Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tales from the Trenches: Fundraising in the non-traditional sense

Fundraising. This is our term for folks who bring anciently old things back, trying to return them for money. The hoot is that they get mad at us for not taking things back that are clearly out of return time.

1. The other day I had a woman bring a package in. I asked, "Is there anything I can help you with?" "Well, I'd like to know if you can return this?" The package had burgundy and dark green tissue sticking out of the top. It screamed to me "CHRISTMAS RETURN." I said, "Well, let me see." There was a receipt in the package. I unfolded it, looked at the purchase date and told her that I was sorry that I couldn't return it. The purchase date was November 30, 2008. Our return policy is 30 days. Now, we do have room to fudge that a little, but obviously that was well overdue. "You still have them on the shelf for sale." "Yes." "Well, what if I didn't have my receipt?! You wouldn't know when I bought it!" "Yes I would. [As I point to a product tag on a counter item.] We have our coding system so that we know when a particular item was purchased. I would have been able to phone the office and they could have looked it up for me." "Well, the weather has been so bad." [I live here. It was bad off and on, but I was able to function just fine.] "Ma'am, I'm very sorry but I cannot return this item. You are more than welcome to speak to our Gallery Director, M-, but she will tell you the same thing." She walked off in a slight huff, as I ran upstairs to page M- to let her know not to return the item. People play the two sales counters. If they don't get their own way at one, they'll go to another. In the end, she just had my co-worker re-wrap it to give as a gift to someone else.
2. In August, I had a customer bring a Labradorite ring back that she had purchased just a few days prior. It was a sale item. Sale items are sold as final sales. I asked her when she purchased the ring and she admitted that it was a sale item, but she was happy to take a "due bill." "But Ma'am, I'm unable to return a sale item." "There is a cloud in the stone. This is not the quality of -- Gallery and I will take a due bill." "Again, I'm unable to return your item, as sales items are not returnable. If you would like, I would be happy to fetch a manager for you." "WELL I'LL JUST GO WITH YOU!" "Um, Ma'am, you can't. I have to go to our office." "Well, I'm going with you!" "Ma'am, our office is closed to the public. If you'd like to stay here, I'm happy to bring a manager back with me." In a huff, she decided to stand on the porch. I went to the office to find that a co-worker over there had worked with her extensively during the purchase. It was an 80.00 ring marked to 30.00, she had talked all about the "cloud" which is not a cloud but a kind of angular-like stone inclusion within the stone itself. Labradorite has a glisten to it, and this was a particularly lovely and large stone of it. I brought up the fact that if we had taken the ring back, it was obvious that it had been worn all weekend in a vigorous type fashion and since it was so scratched and banged up, I could never sell it. My theory, she bought it to wear to an event, wore it, showed it to all her friends, it got the face time it needed and now she was bringing it back. No go, honey. She was ticked. She yelled. She left with it in hand, though.
3. I had a woman bring a bag in with several jewelry boxes full of jewelry to return. She had no receipts. Since it was a pile of no fewer than 15 items, I had to take it to the office, as it would be easier than calling and yelling out numbers. What we found? These were items that were mostly sale purchases, purchased 2 1/2 years previous. When we told the customer that we were unable to return them, she was mad. You see, she had been piling these things up in boxes for 2 1/2 years to return because "she lives in Virginia and couldn't bring them back any sooner." We returned nothing. She was mad. Oh well.
4. I had a woman earlier this year come to tell me that she had a bag full of handcrafted lightswitch plates to return. She purchased them 2 years previous, had them displayed and used in her home throughout that entire time, they were selling said home, not including the switchplates in with the sale and she wanted to return them, because the new home they purchased had different switch configurations and these couldn't be used. Of course, I told her that I could not return them, but suggested that she sell them on eBay.

Toys R Us won't even look at you if you don't have a receipt. If you have no receipt at Target? You can pull that one twice in a year and then it's Bummerville for you. Regular big box stores have very strict and very unapologetic return policies. Why is it that people can adhere to those, but can't understand that the Mom and Pop have return policies that they need to stay within, as well?


Day 11: Love Cherishes. Husbands ought to love their own wifes as their own bodies. -- Ephesians 5:28

What need does your spouse have that you could meet today? Can you run an errand? Give a back rub or a foot massage? Is there housework that you could help with? Choose a gesture that says, "I cherish you" and do it with a smile.


Rach said...

That is seriously annoying. I'm so sorry you have to deal with that. :sigh:

On a brighter note, I was SO thinking of you when my mom posted her fertilizer recipe last night. You should *see* what it does to the blossoms--wowza!

Bailey's Leaf said...

I'm excited to make it! :)

Together We Save said...

I love the picture header you have on your blog. I love Easter.