Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Car Wreck

I was reminded of this yesterday - although it happened about a year ago.

Innocently driving home, and about half a mile from the shop, I managed to ram a truck, and although there were no injuries, I managed to write off my car. Friendly canine was on the back seat howling at all the fuss outside. Van driver is not too happy that his truck has a large dent in the side, and the police have arrived to get the street moving again.

In the midst of all this, a man walks up to me with a plastic bag.
"You've save me a trip, I was just on the way to see if you would buy these books"

"Not at the moment, I am a little tied up..."

"Won't you just have a quick look at them"

I shan't type what I said - but he hasn't been into the shop since (And that is no loss !!)

Waiting for Sales

One of my more irritating customers (I use the term through gritted teeth - not sure he has ever actually bought anything)was drooling over a book I had just put out yesterday. A first edition hardback in mint wrapper, on farming in England. A whole £5.

"Oh this is lovely" he slobbered. "If you still have it in January, I'll snatch your hand off for it in your half price sale"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Royal Rubbish

Man walks in with a carrier bag full of newspapers and puts them on the counter and asks for a valuation.

"I'm sorry, we don't buy newspapers"

"But you haven't even looked at them"

"I can see they are newspapers, and we don't buy newspapers"

"But these aren't newspapers, they have articles and front pages on the royal family"

"That makes them worse - as a fervent Republican who would shoot the lot of them just after the politicians and before the clergy, I have moral objections to books on the land and title grabbing aristocracy"

"Royalty are very popular with collectors"

"Not in this shop - I can only sell royal items that are early Victorian or before - perhaps 1850 or earlier".

"Yes, some of these are that old, look...." (Pulls out a 1956 newspaper with an aricle on Queen Elizabeth).

"Is that the oldest"


(He gathers his bags and exits stage left)
(Only one of these lines has been made up)

All at Sea

"Hello, we have three books on the Royal Navy, how much would you pay for them"

"Have you got them with you ?"

"Oh no, they are much too heavy"

"Who are they by"

"Don't know, we've never read them"

"And the titles ?"

"No idea"

"Well are they part of a set, or are they individual books ?"

"How are we supposed to know - I told you we hadn't read them...."

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Random violence

Elderly chap in tweed and burgundy cords marches into the shop, walks to the counter and raps his cane on the desk.

"How's business then ?"

"Oh fine - and how much is your pension paying you each week ?"
(One day I will have the nerve to say rather than think it).

"Get yourself a gun or a damn heavy shillaleagh. Its going to get ugly out there. The plebs don't realise how bad things are going to get. They'll be riots. Better prepare yourself"

And marches out.


"Hello, I'd like you to give me a valuation please for these Reader's Digest Condensed Volumes"

"Am afraid they have no value at all, you can't even give them away"

"Even though they are first editions ?"

"But they aren't first editions madam, they are Reader's Digest"

"But the are First Edition Thus - first Reader's Digest issue"

"So that makes them a re-print madam"

"Even though they are covered in mock leather covers ?"

"I'm afraid fake leather doesn't enhance value madam, it takes real leather for that"

"So no value then"

"Not even charity shops can sell them madam"

"Well i'll take them to a charity shop then"

I wouldn't mind so much, but quoting first edition and first thus at me - she obviously understands the terms and what they mean.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Helpful Soul

Following a phone call from a charity shop (No not Oxfam) about a book, a woman arrived at the shop with the "ancient volume" for me to value on their behalf. Of course this was a completely dead 1960's piece of worthless tat, but never mind.

Having told her this (Very gently) I was about to return to my work when she commented that she had another 3 crates of books in her car outside for me to look at.

Although I nearly began my "Charity shops are bankrupting me" rant, I thought I would just be nice, and look at them for her. So i went out, and rummaged through the boxes, and gave her a few suggested prices for the better books, and suggested that she give the rest to a charity shop she didn't like.

Although it is tempting to leave this as a tale of the presumption and cheek of the charity sector, sadly due to my policy of truth and honesty I can't.

She produced a box of chocolates and big thanks for my time. I felt most touched, and only afterwards wondered who would have eaten the chocolates if I hadn't agreed to go out and value the crates of books.

But please local charities - don't take this as a suggestion that you all come along with you books for me to value. With 22 charity shops in the town centre, I wouldn't have time to do anything else.