A Chicago bookstore owner is getting encouraging words after sharing her frustration over a customer who allegedly returned an $800 purchase.
Rebecca George, co-owner of Volumes Bookcafe, an independent bookstore near Wicker Park, took to Twitter to reveal a return request she said she received from a customer who bought various art books and cookbooks in December to serve as temporary decor.
“It turned out that one of our biggest sellers last month was the person staging their home for the holidays and now they want to give it all back,” George tweeted on Monday, January 9.
“Please don’t do this to a small business, people,” he continued. “That one sale was a third of our rent.”
of George Post on Twitter It has since been viewed 6.8 million times and garnered more than 85,600 likes, 5,510 retweets and 880 comments.
Fox News Digital has reached out to Volumes Bookcafe for comment.
Twitter users responded to George’s post asking where they can shop for books online or donate to support the indie shop.
Bookstore workers joined George’s thread to recognize challenges shared by special small businesses.
“Being an independent bookstore is hard,” Madison Street Books, another Chicago-based bookstore, tweeted on Wednesday, Jan. 11.
A Twitter user claiming to be a bookstore employee wrote that the company they work for has a no-return policy for similar reasons.
“We can do an exchange or store credit, but no refunds unless there is a problem with the product,” the anonymous user wrote Monday afternoon.
Another Twitter user wrote that the customer return is “not so nice” because there are book rental companies.
Some commenters suggested that George and her business partner change the return policy at Volumes Bookcafe or add a restocking fee to minimize the inconvenience of customer returns.
Others were confused that the customer allegedly told bookstore staff that they were using the books for staging.
“Wait, so someone bought a bunch of books to look like they’re reading? Then he came back then [sic] when the relative left?’ one Twitter user asked Monday night. “I had no idea it was anything like that.”
George returned to Twitter on Tuesday, January 10, to thank the people who supported Volumes Bookcafe.
He noted that the store typically receives “less than 1% [of] returns’ and the recent customer he mentioned ‘was an unusual case’.
“It’s not ideal, but sometimes as a small business you end up jumping through hoops to please people who don’t deserve it to save yourself from another kind of mess,” George wrote. “It’s rare, but it happens. Thank you all! You made a huge difference for us when we needed it.”
George confirmed to FOX 32 Chicago that the return purchase totaled $800.
He told the local news outlet that independent bookstores have thin profit margins and compete with larger retail locations.
“Your decisions have a bigger impact on small businesses than anywhere else,” George told FOX 32 Chicago.