Used car salesmen get a bad rap. They’re not the worst salesmen in the world.
For that particular distinction, we must look to the world of furniture.
There is no more actively annoying and intrusive sales person than the furniture salesman. First of all, they hover en masse at the front door to “greet” you. Then, after thrusting their business card in your face, they ask you what you’re looking for. Great, you think, they’ll point me to the right area. They do point you to the right area, and then do you the “favor” of shadowing you. They’ll follow about ten feet behind you, stalking you, listening to everything you say, and then swooping in to try to sell you on a furniture set if you find one you’re potentially interested in.
That’s if you’re lucky.
If you’re NOT lucky, you get the salesman we had at Macy’s this weekend, who takes you on a whirlwind tour. First, he tells you he’s going to let you look around, but then also tells you he’s going to follow you so the other salesmen don’t bother you. Then, he asks you what you’re looking for after you’ve seen two things, grabs you by the arm (metaphorically, thank heavens), and yanks you all over the sales floor showing you everything that fits into your parameters. At each one, he promises he has just two things left to show you. He never gives you time to look at something or to discuss it. He just yanks you all over the place, knocking on all the dovetail joints of every drawer to show you how sturdy and serious the piece is.
When you tell your salesman at the end of this process — when you have the first chance to breathe, let alone talk — that you’re just starting to look and won’t be buying anything today, he tells you how disappointed he is.
That’s when you ask where the front door is, because you’re so disoriented from running around that you have no idea if the direction you’re heading will take you to the rugs department, the exit, or Siberia.
When we get to the sales portion of this process, I can’t wait to see what happens. Every furniture place offers 0% financing for so many months and free delivery on Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day weekend, Presidents Day, July 4th, Labor Day, etc. There are so many holidays they come up with an excuse to have a sale for that I don’t understand why they don’t make that offer every day of the year. Really, if they can afford free shipping and 0% financing for all those weekends, aren’t they just ripping you off the rest of the year when they’re not offering it?
The Mrs. and I learned a valuable lesson this weekend: Don’t go furniture shopping unless you’re prepared to buy. And, most likely, don’t go unless you already know exactly what you’re looking for. We’re going to find what we like on-line before we head out to the awful brick and mortar torture chambers that furniture stores are.
We now also see why IKEA is such a pleasurable place to shop.