To the Editor:
On Oct. 31 after the worst natural disaster my family ever experienced, my brother and I left my 75-year-old mother home to venture our in search of batteries, radios, and flashlights. We, like many other Bayonne residents, had no heat or electricity. On Broadway, we noticed a young boy outside of a business holding a sign: “Batteries For Sale.” I entered the business.
The owner was behind the counter. She had four packages of Panasonic D batteries on the counter. Each pack contained two batteries. She also had two packages of Panasonic C batteries. The C batteries had four in the pack. The owner told me the D batteries were $7and the C type were $12.
The owner said she and her husband drove to Staten Island and purchased packs of batteries to bring back to the residents of Bayonne. She added a little to the price to cover tolls, gas and the price of batteries. I felt the price for the batteries was over the top, but I didn’t know if there were any other opportunities. I purchased two packs of the D batteries for $14. I thanked the owner and left.
My brother and I continued, hoping to find a radio and flashlights. My brother went to Pizza Masters, which was baking pizzas at a reasonable price for the residents of Bayonne. I walked a little and struck up a conversation with other residents. One man told us that 501 Broadway Dollar was selling the same type for $2, also for a pack of two. I decided to stand on the line of 501 Broadway Dollar.
While on line, a man began yelling at the owner of Broadway Dollar. The man yelled he wanted 12 packs of D batteries and he was only given six. The owner apologized and gave the man an additional six packs. I purchased two packs of D batteries for $2 each.
I met up with my brother, unable to find a radio or flashlights. We headed back and I told my brother that I wanted to stop by the business I had been to earlier to see if the owner had a trimline phone to sell.
When I entered the business again, the owner told me she could sell me a phone for $25. She told me her husband had purchased three phones, and he was now in Staten Island purchasing more batteries. I told her I could give her $20 for the phone, considering I paid seven dollars for the same batteries that 501 Broadway Dollar was selling for $2. The owner appeared surprised. She agreed to sell me the phone for $20. As I handed her the money, a man entered the store with a large bag of batteries. He was the man from Broadway Dollar. The man said he was the husband of the owner of this business. She took the bag of batteries from her husband and my $20 for the used phone and said, “No refunds.” I said, “I thought he went to Staten Island. He just came from Broadway Dollar!” The owner said nothing.
In a desperate time in our city, I was shocked that a local business owner would take advantage of her fellow residents. Being a New York transplant, it does not normally take much to shock me.
Shame on this merchant. Cheers to Pizza Masters and 501 Broadway Dollar.