Our vendors: Erdzan Sadik (Lice v Lice, Skopje, Macedonia)

Interview by Maja Nedelkovska

“The most important thing is to smile and look people in the eye. I speak to them loud and clearly, and it’s easier for me now, because I’m not a rookie anymore,” says Lice v lice seller Erdzan Sadik, unveiling the tricks for successful sale of the magazine.

Photo by Tomislav Georgiev

Erdzan is a normal 19-year-old boy from the Skopje municipality of Shuto Orizari. He listens to Roma music and he says that his biggest wish is to sell 600 magazines by the end of this year. If you happen to often pass through Debar Maalo or the Skopje City Square, you must have noticed him. Short and small in build, very smart, unobtrusive and with a pleasant expression.

Erdzan is the most successful seller of the magazine. He says that he realized from the beginning how to approach people and that was the reason why he was able to sell more than his colleagues.

“Selling on the street was a bit embarrassing for me at first, so I spoke to customers in a low voice. They didn’t hear me, they didn’t even stop for a moment, so I realised I was going nowhere. Now I know that this is a good and decent job and I had to put much effort into Lice v Lice so that both the magazine and I would succeed,” says Erdzan, solemnly.

Photo by Tomislav Georgiev

He adds that he can assess from afar whether someone is interested in buying the magazine or not. “It’s obvious who wants to help and who doesn’t care. I know that I shouldn’t persuade people, and not everyone has the time to stop and hear me out,” he says.

Erdzan says that selling Lice v Lice around Debar Maalo is enjoyable. The waiters in the surrounding restaurants don’t drive him out, on the contrary, they greet him and some of them are his customers.

“They know me now; every time I go there we greet each other. The last time I was there they reminded me to bring them a copy of the next issue when it comes out,” the young man explains.

He tells us about a recent event that made him very happy. After addressing a customer and explaining why he should buy the magazine, Erdzan received an unusual reaction.

“He told me he worked in Germany and that he came here very rarely. He encouraged me by commending me on my approach, he told me to stick to this job and not even think about begging or rummaging through garbage cans. He bought two magazines and wished me luck and success,” Erdzan recounts.

Erdzan knows how to share his success, so he is constantly and selflessly instructing his colleagues. New sellers have joined recently. Erzdan knows them, they are from the same neighbourhood, so without being asked to, he offered his help to them.

“I will come with you to the first few places – it will be easier for you. The important thing is to smile and show them the magazine cover,” he says to the new sellers.

Erdzan says he avoids fights, which are a frequent occurrence in his neighbourhood, but if it is for the sake of defending his family or friends, he just has no choice but to take part. He says that justice is not on his side, but he doesn’t want to complain.

“That’s all I’ve got to say. Do you want to ask me something else?” he says.

“Yes, one more thing,” I say, smiling, “when are you going to get married?”

“Eh, who knows, maybe even tomorrow? What I do know is that today, I have to sell at least 20 magazines,” he answers – as always – with a smile.

Translated by Zorica Petkoska