Anybody else seeing an uptick in the door-to-door urban youth magazine sellers this year?
We have had four come to our house just in the last couple of weeks. I will talk to them for a couple of minutes but won't buy anything. The last one who came to my door was very nice and after talking for a little while I agreed to do the “donate a magazine to a needy kid” thing. So then he goes from nice inner-city kid trying to better himself by getting out of his neighborhood and working hard, to a complete shyster. It's a minimum of three magazines, he tells me. I reply that I will only do one. He hems and haws and says okay. Then he says it is a 3- 4- or 5-year subscription. I tell him I will do one-year. He says he can't do that and then does the math real quick and announces that a 3-year subscription to Motor Trend would be $162.00 + $15.00 for processing for a total of $177.00.
I laughed. Hard. He said he could swing a “student” discount to get it down to $136.50. I laughed again. I told him that was ridiculous and that I couldn't recall paying more than $15-$20 year for any magazine. At this point he grabs the paperwork and storms off to the sidewalk, turns around, and yells, “20 bucks??!!?? That's the kind of s— you give a fucking bum on the street!! I'm out here working hard!!”
Now I know why most of my neighbors politely say “we're not interested” and quickly close the door.
Yeah. I saw that article and the many others like it over the past few years. That's why I at least talk to these kids. They are getting ripped off too.
I haven't had very many (so far) this year, but last year and a couple of years before that, my neighborhood had a bunch of them. All very nice – at first – but start asking questions and the hidden attitude comes out, then they got ticked of when myself and some neighbors said “no thanks”. Several of us found screws embedded in our tires the next day! Maybe some of them are kids getting ripped off and don't realize it but the ones we had in our neighborhood in the past were some real shuck and jive operators that had been coached.
That scene from office space still makes me crack up.
Haha, me too novasteve. As for the magazine solicitors, I haven't gotten any anytime recently, thankfully. The vast majority of the ones I've dealt with gave me the creeps. A few openly hit on me and/or my roommates in gross/creepy manner and one of them offered to sell us some Vicodin out of nowhere. Another one approached me and a coworker on the street a few years ago and when we turned him down he followed us down the street a good ways until we yelled at him to back off.
One benefit of living in a high rise…do not miss the solicitors!
@Crystal – except the ones that sneak in and drop crap by your door.
@Berry – forgot about those…that junk just goes straight into my recycling pile.
Don't you ever wonder how they get into the building? Technically they are tresspassing each time they do this.
FWIW, these guys (and gals) are supposed to have an Arlington County Solicitor's License. The County recommends that citizens ask to see this license when a door-to-door salesperson shows up. If they can't produce it, the County recommends calling the non-emergency policy line (703-558-2222).
Re: an earlier post about the dangerous nature of the job for teens, I heartily concur. I had some kids show up at my door a few months back on a pretty cold day. One of them was wearing shorts. They had some story about selling magazine subscriptions so that they could earn a trip to Mexico. I printed off some info about the dangers of the job and set out to look for the kids and give them the materials. It tracked them down in a bigger group about a block away. Their “manager” (himself ~20-25 years old) assured me that he was aware of the scams but that HIS outfit wasn't one the bad ones. I asked the kids on the crew where they were from and the girl who had been at my house said she was from Fredericksburg. As I left I noticed that the “manager” took the materials I'd handed out away from the kids.
Long story short, I phoned in the complaint to the ACPD non-emergency line. Within about 15 minutes, there were three cruisers in the neighborhood stopping the kids and questioning the “manager.” Hopefully they helped out the kids (thought the District 2 folks never returned my follow-up calls about the incident).
Would someone entering your property to leave advertisements by the door be consider solicitors? I've caught these people before and warned them not to enter my property again. Should I be requesting their license as well?
@ BBC, Crystal, et al – the cleaning companies are the worst. I hate that crap.
I think the worst are the restaurants that leave the SAME menu almost every month. I mean, I got it the first 10 times!
Maria, I completely agree with you. A couple of pizza places near my part of Arlington were leaving menu flyers/offers every day at my house. I had to call the places to get them to stop. They might have good food, but the overloading of their menu flyers made me decide not to give them my business.
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