This is something I try not to do too much, because without the context of being in the store, it can come off as mean sometimes. But the truth is, we get some odd balls in from time to time, and some of them just HAVE to be shared with you, our adoring fans.
This week was no exception, I had a man & woman come in yesterday. Not sure if they were married or what, but together for sure. They walked in and were very nice and excited for me to look at the books they had brought in. Unfortunately, I've been jaded over the years and tend to not reciprocate that excitement as well until I see something of value. And in this case, they had about 100 decent $1 box type of books. All were in pretty good shape, but nothing that I'd even put into the "key" category.
I took a look, explained that I didn't really "need" anything they had, but because they drove out I could offer them $20 for the lot. I didn't really get much reaction to the offer, instead the man just began looking at his phone nonstop for close to 20 minutes. He kept going outside and coming back in, asking me what the best books he had were, then returning to his phone call outside. Come to find out, he was calling EVERY other store in the area, trying to get a better offer than $20.
I don't know how much you know about comic shops, but most of the shops in Atlanta sell Civil War - Current type books. And don't have too much of an extensive back issue selection. That's not everyone, just most. Once I realized what he was doing I offered up the only other store in the area that I thought may be interested, as at that point I was beginning to have a hard time believing that I was locked in a half hour long negotiation for 100 $1 books, worth about $20 to me. I've bought ASM # 1's Avengers # 1 & # 4 and MANY other huge key issues in less time, like WAY less time.
That's when the wife/girlfriend came in. She acted as the "closer" of the pair. As she began negotiating pretty hard. I honestly didn't even want the books that bad, the whole thing just started to become funny that it was still going on, so I let her continue her sales pitch. She closed with two odd tactics. 1.) She said, "can you please do $30, I'll give you a picture." My initial follow-up... "a picture of what?" Luckily I had a customer and our website designer in store to verify the story, as I don't think I've ever been offered a photo in exchange for $10, let alone a photo to close a deal.
She was in fact offering a photo of herself. In what state, I'm not sure, nor do I want to know. Her husband/boyfriend seemed to also find the photo offer pretty hilarious, as he just left at that point. She followed that rousing sales tactic up with # 2.) "can you please just come look at the back of my car." Again, I just sat there, mouth ajar, wondering how I'd let this get this far. I didn't know if there was a baby she needed to feed, a small dog, more pictures, or what "on the back of her car." But at this point I wasn't interested in finding out anything else.
But I guess the tactics worked as once she hit me with that one two punch I wrote the check for $30, not because I wanted to, but more because I was afraid of what the next offer would be. One thing I forgot to mention. They brought the books in, in a suitcase (happens ALL THE TIME), in a pretty nice suitcase actually. Like probably worth more than the comics nice. And of course, once I wrote her the check, she left, and left us with the suitcase. This was quite comical to my guests as they couldn't believe she had just negotiated so hard over $10, only to leave the $50 suitcase behind.
But it gets better. About an hour later I had to grab something out of the trash, I moved a bag I had thrown away that the "picture lady" had brought in with the suitcase that had some more comics in it. When I picked up the bag to look below it, something caught my eye inside. I reached in and pulled out an original Zelda NES cartridge, worth about $30 on eBay. My friends, you can't make this stuff up. It was in the trash, almost headed for certain destruction, then saved and soon to be on its way to a new and cherished home, played again for the first time in years. A real "Toy Story" moment for ACC.
Another win for the good guys.