I recently came across a roadside vendor who had displayed CDs and DVDs in an umbrella that was turned upside down, allowing many a curious passer-by the opportunity to glance through his entire collection. It was an innovative way to catch the customer’s eye without taking much space on the pavement.
One doesn’t have to be only a salesperson to sell a product, but it’s equally important to be innovative. Big business establishments rope in advertising agencies to devise catchy, and crazy, means to promote sales. Small-time vendors too are at the best of their imagination when they seek to display stuff for sale. The aim is to draw the attention of the buyer, in whatever way.
The lime-water seller weaves a garland of lemons and ties it around a big pitcher, which is painted red. The pudina-pani seller too has the foliage spread around a similar container. The water-melon seller carves out beautiful designs to make the fruit look juicier. The candy-floss hawker puts the pink balls and square blocks in a glass container, while the ice-cream peddler plays chimes and jingles to draw the attention of the kids. The mango-seller arranges the fruits in a way that it seems they have just been plucked for sale. The jamun and ber seller also makes a huge heap on his hurdygurdy, bringing many a health-conscious commuter to a screeching halt.
The one who sells boiled eggs adds mouthwatering spices besides chopped onions to the recipe. In winter, the peanut-seller again makes a heap on which a heating agent is placed to proclaim to the buyers that the goodies on offer are crisp and warm. The balloon-seller knows that some colourful balloons have to be inflated to attract children’s attention, while the flute seller chooses to play a tune with such ease that he tempts the music lover to indulge.
And last but not the least, a lot depends on the vegetable vendor’s style of calling out loud. Perhaps, he could experiment with humour and call cucumbers ‘ Laila ki ungliyan aur Majnu ki pasliyan’. My favourite, however, is the call heard at the mandi to impress that everything is going abegging, almost like a loot: “Lut gaya! Lut gaya! Lut gaya!”