thievery in india

#1 Jan 24th, 2009, 16:41
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  • peuks is offline
#1
hi folks, this time the question the other way around:
in my favorite cafe i have been helping to stock the place with some intresting, really nice art-books etc. for guests.people appreciated it a lot, was a nice library on an open shelf.
lately it appeared that the best books get stolen, piece by piece. started with an popular German novel, went to INdian Sculptures, an nice art book, and now amazingly even the IKEA-katalog, which i did leave there just for the owner to get some smart ideas for the place,- it has gone walking. etc.
the owner is now very disappointed of the western guests, who are taking his property and i have to calm him down .

Question:
does any of you come across a cool idea, of how to present books to customers, not making it too easy to steal, but still available for the people i am out of ideas this time, but maybe you did see a cool solution for this somewhere. i dont like the idea of locking books away, thats not the invitation to hang out and read in such a cool cafe. but on the other hand, i dont want the nice book be gone so easily, also. was so much work to get them there.
#2 Jan 24th, 2009, 18:24
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  • Haylo is offline
#2
How disappointing to hear that people are abusing this great idea.

Presumably there are already signs in various European languages saying something like "Feel free to read these books but you must leave them here for other customers to enjoy"?

Could the bookshelf be placed nearer the counter? If people knew they had been seen to take a book, maybe they would be less likely to walk off without returning it? Either that or place the bookshelf behind the counter, so people have to ask for the book they want to read.

I noticed you said one of the stolen books was a novel, those might be stolen more often because people might start reading it and want to finish it. I read a novel in a two to three hours, but some people take DAYS! Perhaps for the novels it would be useful to have a scheme where people could buy the novels if they want to finish reading them away from the cafe?
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#3 Jan 24th, 2009, 19:12
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#3
thats what i told him, too. instead of putting the books behind glas, i would try it with a sign first, asking kindly for letting the book in the cafe and returning them to the shelf. mostly folks do it anyways, but there are always a few...
there is no counter, the place is small.

concerning the novel: many people were always asking for that novel, which was quite popular, and last time it was spotted was, when 2 German girls wanted it urgently. understandable the owner didnt want the book leaving the cafe, especially to unknown new customers (its different with regular guests anyways). Well, probably the need for the book was too urgent. since the book has been always a starting point for nice conversations, the owner is missing it, even thou he didnt read it.

the idea with the book-exchange/selling is ok, but its not such a big stock yet, and some books are really too nice for selling.

i guess, he has to get used to a certain amount of missing books, and the very nice books, which he wants to keep, he simply can t display.

makes me just wonder, how disappointed he was, realizing that also western people steal. seemed to be a new experience to him.
Last edited by peuks; Jan 24th, 2009 at 19:49.. Reason: spelling
#4 Jan 24th, 2009, 19:39
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#4
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Originally Posted by peuks View Post Thats what i told him, too. instead of putting the books behind glas i would try it with a sign first
At least that would remove any chance of innocent misunderstandings.

Quote:
makes me just wonder how disappointed he was, realizing that also western people steal. seemed to be a new experience to him.
Yes, and these are not even underprivileged westerners, these thieves are people who are so rich that they can afford to pay for expensive travel and take a break from working to put food on the table every day. It makes me so angry that people like that, who have so much, steal and give westerners a bad name.
#5 Jan 24th, 2009, 19:51
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thats what i think, too. plus, i know how hard it is to maintain that cafe and make it a special place. of course he is disappointed by this happening.
#6 Jan 25th, 2009, 10:43
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#6
If you put a face on the books or on a nearby display it will cut down the % of theft (true)..
#7 Jan 25th, 2009, 10:55
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I once worked in a bookstore in the U.S., and books were stolen all the time - mostly by the people who worked there! And they were hardly shy about it. They fenced the books at other bookstores, as used, and converted them into cash. They used to do this on their break, come back, and brag about it.

It may just be that you have to accept a certain amount of product loss. If I were faced with this problem, though, I would put the nice, high-end books toward the back of the shop in a location that could be easily monitored. This would draw people deeper into the shop, thereby exposing them to more product, and also make it harder for them to take a book, undetected. I think most thefts are "crimes of opportunity." If the books are close to the exit, they're likely to walk away. Any high-end merchandise at the front of the shop I would put under a glass case.

Although why a foreign backpacker would want to lug a heavy art book around India is absolutely beyond me. Even shipping it home, with the new postal rates, would be a nuisance.
#8 Jan 25th, 2009, 11:18
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#8
Some people will nick anything!

GoanGoan......here & there..Goa
#9 Jan 25th, 2009, 11:43
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  • RWeHavingFunYet is offline
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by peuks View Post the owner is now very disappointed of the western guests, who are taking his property and i have to calm him down.

peuks: makes me just wonder, how disappointed he was, realizing that also western people steal.

indiaprof I once worked in a bookstore in the U.S., and books were stolen all the time - mostly by the people who worked there!

goangoangone: Some people will nick anything!
Peuks: You're implying that indian people steal all the time, and only some western people steal only if given a chance. This is preposterous. From your observation, both categories steal -- given a chance.
#10 Jan 25th, 2009, 11:46
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#10
Actually, I didn't get that impression from what either had written..
#11 Jan 25th, 2009, 11:58
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardseco View Post Actually, I didn't get that impression from what either had written..

peuks: makes me just wonder, how disappointed he was, realizing that also western people steal. seemed to be a new experience to him.
also western people steal???
peuks: Just wondering, compared to whom?
#12 Jan 25th, 2009, 12:15
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#12
All right, now, guys, let's not get too far off-topic. I see this becoming ugly, all to no purpose. Sometimes people think one thing and write another, especially online - you need to give the other person the benefit of the doubt.
#13 Jan 25th, 2009, 15:28
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#13
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Originally Posted by RWeHavingFunYet View Post Peuks: You're implying that indian people steal all the time, and only some western people steal only if given a chance.
Poppycock. He was implying that his friend thought, naively, that westerners would not steal his books.

I really cannot blame him for hoping that. I suspect that he has never lived in the west and that he somehow felt that people who were so privileged and had so much in the way of material goods and education would not steal his beautiful art books. Unfortunately, as he has found, the advantages in life that westerners have, or at least those who make it to India have, do not translate into more honourable conduct.
#14 Jan 25th, 2009, 15:39
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#14
I agree that I did NOT see any such conclusions being aimed at by the poster that Indians steal all the time.

In fact,my personal opinion is...everyone is good till the opportunity to be bad arises. Then all bets are off.

*haylo where's your purse?
#15 Jan 25th, 2009, 16:44
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#15
Haylo is right, its the perspective of the owner of that place, who didnt expect that to happen with his guests.

i personally dont think that indians steal all the time, had mostly good experience (with people even bringing things after me). i didnt mean to say that.

thankx for the ideas, anyways. replacing the shelf a bit deeper into the room is another possibility. and not displaying the treasures which he wants to keep.


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