Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Economies of Business

Sweet little couple (See I CAN be nice about customers) came into the shop and showed me a very tired copy of Robinson Crusoe from the 1880's.

"We'd like to sell you this book"

I explained that I couldn't possibly buy the book, as it was (to use a technical term) shagged.

"But it must be worth something"

"Not really madam, the book in good condition would sell for around £30 in the shop, but this one has half the pages detatched, and no spine. It would cost me £40 to repair."

"Well £30 would be ok, if thats all you can give for it."

"No madam, £30 is what i would sell it for myself, if it was all repaired and in good condition"

"This one isn't in good condition is it"

"No madam - that's why it would cost £40 to repair"

"Well £40 would be ok for it i suppose - you wouldn't go any higher"

"No madam, £40 is the repair cost - £30 the final value after repairs - I can't offer you anything"

"We could take the £30 for it"

"No if I paid you £30, then I would make a loss of £40 if i sold it after repairs"

"Well its no good making a loss is it ?"

A long pause followed. I could see the cogs gently clicking through the positions......Yes, she was working through the maths........ Nearly there - any moment now she will realise that the book is actually not an economically viable option for a bookseller.....

"I suppose we could take £20 for it if that is your best offer".


Griffin said...

Alright then, £10... are you sure? It's the return of Min and Henry I tell you. Just don't say 'Good Morning.' to them.

Poor Pothecary said...

The ones who always get me are those who apparently don't grasp inflation. "Why are you charging £2 for this paperback when it was 95p new?" Yes, in 1975...