Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The truth shall set you free

Sometimes you can’t tell the truth and expect to get away with it.   

That I found out one day when wifey dragged me off to one of those crammed, free-gift-given-away sales talks in a room filled to the brim with housewives and some uncles (dragged there kicking by their wives, I presume) eager to get some RM3 free gifts, only to end up paying RM1000 for some health-promotion goods which probably cost 1/3 that price in the country of origin.  Of course they tell you, you can’t get it for that price outside because nobody can confirm it and also because they’re not sold in local retail stores.  

Yes, luring eager beavers into a trap.  It seems like a great way to go into a sales pitch without having to go door to door like they did years ago.  Then, you could only talk to one person at a time, and then only if someone’s willing to open the door for you to go in (and maybe, rob them).  This way you speak only once, 3 or 4 times a day, to a very willing and attentive audience.  

There was I listening to this guy telling us that wine can taste sweeter after he poured some into some glasses and placed them on a plastic mat (with a Japanese sounding name) which looks like it’s made of polyethylene material and cut off from a side-wall of a fruit container.  I can’t remember how much each mat cost.  

They then dragged a few drinkers from among the audience out on to the stage.  I happened to be sitting too close to the aisle.  Getting away was not an option, not that I wanted to.  I was eager to find out the result of that little ‘experiment’ they were doing.  They lined us up and got us to taste a shot of the wine each poured straight from the bottle.  It tasted like cheap normal red wine.  

Then they handed each guy a glass of the wine they’d earlier left on the ‘magic’ mat.  I took a sip.  I wasn’t convinced.  I took another sip.  They guy asked me if there’s any difference.  I said, ‘No.’ He moved on to the next guy.  He liked what the guy told him.  The bloke got a free gift and went back to his seat.  All the others followed suit saying the same sweet thing. 

Then he came back to me.  I gulped the rest of the wine down.  
‘Well’, he said.  ‘What do you think?’  
‘OK, maybe it’s a little sweeter…but…’  I lied half-heartedly.  He interrupted me and gave me an equally unconvincing smile and a free gift and I left the stage.   

Wifey gave me something like a ‘what-were-you-trying-to-prove?’ look.  I returned her a ‘you asked for it’ grin.  She must have made a decision there and then.  

Needless to say, I never had to attend such sales talk after that.


  1. It's a TRAP. Women are borned with GREED. My wife does that all the times. It happened to me too. But I refused to buy anything. And she will sit there to listen for 1hr or so just to buy a cheap item for Rm1/. I will sit in a coffee shop and read newspaper. Some times you just can't be too obliging to your wife. I told her to go there herself. A friend who was so scare to die bought a few thousands over several times. I told him but he couldn't listen. Too late to regret I presume.

  2. Sounds like one of those times when you're supposed to leave your brain at home and just bring your wallet. Wait, isn't that what you're supposed to do on a date or when you go shopping, hehe.

  3. hehe... on a date you're supposed to taste some real sweet wine...no?
    As for shopping you know what you're paying for.

  4. Hi! Hah! - funny and well written. I've never heard of this type of format for a sales marketing tactic - how convenient that alcohol must be served as part of the demo for their crappy product - how better to dupe people when they are a little buzzed.

  5. They're actually doing something very practical. They save a lot of time & money. Instead of sending their sales people out knocking on doors and getting sun-burned, chased by dogs, shooed off by suspiscious housewives, etc, and getting much poorer results, they now hire less people, rent a shoplot, buy lots of free gifts to give away. That brings in the crowds willingly for the kill. And they get praised for it all by those same housewives who'd chase them away if these guys knocked on their doors.

    BTW, alcohol's not regular on the menu. It was just to demo one of their products. Nobody gets drunk with just a few sips anyway. Besides, IF I get drunk, they'll find it harder to get me to part with my money!!!

  6. well, you can tell him,

    OBVIOUSLY it's sweeter DUH!!! Wine needs to breathe.PERIOD. The one that you left on the "MAT" had time to breathe and the one you poured STRAIGHT out of the bottle did not. So COMMON SENSE would tell you that the one on the mat would be more aromatic, sweeter than the one just out the bottle. DUH!!!

    Then you'll be so banned from all the sales pitches. But that's okay. LOL!! I think that if the product is good, it will sell itself. That's what I believe in. Ok, there's the usual sales people doing their job, but there's no need to over push it in people's faces. I know that their point is to make money and to rip the ignorant off and they're doing it well. =\\

  7. Haha, now I remember one product that someone once tried to sell me in college. Some kind of magnetic contraption that supposedly makes wine "age" faster. A 1 year old bottle of wine can taste like 10 year old wine after sitting a day or two in that contraption. So I called a friend over for a second opinion and we sat there finishing off half the bottle before the saleman sensed something fishy and stopped us. Hehe...

  8. HEHEHEHEHHH I LIKE YOU MANN I LIKE YOU!! Wait, didnt you say you dont drink? Anyway, there are some wines that cannot be aged for more than a cerain amount of years i think. Like table wine. I heard that it's fashioned to be drunk young.

    Well, I do understand why all these sales pitches come up with red wine. ( White wine is gross if you change anything, except mybe if you add sprite to it... LOL! ) It's because it's components are the easiest to change and then it's all abt energy work. energy changes the make up of the wine. I'm not sure how, but it tastes different because it's so fragile. Nevermind that, but research before buying something. =\

  9. OK, here's a confession. Because it's not that expensive, my wife bought a piece of the mat and put it in the fridge. Every time she left veges on that mat overnight, the veges became sort of frozen into a dark green color. Our conclusion is, the thing enhances temperature. Any material scientist out there who can explain that?

  10. enhances temerature? what's that? The thing might have scalar energy. energy items. it's energy vibration... etc etc. i think. like chi going, only that it's an item. =\

  11. for want of a better term...
    I mean if you have 5°C, it brings it down to 0°C and freezes things.