Scenario: We were recently married (and naive), and invited to a “seminar” about vacation packages. We would get a voucher at the end of the seminar for $250 to use at a vacation resort. Sounds great! We can sit through a seminar, no problem. It will be the easiest $250 ever!

Reality: The seminar is a pressure sales situation. The “seminar” part of it lasts only 30 minutes, then they are 1 on 1 with us trying to convince us how great their product is and get us to buy into it. We resist. They start to become a little rude and lay down guilt trips. Why did we come if we weren’t interested? How did our names get on the list? Why are we wasting this salesman’s time if we’re not going to buy?

We, a young, polite Canadian couple are feeling pretty guilty now. The vacation package *does* sound like a good deal, but we’re planning to have children very soon so it wouldn’t work too well for us. Maybe it would be ok. The “supervisor” comes to talk to us and gives us a discount. Still, we don’t budge. Then the “supervisor’s supervisor” comes to give the rock bottom price. All originally quoted prices are slashed to about 50%, it’s such a good deal and our guilt is overwhelming, so we cave… and buy. If we don’t take the offer before leaving this room, it’s gone forever.

Now we own a vacation package, that even on the drive home we know we cannot use. After a year, having NEVER used it once and involving lawyers to cancel the contract, we pay a penalty to buy out the contract and have just wasted over $1200 for absolutely nothing (except frustration and heartache).

Lessons Learned:

  1. Our guilty feeling is not worth $1200. In fact, it’s not worth anything.
  2. Don’t attend “seminars” that give a free voucher of some prize at the end.
  3. If I do attend, leave my wallet and checks in the car, thus not enabling me to make a purchase even if I want to.
  4. If I feel pressure sales coming from a salesperson, give him my policy that I’ve learned from experience. I don’t make purchases on the spot without thinking it over, no matter how good the deal sounds.

These lessons are learned from experience. When I was younger and naive, these pressure sales techniques worked on me. Hopefully, you will avoid this problem and learn from my bad experience.