Some sleuthing a la the Famous Five

Bonding with Esmeralda after I got her home yesterday, I discovered that her rear seats fold down flat!

It was a nice surprise that was to come in handy as  I did a late night dash to Ikea for a whole bunch of stuff, just because I could. Because I had wheels and freedom and the ability to ride the freeways to my heart’s content.

I think that the previous owner had no idea that the seats folded flat, because when I pulled up the base of the seat, I found two receipts dating back to 2005. (see them here: Found Receipts)

I feel like I want to make you guess what is so interesting about these receipts, but that doesn’t really work over this medium. It turns into a whole lot of bubbling excitement for me for too few or too slow responses. So here I go and give the game away with a list instead.

  1. These facsimile receipts are still readable after 5 1/2 years. Quite remarkable.
  2. The purchases were made in Phoenix, Arizona and they were returned to Los Angeles, California. A distance of 378 miles which takes 6 to 8 hours of driving (according to Google).
  3. The sales tax in each state differs, 8.1% in Arizona and 8.25% in California (2005 tax rates)
  4. When the chick (note the jewelry on the receipt and hence my dubbing the previous owner a female) returned the items in California, she got more money back. She got $29.50 plus the tax of $2.43 when she only paid $2.38 in tax in Arizona.

Okay, so she only made a nickel (five cents) on that transaction which would have gone nowhere if put towards her gas (petrol) bill to drive back. But it raises an interesting point of how you can make money on returning items in a different state, and how much tax you could save on some of those bigger ticket items you might be purchasing.

Side note: I always wanted to solve mysteries like the Famous Five, Trixie Belden, the Secret Seven and sometimes Nancy Drew. That went nicely with my fascination of Harriet the Spy and love of the boardgame Cluedo. Whilst this may not be a real mystery, it has been fun putting all the pieces together. Who knows, maybe I’ll be dumpster diving tomorrow in search of the next great mystery.


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