Part IV (read the first three parts below.)
They've Resorted to Telemarketing
A couple of days ago I got an interesting phone call. The conversation went like this:
"Hi, I was just driving by and saw your store. What kind of scooters do you sell?"
"We sell a couple of major brands. Prices range from about $2700 to $4500."
"Well it's gonna get cold soon. How many scooters do you sell per month in the Winter?"
"I don't see how that could possibly be relevant to this conversation."
"Well let me tell you what I do. For the past 15 years I've been working with companies to bring products in from China. I have brought in all sorts of consumer goods. Some are sold in Wal Mart. But I've been importing scooters lately. I don't know if you're familiar with Motobravo?"
"You mean the scooters being sold by the guy who's going to prison for mortgage fraud? Yeah, I've heard of 'em."
My reply threw him off his game momentarily, but he soon continued, "I helped those guys as well as other businesses like yours to source those products. I speak fluent Mandarin, and I know my way around. I can help you get some of those scooters too."
"Frankly Sir, if I wanted to sell Chinese scooters, I could have been importing them myself for the past six years."
"Actually, that isn't true. You see, I speak the language and I know how to find the best deals. I have years of experience. Importing them yourself is like marrying the first girl you date. . ."
I interrupted him at this point. "Actually I could import them myself. I get emails every day from the factories in China. They all speak enough English anyway, and besides that, throw a rock in the air in Utah County and you'll hit a 'direct Chinese importer' on the head. Like I said, If I wanted to import the garbage you import, I could do it without your help."
I think he hung up at that point, which is a shame because he missed a long tirade about how he better have really good insurance and how he better have his scooters EPA certified, and about the severe penalties associated with importing non-EPA compliant products. I think he would have found it fascinating.