Ripped Off – Beware of garage sale vultures
While everyone loves to find a bargain, getting ripped off is another story. Especially when you don’t realize you are getting ripped off. Now, I don’t want to trash talk the bargain hunters out there but here is a story that might make one think twice, if they know they are taking advantage of someone.
When my mother-in-law passed away, we started to clean out her house. One of the first steps was to have a garage sale. We gathered things like suitcases, books, furniture and nicknacks that none of the family was interested in keeping. As you know, garage sales are exhausting. They are a lot of work with sometimes, very little return. But, it was a way to start to clear things out and worthwhile in helping us to organize. Plus, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure right?
One particular customer of our garage sale asked if we had any jewelry. She was a pleasant, friendly person and seemed harmless enough. “Well, it just so happens…” I responded. Now, we had already gone though all the jewelry and had separated out the more valuable pieces and stowed them away. All of the remaining “costume” jewelry was strewn across the dining room table inside the house. There was a ton. It filled the whole table. Yet, they were things that none of the family wanted, and were most likely going to be donated somewhere. So this lady, being as sweet as she was, was invited in to take a look at the costume jewelry inside.
She was very methodical in looking through the pieces. “How much?” she asked. I said “how about $2.00 each?” (I figured 2 bucks was better than nothing – just taking it to Good Will anyway). She started to pick things up and examine them, making chit chat the whole time. She made little comments like “oh, I really like this, this is cute” and “Aw, that’s really pretty”. And then she kept on chatting about how horrible her ex-husband was and how terrible her life was. She started to make a little pile of things she wanted to buy. By this time, I was starting to question myself… maybe I hadn’t gone through EACH piece of jewelry thoroughly enough. My first clue was when she pulled out a loop. Yes, this woman had a jewelers loop! I felt sick. The whole situation became uncomfortable and awkward! I should’ve said “all bets are off, get out.” But, I honored the $2 price, and she got away with way more than 16 dollars worth of stuff.
Now, there are two sides to every story. And this story is no exception. Some may say, “well you should have known what you had before letting the lady in”, or that I shouldn’t have let her in at all. But the other side of the story is, she shouldn’t have knowingly taken advantage of me! I say shame on her. But, lesson learned! In the end, it all boils down to this: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. No wonder this lady’s life was so crappy.
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