Thursday, June 22, 2006


Why do Chinese salespeople insist on playing with the object of interest themselves, when you're the one who is supposed to be evaluating the product before making a purchase?


At Jun 30, 2006, 5:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said:

You mean like the plastic stuff they hawk on the trains? I guess it serves two purposes: A) it increases the level of jealousness as you watch them having fun with it, and B) you don't get to see the defects yourself until after you buy it ;-)

shrewd capitalists

At Jun 30, 2006, 12:50:00 PM, Blogger Micah Sittig said:

No, I mean like, for example, when we were buying a digital camera. We would ask the salesperson if we could look at a certain model and he would take it out, maybe insert a memory card and some batteries, close the battery compartment... At this point I expected him to hand us the camera, but no, he would proceed to leisurely turn it on, aim, snap a couple of pictures, show the pictures to us, change some settings and snap another picture and again, show us the result. Until I literally grabbed it from his hands, he would not give up the camera.

I'm not saying that all salespeople in China are like this, but a too-large majority are. And don't get me started on buying an electronic dictionary.

It goes hand-in-hand with the tendency here to "give a man a fish" rather than "teach a man to fish", and the instinct of Chinese parents to do everything for their children. You wouldn't believe how at pick-up time parents would grab the cards out of their kids' hands and start playing for them when I taught my first-graders to play UNO back in Tianjin.


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