The Relatively Hard Sell

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - March 07, 2007
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I think Sears owes me some sort of commission. Not that I’m on its payroll or anything, but I am somewhat responsible for a rather large recent sale.

Let me start by again mentioning that my younger brother by two years lives five houses down the street from me.

On one hand it’s a great convenience for him and my family as he has a swimming pool and our 9-year-old daughter takes full advantage of the amenity. On the other hand, my brother benefits in that he has access to all our food - whether it’s any meal of the day or just leftovers, he’s welcome to partake.

The other week he came home to a broken refrigerator. That Saturday he called me up and told me that he wanted my help in picking up a new fridge. I asked where he was going to look and he said at the PX, since he enjoys military benefits as a full-time member of the Hawaii Air National Guard.

He said he had $800 cash in his pocket to spend. I told him I had to run to Sears first and that he should tag along. When we arrived, I steered him straight to the home appliance section. There we looked at the canyon of steel refrigerators of all colors, makes and models.

It felt like car shopping, so I gravitated to the nearest sports car model, a stainless steel, top-of-the-line, two-door “coupe.” Since he’s a bachelor, I kind of talked my brother into looking at it. It was a lot more than he wanted to spend, but he went for it.

While we were at it, I had him look at a new matching gas range and an over-the-stove microwave. With the combined purchase he was now looking at a much higher four-digit price tag. He opened a Sears charge account to take advantage of a special rebate and zero interest offer.

When we were done, he looked at me scratching his head saying, “I came in here looking to spend only $800 and now I’m looking at a couple years of payments!” He also said, “By the way, Ron, why did you need to come to Sears?”

As I turned towards the tool department and started to dart away I replied, “Oh, I just needed a Phillips screwdriver. They’re on sale for 5 bucks.”


It’s tax time and Debra Godwin, senior management and program analyst with the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service, submitted its site. It is a free independent service within the IRS dedicated to helping taxpayers who have tried to resolve their tax problems with the IRS and are experiencing delays or are facing economic harm: Hmmm, help from the IRS? Cool! Send your favorite websites to me at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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