Being a veteran car booter (80 boot sales in four years) the art of selling tat is making sure you understand what your market wants and ensuring there is an ample supply of said tat at a good price.
Last night's Apprentice saw the teams sent on a series of glorified car boot sales, albeit with new stuff rather than stuff gleaned through house moves and clearouts.
The first day saw the hapless bunch, led by two of the most hapless of the lot - Melody/ie and Natasha (they still merge into one faceless muppet to me) test the market with a range of tat provided to them by the Sugarmeister.
This included nodding dogs, umbrellas, duvet sets and battery-operated mobile phone chargers.
Strangely enough, punters couldn't get enough of the nodding dogs, so to me it was obvious that the UK is in the grip of a nodding dog craze. Either that or Tom the inventor's sales technique suddenly cranked up several hundred notches.
But when it came to the second day - and the crucial issue of restocking - Melody/ie (her of the UN fame - world peace?) decided that she knew best and went for some hideous digital photo frame/alarm clock combo and ignored the advice of Tom to buy some more nodding dogs. She also wasted half the day trying to sell a bulk order of duvet sets to a retailer who actually closed before Helen could deliver the goods and get the much needed money. Oops.
The other one - Natasha - yeah? - proved she didn't know her posterior from her elbow - strutting about the place bossing the poor puppy dog of the group - Susan - about. She scraped through by the skin of her teeth and lives to screw up another challenge - saved mainly by Jim's Irish charm.
Funnily enough they didn't get their prize this week because Lord Sugar was so disgusted at their performance. They were sent home to bicker instead.
Helen surprised everyone last night by being on the losing team for the first time (was it more by luck than judgement I wonder) and was lambasted by the 'big' man for trying to sell to retail - not really the aim of the game.
So now we have a final five - can't say I envy his Lordiness having to make a choice out of that lot.
I think my chickens have more business sense personally.
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