I like watches. A lot. A few were in need of repair/battery replacement, so I decided to take a stroll down to Main Street in order to support my local merchants. The store that I selected was a shoe/watch repair store. (Hence the title)
The following is a true story:
I walk in armed with four watches, all of which needed a battery and two of which needed a band replacement. I hand the watches over to the gentleman and tell him what I need done. He gives me the once-over which kinda creeped me out a little bit, but I asked how much it would cost me. He informs me that I will need a $30 deposit for the repair of said watches. A bit confused, I asked him what the $30 deposit was for. He then tells me it’s so he knows for sure that I will return. Even more confused, I say, “Wouldn’t dropping off the watches be significant enough proof that I would return?” He ignored my question. Undaunted, I proceed with more questions.
“How much for everything?” I asked the nice gentleman.
“I don’t know.” Was his reply.
“What do you mean you don’t know? 4 batteries and 2 replacement bands. How much more could it be from the $30 deposit I’m giving you.”
“I won’t know until I actually do it.”
“I don’t really understand how you don’t know the price it is going to be for everything. When will they be ready, in a couple of days?”
“A couple of days?”
“Yes, a couple of days.”
“No, no, no. More like a week.”
“Yes, a week.”
“Again, this is for two bands and four batteries.”
“Okay, call me in a week when they’re done.”
I give the man my digits, as the kids on the streets call telephone numbers nowadays, and proceed home to watch The Expendables on blu-ray (Don’t you judge me – and yes Ishanie, I know what a blu-ray is.)
A few hours later, I’m still watching The Expendables (ADD was kicking in good) I get a phone call. It’s the local cobbler merchant from earlier. He tells me everything’s ready and to come now for the watches. I ask him how much did it run? He tells me again to come in now. I repeated my question: How much did it cost? He said, “I don’t know. Another $40?” I asked him if he was asking me or telling me. He says come down now, so I leave.
I get to the store and I ask the man if a week has gone by already. He didn’t appreciate my humor. I then ask how come it’s so much money for everything. He looks at me and says, “I know this watch.” (He’s referring to a rather large cuff spider watch at this point) I look at him and I go like this, I go, “Okay, I know it too. Why is everything so expensive?”
He replies, “I replaced the battery and cleaned out the watch.”
“Okay, but aren’t the batteries only $1.99 each?”
“So the rest of the monies is for cleaning and that’s why everything is $70 total?”
“I know this watch. It’s very good. It’s clean inside now.”
“Okay, but you haven’t answered my question.”
“This one cost $15.”
“Yes. This watch here same thing, new battery and cleaned. $15.”
“Okay, $15 each for the two. What about the other ones that needed a new band?”
“Look at this. This is brand new band.”
“Yes, it’s very nice.”
“This one $25. New band, new battery all clean.”
“Yes, and this one also. Look at that band.”
“Yes, it’s very nice but kind of expensive, no?”
“This one $25.”
“Okay, so you’re telling me $25, $25, $15 and $15 is on top of my $30 deposit?”
A bit of an awkward pause occurs before the man says to me, “Okay, let’s see $15 x 2 + $25 x 2. $40.”
“I’m sorry…. what?”
I grabbed $40 and paid the man, gathered up my watches and ran all the way home. What started out as a $70 rip-off, turned into $40 savings of an even bigger rip-off.
Happy Black Friday!
Yes, yes y’all…