Thursday, August 30, 2007

End of the Month....Whew!

Well, it's been a record setting month at the bookstore. All the help I've blogged about came back again this semester and one of them is now a keyed employee. The good news is that she can watch the store for me while we try to expand to a second store this semester. That's the goal anyway but I'll keep you posted. We did get one new girl by chance this year that I was happy about. Other than calling her the wrong name a lot, things went well. I'm not sure why, but I kept calling her Susan. I finally asked what it would take to get her to change her name and she never responded.

Only a few good stories from the rush this year, and nothing too exciting. This year everyone was really big about wanting us to help them buy their books online. Some of them even went as far as to say "you're ripping me off so I need the information to buy somewhere else." I can't imagine doing that to an independent business owner, but maybe it's because I'm not as big of an asshole as I think. At any rate, this was huge this year. What was funny to me is that we take in to consideration what we sell the book for based on what they sell for online. Sometimes we can beat it, sometimes we can't touch it. Either way, we get as close as we can. A couple of the people that came in and told me I was "a huge fucking ripoff" came back because we had a better price that the people online. Nice huh? I thought so. Only one guy made me fantasize about beating him down because he yelled and cussed that we were a huge ripoff, then came back and said "well, your price is better than online, and better than the campus store, but you're still ripping me off." So very calmly I said "well sir, you don't have to worry about that because if it's that bad I won't sell the book to you," and I proceeded to put the book on the shelf. We stood and stared at each other for a minute. He was in shock, and I was picturing what it would be like to jump across the counter, kick his cain out from under him and beat him with it as he was lying on the floor all the while quoting Samuel L. Jackon from Pulp Fiction - "And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee." He apologized and paid for the book. Realistically though, for anyone in college reading this, we're on the lower end of the spectrum and our margins are about 20 percent on average. We've got some that are 25, and some that are 12.5. Put in to perspective, most clothing stores are well over 40 percent so a ripoff we are not. Our campus store here won't do anything that they can't run a 35 percent margin on. So if we're on average 15 percent cheaper than them...how are we the ripoff? Anyway...

Our new counter girl is good help, and probably trustworthy...but man she's weird. One of the girls here was checking her MySpace page and she walked by, glanced and said "Oh...MySpace. That website almost ruined my life." Then of course we got busy so she never explained how that happened. We asked her again later, but nothing came of it. I guess it's a sore subject...but wow...why would you say that if you don't want to explain it? Shortly thereafter she told us that her and her husband were separated and had just gotten back together. She told one of the girls that they were married in April, separated in May and got back together a week before school started. She also mentioned that she's 21 and he's 36. We met him. Seems like a nice enough guy, but man does she have some weird stories to tell. She's almost worth keeping around for next semester just to find out what happened to her on MySpace.

That's about it from your friendly bookstore. Still cleaning up from the busiest month ever, but if I had to guess I'd say the bookstore is working out for us. I'll keep you up to date on our progress on a second store, but for now I'm out.

4 Comments:

I'm so glad this is working out for you guys! I know that Jason would one day love to get out of corporate America and work for himself. I cannot imagine all that goes into owning the type of bookstore you own. I always dreaded textbook shopping when I was in school...oh the lines at UTC...I will never forget those. Grr..
posted by Blogger Chas at 3:14 PM  
As long as you can deal with some down time, it's okay. Time between semesters is kinda crappy, but it passes quick. We do have long lines on some days
posted by Blogger Raul Duke at 2:37 PM  
I want to come and be a bookie girl!!! hahaha
posted by Blogger Easy E at 3:56 PM  
E...you're hired. School starts back Jan 2nd so if you're here for New Years you can work a few days. That's be awesome.
posted by Blogger Raul Duke at 11:26 AM  

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