Species: discount rat
Subspecies: tag togglers, vultures
Now I must ask ordinary discount seekers to hold onto their tempers. In these economic times, everyone is looking for a better deal. The difference is that someone who is looking for a better deal will most likely buy the cheaper brand, use a legitimate coupon, or approach during a sale. These are Customers, not Custies, and they want to save money, not cause trouble.
Discount Rats mimic harmless Customers in order to disguise their true nature. After all, the skulking, scurrying little beasts loathe nothing more than being outed for what they are. However, any amateur Crustologist can recognize the Discount Rat with it's distinctive cry of "Can-I-get-a-discount-on-that?" or the ever popular "The-sign-said-the-price-was..." and then chatter some ridiculous price that is most likely a lie or a deliberate misunderstanding.
Discount Rats are quick, sharp eyed and cunning; they can home in on a sale or perceived discount with the unerring accuracy of a smart bomb and are very tenacious about obtaining the coveted item at the price they feel is accurate.
Like the common four legged vermin, Discount Rats search for appealing items for their nests and spend an excessive amount of time going over their items inch by inch, seeking possible perceived flaws that could garner them the discount they seek. They also pay great attention to sale signs, hunting down prices that appeal to their need for saved money. They will then retain this knowledge for an impressive amount of time in order to take advantage of the cost. Some may retain this knowledge for days or even a week; coming in after a sale is finished in order to ask for the discount because they 'missed it' because they were 'unable to come while the sale was in progress.'
It is not that they are too stupid to know the difference between the price of Levis vs Riders, it's that they want the Riders price for their Levis, or vice-versa depending on the pricing at the time. They will openly lie to their opponents, the Retail Slaves, in an effort to get the price they want. They will claim confusion between the signs, when in fact they know perfectly well that they are wrong, and then try to get the Retail Slave to honor their own mistake. By laying the blame on the store for making the signs confusing, they hope a spineless employee will bow to their demands.
Discount Rats also make use of coupons. Unlike harmless Customers, Discount Rats will try to use expired coupons (the record lies in years, not days, expired) or coupons designed for another product or brand entirely. They may try to use a coupon on top of an already discounted item for an additional amount off, and then become angry when informed that they cannot do that. Even if it is clearly printed on the coupon, they will try to get the discount anyway due to not being their fault that they didn't understand.
There are a few subspecies of Discount Rats.
First, there are the Tag Togglers. These nasty little creatures will seize upon any item with a low price tag and seek to attach it to an item of higher value. You will find this particularly in bookstores, where a tag from a clearance book makes its way onto a massive hardcover book. Or in the case of REAL idiots, just the price off the sticker.
What Tag Togglers fail to understand is that a price will only be honored if such a sale is legitimate. If only the discount price torn from a full tag is attached, Retail Slaves will not honor it. Also, if the full tag is replaced, the name of the item will ring up in our system. So no, we will not let you purchase a jacket for the price of a skirt if a skirt is what is ringing up with the tag they switched it for. And no, a football book price will not fly on a baseball book.
Another subspecies is the Vulture. Discovered by the highly accredited Crustologist, Shywriter. To quote our esteemed colleague, "The Vulture is related to all coupon and discount rats but with a catch. They prey on stores that aren't doing so well for the liquidating closeout prices. ... Vultures, preening their feathers, lying in wait for the prices to drop, taking advantage of other people’s misfortune. They don’t care that many people will be relocated or lose their jobs, they just want cheap books." These creatures are hunch-shouldered beasts with a keen eye and nose for the scent of closing businesses, When the discounts appear, the beasts launch themselves into a circling pattern throughout the store, snatching their precious items and gathering them all together to a large, discounted purchase.
Homework: Consider a juicy story of a time when you encountered a particularly obnoxious Discount Rat, Tag Toggler or Vulture. If you have a good story, submit it to the class.