If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I had an unsettling encounter with a really rude door-to-door salesperson recently, and that episode reminded me that I have some stuff to say on the topic.
Basically, I find myself feeling very frustrated with the whole concept of door-to-door sales for a number of reasons.
If I realize that I want/need to buy something, I will go and buy it.
I don’t need someone to come and tell me that I need a particular product/service right then. I’m pretty sure that I am capable of researching my options and obtaining the desired item/service all by myself.
Aren’t I amazing??
I hate it when people try to talk me into buying something, which is why I hated my job at Nordstrom (they pushed us to push people into buying). I so dislike being hit with the pushy sales talk and I felt horrible having to try to do that to other people (I did it as little as possible and instead just tried to be really helpful and informative to customers).
I so don’t miss that job.
The stuff they’re selling is way overpriced.
Seriously, magazine subscriptions don’t need to cost $70 for 3 years. I can buy books for almost nothing at half.com, or I can get them for free at the library. I can get a great bargain on generic cleaning products almost anywhere. Shelf-stable pizza tastes like cardboard, and I’d really rather have even a frozen pizza (which costs less and tastes better).
A lot of the pitches I’ve heard recently are little more than asking for charitable donations (to a person, not an organization).
These type of door-to-door visitors are typically high school grads who are going around selling books/magazines/newspapers. I should say that ostensibly that’s what they’re doing. But really, they’re not selling a product…they don’t tell me how fabulous the books/newspapers/magazines are or how great a deal they’re offering.
No, they say things like, “Could you help me out? I’m trying to do something positive with my life, and I know I can count on you to help me get 1000 points.”
This makes me kind of cross, because I think that if you want to do something positive with your life and you want to get money for college, you should go and maybe get a job or apply for scholarships instead of going door-to-door asking for donations. I hate that they try to make me feel guilty over this, like I’m somehow sentencing them to a life of crime or welfare dependence if I don’t buy an over-priced magazine.
It’s not like selling over-priced newspaper subscriptions is the only way to do something positive with your life. In fact, I’d say that’s a sort of poor way to go if you want to do something positive with your life…depending on other people’s generosity and using guilt manipulation is hardly a brilliant way to go through life.
And yes, the economy is poor, but if things are so bad that you can’t get a job at even a fast food place, then you’re probably not going to be successful going door to door either. People with no money for fast food don’t have money for overpriced books either.
I do want people to do positive things with their lives, I do want to have a generous heart, and I do want people to be able to go to college (assuming that’s the route they need to take to get a job that uses their gifts)…I just think that buying overpriced stuff I don’t want is perhaps not the best way to help people.
So, what do do?
I do try to not answer the door if I think it’s a salesperson, but sometimes I open the door thinking it’s someone else, and I get an unpleasant surprise.
Lately, I’ve just been politely saying, “I’m so sorry, but I don’t buy from door-to-door salespeople.”, but to help me not even have to say that, Mr. FG and I ordered the “No Soliciting” sign pictured at the top of this post. Hopefully that will keep people from knocking.
And if that doesn’t work, maybe we’ll have to buy this one.
Or maybe something even more specific.
So, how do you deal with door-to-door salespeople?
edit: Though I do get visits from Jehovah’s Witnesses on a regular basis, I purposely didn’t discuss those types of visits due to the off-topic nature of that subject. But since it’s come up in a lot of the comments, please do remember that there are Jehovah’s Witnesses in my readership, and please be as kind to them in the comments as you would be in person. Even if we disagree, we should be polite and considerate. Shanks, and carry on!