Thursday, June 12, 2008

All Want What They Can't Get


How a Certain Little Human Weakness Becomes a Factor In the Furniture Trade.

"John," said a furniture salesman the other day to the mover whom he had summoned, "this bedroom set is sold, but it is not to be delivered just yet. Move it out of the saleroom at once and store it somewhere till I want it."

"What's the use of moving it till you send it up to me," asked the purchaser idly. "Why don't you leave it where it is?"

The salesman uttered a queer little laugh and said:

"It is evident that you were never in the furniture business, or you would not ask that question. If I should mark that set 'sold' and leave it here in the salesroom in plain sight, it would probably lose us several good sales."

"How so?" asked the purchaser, with an unbelieving look.

"It illustrates a universal weakness of human nature," laughed the salesman. "Everybody wants what he can't get, and there is nothing quite so attractive to the average buyer as a piece of furniture that somebody else has bought before he came around. If I left that bedroom set out marked 'sold,' half a dozen persons would say before night that it was exactly the set they wanted, and when they heard there were no duplicates they would fuss around enviously, and nothing else in the establishment would satisfy them.

"Eventually they would go off discontentedly and buy elsewhere, though the chances are if there was no 'sold' tag on the set none of them would give it more than a passing glance, while a fair proportion of them would purchase other sets. It is a little human weakness, that's all.

"So arises one of the tricks of the trade. When a dealer sells a piece of furniture of which he has no duplicates, he hustles it out of the salesroom as quick as he can, lest it lose him other trade, but when he sells a piece of which he has duplicates he puts a big 'sold' tag on it and leaves it in open sight as long as possible for a bait for others." — New York Herald.

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