How to Be A Respectful Shopper

Or, how to not make sales people hate you.

I’m in sales. I have been for quite some time. There is one point I’d really like to get across to all you shoppers out there:

Sales people are people too!

(why else would they be called sales people?)

Just because you’re feeling in a craptacular mood doesn’t mean that you get to take it out on whoever is trying to help


you find your perfect scent of candle. Or your brand-spanking new bunny slippers. Or that chair that looks just right. Or

your silky man-thong.

So here is a short list I’ve compiled of things you can do to be the shopper the salespeople want you to be. By following

these easy steps, you’ll be guaranteeing that the wonderful people who work at the stores you love won’t hate you.

1) Manners:

Come on people, were we born in 300 B.C.E.? No! Would it kill you to be polite? Seriously. A please and a thank you every now and again really makes the world a better place to live in.

Yes, they’re probably trying to sell you something. Guess what, that’s there job! Admit it, you’d be upset if you actually were shopping instead of browsing and nobody came to help you find that perfect…whatever it is.

2) Listen:

Salesperson: “Hey there, how are you today?”

You: “I don’t need any help.”

Apparently you do. You need hearing aids. The person asked how you are today, not if you needed help. So do them the courtesy of replying to what they asked instead of assuming that they’re there to badger you. If they then ask you afterwards if you need help with anything, that is your chance to tell them that you don’t.

3) Personal Information:

At the cash register, the sales clerk may ask you for your phone number or email (or in the case of my store, both). If you’re worried they’re going to sell it, or whatever (my store doesn’t, for the record) by all means ask about it. But don’t be rude.

It’s part of the clerk’s job to ask for it. They probably have a certain phone number/email capture goal to make for that day. Which means they have to ask everyone. Don’t get angry, it’s part of their job.

Besides, if you give your credit card that’s got all your personal info attached to it anyways.

Also, don’t lie. We live in 2012. I really don’t believe that 40% of you don’t have emails. So when I ask you for your email, unless you’re 117 years old, I don’t believe you when you say “I don’t have email.” Just say, “no thank you” or I’ll be secretly laughing at you in my head.

4) Don’t Comment on Prices:

If it’s expensive, chances are the salesperson knows it’s expensive. You know, because they work there. So when you come up and say, “man this store is expensive,” what response are you waiting for? We don’t make the prices people, that’s way above us.

The corporation is a whale. The region the store you’re in is a shark. The regional manager is a swordfish. The store you’re in is a salmon. The manager of that store is a gold fish. The sales leader is a sardine. The salesperson you’re talking to is an amoeba.

Get it?

5) Don’t assume:

a) that you’re the only person that sales person has to help. There are probably more people in the store

b) That big items like televisions or couches are going to be kept in the back room waiting just for you. You’re probably going to have to order those in. And it’s probably going to take 2 weeks or so.

So here’s the grand list for your convenience. Please abide by it, and make life for me (and other salespeople) much easier. Or else you may find that suddenly you have a strange pain in your chest where somebody stuck a pin in a voodoo doll made just for you.

I’ll add more when I think of them. Believe me, the list really is endless.

9 responses to “How to Be A Respectful Shopper

  1. “apparently you do. you need hearing aids” haha made me snicker! Also, I totally agree with the price thing. So many people would come up to the till and be like “that is pretty expensive, you couldn’t give me a discount or something?” or they would just complain about prices. I was like I just work here, I dont make the prices, also if I arbitrarily change the price for you I could a)lose my job b) have to do it for more people or c) both a and b. (the answer is c)
    Good post. 🙂

  2. “The corporation is a whale. The region the store you’re in is a shark. The regional manager is a swordfish. The store you’re in is a salmon. The manager of that store is a gold fish. The sales leader is a sardine. The salesperson you’re talking to is an amoeba.”– Love this, I wish I could tell people this everyday at my work!

  3. Dear Scribbler: it depends on the kind of shopping one does. I can handle food but clothes are a little too much for me. Your viewpoint is something else, it makes one wonder. Warm regards, Marc Marrs

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