It's All in the Presentation
I love when real-life situations point me to meaningful business lessons. I'm a bit neurotic about this stuff, because I have learned so much from life's experiences.
My 14-year-old son has been pounding on me for a drum set. As a music lover and a drummer myself, I'm very supportive of his drumming. He has been using my "classic" 1970s vintage Slingerland maple drums, but as only a kid can, he's selling me on the idea that he needs another set of drums to call his own.
Nevertheless, I have my own agenda. I need him to work for me on web stuff and I'm happy to play bank in exchange for him working for me.
Recently, we went to see what should be some nice Gretch mahogany drums he found on Craigslist. As can be the case, we ended up in a not-so-great part of town at night in front of a funky house with no lights. There was a locked chain-link gate with a cardboard sign that said "YARD SALE" in marking pen. Behind the gate a variety of old dressers and junk were scattered about. It seemed that they have a permanent yard sale going on.
We called the seller on the phone and he came out with one of the drums, which we were able to view using the headlights of our truck. He brought out the other pieces and explained he was missing a mounting bracket. The whole thing just seemed uncomfortable to me. I'd be giving this guy hundreds of dollars for the few drum pieces and I needed to feel good about it.
But I didn't feel good about it. In the end I walked away, explaining that we wanted something a little more put together. The next day we were able to get a more complete set of PDP drums, an entry-level set from Drum Workshop (DW), a high-end drum company, from someone else for much less money—and we did feel good about it.