The Best Vacuum Ever. Really.

There’s always a lot of debate about what the “best vacuum EVAH!” is, and with good reason. It’s a complex question. Obviously, it varies from person to person, based on cleaning style, home surfaces, household inhabitants, level of allergies, etc. Some people are very content with the most basic of all vacuums — cleaning just isn’t a huge priority, and as long as they’re not crawling with bedbugs, all is well. Then, there are others who have severe allergies, long-haired pets, hardwood floors, thick carpets, heavy drapes, AND a severe case of housecleaning-based OCD — for them, the $50 Wal-mart special-of-the-week just won’t cut it.

Seeing as how vacuums are our passion, we spend a lot of time arguing about our favorites. We also find certain favorites among our customers. Obviously, on the internet, any Dyson is king. It appeals to the Apple-generation, with its bright colors, snazzy usability features, and high-tech story. Older folks who visit our retail stores tend to prefer the Kirbys, Hoovers and Orecks of the world. It might be just the name recognition, or it could be the quality that comes with years of practice in the industry. We get people who say their housekeepers insist that they get Mieles if they want their homes really clean. Housekeepers themselves come in and swear by Kenmores. Consumer reports favors the Hoover WindTunnel for uprights, while Good Housekeeping likes the Hoover Savvy. Customers who’ve been coming into our stores loe these 30+ year years, repeatedly buy Riccars and say they’ve spread the good word to friends and family (Unfortunately, Riccar doesn’t allow sales over the internet — check out your local authorized retailer if you’re curious) and will never use anything else. No matter what the customer’s situation or style, when they find a vacuum that really works for them, they become passionate about it too. (And likewise, when they have a really bad experience with a vacuum, they become passionate about warning others away from it).

What are your favorites? We have ours, obviously, and we recommend different ones based on different needs. (If you haven’t found your favorite yet: You can call one of our knowledgable sales staff (1-866-468-2288, 9 am – 6 pm, Monday through Saturday), explain your needs and get a custom recommendation, or browse our charts yourself.) But, we’re always curious to learn more. Please, feel free to share your experiences below in our comments section.

Balch, Bill and the Vacuum Bags

Here at GoVacuum, as at most companies I imagine, we sometimes find ourselves discussing topics other than the day-to-day directly work-related. This afternoon, while talking about the effect of the commercial internet boom on small businesses (like us), and the effects of all new emerging technologies on various business ideas, the president of GoVacuum (aka Bill) shared the following interesting little story (please excuse my paraphrasing):

About ten years ago, John Balch of Royal Appliance Manufacturing (that’s Royal Vacuums and the Dirt Devil, to those of us in this particular industry) was harnessing the power of the radio and telephone to market his newest idea: easy access to vacuum bags for cheap. It’s a hassle for everyone, frankly: finding and keeping a steady supply of vacuum bags in the home (not that we haven’t tried to make it easier). He was offering 15 bags for 15 dollars, shipped right to your door.* His radio spots were heard seemingly constantly and Bill was downright impressed. He was convinced that this was a winning idea and that business must be booming. He was so impressed that he practically wanted to fly to Ohio and shake Balch’s hand. So he did. He spontaneously bought a plane ticket, flew to Cleveland, rented a car and drove to the listed address. He showed up at a fully-stocked warehouse, full of supplies, 30-something cubicles, phones… and two bored men. Business was not going as well as one would imagine. Bill bought a pack of vacuum bags, said “hi” to Balch and left dejected. He didn’t understand it, but attributed the lack of success to poor timing. It was obvious to him that the idea was sound (if not brilliant), the technology was there, and that the people were ready. But it wasn’t working.

After Bill shared that story, we chatted a little about why it probably didn’t work, and why similar online offers seem to work slightly better. We also talked a little about what people have come to expect even in our retail stores and why that transaction is seemingly so much more satisfactory. In the end, even though we couldn’t figure it all out (I suppose a full-scale sociology experiment would be necessary to), we did agree that there are many good reasons to support small independently-owned businesses and their respective online ventures over the corporate giants (that never have exactly what you need anyway). In that vein, we are proud to stand by our small independent business both locally and online. If you’re near us in Virginia, feel free to come visit us! If you’re not, try to stop by your local vacuum retailer or just shop with us online. The products are good, our real customer service can’t be beat, and we offer all the convenience and good prices that Balch tried to offer years ago. Plus free shipping** ;)

* We find, in our retail stores, that the average consumer doesn’t realize that there are so many different kinds of vacuum bags out there, specific to the model of vacuum one has at home. Often, a customer will walk into our store, saying simply “I need vacuum bags” and will then look baffled when we ask “What kind?”. It usually results in a trip back home to look at the vacuum brand and model, and another trip back to the store with the information (hopefully) in hand. Half of the genius behind Balch’s idea was the fact that customers could make their purchase easily from home, where all the vacuum-related information was easily accessible.

** On all orders over $50

The New GoVacuum Blog

Look at us, we’ve launched a blog! We plan on using this here space to keep you informed about the latest vacuum technology news, cleaning tips, stain-fighting secrets, allergy-battling ideas, company news, and of course, new product lines. We’ll probably also announce new giveaways and contests here first, so check back often! Get the dirt, indeed. Heh.