Prices marked down at a thrift store? I’m there

We have been programmed to think that big ticket items are marked way up and we have to negotiate a deal.

I had heard that one of our local thrift stores was closing out, having a big sale. Prices marked down at a thrift store? That will stir the Scottish blood, even if I am a third-generation Canadian.

Sure enough, 75 per cent off the prices as marked on all items. Even if I didn’t see anything I needed, I knew I was going to have to buy something. You seldom get the opportunity to participate in a 75 per cent off sale, unless it’s one of our local furniture stores that has been closing out for 25 years or, of course, Target.

I picked through the tools and squeezed my way past the crowd in the furniture section. I looked at a few CD’s and movies and glanced at the old stereos and cassette players. Much of that section looked like stuff I’d tossed out a couple of years back.

I spied an old brass floor lamp. I had recently seen some at antique stores for $75 to $100. This one was marked $9.99 and with my Grade 10 math skills, I figured I could pick it up for $2. Did I need a brass floor lamp, you ask? That’s not the point, it was a smoking hot deal.

Besides, I had once read where a young boy had found a brass lamp and got three wishes from a genie that answered impossible requests. I understand he is quite high up in the TransLink organization now, rubbing that lamp furiously.

I headed for the cashier and realized there was a fairly long line-up but, it was raining, it was Saturday, what the heck. The lady in front of me had picked out a large black purse and was showing the lady with her that some of the stitching was loose on one of the handles. But she wanted it anyway.

Her turn came and the young lad at the till speedily calculated the discount and said. “That will be $2.”

She turned the purse around and showed him the loose handle and asked for a further discount. He said no way could they discount it any more. She admonished him for letting staff put it out like that. He suggested she look for another purse, but she wanted that one.

I took a toonie out of my pocket and said, “How about I buy that for you and we can keep the line moving?”

She pushed the coin back and started arguing the principle of the issue. The boy also noticed the long line and said, “I will just give you the purse, no charge.”

“I don’t want charity,” she said, “I want another 10 per cent off.”

“A dollar and seventy-five cents,” said the boy.

“Fine,” she said as she fished seven quarters out of her change purse.

I suppose it’s human nature to never be satisfied, to always beg the genie for just one more wish. We have been programmed to think that big ticket items are marked way up and we have to negotiate a deal. Only a schmuck pays the full sticker price.

Everyone in that customer line had a ‘deal,’ a bargain they could brag about. The place was busy, they were clearing out their stock. People were smiling and talking, it was Saturday morning and it was raining.

My brass lamp only cost $2.68 so even if nothing happens when I rub it, it’s still a steal. At least that’s what McGregor says.

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