Caveat emptor is Latin for “let the buyer beware.” Most of us are careful to examine our goods prior to purchasing them. At least I am. I won’t buy a box of food at the store that’s been case cut or a package that looks wrinkled. Creepy crawlies can easily enter through a slash in a package, and wrinkled bags of are often indicators of water damage.
The quality of your purchases isn’t the only thing you should watch, though. It’s always a good idea to check your receipts. You should also pay attention to how things are ringing up when you’re at the cash register. I’ve caught two mistakes already this week – one in my professional capacity and one in my personal shopping.
I was checking in our job from last week a few days ago when I noticed a discrepancy. My crew chief had purchased 13 bundles of R-19 fiberglass bat insulation bundles for $42.30 each. He returned 5 of those bundles two days later and was credited $30.24 each. As you can see, this is a significant discrepancy. Thankfully, I enjoy a good relationship with this vendor, and was able to get our credit corrected with an email and a short phone call.
The error I caught in my personal life was much less glaring. I ran to the corner drug store for some mascara on Tuesday. I had a speaking engagement that evening and couldn’t find my mascara. I’m sure it’s rolling around in a pocket of my suitcase from my trip last weekend. I haven’t spent much time searching for it. Of course, I wanted to look my best for my speech, so I ran to the drug store on my lunch break. I think they had every single tube of mascara on sale. Most of them were Buy Two, Get One Free, but I really didn’t want to spend $20.00. I certainly didn’t need three tubes of mascara, so I kept looking. At the very end of the aisle where the inexpensive brands are located, I found some that were on sale 2 for $5.00. One tube was nearly $4.00, so it only made sense to spend the extra $1.00 to purchase two tubes.
I bought the two tubes of mascara and a bag of chips, which was on sale for $1.89. My total came to nearly $10.00. I immediately knew that something was wrong. I’m certainly no math genius, but I do know that $5.00 + $1.89 does not = $10.00. I told the cashier that something was awry and asked him to check the prices on my receipt.
I know some people who wouldn’t have bothered to hold up the line for a couple of bucks, but I work hard for my money. If an item is advertised at a certain price, that is what I expect to pay. If I’m going to donate my money to an organization, I will choose a charity, not a national chain drug store.
Caveat emptor, my friends.
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