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Here’s a crazy story that happened that could have cost me $50 profit.

I was at Goodwill. I was waiting to get into a dressing room because I wanted to try on a few pieces of clothing for myself. The door was locked, so I went and asked one of the workers, “Can you open up the door?”

She said, “It’s going to be a couple of minutes. We’re busy.”

I left my cart in front of the dressing room door, and I walked about 20 steps away to the video game section. When I was looking through the video games, all of a sudden, I felt as though I had to go check my cart. I don’t know if it was intuition or I saw it out of the corner of the eye.

I left that feeling alone for one minute, but then I said to myself, “I’ve got to go check my cart.”

A Short Culprit
Well, when I looked over there, there was this little girl—probably about seven years old—flying through my cart going crazy. She picked out an advanced caller ID call waiting box. Why would a little girl want that? But she took it. I saw it happen. She took it, sprinted across the store, and ran up to her mom and dad. I realized what was going on. I ran after her.

The dad was all bugged out. He looked all sketched out.

I said, “What is going on here?”

The mom tried to play it off casually and said to the little girl, “Oh, looks like you got caught taking something. Give it back.”

So she gave it back to me, and I walked away.

I was left thinking to myself, “What just happened there? Did the father or the mother set the little kid on a mission to go steal my item out of my cart or something? Was it a reseller? Am I going crazy?”

What was a little girl doing going through my cart and running back and giving it to her parents? I wasn’t sure what happened. I didn’t know if I was losing my mind or had too much Starbucks and my anxiety was going nuts. I didn’t know if it was a setup or what was going on.

Keep Your Eyes on Your Prizes
The lesson is, regardless, don’t leave your cart alone for too long. You never know when a young girl is going to run up, steal your caller ID, run across the store, and give it to her dad or mom.

If it’s the Salvation Army or the Goodwill or the Savers putting out new stuff, some people assume that any cart is up for grabs. So a lot of times, if you leave your cart alone too long, people will start diving into it. They’ll take your stuff.

If you’re not careful, you can lose money. If I hadn’t had that feeling to go check on my cart, my item would have been gone. There were too many people in this store. I never would have been able to hunt this thing down.

Be Aware Out There
Keep your eye out. I’ve heard stories of people kind of stealing from other people’s carts and trying to sabotage others.

And sometimes people just don’t know; they think it’s the store putting stuff out. Your best bet is to keep your eye on your cart. It can be a little crazy at the thrift store, especially if you go around 4:00 in the afternoon when everyone’s getting out of work.

It’s a zoo. It’s a jungle in these thrift stores sometimes. You can’t walk away from your cart for too long because someone might snag your stuff, and then it’s adios to your profits.

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