Showing posts with label customers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label customers. Show all posts

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Poking the bear

The last knife gun show was a little slow at times, but I try to have fun with the prospective customers.  But sometimes things get out of hand…..

After inspecting every knife and asking such penetrating questions like what does Rockwell scale mean and what’s the name of the miner who dug the chromium, he started to walk off.

“Enjoy the museum show, sir.”  I said

He paused mid-step.  “Museum show?  Don’t you mean gun show.”  He had an amused look on his face.  Why not?  After all he just caught someone with a little mistake that might be amusing to him.

“No sir.  We’re the Lippincott Valley Satrap, largest recreationist group in the United States.  Once a year we put on our great show.”

“This isn’t a gun show?” 
“Thank you for the compliment sir.  We strive for perfect fidelity.”

“I don’t understand.  This isn’t a gun show?”

“This year we are recreating a gun show.  Last year we did a road rally that was so good, it took honors.  We’d like to do it a second time in a row." 

“So you’re telling me this stuff isn’t for sale.  Is that what trying to say.”

“No sir, I’m not trying.  I’m telling you, everything you see is owned by our members and part of their personal collections.  Nothing is for sale, well, almost nothing.”  I paused for a second and gave him my fingers-in-the-candy-bowl guilt look.  “A few guys have a small museum store.  You can buy stickers, pins and membership, but that s about it.”

“What about the guy over there selling raffle tickets?  Are you going tell me those are phony too.”

“No sir, those guys are real.  We always let NRA and Friends of the NRA set up and sell.  It adds a dimension of reality, doesn’t it?” 

He hadn’t fallen completely yet but I could tell he was having doubts, so I stopped talking and waited for him to step into it.

“What about the hawkers in the aisles holding guns?  I saw two men transfer money…”

“Part of the set up.  “It’s funny money we buy from a movie prop house.  Look, did you try to buy a gun from someone walking about?”

“Well, I talked to one guy, but he wouldn’t come down…”  I could see understanding was beginning to break through.

“That’s because he didn’t recognize you.  These guys set it up in advance with other members and everyone gets their stuff back, including the faux greenbacks.”

“I don’t believe you,” he said.  But I knew it was time to set the hook..

“Look buddy, I don’t care what you believe.  It’s no skin off my ass.  Go ask the ticket seller what kind of show this is.  But I got to tell you, if this is some kind of scam to get your money back, that’s not going to fly with them.  The club president assured me the sign outside the door would be clearly marked.”

I’d like to use that old Groucho Marx line about him leaving in a huff and a half, but he didn’t.  He just turned around and walked calmly and directly to the front of the show and the ticket window.  I’m not sure how that went.  I heard sirens shortly after he left my table.  I don’t know what happened, and I’m not going ask, either. 

It’s fun to go to the zoo, but you mustn’t tease animals too much.  You never know who’s really in the cage, do you?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

My Side of the Table

It was an interesting knife gun show this month.  I typically only do one show a month because weekends are so valuable.

Saturday at Medina was packed.  At one point all the parking spaces on pavement were filled and only the brave with 4-wheel drive parked in the soupy, muddy fields surrounding the area.

I’m always amazed by the people that pickup a knife, study it, then announce it’s exactly what they are looking for, only to put it down and walk away without another word.  If it is exactly what you want, why are you…?  I guess people simply don’t know how to say thanks and put the knife down.

I have found a way to deal with that species of shopper, the Common Flicker.  You’ve seen them, maybe you are one. 

They pick up a knife and flick it open and flick it open and flick it open endlessly.  I wonder if we let them, if they would still stand there forever caught in an endless cycle of flick-close, flick-close.  A distant cousin also tries to see if the blade wiggles in the frame after four or five clicks.  In either case this cycle will be repeated.

When I observe this behavior, I state that they really seem to like that knife.  I usually get an agreement to that statement, so I simply ask them if I can wrap it up for them.  That pretty much halts the behavior and causes them to vacate the area around my table.  Several left so quickly, a thunder clap occurred when air rushed in to fill the space they had previously occupied.

Look, I don’t care what kind of torture test you want to carry out on your knife, but until you buy it, they are my knives and you can’t treat my property with disrespect.

Sunday the really interesting buyers came out.  A father stopped by with his 10 (?)-year old daughter who likes to throw knives.  They have a target set up for her in the backyard and it’s reported she pretty good at it.  Should be interesting when she starts to date and the boy gets a little too handsy.  I wonder if she’ll give him a head start.  She also collects knives, but she’s a little shy and doesn’t like to handle them.  She saw several she liked, but turned down dad’s offer to buy her one when she found out they were liner locks.  She doesn’t like to close the knife around her fingers.

Later we were treated to couple of women who looked at several knives but wanted to shop around a bit.  When they came back we got treated to about a half hour of lesbian drama.  One woman could not decide which of the two knives she wanted.  I wasn’t about tell her which to buy; it’s much too much a personal decision.  Her partner tried to empower her to buy one or the other or both.  Sadly, I knew after the first 5 minutes this sale was going nowhere and it did.  At least it was entertaining.



Frankly, I liked the two women, they seemed very nice.  In earlier times they would have been described as “sharing the same pillow.”  Sounds romantic to me.

Later we had an elderly man walk up to the table.  He wordlessly picked up a Spyderco Tenacious and studied in great detail.  After several moments of complete silence, he took out a magnifying glass and studied it even more! 

Finally he put the glass away, put the knife down, pivoted on his heel and walked away, mission complete.  I still don’t know what was going on. 

The Tenacious is made by Spyderco in China.  I have always thought their byrd line was a practice run at making quality products in China.  If they had been unable to do it with byrd, they would have, in my opinion, dropped the line and went else in search of cheaper labor.

Later we had a fellow ask try to negotiate a $17 knife down to a $15 knife.  I said no, but he bought it anyway.  
Trust me, it's worth $17... period.

Many people see gun or knife shows as a flea market or mid-eastern bazaar and want to negotiate.  I can’t blame them, money is still tight.  But after listening to him tell the table next to me how much money he makes, I wasn’t too sympathetic to his attempt to negotiate less money in my pocket. 

Sunday was winding down, when the peace was broken with a loud “BANG!” and everyone’s thoughts turned to the accidental shooting we had little over a year ago.  I didn’t think it was a gunshot as the sound wasn’t sharp enough, but the place still got very quiet.  

I walked over when it appeared that nothing significant had happened.  I didn’t smell gun or flash powder, but it was announced that someone with a nasty sense of humor set off some kind of firework.  They also warned that if they found out whom it was the police would arrest him.

In any case it was an interesting week-end!