Turning the Tables on an Unsuspecting Vacuum Salesman


A very clean rug.

A very clean rug.

Many years ago, the husbster and I were subjected to a three hour long high-pressure sales pitch from two vacuum cleaner representatives and ended up purchasing a fifteen hundred dollar vacuum.  To make a long story short, they wore us down and we made the purchase from sheer exhaustion.

As a result of that debacle,  I  was prepared for the unlucky chap that wandered onto my doorstep this morning hoping to sell me a thirty-five hundred dollar vacuum cleaner.

Yep, I let him in; right after I pulled an old broken vacuum destined for the dump from the closet and positioned it in the front hallway.  The salesman entered with an Oh-boy-this-house-is-going-to-be-filthy glint of excitement in his eyes when he heard my dogs barking.

“Settle down Cujo,” I called to the dog barking madly.

“I love dogs,” said the salesman.  “Is his name really Cujo?”

“It’s his nickname, but it’s well deserved so whatever you do, steer clear of the kitchen,” I warned, fibbing my brains out.

The salesman wasn’t about to let anything as trivial as an unfriendly dog deflate his spirits.  He was a nonstop blabbermouth and barraged me questions.  Was I the homeowner?  Did I handle the finances?  Do I do the cleaning?  How many rugs did I have in the house? Was that the only vacuum that I owned?

He was disappointed to find that there were only two small area rugs in the downstairs portion of the house.  Undaunted, he proceeded with his sales pitch.  He wanted me to clean a portion of one of my rugs with my old vacuum and then he was going to re-vacuum the area with his super-duper cleaning machine.

“Sorry, Cujo chewed on the electrical cord.  It’s not working,” I replied.

“This wire can be fixed with some electrical tape which I just so happen to have with me,” he said, after examining the cord.  He pulled out some black tape and jury-rigged my vacuum.

“Now you can go ahead and vacuum,” he said, pushing the machine in my direction.

“I’m afraid that’s not possible.  My back is acting up again and it’s strictly against my doctor’s orders,” I lied again, hoping that God would not strike me dead from dishonesty.

“Then I’ll vacuum the area we talked about earlier with your vacuum and go over it with mine.”

“Thank you, but unless you’re prepared to do the whole rug, I’d really rather you didn’t.”

He happily obliged and showed me the dirt he’d collected in a special filter after he vacuumed my carpet for the second time.

“That rug is filthy,” I said, looking horrified.  “I’m getting rid of it.”

“Oh don’t do that.  This vacuum cleaner is also a rug shampooer.  You don’t need to throw your rug away.   All you need is the home cleaning system that this vacuum has to offer for the bargain price of only thirty-five hundred dollars.”

“So let me get this straight,” I said, biting my lower lip and trying not to laugh.  “I can buy a thirty-five hundred dollar vacuum cleaner instead of throwing this rug away and replacing it with another one hundred dollar area rug.  I’m not a math genius, but it doesn’t sound logical to me.”

“Well, I can call my manager to see if we can get that price lowered for you.  We could also give you a trade in on your beat-old old vacuum cleaner.  Perhaps I can even get the price down another thousand dollars for you if my manager is feeling particularly benevolent today.”

“Thank you, but that’s not going to be necessary because you won’t be making a sale here today.  I’m managing a tight budget and the last thing I need is another payment on a high interest finance plan, which I’m sure you’ll be more than happy to set up for me, so that I can buy something that I don’t really need.  It’s not going to happen.  This isn’t my first rodeo.”

“But YOU DO need a good vacuum, and in fact, you’re desperate for one,” he argued.  “If I could pull this much stuff out of your carpet, just think of what is floating around in the air.  How can you put a price tag on your family’s health?”

”You needn’t concern yourself.  It’s time to pack up your things and go, but thank you for fixing my old vacuum and cleaning my rug,” I said, trying not to look as smug as I sounded.

He glowered at me as it finally dawned on him that he’d been had.  He slammed his vacuum cleaner back in the box which sent “Cujo” back into another frenzied barking jag. “Fine, but it’s your loss lady!” he growled, exiting the house.

“Not today,” I said, closing the front door behind him.

Okay, so maybe I lost forty minutes out of my morning, but I got the old vacuum fixed and someone other than myself thoroughly vacuumed my rug, not once, but twice and it was all free.

Has this ever happened to anyone else?  Did you yield or hold firm against the high-pressure sales pitches?

6 thoughts on “Turning the Tables on an Unsuspecting Vacuum Salesman

  1. Best. Post. Ever.

    The Kirby guys came to my house awhile ago. I did need a new vacuum, so after they left, I went and bought a Dyson.

    • I did have a little fun at the poor salesman’s expense. I almost feel guilty Ramona.

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