Saturday, February 21, 2009

Small Businesses Don't Have To Suck

While biking home from my campaign volunteer activities and CD shopping at Amoeba, I passed by this humble little vacuum store on Fountain and Hobart that had n array of upright vacuum cleaners lines up inside the shop, outside the door and right at the curb.

Seeing that I've long procrastinated buying a couple of small attachments that got lost from my Hoover upright vacuum cleaner, I wondered if this store would have them in stock.

I asked the man at the counter and he told me he didn't think he had them but found a compatible part, much bigger than the one I looked for, yet still able to fit the Hoover vacuum hose.

Then looking down at one of the used Hoover models I pointed out that the attachments looked exactly like those attachments, and the proprietor, whose name was Sabatino, told me he'd be willing to sell them to me. The price was $4 each - making the purchase $8. I produced a five and three singles from my wallet right away.

He told me his business was only around for a couple months, having relocated from Sunset and Tamarind (near the Arby's)...and that my $8 was the first sale he ever made.

I was kind of floored. I don't know how many of you reading this (if at all :)) are in need of a used vacuum cleaner or repairs to your existing one, but if you do, this store can give you what you need. It saved me from an online purchase that would charge me more in shipping than it would for the item itself! So come check out Sunset Vacuum Shop & Service on 5324 Fountain Ave (at Hobart). I just love it when everything you need is pretty much nearby.

I also did some neighborhood council outreach, telling him about what we do and gave him my card, offering to help him out with any city-related issue he'd see in the neighborhood.

Yeah, there's a joke somewhere that says that no matter how well you do in the vacuum cleaner business, it's always going to suck...But sometimes it doesn't have to!

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