Wish He Would Just Sit Down And Stay

| USA | Working | July 24, 2017

(I see an ad that a store is going out of business and having a liquidation sale. Excited, I go to see, since I’ve been looking for a chair. But I’m disappointed because the prices are in the $1000 range. A salesman comes over.)

Salesman: “Hello, what’re you looking for? A bed? A sofa? A rug?”

Me: “A chair.”

Salesman: “We have those! And also tables, and curios, and…”

(He goes on and on. I’m becoming bored.)

Me: “Okay… I’ll just have look around.”

Salesman: “Sure! Look! Don’t look at those prices; just buy what your heart wants!”

(So I look, but then he starts following me, everywhere. I’m becoming more and more skeeved out, so I head for the door.)

Salesman: “Wait, look at this chair, it reclines!”

(I laughed, which made him angry, so I left. I don’t know how overly aggressive salespeople like him ever make money. The furniture was nice but he wasn’t.)

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  • Medusa Jordan

    I am just like you – pushy sales people have me heading for the door. I went to a pet shop for some stuff for my dog. The man was so in my face I never went back. I do nearly all my shopping online now.

    • Bethany Lieflijk

      Hopefully, not the dog.

  • disqus_7xljp2NM5j

    Furniture salesmen are the worst! They won’t even leave you alone if you say you’re just looking. They have to talk to you at least 5 times while you’re just walking around. If I want you after I’ve already told you no I’ll find you. Leave me alone. It’s cost multiple salesmen by business.

    • heymoe2001

      Furniture salesmen really are the worst. Do they take those jobs because that is their personality or do they become that way on the job?
      They hover and interrupt and basically make the shopping experience extremely uncomfortable.

      • Katrin Schirmer

        a bit of both probably. sales people are energetic and enthusiastic, and then they do things to stay that way. my source for that info is my husband, who has enough experience with sales to know what some people do to keep that energy.

      • Entertainer13

        🙁 As a furniture sales person, this is heart wrenching to read.

    • Difdi

      I could sort of see it if the salesman thought you were a shoplifter, but I can’t imagine anyone stealing a sofa & loveseat set by stuffing them into a pocket.

  • Kevin Longino

    “I don’t know how overly aggressive salespeople like him ever make money.”
    “store is going out of business and having a liquidation sale”

    You answered your own query!

    • This!

    • Chris Hubbard

      Pfft, every other furniture store is “going out of business”: Usually for years at a time. Its a lame trick to pretend their “sale” prices are a great deal.

      • MadHighlander

        There’s a T-shirt shop next to my workplace that’s been on an 80% liquidation sale for the last six years straight.

        • Carrie

          Conversely, there’s a discount store that has had a grand opening sale a good 5 years running by me!

        • Leah

          There’s a kitchenware chain in Australia that has had a massive sale continuously for the last 3 or 4 years. It’s not labelled as ‘closing down’, but the sale did start after it went into administration.

      • Cristian Ilkka

        Furniture shops are especially infamous for the whole “Special sale 99% of the time”-shtick. They decide they want to sell piece X for $600, so they mark it up as $1000 and sell it at 40% off.

        • denim

          I bit on one of those. It’s a very nice recliner.

          • Torbjörn Axelsson

            As long as it was worth the $600 to you (or whatever you paid) it was a good deal.

        • Sean Cassidy

          In the UK they’ve thought of that, you can’t say you save X pounds unless the mark up has been present for 60 days or something

      • The Vicar

        In the Chicago area when I was growing up, carpet stores — not the wall-to-wall, nailed down kind, just the ones you put down on the floor — were the ones notorious for that. There was some rug company, I forget the name, which was going out of business for over a decade, according to their ads. Sometime while I was in college, they actually *did* go out of business. It was a big surprise to everybody.

  • Passenger_Zero

    Liquidation sales don’t seem to ever have good prices no matter where it is. I’ve read that they actually raise the prices just to cut them to regular price. Anything unsold, they purposely destroy, such as Sports Authority slicing sneakers they never sold so they would be unusable to anyone.

    • Christine Harris

      Which is just petty.

      • Passenger_Zero

        No argument here.

      • Anne

        Definitely. Heaven forbid that they donate the leftover inventory to a charity so that they can cut down on their final taxes.

    • Gnomer Denois

      From an accounting stand point, the goal of liquidating is to earn as much of the value of outstanding inventory as possible to cover outstanding debts of the company. Then they sell any other assets (which usually takes longer because specialized equipment does not always have the same market). Any money left over after paying the debts and the liquidation costs is distributed to the owners.

      Purposefully destroying unsold inventory is probably being petty. If it’s a single store in a chain that’s continuing, then they could ship the inventory to another location to sell. If it’s the entire company, then unless there’s some sort of local law dealing with it, selling it to some place like Marshalls or Ross would at least get them some value back. Small, closely owned businesses may donate excess, but corporations don’t have morals (not being people) and they only pretend to while functioning for marketing purposes, so they have no reason to pretend when they are closed.

      • Torbjörn Axelsson

        There are five way to handle excess inventory after the liquidation sale:
        1. Sell back to manufacturer (for some items like sports shoes this is an option, and may be combined with destruction or transportation)
        2. Sell in bulk to someone who can afford to store it and sell over time. (some money in, if possible)
        3. Donate to charity, on condition items are picked up on site. (no cost, no profit)
        4. Destroy and throw away. (cost you money, probably quite expensive especially if you need to cut up the items)
        5. Destroy and dump (not much money, but if found out you go to jail)

        The reason why the manufacturer would buy back the good for destruction is that they want to keep a high price, high margin business running, and the competition from thrift stores or charity stores would (at least locally) kill their business.

    • Vi Puhstushin

      Yup. Not only are there actually companies that specialize in coming in to liquidate a store’s stock but that was confirmed for me by a sales clerk once when a Mervyn’s was shutting down. The pillow I was about to buy actually had been *cheaper* pre-liquidation!

      • Carrie

        I was at an Albertson’s (grocery) that was going under, and the liquidation “sale” pricing was still more expensive than regular pricing elsewhere. Another customer and I were looking at it like “LOLOLOLNo” and left.

        • denim

          Albertson’s is still in business. They bought Safeway in 2014.

          • Carrie

            They sold a ton of stores in So Cal several years ago. We have an incredibly crowded market.

          • denim

            I take it they weren’t replaced by Safeway stores. Oh well.

          • Carrie

            Nope. It’s now some kind of flooring store or something. To be fair, Safeway has basically no presence in this part of Los Angeles either so. lol.

          • denim

            I lived in the Bay Area 2014-2016, so Safeway was ALL over the place. Now I’m in Denver, and they’re replacing Albertsons with Safeways. (shrug)

          • I am Jenn

            All So Cal Safeways that I was aware of became Vons in the late 80’s or early 90’s, if I recall correctly.

            Then Albertson’s came onto the scene and everything changed again.

            Really, there are two food stores. Ralph’s, and Albertson’s…I think they’ve bought out almost everyone else….

          • Janet Miles

            And Kroger owns Ralph’s.

          • Ladya Aloe

            And Food 4 Less.

          • Vi Puhstushin

            And Mariano’s in the midwest!

          • Carrie

            Within a few miles of me I have: three Ralphs, two Sprouts, a Pavillions, a Gelsons, a Trader Joes, a Whole Foods, a Vallarta and soon to be a Bristol Farms. It’s not as limited as you think! 🙂

          • Ladya Aloe

            Also Staters in Orange County.

          • Vi Puhstushin

            Probably not for all of them but I know a bunch of Lucky’s that became Albertsons and then went back to being Lucky.

          • denim

            I suspect Albertsons knows what Kroger does: local brands are favored. You don’t take a Smith’s and put Kroger on it, even though that’s what it is these days. You use the brand which works best in the market.

        • Amber Wilkinson

          I worked at an Albertsons that closed. A lot of products are “on sale” pretty much permanently. The first thing they do when they start clearancing is take everything off of sale. Which means that some prices go up.

    • Nightshade1972

      There’s a national (US) department store that has a long history of having “huge 50-70 percent off sales,” but the “sale” consists of, for example, marking up a KitchenAid stand mixer to $800, then “reducing” it to $400 for the “sale”–when KitchenAid routinely sells the same mixer at MSRP of between $300-400, so if you buy it on “sale” at the department store, you’re not really getting a “deal” at all.

      • denim

        Gee, I wonder which department store that might be? Could begin with an S, or maybe a K? Or perhaps an M? :->

    • denim

      Given how Sports Authority was obviously so badly managed, are you surprised?

  • Tifany Eldridge

    That’s how I felt at this one store. I was buying a laptop and I told them I was going to look around. He followed us over and pointed out random facts about the computers. So I just pointed at a random one then left after buying it.

    • Leah

      you just bought any old computer just to get rid of a salesman?? That’s rewarding their pushy behaviour!

    • Vi Puhstushin

      What else would you have done after buying it? “Left after buying it” is a bit anticlimactic, don’t you think? Is there more to the story?

  • Justin Salvati

    Unfortunately it is the job of salespeople to follow you around, for security reasons as well as to be there if you have any questions. I bet if you had found something that you were interested in and the salesperson was nowhere to be found that story would gave made it onto NAW as well.

    • Anne

      It’s a bit hard to shoplift in a furniture store, though…

      Can’t just stuff a sofa under your skirts and walk out.

      • Justin Salvati

        No you can’t stuff a sofa under your skirt, but you could wipe your nose on a cushion or pee on a couch. Both things you probably wouldn’t do if someone was 8 feet away.

        • Anne

          …I’m pretty sure that’s not why furniture salesmen follow people around.

          • Justin Salvati

            No. They follow them around so that they can make a sale. It is their job. But not everyone has the ethical fortitude of you and I, so I guarantee both of those things have taken place in furniture stores.

        • Mike Carr

          Not sure a person who would do such things would be prevented by the presence of a salesman.

        • Leah

          There are these great things called security cameras. Every store has them. If someone actually did that they’d be caught on camera. No need to be followed the whole way round the store.

    • Illogically

      There’s a happy medium that good salespeople can find. There are legit reasons to be nearby in case the customer needs something without being two steps behind you.

      • Justin Salvati

        Retailers also have expectations of their employees. OP neever said they were “two steps behind”, not invading personal space, but following.

        • Illogically

          Yes, I was exaggerating. My point was there’s a medium between noticeably following them everywhere and being nowhere to be found. It doesn’t say this store’s size or layout, but if it’s like most furniture stores I’ve been in, most of the displays can easily be seen over to keep an eye on the customer or find an employee when they’re needed.

          I’ll admit, we don’t know if this tactic was the employee’s idea or the retailer’s policy, but either way this kind of aggressive salesmanship can be off-putting to many customers, which is may have something to do with why this store was closing.

    • heymoe2001

      Security reasons? Like someone might actually shop lift a sofa?

      • Entertainer13

        I work in the furniture department of a store that sells more than just furniture. I’m supposed to make sure no one is trying to hide empty packages inside furniture pieces so they can sneak stuff out without setting off alarms. Not a common thing, obviously, but that is part of the reason I greet everyone when they come into my department.

  • AussieEevee

    You’re far politer than I am… I would have told him to back off the moment he started stalking me.

  • Nightshade1972

    I once read about a guy who’d been called in for an interview at a furniture store. He got tired of waiting for his interviewer to show up, so he started approaching customers on the sales floor. By the time the interviewer came to talk to him, he’d already sold several thousand dollars’ worth of furniture to multiple customers. They hired him immediately.

    • TheWonderRabbit

      How did he sell furniture without access to the POS system?

      • sakasiru

        Talk them into buying something, send them to the register?

      • Nightshade1972

        I don’t know. Possibly something along the lines of, “I’m new here and I don’t have access to the system yet, but when my boss (presumably the interviewer) shows up, he can finalize the sale for you,” or something like that.

      • HiddenWindshield

        In a lot of places, the salespeople don’t ring up sales, they have cashiers for that.

  • James Brewer

    That’s like when I was looking for a new car, the sales man just followed us everywhere. I hated that. I like to look at the cars myself, I don’t need you to follow me and make things awkward.

    • Ladya Aloe

      I had the opposite experience. Had enough cash to buy a car yet every salesman on the lot ignored me and only approached male customers. Went to another dealership and immediately bought a car. Idiots.

      • Pickwick2

        I’m female and I get that in hardware and home improvement stores all the time. Grrrrr.

        • Ladya Aloe

          I had an itty bitty aunt who was in charge of the electrical department at Home Depot, previously headed the first all-women communications crew on the Arco ships. I’d go visit her at Home Depot and it was funny watching these guys come in and realize they had to talk to this tiny spitfire…lol.

          • Pickwick2

            I finally found my place in the world when I found a local hardware store owned and operated by a woman. Yeah! Made my day! No more getting patted on the head when I ask for something I “couldn’t possibly understand”.

          • Ladya Aloe

            I was lucky to be taught how to run a printing press in the 70s. Not many women doing that back then! But since I’m six feet tall I didn’t get much disrespect…ha. I stayed in printing and graphics my entire career. Retired now but still do some work online. Great career.

          • Pickwick2

            WTG! And congrats. Now that is following your bliss.

    • Nightshade1972

      My husband was in a car accident at the beginning of ’12. The insurance totaled his car. We really didn’t think we’d have the money for a new car, but we saw an ad for one at a local dealership we thought we might be able to afford, so we went to look at it. They started off by telling us they “didn’t have a car like that on the lot” and they “didn’t know what ad we’d been looking at, must’ve been a mistake.” They tried to show us new cars that were well outside our price range. My husband told the salesman, “I’m here because I *have* to be, not because I *want* to be. My price point is X. Either show me something in my price range, or we’re leaving.” The salesman gulped, blinked, and proceeded to show us the 2010 Ford Fusion which we still have.

      • denim

        “Yes, you can show us cars we can’t buy, or you can show us cars we can buy. Your choice, but if you do the former, we’ll be leaving you to it.”

      • Ladya Aloe

        My sister sent me to her brother-in-law’s car dealer when I was looking for a new car. This absolute idiot tried to sell me a car that was definitely over my budget by $2k but he just wouldn’t shut up about it. “You know you want it! It’s brand new!” Yeah, a new bare bones car that I didn’t even like. It was close to the end of the month so I knew he was holding out for his commission, which was probably that additional $2k. I told him I’d let him know just to get out of there. I went home, found my current car online, drove to that dealership and bought it. When I called the idiot salesman back to tell him I’d bought another car, he EXPLODED at me…..”I would have come down to your price!” I finally had to hang up, he got so mad. I don’t know what he told my sister, but SHE was pissed off at me over it. What the H???

        • Leah

          I would never, ever buy a brand new car. The minute a car hits the road its value plummets. We bought a 3 year old car last year with less than 35,000km on it for $21,000 rather than the $30,000 it’d be brand new. I have a friend who once bought a second-hand car with only 5000km on it. Basically brand new but she paid a second-hand price for it. Brand new cars are not devoid of faults and problems either.

          • Ladya Aloe

            Yeah I didn’t buy a new car. I got a former rental car that had never been smoked in, low mileage, great shape. Still have it 8 years later.

  • Pickwick2

    The quickest way to get me to leave a store is to follow me around and comment enthusiastically (and needlessly) on everything within my field of vision. This is why I shop online.

    • Katrin Schirmer

      as an introvert, who is a bit awkward around strangers to begin with, following me around would creep me out and i would probably make me leave too.

    • Li

      Two of my sisters work retail and both have been told that customers should be greeted within seconds of walking in the door and then checked in with every 5-10 minutes while they’re in the store. Ugh. I can’t fault the employees, who don’t really have a choice if they want to keep their jobs, but I HATE stores like that and try to avoid them.

  • MadHighlander


    • Tanqueray Strange


  • nejg_1988

    “Don’t look at prices, just buy what your heart wants”
    Well my heart wants a roof over my head, and food in my belly, and because your prices are still ridiculous for going out of business, I’m going somewhere else, maybe wait for Black Friday or something like that.

    • Professor of Miscellaneous

      “My heart wants this for free. You wouldn’t want to break my heart, would you?”

      • Torbjörn Axelsson

        Now you sound a lot like some of the customers on not always right. 🙂

        It could very well be that the chair in question was a bargain at $1000, except OP could not afford it.

        • Li

          If one used the line seriously, they’d be a NAR candidate. But jokingly…well, the salesman opened himself up for that and can only blame himself.

  • Jami

    And this is another reason why I get all my furniture at thrift stores. Besides the fact people are often dumb enough to donate quality antique pieces they could’ve made a pretty penny on when they replace them with Ikea junk.

    • Mickeyten

      A purchase just isn’t the same without the vicious glee I get from thinking about how other people are getting screwed over and how much smarter than them I am.

  • Matt Westwood

    Liquidation sales are bad news. When the tacky bit of trash you bought at an inflated price falls apart within the first few days, you have nobody to get your money back from because the bu66ers have gone out of business.

    • denim

      “All sales are final”, yeah.

    • Leah

      This, exactly. An electronics chain in Australia went out of business last year. It sold merchandise from a lot of brands which would all be covered by the brand’s manufacturer’s warranty, but people were warned during its closing down sale about buying the chain-branded merchandise because there’d be no recourse if something went wrong with the device after the company went under.

  • Roler42

    At my old job they would reprimand us severely if we were to hound the customers like that, we are told to stay near our customer so they can ask for our help wenever

    It wouldn’t surprise me if that salesman never figured out why his store went out of business

  • Kitty

    “Wait, look at this chair, it reclines!”
    Cool. I have this office chair here. It also reclines! *makes amazing-thing gesture*

  • “Just buy what the heart wants!”
    Similar to people who are like “You should travel and just do what you want!” and it’s like “Are you gonna pay for my ticket and hotel room?”

    • denim

      And food, excursion fees, wh*res, etc.?

  • Abigail Hermione Irwin

    Sometimes it’s management’s idea of “customer service.” The store I work for … we used to be told we were to literally lead a customer through the store, in a specific order, pointing out A, B, C, D and so on, on our way. It was like a freakin’ forced military march or something. Virtually none of us did it … because none of us wanted to be treated like that in a store. Also, if a customer comes in and say, “Hi, I’d like to buy some [product],” forcing them to look at everything else in the store would only aggravate them into leaving without buying *anything.*

    Of course, it’s also possible this guy was just a jerk.

  • Souless night

    I don’t think they know what liquidation means…

  • AR

    Bless, it’s your first minute with furniture stores, isn’t it? Have you ever seen one NOT “going out of business” and “having a liquidation sale”?

  • TheBigBadWolf

    Sometimes the saleperson has no choice. Sometimes it’s the management thinking people are just going to fall over buying all the stuff if accosted. Sometimes it’s management deciding to install a new policy due to one person getting uppity that someone DARES pack TWO identical small items in the same bag. If you are that cunting picky, tell the cashier before they start scanning. Don’t make it a h3llhole for everyone else.

    ….One of the stores I shop at requires cashiers to ask if it’s okay to put item 1 with item 2 for all of your shopping. Regardless if item 1 and item 2 are actually the same cunting thing. It’s really annoying and this is the second time this happened. Hopefully more people complain again about how this annoying and actually slows down everything.

  • Professor of Miscellaneous

    Sadly, high-pressure techniques do often work. Probably because if you stress people, they often start making poor or impulsive choices. A lot of stores intention set things like music and lighing to subtly mess with you for exactly this reason.

  • Fanatastic

    Jesus. Why? Would you let someone spew this drivel in your face in person? No, because it’s garbage? Then don’t put it online. Typing it out doesn’t make it any more frickin interesting.

  • Gloria P

    Salesmen on commission can be obnoxious.

    • Entertainer13

      It’s nice to be a non-commissioned sales person. My focus is helping someone finding something want, not something expensive.

  • Kevin Conti

    “Look at this chair, it reclines!”

    “Look at this customer, it leaves!”