Home > At Play, Books, Post A Week 2011 > Let Me Buy Something

Let Me Buy Something

I’m not your average shop-til-you-drop female. I admit, I don’t love it. Shopping falls in the category of necessity much like having one’s car serviced or taking the dog to the vet. It’s not as painful as, say, a root canal, but there are so many variables that can make the experience unpleasant that I avoid shopping until a genuine, unavoidable need arises. Today was such a day, but since it involved a bookstore, I wasn’t completely averse by the prospect. The need: pick up my next book club book. Browsing through book shelves is much more palatable than trying to snag a bargain at a clothing store. No sizes to dread or lines to the dressing room. No need to match colors or accessorize.

I walked purposefully to the book store during my lunch hour, ignoring the many clothing store mannequins showing off stylish summer dresses, tops, and purses as I breeze by. My plan is to pick up the book club selection first then search for another book I’m interested in, Lisa See’s “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel”. The balance on my gift card will cover most of the first book, so buying a second is a possibility. If I still have time, I will linger a while to look for interesting titles for the future.

Several copies of “Same Kind of Different as Me” by Ron Hall and Denver Moore are reserved for my book club, and the sales clerk finds it quickly. She immediately proceeds to the cash register and rings up the sale–$22.95, without telling me the price first, asking if there would be anything else, or even acknowledging my presence for that matter. What’s her rush? I’m the one on my lunch hour. Where’s her salesmanship? Rather than fuss, I go along with the transaction. After I purchase the book, I find “Snow Flower” and check the price for a future visit to the store–$20.75. Today’s sale could have been worth $43.70 instead of only half that much except for the shortsightedness of the sales clerk who thinks she’s just there to ring up numbers on a machine, rather than sell merchandise.

So here are a few tips from a customer that could possibly add a bit of cash in your cash register next time, Miss In-A-Rush-to-Wait-for-the-Next-Customer:

1. Assume the customer didn’t come into your store for just that one item. Browsing is allowed, even encouraged. Ever heard of impulse spending? In this economy, your store sure would appreciate it.

2. Make eye contact, smile and drop hints. Tell me you’ll hold my purchase until I have finished shopping. If I am in the mood to browse, I’ll say “thank you” and wander around. If I’m already late getting back to work, I’ll start fishing for my wallet and say “I’m finished”.

3. Chat with customers, not friends. This should be obvious, but customers need attention. A shop full of BFFs is a turnoff. It possibly means errors at the checkout, incorrect information, and general unprofessionalism. Nor do customers need to hear gripes and complaints about horrible bosses. Customers will go across the street if it means the salespeople at your competitor’s store will actually provide good service.

One more thing, Amazon has the Kindle; Barnes and Noble has the Nook. What do you have? That walk-in customer that needs some face-to-face service who still holds a book in her hands rather than an electronic device. I may be old fashioned, but we’re in this together.

  1. August 9, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    How unusual! Typically it’s the opposite and they try to upsell you on all kinds of random products unrelated to your purchase. This one didn’t even roll out the old “Did you find everything you were looking for today?” line. Good advice!

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: