Word spread quickly this week among Taylor Swift's most loyal fans that the singer was sending signed copies of her latest album, "Folklore," to select independent record stores around the United States.
Tom Smith, manager of Exclusive Co. in Green Bay, Wisconsin, said he learned on Friday that his store would be receiving a box of signed CDs from Swift, set to arrive on Saturday. Smith said he had a few calls from fans and confirmed that a shipment of the coveted CDs were en route to the store.
There was just one problem: Exclusive Co. opens at 10 a.m. Smith said UPS delivered the precious cargo at 9:45 a.m. and let a fan camped outside the store sign for the box.
"I walk up, and one of the people standing outside the store handed me the box and said UPS had her sign for it," Smith told TODAY. He went into his store and opened the box, where he saw 30 copies of "Folklore" signed by Swift.
At 10 a.m., Smith opened the doors to customers. He said the woman who gave him the box asked him what was inside. He told her it was autographed CDs from Swift, and she said she guessed that might have been it.
"I said, 'Thank you for not walking off with this,'" Smith said. "She goes, 'Taylor would have not wanted me to walk off with this.'"
Smith said the fan could have easily driven off with the signed CDs and sold them online for thousands of dollars. He told the Green Bay Press Gazette the entire box could have easily gone for $9,000.
"It's really endearing," he said. "Taylor Swift does so much good with her celebrity, and you can see how it also trickles down to her fans."
All 30 copies sold for $11.99 each at the store and were gone in a matter of hours. Smith said the store also held copies for fans who called ahead and committed to pick them up that same day.
"It was cool seeing some fresh faces and old regulars," he said. "It kept me hopping!"
Smith also said he was so appreciative that Swift decided to do something special for independent record stores.
"Before the internet, the record stores were the ones doing all the heavy lifting and helping make and break artists," he said. "It's not like Taylor is up and coming and has to jump through hoops to get her name out there. She has made it, so to see her showing this love to indie stores is really great and appreciated."
Of the fan's good deed returning the signed CDs, Smith said, “It’s encouraging."
"People, just keep doing the right thing. You’ll change the world eventually. Just keep at it.”