So, My Vacuum Cleaner Sucks… Or Not.

Yesterday, Hubby was apparently recovered enough from his (thankfully short) bout with stomach flu to invite a door-to-door vacuum salesman in. Ick. I am reasonably sure that Hubby only invited him in because he was offering a free jug of laundry detergent for allowing him into our home (Note – Cheap, stinky laundry detergent that I probably won’t use).

So, the dude was selling the Kirby vacuum. Apparently, I live under a rock, because I had never heard of this thing. A point he made over and over again: “Sarah, you’re KILLING me! You’ve never heard of a Kirby?” Um. No. It’s a vacuum, for pete’s sake. I don’t read the housekeeping trade publications. I’m not all up on my vacuum stats.

His demonstration involved vacuuming with our vacuum, and then vacuuming with his, to show how much crud, dirt, sand and dust was left behind. Yeah, okay. Gross. Then, he dumped about a cup of baking soda into the carpet and vacuumed with our vac. Then his. Okay, yeah, I get it. His vacuum is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy better.

It also cost about ten times as much as mine.

I admit – I really DO NOT like door-to-door salesmen. Hubby was straight up with the guy the second he walked in the door: “We do not buy from door-to-door salesmen, but if you still want to do your pitch, fine.” (Me, I still get skeeved out because I am paranoid and imagine that this person is going to come into my house and maim me with my free weights… but that’s my issue).

The salesmen went on for AN HOUR about his vacuum. It’s a great product, it is. We never said it wasn’t. But – we also told him, “We’re not really in the market to spend nearly two grand on a vacuum right now.” It got to the point where the salesmen was asking us questions, and they were typical sales questions, trying to get us to admit his product was superior. Look – don’t sell us. We KNOW your product is better. Just like we KNOW that a Cadillac is better than our Oldsmobile. However, we are on an Oldsmobile budget. Pack up your vacuum and move on.

He asked me at one point, while running some test on how much suction power his vac had over mine – what would you be happy with (on a scale of one to ten)? I said, “Four.” Of course, he did his fake look of shock, “Sarah! Why would you accept less than 10?!” My response: “I didn’t spend two thousand bucks on my vacuum. I spent $150. If I get roughly half the suction that YOUR vacuum gets for spending that much less, I’m content.” Apparently that was the wrong answer.

We were finally able to scoot him out the door. And no, he didn’t make the sale. But he vacuumed and shampooed my living room carpet, and that was a happy plus for me. (Though the carpet is already coated with cheerios and pancake crumbs. Such is life).

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. I don’t let them even get started. I bought a broom from a nice old man once (b/c I’m not completely heartless), but other than that I’m not hearing it.

  2. You guys are way nicer than I would have been. An hour. Wow. How in the world could a vacuum cost that much? For 2 Grand, it should do the laundry and scrub your bathtub! My personal dream vacuum would be a Dyson. Thanks to the price of a Kirby, the Dyson looks downright cheap at $500. But hey, at least you got a free carpet cleaning….even if the Cheerios had to check it out sooner than later.

  3. The sales guy said these things last 40+ years… and it oughta for the price tag. I even asked, “So, if I had a Dyson, it would be registering a 4 on this scale also?” and he said, “Oh you wouldn’t believe how many Dysons we have seen – they’re no better.” Uh huh. (Real Simple magazine says otherwise – so nyah nyah nyah).

    It was getting ridiculous after awhile. When he was ripping up scraps of paper and trying to get our vacuum to suck it up (while holding the cleaner upside down in the on position) I couldn’t stop laughing. I told Hubby, “If his fingers get caught in the suction, I don’t think our home owner’s insurance is gonna cover that.”


  4. “Can it make me a sandwich?” as my brother would say? Other wise, forget it! Well, maybe if I win the lotto…then I’ll buy one for my maid!

  5. While Smart Guy was in seminary working on his master’s degree, he was a “Filter Queen” salesman. Much like the Kirby dude. Those crazy things cost almost $1000 and that was 11 years ago. Who knows what they cost now. I found a used one on ebay with a buy it now price of $450.

    They are really, really good vacuums. While he was selling them, we had one to use at all times. It was gross to see the nasty stuff it sucked up!! This thing also was an air filter. You could leave it running in the middle of the room with air freshner in it for awhile and your air would be clean and smell good minutes later!!

  6. We got a good deal on a basic oreck, paying only 150 for it. It was light, worked well… until about a year ago, when something got sucked into it and broke it. Rather than pay to get it fixed, we bought a $150 vacuum that was on consumer reports list as a best buy and had attachments… we like it just fine. It had been so long since our oreck actually worked that it seemed like we got new carpet.

    I was at a friends when she got sucked into buying akirby. It was a nice vacuum, but I’m not about to start making payments on a vacuum cleaner. Especially when I don’t have a car paymnt anymore. Nope, not gonna happen.
    Sounds like you were good practice for the dude.

  7. Hello! I came across your blog by clicking the “next blog” button on my own blog. Love this post. It’s so true. We’ve had the Kirby people here too! Great product but WAY too much money.

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