So what's so different with him ... he is tenacious, and yes he has a great product to start with but by no means a MUST HAVE product. I think he deliberately priced it low at $5 so that it becomes an impulse buy, and he knows how to push those buttons for an impulse buy - "eh... its not going to break my bank or budget for the week", "seriously it looks damn useful, even if it breaks off after one week, its still just $5 only", ...
He looks spiffy too, always in his suit. Might be overdressed for his job but thats his knack: by over-dressing, he attracts attention; by being in a suit, there is a sense of professionalism than say somebody trying to sell you things off the back of a truck; and he stays in the mode and worked in the same areas day in day out - so much so that even if you ignore and walk around him for months, you'd still somehow wonder what the heck can this guy be selling day in day out, curiosity not only kills the cat, it has a stranglehold on all shoppers.
After the breakup of his third marriage, and a period of residence in Ireland, Ades followed his daughter to New York City, taking up residence in Manhattan.
From 1993 onward, Ades sold $5 Swiss-made metal potato peelers. Known for his engaging sales patter and demonstrations in places such as Union Square Greenmarket, while wearing $1,000 Chester Barrie suits and shirts from Turnbull & Asser. Ades never bothered with a license, meaning that he was often moved on by the New York City Police Department. His pitches and lifestyle eventually meant that he became so famous that he was the subject of a Vanity Fair article series.
Ades sold enough peelers to enjoy café society at the Pierre Hotel, on the Upper East Side, and lived with his fourth wife, Estelle Pascoe–November 17, 2007) in her three-bedroom apartment on Park Avenue.
“ Never underestimate a small amount of money gathered by hand for 60 years ”
Unfortunately, he (Joe Ades) passed away February 1st 2009, only one day after learning he had finally been granted American citizenship. Now his daughter does the same. He worked hard enough selling this that he was able to pay for a three-bedroom apartment on Park Ave. in NYC . Ades died on February 1, 2009, only a day after being informed that he had been granted American citizenship.