Israeli Salesmen the Kings of the Mall Kiosk

Pushy vendors bring bazaar-culture to holiday shopping
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2008 2:20 PM CST
From sports merchandise to beauty products, mall carts draw customers, with the help of fearless salespeople.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Chances are that shopping-mall cart vendor offering you spa lotions or whimsical toys this Christmas season is an Israeli transplant who knows how to hustle and haggle. Cart owners avoid hiring shyer Americans because "Israelis are natural-born closers," said one marketing director, and they're edging out other Turkish, Chinese, and Indian immigrants who've long been a staple of the kiosk business, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Some shoppers—and other vendors—have complained about the Israelis' aggressive tactics, but they seem to work: Some report making $500 per day on commission. One Turkish cart operator thinks the haggling and hassling are giving carts a bad name, but admits that he wouldn't mind hiring a few Israelis. "They are really good salesmen. You have to admire them."