Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Seeing Red and how do you handle a shoplifter?

(My shop entrance 8 School street, Gorham, Maine)

I am seeing red today and not just because it is Wednesday is Rednesday over with Sue @ Its a Very Cherry World. Thank goodness, Sue always throws a swell party and I could use a little cheering up. Before I explain, let me show you a little red fun at my shop. Come on in, the open flag is out.

I know, I know, what is the first rule of refinishing furniture, TAKE A BEFORE PHOTO! Honestly, though, I am always so anxious to begin the project, that I just dive in and start scrapping and sanding. This little red side table did not look like this, just a week ago. it is a lawnsale find for $1.00, it was filthy and the paint was chipping off and not in a desirable shabby chic way. Three coats of carnival red oil paint later, I have this cute little functional piece perfect for the kitchen or even a bathroom.

For the moment it holds a few red treasures. I like to group my vignettes by color.

This is an Animal Cracker tin from 1979. A lawnsale find for $.50 cents.

I love this little black & red tin, Salvation Army for $1.99. Marked Made in England.

And I really love, love, love this red & black cookie tin! Same day, same Salvation Army store, for $.29 cents. I am starting to enjoy my runs to SA, but don't worry, I will always stay true to Goodwill.

This step stool was a lawnsale find for $2.00 and it needed work. A little spray paint and a new seat cover was all it took to go from drab to fab.

For my shop, I tend to go for small furniture pieces as smaller scaled items fit better in a dorm room or first apartment. Remember, I am in a college town. This past weekend was the first full weekend of the kids back in school, and back in town. My shop was packed all day. Needless to say, I was one very happy gal. But it wasn't just the college crowd at the shop, there were lots of folk my age as well.

One of those ladies in fact bought quite a bit from me. She was parked directly in front of the shop and I noticed her New York Plates. Being close to Sebago Lake, a tourist destination, we get a lot of out-of-state traffic through town. While she was in the shop, I was busy putting out new jewelry that I had just finished pricing. I was working on pricing some books, when the lady brought her pile up to cash out....$133.00, paid with cash. Yup I was happy, happy, happy. Then the lady left along with a necklace and 4 rings, not paid for, the ones that had only been on the shelf for ten minutes. Really, you have cash for other items, and you still have to steal. Really, my shop is a one room little business venture, and you feel the need to steal. I was upset. My first shoplifter, and I know not my last.

At first I was angry. Then sad. It had been a beautiful necklace made of 50 rhinestone buttons. Then I totally rearranged my shop to move the jewelry display case right next to the cash register. Lesson learned. So here is the question: How do you handle shoplifters? How do you make your shop a little safer? I know I am asking the right folks, so any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks.

Please don't forget to stop over and say hi to Sue and visit all the other folks showing Red.

Got it at Goodwill


~~Carol~~ said...

Sherrie, I'm so sorry that someone took advantage of you and stole from you. It really does boggle the mind, that she spent that much money and yet still stole things. I'm not surprised though. People steal from garage sales too. My only advice is to call the police immediately, and DO NOT confront the person, unless you feel safe doing so. These are desperate times for some people, and you just never know what they're capable of. My husband is a manager in a grocery store, and in the past has chased thieves. Nowadays they are told not to do that, and just call the police.
Your little red table is really cute, and I especially like that cookie tin!
Happy REDnesday!

Abramyan Avenue said...

Hey, love, love your reds! You get so lucky at SA...and I get so jealous!
I am so sorry about the shoplifter. I know how bad it makes you feel... and angry. When I worked at a ladies clothing store in the mall I saw a young lady come in with her boyfriend. She grabbed two tops, went into the dressing room, came out with one top, hung it on the closest rack and walked out. The policy with that company was if you didn't actually SEE her take the item into her possession you could do nothing...because she could turn around and sue us for making false accusations against her. If we SAW them taking the items we could hold them there and call security, but that's about it.
It's not fair I know. I mean, I KNOW she took the shirt... going in with two, coming out with one, empty hanger still in dressing room, but I was powerless to do anything about it. From the time she entered the store til the time she walked out was less than three minutes. These people know what they are doing! Again I am so sorry... don't let it get you down. She was one bad apple in hopefully a very large good barrel! I guess put small items like that which are easy to slip in a pocket or bag close to your register. If need be, lock them in a small showcase.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

So sorry for that happening to you! How frustrating and since she paid in cash you have no info on who she is. Well it's a lesson I guess. I think putting items like jewelry in a locked case is your best bet. Now for GOOD news, I love the reds you have added to your shop. That little stool is too cute! Hope all goes better for you this week.

suzieQ said...

I worked in Bookland, years ago and we discovered one evening that someone had emptied out a small display case of items. In retail, it is very difficult to be on the watch all of the time. I don't know how someone could live with themselves after stealing.
On a happier note, I was glad to get in and finally meet you face to face. Next time, I will have the cups we talked about and I will be looking forward to what you have discovered in your travels. I love this cool weather but I will be missing all the warm weather yard sales. Oh, well...perhaps the hunting will be good inside at Goodwill and Salvation Army.

Ann said...

At my garage sales I've had families come in and then spread out, they usually buy something to acquire a sack from me and then start slipping other things in to the sack when the other member of the family distracts me. FOR $1.00 can you believe it!!! I'm sorry this happened but the jewelery will be much safer by the cash resigter. And who carries that much cash to buy items? I love the little red side table--just darling.

sissie said...

Hi Sherrie,
That's such a terrible thing that happened to you. But sadly it does happen and we never really know why or understand it.

We haven't had too many problems
with shoplifers at our shop, but it does happen. We do try to keep jewelry at the front counter.

There is just no way to watch everyone but I do believe that the majority of people are honest and a handful are not.


Annieca107 said...

Hi Sherrie,
My daughter and I had such a wonderful time this afternoon visiting your shop. You have done a great job creating such nice vignettes. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us and share so much good advice for our future Etsy shops. We look forward to seeing you again.
P.S. I'm considering coming back real soon for that rooster!

Kaybe said...

It does make you angry. If I told you how much the big box I work for loses on a daily basis it would make your hair stand on end. People stuff high dollar items into the boxes of other items, switch tags, walk out the exit door and go straight to the return desk and return stolen product for store credit. And let's not even talk about credit card fraud. Good advice - lock all high dollar item up. Jewelry in cases and so on. Give "good Customer service" as in be friendly and stick close to them and hope they'll drop the stuff and walk out. Never chase them - your safety is not worth whatever they are trying to steal. Limit your entrance/exit so you can see the traffic coming in and out. Is there a business mentor that maybe could look at your shop and give you some input. Just a thought.

Take good care,


Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sorry you had a bad experience with this shoplifter. I have never understood the desire to steal like that. BUT - on a happier note - I love your REDS! The little side table is adorable, and I can just imagine all the places I could put this in my house. Too bad you live on the other side of the country from me! Happy Rednesday! Hugs, Patti

Southern Lady's Vintage said...

Oh gosh hon! I am so sorry that happened to you! I have had plenty stolen from me too and it is always disappointing to know that people can do that to you. My first thought when you mentioned $133.00 in cash sales was, oh gosh I hope she wasn't given counterfeit money! And then to hear that theft was still involved! Did you make a police report? Wondering if your tax accountant could advise as to whether you could at least take a deduction on your taxes for the loss. So sorry!
LOVE your RED!

Ann said...

Hi Sherrie,
I'm so sad to read that someone would shoplift from your shop.
But, am glad that you had a shop packed full of people on Saturday!!
I love all your tins of red.
The Tattered Tassel

Collected Treasures...for the home, heart & soul said...

Hi...just happened to see your post through another blog and couldn't resist dropping in.....I'm sorry people feel the need to steal....I have always been of the opinion that if someone wants it that badly to just ask me for it....I'd probably just give it to them. I've been doing this for 20 years and the first time it happened I was so violated and angry. Since then I have come to terms with the fact it is going to happen and that if anyone is willing to steal "my junk" then I should feel honored that they would be willing to go to jail over something I probably paid a dollar for, because that is exactly where they would second chances are going out in handcuffs. We all work too hard to have someone else try and take our things and/or our happy.....come see me sometime...would love to make a new friend in the business.