I’m looking to buy a home espresso machine, and while there are good online retailers I thought it would be good to support local retailers – plus it’s nice to have local advice and after sales service. So I found online a nearby coffee place that stocked the models I was interested in, I was sure they would match any online price because as a student I worked in a coffee shop and the margins are high (to recover overheads) so any extra sale is welcome.
So I drove my daughter to Simply Coffee in Kent Town which describes itself as a “cellardoor” for coffee – how could I resist! I wasn’t expecting to buy a machine today, I just wanted get some advice and I’d also picked out 2 coffees from their website I’d like to try (500g of each for $50). I ordered an espresso, a hot chocolate and a small packet of italian biscuits to entertain my daughter while I looked at their coffee machines.
A sales person asked if she could help and I said yes I was considering a manual machine but also looking at the semi-automatics like Rancilio Silvia. “All our machines are manual” she said “the Rancilio Silva is manual”. I replied “I meant the difference between the lever ones where you pull the shot compared to the ones where you push a button and it determines the pressure”. “Oh it’s all the same” she said “but if you want to make up your own terminology”. Whoa, I was only using the terms used on serious coffeesites like coffeegeek.com, but who was I to argue.
So she hardly endeared herself but she went on to recommend a cheaper machine than the Rancilio which looked like it would suit my needs since I didn’t really care about milk frothing. So I sat down, drank my espresso, and checked out reviews of this machine I’d not heard of and found they were generally positive, also (no surprise) thanks to Google search advertising that it was cheaper at online retailers, although not much just $50 (10%).
Emotionally I didn’t really want to buy from this dogmatic woman but she had been good enough to point out a machine I’d not considered, and it was convenient, so I caught this salesperson’s attention and said she had convinced me but that it was $50 cheaper at coffeeitalia.com.au, before I finished speaking she said “I can’t lower that price”. “That’s all right” I said “could you throw in $50 of coffee” knowing this would cost her far less than $50. “No” was the unambiguous reply. I was really really surprised, it seemed such a strange unbusinesslike thing to do. “I’ll have to buy it online then” I said and that was that. When I got to the car I remembered that I’d forgotten to buy the coffee beans I’d intended, oh well, they lost that sale too.
Some people work really hard and long hours in jobs they are entirely unsuited to.
PS It turned out very well I bought it for $100 cheaper from AchieveKafe who delivered (at no charge) in 2 days – great service.