Do You Have Any Spare Change?

Donn James

I like to think I’m a big supporter of small businesses in that I buy sandwiches at the local deli and I don’t send my shoes to Amazon to get new heels. That said, I do shop the big box stores as well because occasionally the local coffee shop wants $4 for a croissant but I can go to Costco and get 24 for $0.89 so while I want to support the Bean Scene, I can do rudimentary math…and your croissant is not worth $4 just because you give it to me with a smile.
Occasionally a small business will do something to make me wonder how they started, even make money or continue in business. We have a local coffee shop in a good-sized corner shopping area in our community and it is, by all accounts, a popular place with the moms and high schoolers in the area but it has changed hands several times over the years as it struggles to stay in business. Apparently the original owner didn’t understand the concept of a non-compete clause because this coffee shop is now about 10 giant steps from a Starbuck’s…with a drive-thru lane. That would be like a guy opening a toilet paper store next to Costco because you would automatically assume that guy had stopped taking his medication.
I suppose patronizing small businesses feels good because it’s generally a less businesslike atmosphere; more like visiting family that you like and less like being a number in some company’s profit stream. Every now and then though, it would be nice if Mom & Pop would remember they should at least pretend to be a business at times. I went to one such business the other day and I won’t mention the name because if I get sued, I have to talk to a lawyer and nobody wants that hell. Anyway, I just needed something small so I picked it out from among the homemade air fresheners and homemade beef jerky and went to the counter to pay and put a $20 on the counter only to be told by some fresh-faced, high school dropout that she couldn’t make change. I said something appropriately witty like, “That’s why you have a cash register. It will tell you how much change to give me and if it doesn’t…believe me, I can do the math.” This statement sailed several feet over her head and she said, “We can’t change the $20.” I will take this time to remind all of you that it’s a $20. It’s not like I dropped a gold bar on the counter…or some beaver pelts. What is she trying to tell me? Do I have too much money to shop here? Am I richer than I think? I have a hole in my sock that’s telling me otherwise. Is she expecting me to tell her just to charge me $18 for that roll of Lifesavers and have me walk out of there happy with $2? It’s a $20 and you’re treating it like I just put a stock certificate for 100 shares of Google on the counter. I know with Mom & Poppers your probably expected to stock the shelves whenever a new shipment of homemade wind chimes comes in and maybe you have to sweep up now and then, but your only real duty is to sell me, at a real value you’ve previously determined, whatever I want to buy…and give me my damned change. It’s a $20; I didn’t walk in and try and pay with a Jackson Pollock painting.
I’m at a loss to explain when a $20 became too much money because around here it will only pay for about 2 hours of parking and won’t even cover valet parking. Understanding the value of your products and having an adequate change drawer would seem to be integral in running a business, large or small, and the lack of same might indicate a lack of understanding of our monetary system. I expect the girl would have called the cops if I tried to pay with a $2 bill.

IMC has in excess of 2200 promotional products that will help you serve your client and we are adding new brand partners and products from our collections and our established retail brand partners. We believe IMC products speak for themselves and we can also show you ways to use and market them to your clients. Our products with decoration will have your customer coming back time and time again. Since introducing Waterford® Writing Instruments and MoMA years ago, IMC has presented more than 50 retail brands from global suppliers to enhance the selections you can offer your clients. We invite you to browse any of our 2,200+ products on the BRAND NEW IMC website to see items suitable for any occasion or event and pieces you can use to personalize your relationship with your clients. You can register as a distributor, track orders, upload art for virtual samples and even create your own flyers and catalogs of our products. The 2017 IMC catalog is available by request from the IMC website and is posted on the online services. We’ll continue to treat our clients professionally and get your orders to you…on time and on budget. You can also request our 2017 catalog using the catalog page of our website or download the PDF. We have products for every event and if your client has invented a holiday or celebration, we can also custom-make almost anything you can dream to make your client’s event all it can be. If you find yourself in Long Beach for the great SAAC show in August, please stop by and see what’s new from IMC in booth 535. Take a look at our YouTube channel to see some videos showcasing popular products for some ideas on how to use them. We take our business relationship seriously and we want you to enjoy, give and receive our products and be able to use them every day. We look forward to working with you and we always have ideas to make our products work for your clients. The 2017 IMC catalog is also live and available virtually at and on our website if you’re tired of fighting paper catalogs and it can be viewed nicely with your laptop, iPad, tablet or phone. IMC is the recognized leader in the introduction of new retail brands to the promotional product industry and has multiple design awards from both ASI and PPAI. We have promotional products for every event, show, convention, corporate store and company program that will keep your client looking to you for new ideas. What do you say…can you break a twenty?



About IMC

IMC is a prime manufacturer and supplier of products to the promotional products industry. We sell only to qualified promotional products distributors. ASI supplier, PPAI supplier. Our lines include our own IMC lines and 26 branded lines.
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