Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Deals, Deals, Deals!
Bookman II, a local used bookstore, is closing one of its locations (the one right by me, darn it). I've been getting emails about their liquidation and finally stopped over yesterday. Oh. My. Goodness. What a tremendous bounty! While I'm sorry that the economy is such that the owners have to shut their doors, it did translate into some amazing deals.
One book that I pounced upon was a small science workbook designed for 7th graders. Written in 1942, it's old-looking, but in great shape. I read through it and really like the way it's laid out -- I think it will be perfect for Steve for the fall. I'd planned to put him in a life science class at a local co-op, but he's not crazy about taking another class outside the home (I've already enrolled him in a writing class). Decisions, decisions. The workbook would enable him to be more self-directed, which he likes, and do a lot of research, which he also likes. Something to consider... we have all summer, which is nice.
Anyway, we found two good-sized stacks of books, some hardbound, for a total of $20! There was a customer ahead of us trying to get a book for $3 that had originally cost $125 and was marked down to $9. We listened to him harangue the clerk, who then called over her mother, the owner of the store. The woman listened as the man (now very polite and charming) asked if there was a way to find a price between $3 and $9. She said, "We'll just keep the book." He persisted, but she was firm. "We'll keep the book."
The kids and I talked about the scenario in the car on the way home. We all agreed that there is nothing wrong with trying to get a better price; the man's problem was that he didn't know when to quit, and he wasn't dealing with the person with the final say. Also, he turned on the charm too late -- the woman was NOT amused that the man had given her daughter a hard time. However, she stayed professional, which I appreciated.
Our economy means that many businesses are closing their doors. It's sad... but it also creates some bargains as the shops clean out their inventory. I told my boys that it makes good economic sense to purchase, if we have the money and it's what we need. It does not make good moral sense to kick people when they're down. Trying to skim a few more dollars off an already great deal was not a good choice for that customer.
That said, one of the books I picked up was a brand-new book that wasn't marked down significantly. I would have paid $5 for that book alone, so I made the choice to put it back. I know my budget, and I know what I can afford. The hard part is sticking to it!