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The Dos and Dont’s of Shopping Retail

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Here is a list of my biggest shopping do’s and don’ts. From interacting with the store employees to getting clothes at their lowest price, here is my best shopping advice.

Do: Say hi to the person who greets you.

Don’t: Ignore the person who greets you, or asks if you need help. One of the most demoralizing aspects of working retail is the number of times you ask, “Hi, how are you guys doing today?” and get completely ignored. I get that the greeters can be annoying, especially when they are asking what you are shopping for, and you just want to be left alone. Please know, greeting and asking customers if they need help finding anything is a requirement of most retail workers. At least at the stores I have worked at. If we didn’t do this we would get spoken to by a manager.  Also while it can often be annoying, can you imagine even one time when you walked into a store looking for a specific item to grab quickly? In these situations, I find having someone in the front of the store to tell me what I am looking for extremely helpful. For those instances, it is beneficial to have someone greet the customers. People do not always like to go up to employees and ask for help. So, having it offered, while annoying if you do not need help, it is beneficial to those who do. So, take two seconds to look them in the eye, say hi back, and if you don’t need any help just say, “I am ok, thanks!”

Do: Look for discounts wherever you can. I will touch on this more in another post but avoid paying full price at all costs.

Don’t: Ask us for coupons, demand we honor discounts that cannot be combined or are expired or ask for a discount to be applied after you have made your purchase.

Do: Ask for help picking out outfits, especially for gifts. It is our job to know how to help you with this kind of thing, and most of us really enjoy it!

Don’t: Expect us to pick out gifts for a person without any other details, and don’t expect us to know someone’s size based on a picture or general size description.

Do: Be friendly with us, if you would like. Especially in the height of COVID-19, some customers could get super chatty, likely because their human interaction had significantly decreased. We are fine if you don’t speak to us beyond basic interactions, but if you want to have a little chat, especially when the store is not busy, go for it. I have had customers show me pictures of their grandkids, tell me about their children’s internships, talk about their vacations, etc. It always makes me happy to be able to provide a listening ear for someone.

Don’t: Make jokes. I was going to say don’t make jokes that will make us uncomfortable, but unless you are a professional comedian, that will pretty much cover all of the jokes.

Don’t: TOUCH US. There is no more explanation that should be necessary. More people than you would expect do it. Don’t. Think back to your kindergarten lessons about hands to yourself and personal space and simply don’t.

Do: Ask for something when you need it. Sometimes there are only two people working in a store and only one of them is actually on the floor. We can’t always see everyone that needs help, but never feel bad about grabbing someone and asking for help.

Don’t: Stand in one place looking annoyed and waiting for someone to come assist you. Like I said, sometimes there will only be one person working on the floor. If you are waiting for a fitting room, to check out, or just general help, it’s not a guarantee someone will notice. We certainly make it a priority to be aware of people, but if you need help and an associate is not around, use your legs and walk to go find one instead of standing there and waiting for one of us to read your mind.

Ciao! My name is Elizabeth and I am a sophomore journalism major at St. Bonaventure. I love to write and I am so excited to have my work included on this fantastic platform for college women!
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