door to door salesmen

nancybee_2010February 19, 2014

I have never liked them (who does?) Yesterday I again stupidly opened my door to one.(stupidly because I know there's a chance it could be someone dangerous)

They know I am home since I often don't park in the garage. Should I just not open the door anyway? For some reason I feel sorry for them and although I never buy (or haven't for a long time) it always is a not- fun experience.

How do you feel about it? Maybe I should get a no solicitors sign.
hmmm... now that I've re-read my post, it seems to me I have a perfect right not to answer my door. But then... once we refused to buy something and the guy angrily kicked out a bunch of landscape lights on the way down the driveway!

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I get them from time to time too. And I also feel kind of sorry for them. When I'm home alone, I feel like it is my right to NOT answer my door or my phone for that matter, and I just don't even when they know that I'm home. When my kids are home, they will answer the door or scream loudly "mom, someone's at the door!". I answer it then and usually say with a smile "I'm sorry, I just don't have any extra money today", then quickly shut the door.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:07PM
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Back in the 40's and 50's my father was a very successful door to door salesman, but I just can't see how anyone could make a living at it in this day and age. First of all, most women work now as opposed to back then and no one is home during the day. Second--people are much more wary to open their doors. Third--with the internet and being able to research products before purchasing, not many people would be inclined to buy on the spot, not to mention not being able to compare prices.

DH is much more prone to answer the phone and door than I am. I feel it is an invasion of privacy and I never answer the door. One time a guy kept pounding on my door so hard for quite a long time, I truly was scared. I was able to peer out the window and it turned out to be a food delivery guy who had the wrong address, but I was livid because he was so obnoxious with the incessant pounding. Of course, not answering has also backfired on me....last week DH sent flowers for Val Day and they were delivered to my neighbor who came over twice and I didnt answer. He finally left a phone message..then I had to trot over there to get them.

Not sure, but I think legally they are not supposed to knock on your door if there is a No Soliciting sign....but I have heard salesman say those are the first houses they hit.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:54PM
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I've had a small No Soliciting sign on my door for years. We never get anyone selling anything other than the kids selling wrapping paper or some other school fund raiser. But we don't live in an area where door to door sales is common to begin with so I don't know that my little sign is having any impact. I put it up to deter people raising money for anything political, environmental, religious etc. On the now rare occasions they still ring the bell, I answer the door holding my dog by the collar (they already heard him barking!) and point to the sign.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 3:20PM
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I can't remember the last time I had a salesman. I tend to get Jehovah's Witnesses. They are always well dressed, arrive in pairs, and are very polite. They seem to hit my 'hood often and I'm curious why that is. They've had success in the past? A Kingdom Hall is close by? I guess I should ask them next time - how do you determine which places to visit and revisit?

When I can see it's probably JW, I do open the door and say no thank you. If it looks like a sales call, I usually don't answer.

During election season I had a candidate ring the bell as I was preparing dinner. Before I opened the door, I thought it was my Mum because he did a double ring like she always does. I only opened the door because I assumed it was her. When I opened he took a dramatic step back away from the door, I guess to show he was harmless. Once I realized it was a political caller, and not my Mum, I said I don't have time for this I'm preparing dinner. To his credit he said I understand and turned away, he didn't try to hand me literature. He was a little know candidate from the upper region of the area. He won, beating a much better known candidate. Going door to door, even though it annoyed me, probably helped him get name and face recognition.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 3:52PM
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I won't open the door if it's not someone I know or a delivery person. I just smile and say, "No, thank you," through the door. We get JW regularly and some other charity for disadvantaged teens. I'm tempted to put up a no solicitors sign except I don't think it would do any good.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 4:35PM
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I used to open the door. I always felt it was a little rude not to do so, even though in my head, I knew that feeling was absurd. I just like to be nice to people. However, I will no longer be opening the door. We just lost a second person in a neighborhood near ours (mother of a friend of our son, sister-in-law of one of his teachers, and a wonderful woman) who opened her door at which point a man opened fire. She was killed, her mother's caregiver was hurt, and everyone is on edge. A man who was also a wonderful gentleman was killed a little while back in similar circumstances. No reason for this to happen to either one of these gentle people.

Locking doors to keep out amateurs (who are more likely to hurt someone than a 'pro' would) and not opening doors is a sad way to live, but that seems to be the direction in which we are heading. It also does not seem to matter where you live anymore. Now, I think of it like answering the phone-if I don't want to, I don't need to- my choice, my privacy.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 8:02PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Yikes, cyn, that's awful!

My mother always told me not to open the door but to call down from an upstairs window...then you have more can see who it is, you can make an excuse like you're sick in bed or whatever, and you're close to a phone should you need one. Once you open the door, you're more at risk.

Of course, I open our door to strangers all the time...probably shouldn't but I do...

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:24PM
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Cyn, I live in the DC area so know the murder you are talking about-I'm so sorry to hear your family was acquainted with her. What a frightening thing and so scary to know it was random and the guy is still loose.

I never open the door to strangers. I have a glass front door so can see right out whether it's someone I know. If a stranger, I just tell them flat out w/o opening the door that I do not answer the door to strangers. I don't feel bad about it all. It is a rule I've always had with my kids, and it think it's important that I teach by example in this case. Cyn's story is a devastating reality unfortunately. In my case, having a large, 100lb black lab at my side seems to help cause any strangers not to argue with me!

We live in a private community with no soliticing signs at our entrance so that deters most, but there are still occasional random people.

Nancy, I would not feel guilty at all, if I were you!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:09PM
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My town doesn't permit solicitation for sales. There are some groups who are allowed to go door to door but they have to get a permit from the township.

I won't open the door to strangers. My front door is a little recessed and if I look out my living room window I can see who is standing there. I can also see them from my a window on the second floor. But I do worry about giving the impression that no one's home. We've had many burglaries when someone first knocks on the door to make sure it's unoccupied, then they break in.

A few times I opened the upstairs window and said that I couldn't come to the door because I was on the phone or helping my husband paint the ceiling. Sometimes I encourage our black lab to jump against the door and bark and then I'll call out "Down Duke" even though our lab is a sweet little girl named Maggie.
I certainly don't feel guilty about it..

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:35PM
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We live in a town with private roads so door to door salespeople are trespassing if they come around. They still do sometimes but we are supposed to call the sheriff to report it if they do. So it's an inhospitable community for solicitors. I live in the woods not right next to my neighbors so I don't answer the door unless I know who's there. For some reason I did it one day and it was a guy and his daughter selling girl scout cookies. They didn't live in the city so technically trespassing but I didn't even think about it. I just bought six boxes of cookies and while the transaction was going down the guy told me how rude some people were when they knocked on the door.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 9:56AM
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I live in a somewhat rural area but in a "neighborhood". We don't get alot of door to door salesmen at all. The rare ones we get, I ignore. I do not feel guilty at all in not answering the door. We do however get the occasional girl scout, boy scout, child selling fruit for band, etc. I got a little perturbed a few months back when our doorbell rang one evening - well after dark. I was home alone. Took the pup to the door with me and looked out - saw a small boy (cubscout) and his mom. They told me through the door they had the popcorn we ordered. My husband had ordered it and I didn't know about it. They did know his name, so I finally opened the door. I thought it not a very good idea they were delivering at that time of evening.

If I don't know someone, I don't open the door. I am able to see the drive from our bedroom window and if I don't know the vehicle, I don't go to the door.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 10:02AM
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I don't mind the girl scouts, etc. But I think there's one that's a scam- a teenager selling magazine subscriptions, claims to live in your neighborhood- I've had that a few times.

Cyn, that is so horrible!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 11:40AM
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Our township requires a permit for anyone going door to door. I don't get many salesmen at all, mostly college students looing for donations for clean water or whatever.

I did have a guy come up my driveway selling replacement windows. I don't know where my brains were but I said I might be interested. The hard sell guy then comes to my door with his case to demonstrate his product. I could not get rid of him for an hour and a half. I went from saying that I only have a few minutes to saying this is going on too long to finally saying get out! Never again.

When someone comes to the door I do let them know that I am home. We have had a bunch of burglaries in the neighborhood and they always knock on the door first to see if anyone is home. If no one answers, they go in the back and break in.

I can open a small window near my front door and tell them go away, not interested. I would then report them to the police immediately.

I cannot believe someone would kick in your landscape lights! That is criminal and they should have been arrested. A no solicitors sign would discourage them,but the signs are not too attractive.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 11:52AM
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We don't have solicitors in our neighborhood due to signs and gates at entrance. I would never in this day and age open the door to anyone I didn't know. Sad.

30+ years ago in another house, while working in the front yard, I was approached by a young woman selling an all-purpose cleaner. She demonstrated the product on an oil spot in the driveway which sold even skeptical me. This bottle was a concentrate which lasted years and years. I was so relieved to find this company was still in business when I needed more and have ordered from them three times since the original purchase. So...had I been in the house, I wouldn't have answered the door and missed out on a great product,.

My 96 y.o. MIL was so surprised when I was mortified to learn she opens the doors to strangers. She was telling about a home robbery two doors down which occurred a few minutes after she opened the door to a stranger supposedly looking for directions. When I expressed my surprise and asked her not to do that she was truly shocked replying "But I've always opened the door to strangers". She is an intelligent woman, stays up on current events, etc. but I guess just never thought anything bad would ever happen to her.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 12:05PM
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I live out in the country and rarely have any door to door salespeople.

Can't imagine not answering a knock at the door (I will sometimes hide if I see it's JWs though). Several times we have answered the door to find people in trouble. Teens who were dropped off on the side of the road at the wee hours of the morning by PO'd dates, people who have had accidents and needed a phone, etc. Less likely to happen now in the era of (almost) everyone having cell phones but I still don't like the thought of ignoring someone in need of help.

Yes, there are potential dangers but I'm willing to take the chance. And hope that someone else would take the chance if I were in trouble and needed a helping hand from a stranger.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 7:42PM
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"They know I am home since I often don't park in the garage. Should I just not open the door anyway?"

This stood out to me. Just because there is a car in the driveway or in front of the house doesn't mean there are people home. You could have carpooled to work, or be out for a walk, or have an extra car because a child is off at college, or any of a number of other reasons.

If you don't want to answer the door, just don't. I have not answered the door because I just got out of the shower and am dripping wet and naked, or am up to my elbows in bread dough, or just sat down after a long day at work and just plain don't want to get up.

It is your house. You don't have to answer the door if you don't want to or don't like the looks of the person outside. You don't have to answer the phone if you don't want to.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 6:53PM
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Annie, Fourkids4us, and nancybee, thanks for the kind thoughts.

Having two large dogs makes me feel much safer. No one they don't know would get in easily. I hate feeling as if I need to lock doors!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 7:46PM
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You are so right, camlan.

cyn, I know what you mean about the dogs. My dog is a beagle, but her barking is ferocious!

thanks all for your helpful advice.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 10:44AM
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Do Jehova Witness' qualify as door-to-door salespersons?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 10:49AM
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As a rule, I don't answer the door to strangers. We can see our front door thru our dining room windows, so it's easy to identify who is there. Because my DH works out of home, there are times when I do need to answer-so fortunately our garage has a side door that I can go to while the folks are still standing on the front stoop. I can usually tell if it's one of his customers, however.

But one night, it was late-the door bell rang and I saw a young man at the door. My nephew was visiting for the night and I thought it was one of his friends-turned out it was not-it was some kid who was either higher than a kite or mentally ill-not sure which. Long story short, I ended up calling the police because the kid wouldn't leave. I was terrified when I had to shove the door shut and lock it!

After that, I call out thru the door asking who it is and if they can't idenitfy to my satisfaction, I tell them sorry, I'm in the middle of something, please come back later.

We also have 3 loud, big dogs-that helps deter the persistant! No soliciting signs don't tend to work-especially when DH is visible from the street while working in the garage. He gets approached at least once a week-the majority are trying to sell windows, meat (??) or magazine subscriptions. They're all pretty much scams. Very few businesses these days employ door-to-door salespeople.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 2:56PM
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One of the most common door-to-door salesmen is Direct Energy or Just alternate billing plan than your local electricity or hydro company.

They advertise all the time on Kijiji, and people canvas the neighbourhoods. Hard-sell salespeople, and don't take no for an answer.

One person was at my friend's door and stuck his foot in her door so that she couldn't close it. She was very upset and angry and her Rottweiller heard the tone of her voice and came thundering down the stairs. The guy at the door turned tail and ran.

Another time, someone else was telling me when the doorbell rang at 9pm and it was an alarm company salesman. They were not impressed that someone would come to there door at that time of nite.

There was a time, as another poster mentioned where door-to-door sales was common. I remember going with my Nan as a kid, when she did Avon, I think it was.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 3:13PM
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don't answer the door, or if you do, smile and say, "no thank you," or "sorry, I'm not interested", and close the door (quickly and without giving them a chance to start their come back spiel).

Once in a while I get missionaries of various stripes -- lately they are apologetic and leave on their own accord when they realize I'm not Hispanic!

I miss Fuller Brush though.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 6:16PM
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