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To be really annoyed about the ex-offenders selling at my door?

(62 Posts)
ChampagneTastes Tue 04-Nov-14 13:16:54

I'm not annoyed by them to be honest, more by the horrible way in which they're having to try to scratch out a living. A guy came to my door today and read out his pitch, was very polite and reasonable. I was going to buy something but when I asked how much, everything was about ten pounds (things like a pair of tumble-drier balls or a set of oven gloves). It seemed really excessive. He, frankly, was completely aware that the prices were ridiculous - it's not like it was top quality merchandise - and when I offered him a couple of quid instead, he scrupulously turned it down.

In the end I bought some tea towels for £8 (£8!!!!) because the poor chap looked so defeated. AIBU in thinking the whole scheme is ridiculous because it is selling sub-standard products for over-inflated prices (and I wonder how much the sellers actually see of the profit) which will either result in people slamming the door in their faces or doing what I did which was essentially to give them charity? I can't help but feel that this is not going to do their self-esteem much good and I can't imagine it encouraging them to leave behind a life of crime.

Does anyone know how the scheme actually works? Is it compulsory? I feel really quite angry on this poor bloke's behalf.

HighwayDragon Tue 04-Nov-14 13:20:03

There is no ex offenders selling scheme, I'm afraid you've been 'had' by a sob story.

LuckySaint Tue 04-Nov-14 13:21:31

Isn't it a scam? I don't think there's any scheme.

KingJoffreysBloodshotEye Tue 04-Nov-14 13:21:55

Sounds like bullshit.

Poundland stock and a sob story.

trice Tue 04-Nov-14 13:21:57

Yes, unfortunately this is a rip off. You have been had.

Has anyone ever had anything good from doorstep selling? I certainly haven't.

ChampagneTastes Tue 04-Nov-14 13:22:52

Really are you sure? Well it looked very official - there were laminates! Frankly if it wasn't real, he clearly needed the £8 more than I do. And he didn't do a sob story - he was very good actually. I've had quite aggressive sales tactics from people before and this wasn't at all.

Sunna Tue 04-Nov-14 13:23:47

It is a scam, though.

ChampagneTastes Tue 04-Nov-14 13:24:02

Oh shit - you're right. I still felt sorry for the bloke though.

Nanadookdookdook Tue 04-Nov-14 13:24:24

We've just had a warning round here to watch out for scam salesmen.

I had a poor foreign lad a few years ago, offering pencil drawings, looked very down and out - I watched him wander down the drive and take out his phone to take a photo of the view, obviously not THAT skint.

SugarMiceInTheRain Tue 04-Nov-14 13:24:33

We have a bloke who sells similar stuff door to door near us. I feel for him trying to scratch out a meagre living like that, but I have seen the exact stuff he sells for £6-10 for a quid in the pound shop. I bought something once but I have absolutely no need for yet another demister pad for the car for £7.

BeGhoul Tue 04-Nov-14 13:25:46

well if it's a scam then he probably isn't an ex-offender is he?
He's some one on the scam making lots of Tax free earnings.

ChampagneTastes Tue 04-Nov-14 13:26:14

God I'm normally really good about this sort of thing. sad

InfinitySeven Tue 04-Nov-14 13:26:32

Yes, it's a confirmed scam. There are no schemes in the country where this is allowed.

They seem to be very good at what they do. Not aggressive, or hard-selling. They almost don't have to put that effort in...they act quite resigned to having to sell things, and people feel sorry for them because they presume it's a horrid scheme, and they must have been at it for hours to be so resigned. So they pay for overpriced rubbish to help, and then find out it was a scam.

There was someone in my local paper a while back who was arrested for recruiting people into this type of scam, and targeting the same people night after night, saying they couldn't move on until they'd hit their targets.

littlemslazybones Tue 04-Nov-14 13:29:58

We have a few of them.

You open the door and they start their pitch in which they reveal 'they've been a very naughty boy and have just got out of jail' and I stand their thinking... I hope to God you didn't batter someone to death for not buying your shit.

You are clearly nicer than I am OP.

mutternutter Tue 04-Nov-14 13:31:27

Had no idea it was a scam. Really thought there was such a scheme

littlemslazybones Tue 04-Nov-14 13:32:05

Sorry for the awful grammar, I'll get my coat now...

Hatespiders Tue 04-Nov-14 13:34:03

First, he would have needed a Pedlar's Licence to sell door-to-door, issued by your Local Authority. Second (having worked with ex-offenders for donkey's years) I know of no such scheme for ex-prisoners. But these youngsters are usually genuine. I had a long chat with one a couple of years ago. They have to buy the whole bag of goods themselves, then sell them off to make a profit. The prices are fixed so that the firm selling the bags can promise they'll make a certain sum. They also get to keep the holdall. The scam is IMO the firms selling these youngsters the bags in the first place. I reckon the lad at my door was telling the truth. He hadn't sold much and was very hot and tired.I gave him some iced lemonade and a bit of cake, and bought some (very very expensive) dusters. I later saw him sitting on a wall with his head in his hands. It made me sad.

Wolfbasher Tue 04-Nov-14 13:34:12

We get this regularly. I didn't know it was a scam either.

Is it illegal? If I call the police on 101 next time, would they be interested?

Celeriacacaca Tue 04-Nov-14 13:34:47

Yes, it's a scam. I've seen the boss of some of these guys parks his car on the corner where we live and by his language and attitude to the boys who got out, he wasn't anyone who was helping them rehabilitate. The most recent one who knocked on our door got very aggressive and verbally abusive when I wouldn't buy anything. I called the police after he'd gone as I was really worried that he'd come back and do something to the house or us. They'd had similar calls and confirmed it was a scam.

ChampagneTastes Tue 04-Nov-14 13:37:32

Hatespiders - thank you. I feel less stupid now! But still very sorry for the guy if what you're saying is accurate. I can't imagine anyone being cynical enough to put that on (NB: it is possible that I am very naive but if I am, don't tell me eh? I'm happy in my little bubble).

loudarts Tue 04-Nov-14 13:39:22

Wow I didn't realise this was a scam! I had one the other week, didn't buy anything luckily but I really thought he was an ex offender trying to turn his life around blush

wanttosqueezeyou Tue 04-Nov-14 13:42:08

I don't feel sorry for him. Lying to get your sympathy then flogging you overpriced tat. He's a scammer and probably does the hard sell when he spots a likely victim. Someone who is alone/elderly may get a lot more pressure than you or feel obliged to buy.

wanttosqueezeyou Tue 04-Nov-14 13:43:07

tbh I think all door to door sales should be illegal. These scams are rife.

ChampagneTastes Tue 04-Nov-14 13:45:18

So, the people who provide the goods - who are they? Are they doing anything illegal? Or just immoral?

Bakeoffcakes Tue 04-Nov-14 13:46:54

I've been had by them too. I bought a really shitty window scrapper and an oven glove, for about £18blush. I just felt really sorry for him.
I won't do it again though if I can grow a backbone

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