Gifts and Gouges

Dick Roraback's article on July 24 entitled "Looking the L. A. Gift Show in the Mouth" hit me right in the pit of my stomach!

The paragraph describing Connie Consumer paying $1 for a candle that wholesales for 30 cents might be true in this particular instance, but it can give readers the impression that all merchandise is marked up exorbitantly. Such adverse publicity is not going to help our troubled gift industry--which, I might add, employs thousands of people in Los Angeles and surrounding areas.

The present economy is making it difficult for some of us to keep our doors open, and as one gift shop owner, I have spent the past nine years gaining the confidence of my customers so they know they are not being gouged. How are they going to feel about me now?

When I pay 30 cents for an item, I mark it up to 60 cents--and this profit must be shared with my landlord, my employees, the Department of Water and Power, Pacific Bell, a few insurance companies and a lot of freight companies who bring these 30-cent items to me. Not to mention the sneaky individuals who take this little item without passing the cash register, or who damage it while handling it.

No--I don't pass these costs on to my customers. Perhaps this is why I drive a '72 LTD instead of an '85 Caddie.

I'm sure there are unscrupulous merchandisers, but please--give us honest guys a break.



San Pedro

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