11 Things Your Salesperson Wishes You Knew

11 Things Your Salesperson Wishes You Knew
Sebastian Kim

If you’re anything like us, you spend a lot of time shopping and interacting with salespeople, so we figured we would take a moment to discuss the not-so-obvious ways you might be annoying, irking, or otherwise ruining a sales associate’s day, as well as the things you can do to make their job just a bit easier.

We asked retail veterans from Madewell, Victoria’s Secret, and more for a peek into their world—scroll on to take a surprising walk in your salesperson’s shoes.

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    PHOTO: Sebastian Kim

    “It’s frustrating when you spend a lot of time assisting someone, and the customer knows they aren’t going to buy anything, but they put something on hold just to be nice and pretend all our hard work isn’t for naught. If you’re not feeling any of the items you tried on, just tell us up front. I promise we can take it.”

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    PHOTO: Craig McDean

    “Don't buy outfits for your wedding party or fancy occasion and return it all at the same store. We had this couple buy dresses and dress shirts for their whole wedding party and try to return them a week later, worn, and with no tags. We’re not a rental store, and we’re onto you.”

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    PHOTO: Sebastian Kim

    “The store I work at has a sensor at the door to see how many people come in, and at the end of the day they compare the number of customers to our sales performance. So it makes us cringe when the same person hangs out by the door and sets off the sensor multiple times or wanders in and out of the store, because it falsely looks like we had more customers than we did, which makes it appear that we had proportionally lower sales numbers.”

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    PHOTO: Tim Walker

    “If you let your salesperson know what you are taking and they bring it to the register for you, it is easier for them to get credit for the sale.”

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    PHOTO: Mark Pillai

    “I never like it when customers think they deserve special treatment or can evade sales policies. It's frankly uncomfortable when people ask for a discount as if we're at the flea market.”

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    PHOTO: Sebastian Kim

    "Nothing is sadder than seeing a pile of shirts you had just painstakingly folded five minutes ago get thrown apart in a tornado-like fashion. I would much rather have the customer come to me and ask me for a specific item or size, which I can delicately extract from the folded pile and hand to them, instead of blindly dig through the wrong pile and leave it looking like a war zone. We have very specific standards of how shirts need to be folded, so even if you try to put it back nicely, we likely have to redo it.”

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    PHOTO: David Vasiljevic

    "It’s the most annoying thing ever when customers linger after the store is closed, because the whole store has to wait for them to leave before we can go. Plus, our hours are staggered, so you never actually get paid for overtime.”

  • 8 of 11
    PHOTO: Sebastian Kim

    “You know what’s awkward? Conflicts about which salesperson gets the commission. Help us avoid that by getting help from a single salesperson rather than having multiple people assist you.”

  • 9 of 11
    PHOTO: Tim Walker

    “We know when you’re a stylist pulling clothes for a shoot that you’re just going to return. A lot of stores have stylist programs; please use them, because it hurts the company when you don’t.”

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    PHOTO: Mario Testino

    “You don't have to perfectly hang everything up, but at least make an effort. This is not your bedroom, and we are not your mother.”

  • 11 of 11
    PHOTO: Ina Lekiewicz

    "It’s easy to get exasperated when customers talk on their phone while shopping, especially when they expect to be helped while carrying on their conversation.”

    Have you ever worked in retail? Let us know the things customers did that you liked and that you hated in the comments below!

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