How I Pay for the Best Apricots

For the last nine years I have bought the best dried apricots in the world from Gibson Farms of Hollister, California. I met one of the owners, Mr. Gilbert Gibson, at the Palo Alto Farmer’s Market and we have become business friends. He asks me about my family; I ask him about the crop. He suggests I buy some walnuts; I usually just want the sweetest dried apricots I’ve ever tasted.

I always seem to run out of this perfect treat before my trips to the Bay Area, so I order them. No Web site. Just call the house and some nice lady will say, “What can I get for you, hon?” She’ll take the order and say, “We’ll ship Wednesday, I know your address.” Credit cards are not taken. I once asked Gilbert Gibson how often he had been stiffed. He said, “Never.”

When I get the Gibson apricots and the enclosed bill, I pay it immediately. He trusts me so I would never sit on the invoice like I might with Comcast or ComEd. How could I look him in the eye at the market if I neglected his invoice?

I know piece parts aren’t apricots, and Ford isn’t Snow White, but wouldn’t it be nice?

Question: Do you think Gibson’s approach is naive?

Ginger & Gilbert Gibson at Palo Alto Farmer's Market

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7 thoughts on “How I Pay for the Best Apricots

  1. AvatarJerry Fair

    I think a better term would be trusting, Lloyd… he comes from a different time than today’s world is in. I believe that the products he sells are purchased by folks just like you and I. We learned long ago to pay promptly for a good item or service.

     
  2. AvatarScott J. Phillips

    I have run into this kind of thing only a few times in my life. Once when my partner and I purchased the building for our business with a handshake. (28 years ago). Another time I was purchasing items for my garden. (praying mantas). If there is not too much to loose it’s refreshing to be able to trust people which makes them instant friends.

     
  3. AvatarKevin Shults

    Lloyd,
    People who call across the country to get dried apricots don’t seem like the type to stiff someone. I think you should try selling your machinery that way….ya’ think?

     
  4. Lloyd GraffLloyd Graff

    Kevin,

    Actually much of the used machinery business is as informal as Gilbert Gibson’s apricot business. We often extend credit without filing ucc s and recently I sold a used Hydromat by ssending the machine to a client who had not seen it and telling him to try it out and we would work out a fair price. Obviously you have to choose people who you have faith in, but I have found that it is the client who covers himself with lawyers is usually the most untrustworthy and usually finds a way to screw you.

     
  5. AvatarGus Madison

    Just BE honest. End of story. It will serve you well in business, life and you are going to have peaceful sleep each night 🙂

    Gus

     

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