the telephone, one of the dealer’s came in and I described the telephone call, laughing the whole time. The dealer laughed so hard I thought she was going to start crying, she told me the caller was not looking for ‘people’ she was looking for the dolls that people make and they stand in the corner ? I learn something new everyday.
I could go on forever but it is your turn, have you got a funny story??