Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The more he doth protest....

Every once in a while I get the look. I call it the fish-eye look. Usually it's a middle aged woman, sometimes a man, people who have apparently become wary in their shopping experience.

I don't get it from comic customers. I don't get it from toy, or book, or game customers.

I only get it from sport card customers. Even then, I don't get it all that much. I used to get it, ten years ago, when the sport card industry was self-destructing. It was that look that really drove me away from cards, even more than that I was losing money.

It's the look I'm sure that used car salesmen get from everyone who walks on their lots. It's the look that says, I don't believe you. Convince me.

And I've learned that the more I try to convince someone, the more they don't believe me.

I literally walk away. I see the fish-eye look, and I say, "Oh." And I walk away. Sometimes they'll come after me. "Don't you want to sell this?" their tone asks. And I'll say, "Hey, if you want it, fine. Otherwise I have to go clean this glass counter top."

I'm sorry that the sports card industry has become the equivalent of being a used car salesman, but it ain't my fault. I pride myself on my integrity. You are making me angry by casting aspersions.

And I've learned through experience that NOTHING I say will really reassure you. I've found that if I give them something, they suddenly trust me more, which is strange. Means they've been manipulated by used car salesman so much that they can't tell the difference any longer.

Had a woman in yesterday who was looking for a 660 card Red Sox set. I said, I didn't know there was such a thing. She looked it up on line and I took one look at the picture and said, "Oh, that's a 2007 Topps set. I have the same thing here, with Yankees on the front instead of the Red Sox. It's just packaging."

She gave me the fish-eye look. I protested. "No, really. I've been doing this a long time...." but I could see she wasn't buying.

Perhaps she'll go off and buy that "Red Sox" set, and find out I'm right.

She's on her own.


Anonymous said...

Well, at least you've discovered an efficient form of communication.

One study found that communication occurs through the following:
1. words used: 7%
2. voice quality: 38%
3. nonverbal communication: 55%

The great thing about the internet is that you strip away (2) and (3), and focus on what matters: words used.

In retail sales, however, people fall back on non-verbal communication cues that developed in humans over the millenia.

While this might have worked well in primitive societies, it's obviously imperfect in our "information society" . . .

Still, people tend to be won over by non-verbal cues rather than the soundness of the argument.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

I wish I could figure out how to add images to this blog, but some of the other comic oriented blogs remind me every day how astounding the art is in our industry by publishing little snippets.

There's a little button at the top of the editor that looks like a picture (maybe there are 2... it's the one on the left, I think). Click it & up should pop a window where you can upload pics, point to pics already online, etc. Really easy.

mizinformation said...

I'm not disputing your wary customer theory at all, but I do have to point out that many Red Sox fans hate the Yankees so much that the box alone might be a deal-breaker....

Anonymous said...


If you go to the last page in the PDF package for the juniper-ridge land sale agreement ( ) you'll see that the last page is a beautiful map of the Les Schwab Campus that has the city mast-head. Note, its also date November 15, 2006 "City of Bend".

Now, this is quite confusing, as City Council was "Shocked", I'm talking Humphrey-Bogart/Casablanca Shocked, when on Dec 12, 2006 they discovered that Juniper-Ridge had been sold to Les Schwab, but the November 15, 2006 "attachment' in the PDF for the Juniper Ridge sales is clearly marked with the City Letterhead and dated November 15, 2006.

Council 'claims' they didn't know Les Schwab had bought Juniper-Ridge until dec 12, 06, and Kuratek claims he didn't know either until the day. Yet this map at the back of the sale-agreement clearly shows the city had drawn up all the plans as early as November 15, 2006.

My humble opinion is that there was never any intention of implementing Kurateks master-plan, he was used all along, and I mean 'used' as a scape-goat to take attention off the secret Les Schwab buyout of Juniper-Ridge. Anderson could get rid of Kuratek, and thus they brought Garzini the "Terminators" in as the 'fix-it man'.

One thing is for certain, on Council Capell knew all along what was going on, and Anderson was the major 'fix-it' man. Why didn't Capell tell other council members prior to Dec 12, 06 that Les Schwab was going to be controlling Juniper-Ridge and that their sales contract would make them perpetually exempt for all time of any master-plan.

Where in the Juniper-Ridge Deed does it say that you can Sell the land and make the BUYER exempt from the Plan?

Bend City Hall, Staff, and Administration is severely broken, and we had better fix it before it costs 100's of millions of dollars. To date Kuratek has a very good argument for suing this city for ten's of millions of dollars for damages. Once Kuratek deposes Anderson, and Hummel then its going to get really ugly.

Anonymous said...


Check out yesterday's BULL about the BAT fiasco, the city is suing the seller of the buses, but we know the city didn't inspect.

Honestly, who buys used stuff without a FULL mechanic,... I own heavy equipment, and I can tell you when I buy equipment, we take samples of ALL Fluids to Halton, and they analyze the stuff, and then and only then do you make a purchase. We're told that the city did nothing! These days with oil samples you can look at all metals at parts per billion, and presence of each metal tells you everything about the engine, and the drive-train is the same, ...

I'm sure the city has no basis, the point here is that the seller, just won the right in court to depose the city staff! But the judge "hogan' ruled they can't ask 'legislative questions', ... I'm sure there's enough public doc, to create a lot of fodder for the attorneys representing the bus company.

Nobody ever wanted the buses, except the city, they had to get big buses, they wanted to get federal matching dollars, .... I wouldn't be surprised if this whole thing was Get Federal Cash today, buy buses that you know are bad, and defer payment, .... this whole thing is just too weird.

This whole thing stinks to me, like somebody intended to buy junk, probably just to get it in place, then do a mea-culpa, and get new nice stuff on the next cycle, when they could force it on the public, more than likely the BAT-MEN never wanted the used buses in the long term in the first place.

Again, this all goes back to that poor company that sold the buses, they're being sued!!!!! This city is insane everything it touches turns to SHIT!

Bend Economy Man said...

I'm not disputing your wary customer theory at all, but I do have to point out that many Red Sox fans hate the Yankees so much that the box alone might be a deal-breaker....

Agreed. If she wants to get her kid a full baseball card set for Xmas, and he's a Red Sox fan, the packaging is key.

Also, I mean, we're talking about baseball cards, right? Aren't they merely packaging in themselves? In terms of utility, I don't really see how the cards themselves are any more or less important than the box they come in.

And as a collectible, won't a 2007 set with the 2007 World Series champs' logo on it be worth more?