I Was Stalked By A Crazed Christmas Tree Salesman

How aggressive do you expect someone to be when they’re selling holiday cheer? Matt writes that he expected a strong sales pitch from the nursery where he went to price out Christmas trees, but didn’t expect a pushy sales pitch that would make the average used car salesman blush.

He writes:

I had to share an unbelievable Christmas Tree buying experience [at a large regional nursery.] I’ve done business with them before, so I know their sales model involves commissions and price negotiations, which is fine. I don’t mind that. But one of their sales-people clearly went over the top.

I stopped by one of their seasonal Christmas tree lots, which are scattered all around metro [redacted]. I looked at a few trees, inquired about prices with an employee, thanked him, and proceeded to leave with my 12 year old son. At that point, what can only be described as a sociopath salesmen followed me out of the lot all the way to my truck, the entire time asking me if I wanted a tree, don’t worry we can talk about the price, what’s wrong with my trees, most people who come here want to buy a tree, etc. etc. I answered in the negative pretty politely as I continued to walk away until I couldn’t take it any more and then turned around and told him face-to-face to stop following me and I don’t want a tree! I asked him if he was selling trees or used cars and did he seriously expect that I would buy a tree from him at this point (and yes, I was yelling at this point). He did not back down and stayed in my face until I finally had to turn around and get in my vehicle before it escalated even further, at that point he loudly yelled at me in the parking lot “Merry Christmas and thanks for all the Christmas cheer!”

I was so incensed at that point, that I turned around and headed back until the slightly more sensible inner-me took control and made me drive away before it escalated any further. Needless to say, I opted to buy my tree elsewhere and I’ll be having a discussion with their corporate office and am done shopping there. I’ve had used car salesmen follow me out to my car before who were far less aggressive.

Evidently, this tactic must work, but we’ll be curious to hear what the company higher-ups have to say to Eric about this salesman’s stalkerriffic behavior.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Phildogger says:

    Makes me “Pine” for the days you would cut one down yourself! (Sorry!)

  2. NickelMD says:

    Wow. Yet another reason why I have the same artificial tree every year.

  3. regann says:

    I usually have the opposite problem, no one wants to help the two girls picking out the tree. It’s like our money is tainted by our girl-cooties. And this is why I got an artificial tree.

    • SixOfOne says:

      Artificial trees for the win. Up in five minutes, no man-help needed ;)

      • finbar says:

        But they lack the biogenic volatile organic compounds that make the house smell so nice…

        • lim says:

          Not if you get the ones with the elastic band to hang from your rearview mirror! Although it can’t hold many ornaments. Perhaps I should try earrings.

    • CheesyRings says:

      I can wait around our local lumber yard for 30 minutes before someone asks me if I need help, all my wife has to do is take 1 foot out of the truck..lol

    • pdj79 says:

      It’s because they know THEY’LL be the ones who’ll have to carry the tree to your car and secure the tree to your vehicle because obviously you are very puny girly girls. Seriously, artificial is the way to go.

  4. Bagumpity says:

    This isn’t one of those trees where all the needles falls off, is it?

  5. Alter_ego says:

    Wow, I’ve never heard of tree sales like that. At the place we go to every year, they just have rows of trees with tags on them, and you grab one, bring it to that tree net bag thing, and pay. a salesman aggressive enough to follow me to my car would have really freaked me out.

    • AngryK9 says:

      Lucky it wasn’t here in KY. Between the concealed carryers and crazy old farmers with their shotgun racks, that sales guy might not have made it back out of the parking lot

  6. flip says:

    “I’ll be having a discussion with their corporate office ” hahahahahahaha…. That seller was probably working three positions. CEO, CFO, and Sales Director.

    Most of these are seasonal business are run by an individual and not some corporate giant where complaining may not get you a “free tree” ( yes, im aware he purchased one already )

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Well, considering there are so many of these nurseries around the OP’s area, it might not be a corporate giant, but it certainly is a company. It wouldn’t hurt to let a company know that it has aggressive sales tactics that turn people away from wanting to do business with them.

    • MattAZ says:

      No, this person was definitely not the owner. (That’s me in the story) This lot is seasonal, but is run by a very large nursery. He may have been responsible for this particular lot, but this nursery probably runs at least a dozen of these Christmas tree lots in the area and they have several permanent locations.

      • SecretAgentWoman says:

        Please give us a rare follow up on what the company had to say.

        I hate not getting follow ups…

      • Clyde Barrow says:

        The bottom line is that this guy represents the sign of the times of business in America; be an aggravating asshole to sell whatever to whomever period. What I also find aggravating is the “interrupting and talking loudly over me on the phone or at a restaurant and all I hear is, “would you like blah, blah, blah instead? No, if I wanted that I would have asked.

        This is why I love hitting Europe every year for vacation and it’s so peaceful and nice to interact with folks that just act f’ing human. I won’t even bother vacationing in the States anymore because it’s aggravating to have to fight off these jerks with the constant “up sells” for every place of business. In Europe? they leave you alone.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          You and I haven’t been to the same Europe. I met my fair share of aggressive sales tactics in Europe, especially at the markets.

  7. spindle789 says:

    I am staying away from metro [redacted] for my dead tree needs.

  8. carefree dude says:

    I think the whole “Christmas Tree” thing is barbaric. You murder an innocent living thing, drag its corpse to your house, toss decorations on the corpse, throw cheap toys under it, and after a few weeks, toss it into a lake late at night.

    • Murph1908 says:

      Wow, you certainly do not seem to be a carefree dude.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I agree. Why murder an innocent tree? This is why this year, I have a Christmas Deer Head.

    • DewBerry says:

      Well, yes.

      “Christmas” trees pre-date Christianity. It always makes me laugh to hear Christians say “He’s the reason for the season”. No. Christmas, and most of its traditions, is a pagan celebration known as Yule. Yule itself was probably built on an earlier tradition. This is why some churches, e.g. Jehovah’s Witnesses, don’t celebrate Christmas. It has nothing to do with Christ or the bible.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        No one mentioned Christ or the Bible. Not sure why you’re bringing it up.

        As for the issue of living Christmas trees, artificial trees were not used until the 19th century, so the history of decorating a tree predates cutting down a tree and then decorating it, but both predate use of an artificial tree.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      I am no tree-hugger. They just get in the way of the view.

    • zegron says:

      I personally burn my Christmas tree when its no longer useful.

    • sth9669 says:

      But how else can we celebrate the magic of Jesus. . . ?

      (haha, sorry, I couldn’t resist)

    • feralparakeet says:

      Tossing it into the lake means that you’ve guaranteed yourself a good fishing spot for the next year or two.

    • dolemite says:

      My only problem with them is they are sticky…needles everywhere…you have to maintain it, plant it or dispose of it…yeah, too much work.

      We have a 6′ artificial tree, but due to wife and I working a lot for the past few months, we ended up buying a little 2′ tree that is pretty much already decorated and took about 5 min to put up.

    • crunchberries says:

      ‘Toss it in a lake late at night’? Wow, I’ve clearly been doing it wrong for years.

  9. UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

    This is why the older I get the happier I am that I’m Jewish and don’t have to actively deal with Christmas.

    I’m not trying to be miserly, though. I just think the whole season is way too much work now.

    • RandomHookup says:

      But if you have little Jewish babies, you are going to have to fight “Christmas envy” for years and years.

    • wrjohnston91283 says:

      We have a Hanukkah at work. Just noticed this morning that all the decorations are blue or a star of David

      • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

        You have a Hanukkah? A Hanukkah what?

        That’s like saying “We have a Christmas at work.” Hanukkah is a holiday. You can have a menorah, maybe…

        • humbajoe says:

          Wow, what kind of loser really takes the time to make a post bitching about how he phrased the fact that they celebrate a certain holiday at work? Go kill yourself.

  10. fortymegafonzies says:

    The corporate office is probably going to fire the salesman for not being tenacious enough, I mean he could have thrown himself in front of the truck, but he just gave up on the sale.

  11. Jennifer says:

    What’s up with the [redacted]? Consumerist doesn’t have a problem calling out Best Buy and Sears by name. What’s so special about this company?

  12. Cliff_Donner says:

    Sounds like the salesman was a member of the American Family Association.

  13. Destra says:

    The OP probably overreacted a bit, but pushy tactics are annoying for something that’s supposed to be fun.

    I had a pushy Christmas tree salesperson this year too. My partner and I buy our tree from the local school district fundraiser lot that’s worked by the local high schoolers. The high schooler working with us was very enthusiastic about telling us which trees were great, and this one or that one would work great in our living room without us even getting to look at more than 2 trees. It came off cute instead of annoying due to his age, though.

  14. oopewan says:

    Seriously though, why didn’t he buy a tree?

  15. teke367 says:

    Well, I’m not blaming the OP, but I don’t think I’ve ever gone comparison shopping for a tree. Unless the lot was bare, or the prices were outrageous, I’d just get a tree from that location most likely. I can imagine a lot of people don’t leave those places without a tree, and perhaps the salesman thought something really was wrong. That doesn’t excuse the saleperson’s actions, but might explain why it started.

  16. zombie70433 says:

    I wish they could have worked this into Christmas Vacation – sounds like a Clark thing.

  17. NoThankYou says:

    Oddly enough he is probably the top sales person.