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I can't believe this just happened to me!

(26 Posts)
sundayrose10 Wed 15-Jun-11 17:30:40

Charity shop - PDSA. Found the most amazing, small, perfect, solid white bookcase for the cheapest price of a mere £7.50. The price was ridiculous for what it was. Solid heavy wood, in perfect condition. Do you know how long I have been looking for a bookcase? MONTHS! nearly bought one for a hundred and fifty pounds but didn't like the bulkiness.

I told the girl give me 5 minutes whilst I went to use the cash point a couple of doors away. Staff said "sure, gives me a chance to remove the various books/ornaments on the bookcase".

I was gone less than 5 minutes. I was ecstatic, thought all my christmas's had come up once. I snapped it up sharp. Paid, got the receipt, made small talk with the young girl serving me, even wanted to tip. I lingered about the shop a little bit more looking at books etc, whilst her colleague was trying to wrap the bookcase. No way could I have taken it with me by bus but no problem, cab station a couple of doors away.

Just as I was about to leave shop with my prized good, another member of staff comes out of nowhere and says 'excuse me love, that's been sold' I say "yes I have just bought it". She replies "we are really sorry, a confusion has occurred, the book case has been sold to somebody else, it's awaiting delivery to the owner, it's paid for". So we go back and forth with me asking "why was there no sold sticker on it" and so on.

She insisted on giving me my money back whilst giving the young girl who had served me the evil eye. I so wanted to make a bigger scene but I did not want to get the girl in any further trouble - she was so apologetic and a crowd of people had already started to gather listening to the drama.

So I got my money back and left. Told the young girl it was fine and mistakes happen. Only on my way back home (feeling like a broken woman, hahaha) did I start to think 'could it have been foul play'? could the senior member of staff want it for herself?, did they realise they had under sold it for what it was really worth?

I'm kicking myself for not asking to see the receipt for the original buyer just to confirm it really was sold.

Could I have refused to give it back? technically it was mine, right? I had paid for it, had receipt for it. I lingered in the shop far too long. Had I just gone straight away, I would be filling my beautiful bookcase with all my lovely books. cries big ugly sobs arghhhhhhhhhh

I can't stop thinking about it. What should I have done?

MumblingRagDoll Wed 15-Jun-11 17:34:15

I thnk they acted illegally tbh. You had the receipt and it was yours. I think you could have insisted! what could they do? call the cops? No....you had the reciept.

Marne Wed 15-Jun-11 17:39:29

But if it was a real mistake then surely the person that bought it first would have been very angry and could also complain as she payed for it first?

You should have asked 'who had bought it' then you could have contacted them to see if they would sell it too you?

Yes they may have acted illegally but it might have just been a mistake (we all make them) and it is a charity shop not a huge chain store.

sundayrose10 Wed 15-Jun-11 17:47:08

Thanks for replying. Marne, that is actually a brilliant idea. I might just go in tomorrow and see if they can contact the 'owner' to see if they would be willing to sell to me for a higher price?

Or I might just have to accept that it just was not meant to be. Sigh

Marne Wed 15-Jun-11 17:51:32

Chances are the person who bought it was a dealer and would be happy to sell it to you for a small proffit grin, its worth a shot, if not then you will have to look for another, auctions are great places for furniture at bargain prices.

sundayrose10 Wed 15-Jun-11 17:54:39

auctions scare me. I have no sense of control and could see my hand involuntary rising up until I got the good, hahaha.

If it is not a dealer, how much would you suggest I offer? god I sound desperate. I am.

sundayrose10 Wed 15-Jun-11 18:02:20

Marne, come backkkkkkkkkkkkk

Mahraih Wed 15-Jun-11 18:03:37

I agree with Marne - try an auction! If you're in London, try Greenwich Auction Partnership which is the least scary place in the world and very cheap. Take someone to clamp your hand down when you're about to exceed your budget!

If it isn't a dealer, you probably won't be able to pry it off them. If it IS a dealer, chances are you'll have to pay what it's actually worth. In either case, don't sound desperate, because if they realise that, it will drive the price up.

For what it's worth, I know you feel. My local (amazing) charity shop has brilliant furniture for tuppence, which flies out of the door almost immediately. Ah. the bargains I've missed.

TheOriginalFAB Wed 15-Jun-11 18:04:59

I think if someone had bought it and it was a genuine mistake the manager would have been nice and polite. The fact she kicked off makes me think she wanted her for herself or realised they had massively under priced it.

BooyHoo Wed 15-Jun-11 18:05:39

i reckon the staff member wants it for herself.

HowlingBitch Wed 15-Jun-11 18:10:18

Gosh I was reading that and felt all your emotions (I too am on a quest for thee perfect bookcase so let's hope we never meet in a furniture store!) I think you are wonderfully nice because my attitude would have been "I have the receipt, It's mine" and ran out like a hobo with a fruit basket.

sundayrose10 Wed 15-Jun-11 18:13:57

Thanks Marraih, I'm in London so will def explore the auction as soon as I manage to rope a friend going with me.

TheOriginalFAB, the manager was polite but very firm that I had to give it back. She never had a attitude at all. In fact, couldn't look me in the eye, but just very insistent that I give it back.
I know exactly what you mean by brilliant stuff flying out of the door as soon as they come in. That is why I'm finding this so hard! the wood was top quality. Looked so expensive. Sobs

BooyHoo, why must you torture me, lol. sigh I WANT BOOKCASE BACK!

sundayrose10 Wed 15-Jun-11 18:17:14

HowlingBitch, hahaha. The case was so heavy because I did think of just legging it. Plus I had just picked up DC up from school and he kept giving me that look 'don't you dare make a scene'. groan. I feel so hurt it's ridiculous.

Throughout the journey home, DC kept saying 'such a shame that was...it was the best'. Funny he didn't even seem interested in at the shop. Lol he is enjoying my pain.

PinotGrigiosKittens Wed 15-Jun-11 18:19:16

I would have met the Manageress kicking off and upped it with a doozer of a glare and a hoiking of my bosom. And possibly a low growl.

Seriously though, why not get a bookcase made? We have local artisans advertising all the time round here (local art college) and as it's such an important piece to you, why not get one bespoke. It doesn't have to be that expensive (but not £7.50, sure).

I too am scared at auctions. I faint at ebay ffs.

ThisIsJustASagaNow Wed 15-Jun-11 18:20:52

sadOMG Sunday that is awful! I feel your pain. Finding an absolute bargain that you have been searching for for ages..there's nothing like that feeling..and then cruelly snatched away..NOOO!!sad

I think I might've snatched it up, run off (ok I know it's a bookcase) and shouted over my shoulder, 'you'll have to catch me and prise it from my fingers first..'

FlubbaBubba Wed 15-Jun-11 18:21:20

Similar experience with me, but with a better outcome. I spied a fab little butcher's block for £15 in my local charity shop. Ummed and ahhed as I had a million children with me. Sent DH to check it out the next afternoon but he didn't get there before the shop shut. Went the next day and there was a SOLD sticker on it. Cue much, much frustration on my part (I'd already moved things around at home to fit it in).

Passed by a couple of days later and it was still there waiting to be collected - spoke to the owner and asked if I could leave my name and number in case the person who bought it changed their mind. Slim chance, she said, but did it anyway.

They called me two days later to say it STILL hadn't been collected, and I could have it.

It's def. worth trying! smile

perfumedlife Wed 15-Jun-11 18:22:10

grin at HowlingBitch

I think the staff wanted it for herself too. They should have let you have it. Any point in going back in tomorrow? See if it has gone, exited the building?

WowOoo Wed 15-Jun-11 18:27:38

If I'd loved it lots i might have just walked out the door with it saying thanks bye thanks bye love you thanks.
But, that's actually mean..

I love auctions. Just go for a look and you may come home with something entirely different to plan but equally delightful blush

TeaAndToast68 Wed 15-Jun-11 18:31:03

sometimes they put nice things in the window to attract the punters, not to sell.

And sometimes the staff get to snaffle the best stuff.

cymruoddicatref Wed 15-Jun-11 18:31:36

I have bought a spontaneous armchair from a charity recycling shop I wandered into on Saturday with a friend. Bargain £20. Hideous cover but lovely shape. Incurred wrath of husband who is worried that someone might have died in it. Arrives tomorrow afternoon I hope. My first foray into the world of second hand furniture. They had some fab things in there with my name written (figuratively) on them.

sundayrose10 Wed 15-Jun-11 18:34:16

OMG Pino, I am literally laughing at what you wrote. Great idea about local art college, will look into that. Thanks. You're so right about ebay...I used to get heart palpitations and a weird buzz until I won. It was all about winning and not the goods. Sigh, crazy days there were.

ThisIsJustASagaNow, I know (cries some more) the comedown was horrific. All I wanted to do was come home and lie in a dark room and sob. Argh I should have just LEFT so much sooner! I could have even paid by card and just gone but oh no, I just had to linger about.

veritythebrave Wed 15-Jun-11 18:47:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

perfumedlife Wed 15-Jun-11 19:08:57

grin Am having fun trying to visualise a spontaneous armchair cym.

Verity if they were selling it at £10 on the label then they should have sold it to you at that price.

And OP, if I were you I would complain to the head office even though it is a charity and tell them that item wasn't marked as sold and that two staff members were unaware of any previous sale etc.

At least that way, if the manager was up to something, she will have to explain herself to someone and prove it was previously sold to someone else (not herself) or that she wanted to bump the price up.

Go back tomorrow and have a look to see if it is still there and how it is labelled.

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