Saturday, September 24, 2016


Not sure why, but a couple of weeks ago we got a couple of free tickets to a home improvement show here in Northern Virginia.  Given we've been thinking about undertaking some renovations we decided to check it out in the hopes of getting some good ideas and seeing some of the new materials and products available on the market.

This particular show is held at this gigantic old box store that's been converted into a site for all kinds of shows and conventions.  You walk into the gigantic open space and there are literally a couple of hundred displays lined up into about a dozen aisles.

What we didn't expect was to be accosted by dozens of vendors and contractors looking to sell us everything from new windows, to some new brand of power drink, and everything in between.  Insurance?  LED lit shoes?   Body massages?   Candy?   What in the world ?  As we wanted up and down the displays we were literally attacked by desperate vendors anxious to give us an opportunity to save money on this product, or that product, while getting a chance to win $10,000, $100,000, a new car, an old car, a vacation, etc.   And there was the sale material.  You could turn around without some stuffing a sales brochure in your hands.  As fast as people have me stuff I threw it into the garbage cans helpful placed at the end of each aisle.

The most common approach seemed to be "Sign up for a chance to win xxx ..." or "So what's your next renovation effort?"  We quickly discovered the way to disengage and move on was to tell them we were interested in tile.  Most of the vendors weren't selling tile so they had no interest in us.  On the couple of occasions we were confronted with tile dealers we said we were interested in pest control.  Between those responses, walking in the center of the aisle, preferably behind older people, and keeping our eyes on the ground, we managed to navigate the last half of the show/obstacle course without too much pain.

And here's where it got even stranger.   There was a guy selling tile that looks like wood flooring.  We're actually interested in putting it in our bathrooms.  We wanted to find out more about the product - styles, colors, costs.   The vendor had zero interest in us. Basically blew us off.   

Good news is we were in and out of the place (including a bathroom break) in less than 45 minutes.  Went to Old Town Alexandria for the rest of the day.   Much more fun.

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