Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Saturday, 15 June 2013

"Look into my eyes, babe!"

In the German synchronisation of 'Casablanca', Humphrey Bogart says "Look into my eyes, babe" instead of 'Here's lookin' at you, kid". With my eyes I had a special adventure yesterday, on my way to the Sales. It was very difficult to find Southern Moulton Lane! When I asked a young man if he could show me the way I didn't realize that he was a salesperson - sorry: the manager of a cosmetic firm called Gold-Oro (they might have thought "Make assurance double sure!", or "Even the simplest person will fall for gold + gold.") 
I should have become suspicious when he asked me to come into the shop - to look up the address...
Inside he offered me a hand massage - "Look!", he cheered while rubbing my hand with a lotion, "look: such a marvelous result! Our Peeling hand creme is made with the ingredience 'pure gold' - so good for the skin!" I answered testily: "I love gold around my neck or finger - in form of jewels." 

"Britta", he said, "but you know the best thing you can give your skin? Gold! Ah - which skincare do you use?" "Shiseido." "Good - very good - but you know: We sell ... Luxury!". He told me the price of the 'Luxury' - for one eycream they wanted 500 GBP!
"But it will last for two years!" he said - forgetting that just before he had told me it is not good when skin 'get used to a cream like Shiseido for a long time.'
He was not only very talkative, very beautiful and touching me all the time (I thought of the Moomin-figures called "Klippdass" in German Moomins - they leave little sticky footprints wherever they go) - no, he knew every trick in the book. He even invited me to holidays in his house in Israel!
When I announced that I had to go now he became imploring, and started to haggle like a carpet dealer.
Can you imagine: I would have got that wonder cream - but only NOW! that offer would be only valid if I buy NOW! - for a paltry sum of 200 GBP - and when I announced my leaving again, he added a facial 'for nothing' that normally would cost me 85 GBP.
One characteristic of mine is that I can be stubborn as a mule. And I am not daft: I have written a 250 page manuscript on beauty and beauty products. And I am schooled in negotiation too.
So I tapped him on his arm, looked as deep into his beautiful eyes as he had in mine, and said - as he had done: "Love - you are such a charming man! I'm sorry to disappoint you - it hasn't be your fault, you were very good - but sorry - I have to go now." As I saw his crestfallen face I added soothingly: "Maybe I think about it all and come back."
He said: "In the next life." Then he laughed.
Which showed me: he wasn't daft either. And a good guy, underneath the salesperson.
As I.


  1. Oh, Britta. What a beautiful post. You took me on a roller coaster in a few short paragraphs. The last bit made me feel that positive spread across my chest, I love it when something takes me by surprise.

    I also love how much the Moomins influence and color your daily interactions. How you *see.* I must ask, where is the manuscript on beauty products you wrote? Available? Finally, have you read this: ?

    I read it at the time it was released and thought it was excellent.

  2. Dear Suze,
    I'm glad you liked the post! Ah - that tome of a manuscript is still in my desk - my publisher thinks that the market is not yet ripe (I've written it for the Fab Women over Fifty - I still think that it is time just now... They also thought at first that my book for young men wouldn't sell - now: 4th edition and about 60.000 copies sold.
    "The Color Stories" have yet to be read - thank you. Cosmetics, fragrance - big business - I did a lot of research, too - but emphasis is more on the "How to".

  3. Britta,
    Thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog. It has given me the opportunity to find yours! I've enjoyed reading here and I plan to come back regularly.
    I have had this same sales experience and it was also with hand cream. In my encounters, I notice they always use sales people with foreign accents. They are more alluring this way and it makes the hand cream seem more luxurious and unique. It's a great sales strategy!

  4. dear Leonora,
    thank you! The enticing foreign accent and the good looks of the sales person will help to sale - the mixture of oil in water + some secret ingredients... There is a luxury range with "caviar" - wouldn't like to have that on my face either.

  5. The 'house in Israel' was a little clue...