Complaining Question

I want to know what others will think of this situation. About a month ago I was in my "local" card shop (pretty long drive, but I have been going there because the card shop by me is more of a shack), I asked the owner's son, who handles the baseball part of the store, if he had any of the Allen & Ginter's from my want list and how much it would be. He told me that he would look but to just e-mail him the list. He said would look later as he was busy trying to reorganize after an event the store had just hosted. I eventually got an e-mail that said they had all the cards on my list in stock and gave me a quote.

By this time my financial situation had changed. I still wanted the cards, but was pondering telling him, "not to worry about it," or just buying them over time. After discussion with my wife I decided to just say, "Thank you very much for checking, but no thank you". The response was shocking and disappointing. I was told that they had actually purchased all of the card on my behalf and I need to complete the transaction. I told the owner that I never agreed to this, that my intention was to only see what they had, get a quote and consider it. They got real defensive, they stated the number of years they have been in business, and that they never ever had a situation like this, yadda yadda.

I try to be a very non-confrontational person, it doesn't always work out that way, so initially I chalked it up to miscommunication and set up a tiny payment plan which I am completing this Friday. Looking back on the situation I feel I got strong-armed (for lack of a better word) into this deal. I will not mention the name of the shop as my intention is not to discredit them in any way, but just to get another opinion and perhaps advice on how to avoid this.


  1. It certainly sounds like you got strong-armed. I don't really know why anyone would ask a hobby shop to special order cards - they have the resources as the "rest of us" when it comes to tracking down singles...but they'll tack on extra fee so that they make a little profit for their time. I'd say that's what happened here - the shop guy seems to think you couldn't track the cards down on your own so he "did you a favor"...and now he wants paid extra for his "nice service."

    I might be a touch more confrontational because if it really happened as you said, there's no way I'd buy a single card from the guy.

  2. I am strongly thinking against it, I am just bummed because I had thought I had found a good shop. Even if it was a misunderstanding (which it very well might be), shopping there will cause some uncomfortable moments. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but I also want to be comfortable where I shop, especially for my hobby. Going to this shop was well out of my way and I had to take a good chunk of my weekends free time just to get there, now I am not sure where I would go for a hobby shop.

  3. I'd be DONE with those people. It proves what a stand-up guy you are that you didn't tell them where to stick it or burn the place down, and you even went through with the deal, but that's beyond the pale. Like FanofReds said, any reasonable human being would recognize that we all have access to the intertoobs, so procuring the cards for you is nothing special. You asked for them to "check to back," nothing more, so you're totally not at fault.

    I'm bummed for you that happened.

  4. Seriously... you owe them nothing.

  5. This could have been a reasonable error on their part. If the son was busy when you spoke to him, he may not have accurately heard your intention. If you later dealt with the owner, not the son, there could have been miscommunication between them.
    Either way, there is no excuse whatsoever for them demanding that you buy the cards. If they have a relationship with many customers who come in and give them lists of cards and will pay whatever the shop asks after they find them, well, good for them, but you certainly had not established such a relationship with them. For them to assume such an agreement is foolhardy at best and manipulative at worst.
    It's a shame you don't have a local shop, but it doesn't sound like this place deserves your business.

  6. I appreciate all your comments, it really helps to just unload it.

  7. I'm late on this, but I wouldn't be suprised to find out they are just desperate for business, they had those cards in inventory, and just leaned on you a little to make a sale. That said, that is NOT how you get repeat business. I've never had an incident like that in the only local shop (not really local, it's 15 miles away), but I don't go there because the owner is a J.E.R.K. Sorry you had an incident like that.