Monday, December 27, 2010

Sweet memories of profiteering

Every year on this day, I hope to recreate an exciting event of the past. When it fails to materialize, I accept that and move on, but Hope springs eternal. Every year on this day....

I go to the Barnes and Noble site and beeline for the end-of-the-year clearance sale. But every year, I'm disappointed. Because The Big Bible Blowout happened only once and will never happen again.

I'm surprised that it happened at all, and I strongly suspect that somebody got way fired for it. But 4 years ago, an enormous load of super-expensive Bibles got listed in the sale books for five dollars each.

I mean, expensive editions. Not just King James, not just those cheapie "gift" Bibles with stiff paper and cramped print. Big ones, leather ones, study Bibles, modern translations. 50, 60, 80-dollar Bibles. Very very resellable.

I'm a bookseller. I have a Pavlovian drool-response to great book deals.

4 years later I can still feel the adrenaline rush. Copies of the choicest items were selling as fast as I could click "add to cart" but despite a few "sorry- sold out!" notices, I managed to score two shipping boxes of assorted editions.

Then I proceeded to sell them for tidy profits. Every one of them.

This is the kind of crass, Scrooge-like person I am. I felt just a little bad about it, but, as even some of my most Christian friends pointed out, I paid what the seller asked, I stocked what our customers wanted, and I sold it to our buyers at a price that was nice for them as well as for our book business.

Ever since, I check B&N late in the day on Dec 26th or early the 27th. The instant I see the lovely "end of year clearance" banner, I'm on that "Shop now!" button like a duck on a junebug, but never again have they made such an error.

I kind of feel sorry for whoever put premium Bibles in the clearance sale back in aught-six. Not easy to get a job reference after that debacle.

But in my declining years, as I reminisce over the good times, I'll remember the sweet profit I made on Bibles when Opportunity knocked.

I keep telling yall, I am not a nice person.


Mike said...

Now I've got visions of "Paper Moon" in my head.

And now we know that little Addie grew up and moved to South Carolina.

Dann said...

I disagree, Ruth. You are terribly nice. And your actions were in line with many other, equally nice businesspeople that take risks in the pursuit of financial remuneration.

That is precisely how the real world works. Not that I've ever thought that you didn't understand how the real world works. [grin]


Christy said...

Love, this, Ruth!

ronnie said...

Ruth, I've been remiss in not commenting on how much I enjoyed this post. I think you're a very nice person indeed, just not a fool.

I also shared it with Husband, who is a dedicated Ebay trader. If anything, he enjoyed it more than I did.