Kirby Vacuums

As the kids & I were making our way home from a walk around the neighborhood about a week ago, we saw a woman leaving our driveway. We eventually crossed paths to find that she was a visiting Kirby Vacuum salesperson. She had some special little story as to why she absolutely had to have someone show us a vacuum that very night as she needed the “points” for the showing to get some award.

It was still fairly early, I had no other plans, and I thought it would be fine to have someone else vacuum my living room for me. Another salesperson showed up with the (very young) “manager” and a big box of Kirby supplies. The “manager” soon left to drop off or pick up another salesperson and we were left with a very young and nice female.

She used our old (12+ years) WindTunnel to vacuum the whole living room. The kids all watched as she hooked up the shiny new Kirby and vacuumed an area she’d already gone over once with our vacuum. Of course, dirt and carpet fibers showed up on her test pad.

After a few of these demonstrations with the accompanying sales speech, I asked the young woman to go over the EXACT same portion of carpet that she just vacuumed with the Kirby. She looked flustered for a minute, then quickly assured me that there would still be dirt and carpet fibers the second time because I hadn’t “vacuumed the carpet in a long time.” I assured her that not only do I vacuum regularly, but she had already gone over that area twice (once with my machine, once with the super-duper Kirby). Her reply?

“Oh, well, you haven’t done it with a GOOD machine.”

She went over the same area several times. Perhaps ten in total. The dirt and carpet fiber amount wasn’t going down fast enough for her, so she did less strokes over the same area or did less area for 3-4 times to show (seeming) progress. The last few times, however, she did keep the same number of strokes (five) and area and the amount of material was less (though not hugely noticeable) than what she originally got. My point was made and she understood that I wasn’t going to be taken in with the “this is a superior vacuum” line. It is a fine machine, but don’t tell me my machine is a piece of junk just because you are picking up stuff with yours after mine has gone over that area. Mine would pick up junk after yours had vacuumed the area, too.

My kids kept her peppered with questions the whole time and I had a leg up on her usual victims because I’d sat through a Kirby sales pitch before. In fact, I’d sat through several vacuum sales pitches before. I had a three-year-old quote from a local Kirby rep. on how much he was going to charge me.

My husband and I had discussed getting a Kirby when our basement is finished so the “old” vacuum would go downstairs and the Kirby would be kept upstairs. Our basement is still not finished, although it might be in the next three years. We don’t need two vacuums right now. I do eventually want a Kirby. I ended up writing a check for it that night.

However, I suffered buyers remorse almost immediately and slept poorly thinking of all the other things on our “buying wishlist” that are in front of an expensive vacuum that we don’t need. That, and something the salesperson said, bothered me. When I said I wanted to keep my old vacuum and use it downstairs. She offered to sell me a second Kirby for a considerably less amount of money if I bought the first at the quoted price. How could she do that unless the profit amount was absolutely obscene?

I sent in the “change my mind” slip the very next day. I received a call from the sales office when they received it. They asked what was wrong and I stated my reasons for deciding not to take it after all. They simply needed to return my check and pick up the machine. The lady on the phone asked what price would convince me to keep it. I gave a number lower than the price quoted for the second machine (if I’d have bought the first one for the huge, inflated value). She said she would work on it and call me back in a couple of days.

Two days later, she called back to offer me the machine for the same amount the salesperson at my house had offered to give me the second machine for. Keep in mind that this amount was $1000 less than the price quoted for the first machine and they were perfectly willing to accept the $1000 for only the one machine when faced with me returning it.

This bothers me very much. Someone came by today to pick up their machine. I never even turned it on and had every piece of paper and attachment they gave me in the same condition they gave them to me.

How can they look themselves in the mirror everyday?


About doucementgently

I'm a thirty-something female with loads of kids, a great husband, and lots of things on my mind. I plan on blogging about homeschooling, personal finance, the economy in the U.S., politics, family life, and the things my children do.
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