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Two thrift shop customers get into an argument over who had dibs on a table.

Two thrift shop customers get into an argument over who had dibs on a table.


Calling dibs can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians. Okay, I can't prove that, but dibs has been around for a long time. Are there times when dibs doesn't apply? On a popular Reddit thread in the Am I the A**hole Subreddit, one man argues dibs don't apply in this scenario.

AITA for leaving the thrift store with an item I paid for?

OP is an avid thrifter.

I went into my local thrift shop and immediately found a piece of furniture I wanted. In the past, I've been through the furniture section and seen receipts attached to items saying they've been sold already and are no longer available. That was not the case with this table.

Nothing more exciting than finding a steal at a thrift shop.

Stoked, I asked an employee to help me move it to the register so I could pay for it. A friendly staff member helps me by putting it on a dolly and rolling it up to the front. I pay for it, and he pushes the dolly to my car.

Uh-oh, a steal indeed.

Lady comes out of the store behind us, and she is PISSED. She comes up with a temper, yelling that it's her table that we're wheeling out to my car. I was confused because there was no sold tag on this thing, so I asked her if she also paid for it. She says, 'No, but I told the manager I wanted it, and she set it aside for me.' I feel awkward at first and kind of freeze there for a minute while she returns to get the manager.

OP is an expert in 'dibs' law.

I considered going in and refunding it and giving it back. I decided that since I paid for it, I had essentially called dibs and that the store manager should've had the woman pay for the item and put a receipt on it as they've done in the past.

So I look at the dude helping me lug this thing into my car. He seems stunned and is going to wait to see what happens. I decide not to stay. I tell him I'm not going to make him any more involved, and I pick up my furniture and walk to the car.

This thrift store has an official term for 'dibs.'

As soon as I finish loading it into the car, the manager comes out with the woman. The manager asks me if I will return the furniture to the lady. I asked the manager if the lady had paid for it. She says, 'No, but we put it on hold for her.'

This store believes in banishment.

I told her there was no signage indicating it was sold, it wasn't moved off the floor, and no one stopped me when I asked for help moving it and checked out. The manager then tells me that if I don't go back in and return the table, I'm banned from this thrift store and never come back.

This piece of furniture is worth any punishment.

So I told her I was sorry that her staff had made a mistake, but that I had no intention of returning the item I paid for, got in my car, and nope'd out. I upset this lady by not returning and 'giving back' this table. I feel bad that she was upset... But I did it anyway. I know I didn't commit a crime by taking a table I paid for, but AITA? Should I have just given it to her?

archetyping101 says:

NTA (Not the A**hole). This is how thrifting works. They're lucky they have a policy of setting stuff aside or leaving a note. When I go to any quick sale process, I always tell a staffer and pay UPFRONT. Loitering and waiting with 'holds' leads to situations like this.

Also, the manager knew she made a mistake, and instead of owning up to it and maybe giving the lady a 10% discount for this oversight, she threatened you with a ban. What a s*itty way to do business.

XmasYoda says:

The manager put you in a bad spot, basically making you look like a giant AH (A**hole) for their mistake.

If they were going to hold the item, they should have indicated it somewhere or moved it to the side.

I'm going to say NTA for you and the lady. (She trusted the manager to hold the item adequately.)

The manager is a major AH.

AzurePantaloons says:

NTA. The manager wanted you to hand it over to cover up her mistake of not putting the item on hold.

OP, your theory in dibs is worth writing a thesis on it. Perhaps outlining the necessary steps to claim dibs adequately is a book worth selling.

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