How To Sell Furniture To Celebrities

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I spent the first eight months of 2004 in Los Angeles selling expensive furniture to rich people. In the center of the store sat a colossal white sofa, extremely uncomfortable, which could be purchased for $8,000. No one bought it. A full set of silverware would set you back something like $15,000. No takers. A mink throw – $7,500 – also did not sell. Another mink throw, available for $5,000, actually did sell. In fact, I sold it. My single biggest commission. A frosty rich lady once bought an entire set of handcrafted Italian dishes: my second biggest commission. On the whole, though, I wasn’t a very good salesman. I sold lots of tablecloths. Glasses, too. I sold a lot of glasses.

[..]

A week before her divorce from John Stamos became public information Rebecca Romijn-Stamos entered five minutes before closing with a tall gay man who wore comically long and pointy shoes. I didn’t recognize her. It’d been a long day, a long six months in Los Angeles, and I was deeply tired. The two of them were fondling the $5,000 mink throw, as so many people did, so I flatly asked if they wanted me to put it on hold for them. That was usually how I scared people away from the blanket. But she said yes, she wanted it to be put on hold. This struck me as nonsense, because no one wanted a $5,000 mink throw. So I handed her a yellow HOLD card and a pen and said that if she put her name and number on the card, I’d attach it to the blanket and I’d call if someone else made a move for it in the next couple days.

Then I went back to counting my till.

She started writing and then stopped, looked up at me, and said, “Wait, you’re going to leave this card out here? I’m not going to write my number on it.”

I put the money down, looked back at her. It took a couple more seconds before I realized who she was. I told her I’d hold the blanket for one day without the hold card. Then I gave her a business card with my name on it and said if she still wanted the blanket tomorrow, she could call me. As a teenager, I had scrutinized her airbrushed body in Victoria’s Secret catalogs, but when she’d stood right in front of me, I had no idea who she was.

The next day, I answered the phone and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos asked for me. By name. “I’ve decided to take it,” she said.

“OK,” I said and imagined her lying on the throw. Then I thought about all the many hands I had seen fondling the blanket before.

She picked it up the following day, without the aid of her clown-shoed decorator. I had wrapped it up and placed it in a huge bag, which I passed to her once I’d run her credit card and taken a duplicate. A couple of days later, her publicist announced that she and John Stamos were getting a divorce. Then the mink throw made sense.

Original article: Salon.com

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