The salty salesmen of the Dead Sea

Dead Sea Mudpack

The sales tactics of Vardi & Migdal – the Israeli company with pushcarts in malls all over the island – used to work. They use pushcarts instead of renting a shop space because if you were a salesman in a shop, you wouldn’t be able to roam a mall’s thoroughfare and accost passers-by.

We have some nail buffer thing we bought about two years ago thanks to a salesman who insisted on buffing Naomi’s and my nails. I agreed to buy the item just so he’d stop holding our hands like we were conducting some seance.

One of their (presumably Israeli, I don’t know for sure, I’m just assuming based on my racist profiling of what they look and sound like) salesmen struck again yesterday with the same aggressive approach.

Well, not quite the same. He approached Naomi and startled her by declaring, “Your skin has a lot of blemishes!”, followed by an enquiry, “What skin care product do you use?”

Thankfully for him, before I could smack his presumably Israeli head with my shopping bag, Naomi brushed him off, telling him she didn’t use any skin care product and didn’t care for his Dead Sea mineral-enriched jars of mud and crap.

Vardi & Migdal, your time is up. Pack up your pushcarts and traverse back to whence you came! (After you wind up your local registered company and pay your taxes).

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19 responses to “The salty salesmen of the Dead Sea”

  1. STUMPBO Avatar

    I have the exact same experience with that nail buffer but I caved in and bought! It was my next few experiences of being “attacked” which made me totally diss Vardi & Migdal now. I blogged about it a few months ago too (

    I was utterly put off by the hard selling, which I think in our Asian context, it is considered rude most of the time. I second Mr Miyagi, V&M should just pack and go.

  2. hansolo Avatar

    Last month at Vivo, I saw one of these jokers dragging a woman to his pushcart. Luckily her 2 girlfriends won the human tug-of-war.

  3. Mr Miyagi Avatar

    Our encounter was at Vivo too. Probably the same bugger.

    1. fakezhenzi Avatar

      Can be considered molest or not?

  4. Boon Avatar

    I always smile and go off. Now, not only them that is so pushy, there's another group of people as well. Quite pissed when the guy kept talking to me when Im finding my wife at the busy area…

  5. heletan Avatar

    I was at Vivo yesterday! And I saw one of the men holding a lady's hand and demonstrating some product. I remembered that incident v clearly coz i was like “woah, smart move. our local salesmen would never do this!”

  6. jia Avatar

    Not sure if it's the same company but i was dragged to one of the pushcart selling dead sea mud products @ cineleisure. The guy just wouldnt let go of my hand even though i insist i ain't interested. >:(

    1. Jessicaslim Avatar

      This is Jessica from The Straits Times. We are working on a story about pushy push-cart salesmen/women, and would love to speak to you about your experience. Call me? 63195242 or 98508988.

      Looking forward to speaking with you.

      Jessica Lim
      Journalist, Singapore Press Holdings (Newsdesk – consumer)

  7. Anthea Avatar

    Post this in (an) Europe(an blog), and you'll have some Israeli bloggers labelling you an anti-Semite (according to these same bloggers, BBC and CNN are anti-Semitic too…)

  8. Mr Miyagi Avatar

    Yeah, I figured that might happen, though, don't get me wrong, I have great affinity with Israel. Some relatives of mine pronounce my name (Benjamin, not Miyagi) the Hebrew way.

    1. Yogv1987 Avatar

      As a Christian from a country in Europe who lived these days in the United States and describes himself as a Westerner. I want to express my objection  to the anti-Semitic policies that people express here! Especially the man who calls himself as “Benjamin.”  /Ethnic associations such as those listed here between job characteristics form to a nation or state happened in the Nazi Germany 71 years ago. could be that the way the salesman accessed you was not adequate, but as a sober person you should always  keep in mind several things: 1. the way the salesman approach you may be because of a fundamental culture! 2. Perhaps this is the shape of reference of that specific person and do not toss it on entire group. I hope I put a little sense!

  9. Anthea Avatar

    As in Ben-yae-min? German speakers pronounce the name the same way too. Ever heard of the famous Austrian skier Benjamin Reich? 🙂 Okay, now I'm rambling ……

  10. acidflask Avatar

    There's a company here called Sabon, which also an Israeli cosmetics company. The sales people there went to great lengths to explain how “the other company” has a very high commission rate and a very high markup, which makes all their salespeople super-aggressive.

  11. @Tabbulous Avatar

    This was back in like, 2000. After a couple of years in college here in the US, I had, naturally, gained weight from all the pizza and free flow of food. I went home for vacation, was walking around Orchard with a friend who had bad acne, and some guy came up to us and said (first to her) “Excuse me miss, don't worry ah, not trying to pick you up. But have you tried to do anything about your skin?” and just as I was about to say something rude he turns on me and says, “And you too, miss, I'm sure you are trying to lose weight too right?”

    We kept walking.

    That dead sea stuff looks narsty.

  12. Mr Miyagi Avatar

    Shoulda smacked him!

  13. RT @miyagi: The salty salesmen of the Dead Sea haha..they are Tampines Central.

  14. fakezhenzi Avatar

    Yah i hate pushy salesmen who almost attack me with curling rod.

  15. Fillers Avatar

    Keeping a flawless skin may prove to be a very hard task to keep track
    of. But surely, finding skin care products that can truly provide us
    with a healthy glowing skin is a definite plus in our daily regimen.

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