A year ago, a little man with round glasses rang our doorbell and asked me if would be interested in buying some cherries. I was in the attic and busy with work so had to run down to front door, phone in hand. “Bloody annoying salesman,” I thought, and sent him on his way. Despite one’s natural tendency to treat any travelling salesman these days as a con artist (although a fruit-based scam would be almost worth going along with), I was just too busy to give him any time.
Fast forward exactly one year and the same little chap rings my doorbell again. Again I sprint down to answer the door, pen behind ear, dog barking in excitement. This time he holds out a full box of bright red, fully ripe cherries and says “Look what lovely cherries I have – would you like some?”. I looked down at the cherries and my mouth watered slightly in anticipation. I was sold. “Well how much are they?” I asked. “It’s a 2 kilo box for 5 Euros”. I’m no expert on fruit prices, and probably would have bought them at double the price, but 5 Euro for a full box of ripe cherries seemed like a bargain to me, so I paid him and took ownership of my fruit.
As is custom in Spain, we chatted for a while, eating ripe cherries in the sunshine. “They’re from my land in El Bierzo,” he told me. I had assumed that they were from the south, or imported, like most of the fruit in Spain. “Picked ‘em myself this morning with my daughter,” he said, showing me, at close range, his filthy fingernails as proof. Of course, I was delighted: I’d bought 2 kilos of locally-grown, same-day-picked cherries, direct from the farmer and his daughter (who was 6 or 7 years old in my mind – I pictured him holding her up to pick the cherries off the top of the tree (Do cherries even grown on trees? Spot the London boy). Alas, when she drove round the corner in the van, she turned out to be middle-aged and definitely unhoistable without mechanical aid).
I called over to my neighbour who was doing some work in the front garden. “Hector, look at these fantastic cherries,” I shouted, “they’re local and fresh picked this morning”. He strolled over, tried one and bought a box too.
So just a lesson for vendors really. Ask someone to buy your cherries, and they probably won’t. Show someone your lovely, fresh, bright-red cherries in their best light and you might just sell two boxes.
Boring Stuff for Online Retailers
Coincidentally, they sent a newsletter the other day featuring one of their customers, a company called DesignStraps, who sell, wait for it – straps. Of all sorts. I had been looking for some hand-straps (rather than a neck strap) from my cameras for a while and was happy to find some lovely leather ones on this site. On the strength of the great product images, powered by Magic Toolbox, I bought two straight away. Point proven.