Tips: On How to Be a Good Shopper, aka How to Not Make the Salespeople Hate You

now that i’ve been in some form of retail or another for almost two years, i think i have a pretty solid base of tips for your average shopper that will not only help you as the shopper but help me as the salesperson.  they are as follows:

1.  when removing an item from a stack, do not merely slide the stack around on the table.  you might need a size large, and that’s great and fine, but there is no reason you need to flip sizes XS – M over, to the left, and then let a few of them drape down the side of the table.  no.reason.  the easiest removal method: use two hands to remove the upper part of the stack, place to the side, remove your item, replace upper part of the stack.  takes about .2 seconds more than the yank and destroy method.

2.  in a similar vein, should you need a hanging item of clothing, and then decide you no longer want it and decide to replace it, take a half a second to slide your hand into the spot where you wish to hang the item and push one side or the other of the rest of the rack over to give yourself ample space to replace your item.  there is no need to jam a $150 piece of clothing so it is hanging all cockeyed and looking like it’s trying to escape the rest of the rack.

3.  always, and i mean ALWAYS, let your retail staff put things from the dressing rooms back out on the floor.  you think you’re helping, but you’re really effing us over – we go hunting for an item that our inventory says we have, but we can’t find it because you thought it went over there while really it is supposed to be over here.  waste of our time, and the one time you become the customer that is waiting and waiting and stillllll waiting for someone to find an item for you, now you know why we’re taking so long.

4.  cut the attitude.  i have had it about up to HERE with the “customer is always right” B.S.  it is not ever right to be overtly racist or defamatory, or even really rude.  consider this: your possibly bad interaction with us has occurred once for you that day.  multiply that times at least five for what we have dealt with that day.  take note of how we are still calm, polite, and patient.  try it on for size.

5.  if you need to know a price and your store doesn’t have a scanner, ask.  but do NOT ask for every price of sixteen pieces of merchandise on the off/slim/non-existent chance that we didn’t correctly mark an item.  the people that have to ask for the prices and then buy only one of those things just KILL me.  you just wasted 13 minutes of my life.

6.  finally, don’t be scared of us…we’re there to help, we live in the store and know the merchandise backwards and forwards (and if we don’t we’ll get you an answer), and we can make suggestions that you might not have thought of.  don’t act like we’ve run over to steal your first child if we ask if you’re finding everything all right, it’s what we’re paid to do.

you can always spot people that have worked in retail before by how they treat staff and products, and you can always spot people that have very obviously never worked in retail (or possibly anywhere, ever) by the same.  this is my gift to you so you can fake it like you fall into the first category.


One thought on “Tips: On How to Be a Good Shopper, aka How to Not Make the Salespeople Hate You

  1. Katherine says:

    That just all seems like common sense to me. I have never worked in retail, but I try to do all these things anyway. I totally believe that people act this way, though, considering some of the things we see in the library!

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