Terrifying Tales of Retail: BUY SELL BUY SELL BEEP BOOP

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby band-aid » Mon May 12, 2008 4:56 pm UTC

I worked at a radio shack for a bit a few years ago. It was a painful experience to say the least. My worst experience was being at work from 8:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M.. It was an inventory day and we though we were finished because we had accounted for all the items on the list which we printed out from headquarters. As it turned out, we were roughly half way done. The printer had run out of paper :shock: .

As for me being a difficult customer, my worst offense was going into a burger king at 11:00 PM with some friends dressed as pirates. I ordered "6 of the largest beverages ye can supply" in my best pirate accent. She handed us the cups and told us to please not break anything lol.

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby wst » Mon May 12, 2008 5:08 pm UTC

mathmagic wrote:People will order 10 sidewalk blocks that are over 100 pounds each, then pull into the yard with a dinky little Toyota and act surprised when their back end sinks about 4 inches after heaving 2 or 3 of the blocks into their trunk.

Not to mention the people that do the same thing when picking up 16-foot long 2x4s with a sedan.


Like this

I empathise with your sorrow for humanity.

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby Pandercolour » Mon May 12, 2008 5:21 pm UTC

wst wrote:
mathmagic wrote:People will order 10 sidewalk blocks that are over 100 pounds each, then pull into the yard with a dinky little Toyota and act surprised when their back end sinks about 4 inches after heaving 2 or 3 of the blocks into their trunk.

Not to mention the people that do the same thing when picking up 16-foot long 2x4s with a sedan.


Like this

I empathise with your sorrow for humanity.

(Stupid snopes hotlinks not uploading to imageshack, working in preview, but not working irl...)

Ugh. I used to work for IKEA, and one of my jobs was to help customers load their purchases into their vehicles. Pretty nearly all of my shifts, there was at least one customer who would buy something that wouldn't fit in their car.

One day, this woman, short, raggedy hair, old clothes with foodstains and morbidly obese, bought the display model for the biggest drawer unit we had. I asked her, up front, if she was positive this was going to fit into her car. She nodded, with a big stupid grin on her face. She ends up pulling into the loading zone with.... a Volkswagon Beetle. The unit was bigger than her car. So I told her "there is no chance this is fitting in your car." She freaks out, demands to know why I won't help her. I tell her again that it's not going to fit, however, I told her I could disassemble the unit and it would probably fit that way. Yeah, no. She wasn't have any of that. She went completely nuts, screaming at me, at other customers. I asked her how should not have seen that coming, given the size of the unit and her car.

So she called the manager.

I spent about two and a half hours listening to this woman screech and spit at my manager, and then had to defend myself against accusations of me being prejudicial against other nationalities (she was Irish, evidently), sexist, rude, belligerent, and you know the whole tirade. By the end of it, I was put back on probation and had to personally pay to deliver her unit to her house.

To this day, I'm convi9nced the woman just wanted to fuck with somebody.

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby ishikiri » Mon May 12, 2008 7:02 pm UTC

The best story I have is from back in the days when I worked in Pizza Hut.

One of the managers there, who I'll refer to as B, was 22/23 but was skinny and 5"1'; she was one of those girls that could be anywhere from 15 to 25. Naturally she often got from customers :"Can we speak to a manager please?"
"Lucky for you I am the manager".

Anywho in her last week at pizza hut she just stopped caring about everything there. She used to be one of the most hard-assed managers in the place and we we're always arguing about me not meeting some standard or other (you've gotta love a manager who you can actually stand and argue with then be joking around with when the busy periods cool down).

At the time of her departure on of the offers was buy one get one free pizzas, the cheapest pizza, of course, being the free one - as clearly stated on the menus. As a customer was paying for a take out of two Stuffed Crust (at about £10 each) and two small Grand pans (about £4 ea) he said he wouldn't pay for them unless he could buy the smalls and have the stufties for free, being quite the prick about it while he was at it. B then told him that it was stated on the menu that you had to pay for the more expensive ones, and he replied he knew that already but wasn't going to take them if he didn't get them free.
B "So you're not going to take these if you don't get them free?"
Customer "No I'm not"
B "Ok then"
And in the most nonchalant movement possible, whilst looking him dead in the eye, she lifted the stack of pizzas off of the bar and threw them in the bin to her left.
B "Right then, who's next please?"

The guy just stood there stunned for a minute, realised arguing wasn't going to get him anywhere with her and walked out. I'd like to see him explain that one to his hungry family the cheap bastard.
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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby Lanth » Mon May 12, 2008 7:07 pm UTC

Work in the Produce section of a supermarket. Worst customer I've had is some guy who was looking at some grapefruit, saw the number "103" on the side (I didn't know what it meant, probably an identification number), and demanded it for that price. I tried t o reason with him, eventually went and got the Produce manager, who said "You want it for $103?". Awesome guy.

And then you get the people who complain that some item has a speck on it and demand it be reduced in price.

Though the most annoying part is when the store manager gets me to fill bananas (our best-selling fruit/veg). Even if there's a box worth missing, he tells me to put more up.

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby hermaj » Tue May 13, 2008 4:34 am UTC

ishikiri wrote:The best story I have is from back in the days when I worked in Pizza Hut.

One of the managers there, who I'll refer to as B, was 22/23 but was skinny and 5"1'; she was one of those girls that could be anywhere from 15 to 25. Naturally she often got from customers :"Can we speak to a manager please?"
"Lucky for you I am the manager".

Anywho in her last week at pizza hut she just stopped caring about everything there. She used to be one of the most hard-assed managers in the place and we we're always arguing about me not meeting some standard or other (you've gotta love a manager who you can actually stand and argue with then be joking around with when the busy periods cool down).

At the time of her departure on of the offers was buy one get one free pizzas, the cheapest pizza, of course, being the free one - as clearly stated on the menus. As a customer was paying for a take out of two Stuffed Crust (at about £10 each) and two small Grand pans (about £4 ea) he said he wouldn't pay for them unless he could buy the smalls and have the stufties for free, being quite the prick about it while he was at it. B then told him that it was stated on the menu that you had to pay for the more expensive ones, and he replied he knew that already but wasn't going to take them if he didn't get them free.
B "So you're not going to take these if you don't get them free?"
Customer "No I'm not"
B "Ok then"
And in the most nonchalant movement possible, whilst looking him dead in the eye, she lifted the stack of pizzas off of the bar and threw them in the bin to her left.
B "Right then, who's next please?"

The guy just stood there stunned for a minute, realised arguing wasn't going to get him anywhere with her and walked out. I'd like to see him explain that one to his hungry family the cheap bastard.


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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby |Erasmus| » Tue May 13, 2008 12:56 pm UTC

I actually remembered a rather amusing incident that happened a few years ago when I used to work at McDonald's.

It's a saturday night, about 7pm. Therefore, it's extremely busy, and as usual, we are hopelessly understaffed, so there are minor delays on quite a few items.

Anyway, the manager gets called into the drive-through, to receive a complaint from this one idiot, who is in the car, with his pregnant wife, on his way to the hospital because she had gone into labour... And he wanted to complain about having to wait for 5 minutes in the queue, and being told that a special order burger he wanted would take a couple of minutes to get brought out to him.

What kind of idiot goes to McDonald's with a person who needs to get to hospital in the car? :?

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby ishikiri » Tue May 13, 2008 1:30 pm UTC

|Erasmus| wrote:What kind of idiot goes to McDonald's with a person who needs to get to hospital in the car? :?

Its not like she's eating for two anymore.

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby pseudoidiot » Tue May 13, 2008 4:05 pm UTC

I once went with my wife (girlfriend at the time) to get some flowers for some sorority event. At the checkout, she paid for the flowers. The cashier (male) hands me the flowers and says something along the lines of, "good luck with those, hope they work out for you." Or something.

So, what the hell was going on through his head? Yeah, I wanted to give some flowers to my girlfriend, but I was broke and didn't know what to get so I made her pick them out and pay for them? I should point out that it should have been relatively obvious that we were a couple since we were holding hands and such.
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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby dracharys » Tue May 13, 2008 9:38 pm UTC

I was going to look for a summer job in retail, but after reading all of this I'm not sure I'm cut out for it. Some of those stories are terrifying.

Also, question for people in retail:
I hate the idea of being a difficult customer so any help with this situation is appreciated.

If you had helped me to find an item and then explained everything I needed to know about it but I decided I didn't want it, what would be a good way to say no? (If I had seen the item a good deal cheaper somewhere else for example, or had seen a better model). I'm actually looking at tents at the moment and the first place I checked has been the best so far, but in every other shop the staff have been very helpful and I feel bad when I walk out without buying anything. I don't seek them out they just come up to me while I'm looking.
Last edited by dracharys on Tue May 13, 2008 10:01 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby AngrySquirrel » Tue May 13, 2008 9:57 pm UTC

dracharys wrote:I was going to look for a summer job in retail, but after reading all of this I'm not sure I'm cut out for it. Some of those stories are terrifying.

Also, question for people in retail:
I hate the idea of being a difficult customer so any help with this situation is appreciated.

If you had helped me to find an item and then explained everything I needed to know about it but I decided I didn't want it, what would be a good way to say no? (If I had seen the item a good deal cheaper somewhere else for example, or had seen a better model). I'm actually looking at tents at the moment and the first place I checked has been the best so far, but in every other shop the staff have been very helpful and I feel bad when I walk out without buying anything. I don't seek them out they just come up to me while I'm looking.


First of all. Most customers aren't so bad, it's just that it isn't any fun to tell stories about all the nice and decent people who come by the store. All you need for working in retail, for the most part, is a bit of patience and selfcontrol and the ability to accept that what seems obvious for you isn't always obvious for everyone else.

Second, as the customer you have all the rights as to what to buy and not buy, it is your money, and the salespeople are there to help you make a purcase that YOU will be happy with. I get some of the same problem as you do, I'm a bit scared of insulting people in rl or being a bother. What I usually do when I get in those kind of situations is to tell the salesperson that I will need some time to think about it.
Only really bad salespeople will get offended if they spend their time on you and you then say that you don't think it's the right deal for you or that you need some time to think about it.
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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby pseudoidiot » Tue May 13, 2008 11:33 pm UTC

Also, consider this: do you want to reward the business with terrible customer service and better prices, or the place with great customer service and higher prices? It can definitely be worth it to pay a little more for a place that treats their customers better.
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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby dracharys » Wed May 14, 2008 12:08 am UTC

AngrySquirrel wrote:First of all. Most customers aren't so bad, it's just that it isn't any fun to tell stories about all the nice and decent people who come by the store. All you need for working in retail, for the most part, is a bit of patience and selfcontrol and the ability to accept that what seems obvious for you isn't always obvious for everyone else.

I know they're probably few and far between but I'm not great at dealing with confrontation. I'd been thinking about situations like this anyway, so I'm sure that at worst I'll be a little more cautious about where I apply, while at best I have some idea of how to respond. :D

pseudoidiot wrote:Also, consider this: do you want to reward the business with terrible customer service and better prices, or the place with great customer service and higher prices? It can definitely be worth it to pay a little more for a place that treats their customers better.

There wasn't actually anything wrong with the first place, the staff were pretty nice there too. I'm just looking around in case somewhere else has a better choice.
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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby hermaj » Wed May 14, 2008 12:42 am UTC

You could always go to the store you liked best and say "Hey, I've been really impressed with your service here, but <other store> has the item I want for less. Is there any chance of matching the price?" A lot of places will match or beat competitors' prices in order to still get the business, and if you inquire about it politely, they should be happy to work out some sort of deal for you.


Anyway, for your original question, you can just politely say "Not today, thanks", but it's good to give a reason. If you're investigating prices to compare it's good to say so from the outset, because you already know you're not going to buy it that time around. While I don't mind people just coming in to check price and I will help them as much as I can, it's annoying when I go insane out of my way - checking out the back, calling other stores and staff members, pulling the thing out of its box, turning away other interested customers - thinking you're going to buy the item today and it turns out you have no intention of doing so. If they've talked you through an item you were hoping to buy but you changed your mind, just a polite "Thanks for all of your help, but I'm not sure that's quite suitable for me" should be fine. I prefer it when the customers pull the whole "It's not you, it's me" thing because then I know I didn't stuff up the sale, and if they tell me why they didn't want it, I could suggest other things.

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby Akula » Wed May 14, 2008 2:10 am UTC

dracharys wrote:If you had helped me to find an item and then explained everything I needed to know about it but I decided I didn't want it, what would be a good way to say no? (If I had seen the item a good deal cheaper somewhere else for example, or had seen a better model). I'm actually looking at tents at the moment and the first place I checked has been the best so far, but in every other shop the staff have been very helpful and I feel bad when I walk out without buying anything. I don't seek them out they just come up to me while I'm looking.


Don't worry about it. Most people wont get overly upset by this. It happens. What we get upset about are people with unreasonable demands, people who are plain rude, or people who are stubbornly stupid. I should clarify, people who simply don't know don't upset me, or most sales people. I have no problem taking extra time to explain a cell phone to some 80 year old guy, or showing a soccer mom how to use an iPod. What irritates the living fuck out of me are people who insist they are right. A common one for me is a customer looking for an "ethernet or cat5 splitter" so they can connect two computers to the internet. What they need is a router. I tell them this, and they insist I am either wrong or being dishonest. I'll say I work at RadioShack... another annoyance (not grievous, just kind of frustrating) are people who expect you to be an expert in electrical engineering. I don't know what transistors you need. I've probably got them, but if you're even looking for them, you already certainly know more than me.
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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby Torvaun » Wed May 14, 2008 3:06 am UTC

It wasn't all that long ago when Radio Shack did employ electrical engineers. You can't really fault them that much.
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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby |Erasmus| » Wed May 14, 2008 8:12 am UTC

hermaj wrote:Anyway, for your original question, you can just politely say "Not today, thanks", but it's good to give a reason. If you're investigating prices to compare it's good to say so from the outset, because you already know you're not going to buy it that time around. While I don't mind people just coming in to check price and I will help them as much as I can, it's annoying when I go insane out of my way - checking out the back, calling other stores and staff members, pulling the thing out of its box, turning away other interested customers - thinking you're going to buy the item today and it turns out you have no intention of doing so. If they've talked you through an item you were hoping to buy but you changed your mind, just a polite "Thanks for all of your help, but I'm not sure that's quite suitable for me" should be fine. I prefer it when the customers pull the whole "It's not you, it's me" thing because then I know I didn't stuff up the sale, and if they tell me why they didn't want it, I could suggest other things.


I make a point of knowing what I want to get -before- I go shopping...

One reason being that I don't really enjoy shopping. The other is that salespeople will often provide biased advice. I go in knowing what I want, and either just ask for it, or tell them that I have everything under control, and pick the item I want.

If I'm really just looking at something, and not sure if I'll buy, I will say "I'm just browsing" and ignore them from there. I don't like people annoying me, and I know what I want, not them.

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Wed May 14, 2008 11:50 am UTC

dracharys wrote:If you had helped me to find an item and then explained everything I needed to know about it but I decided I didn't want it, what would be a good way to say no? (If I had seen the item a good deal cheaper somewhere else for example, or had seen a better model). I'm actually looking at tents at the moment and the first place I checked has been the best so far, but in every other shop the staff have been very helpful and I feel bad when I walk out without buying anything. I don't seek them out they just come up to me while I'm looking.


I usually say something along the lines of "Thanks for your help but I'm not quite decided yet. I'm going to do a bit more looking around before I come to a decision." This way, the associate or employee knows I appreciated their help, but I have yet to make up my mind. This also lets them know I may return to the store if I don't find something better elsewhere.

Thanks to the power of the interwebz I can do a bit of searching without feeling awkward about going into a store, looking around, and leaving not having bought something. Of course, you can't pick up the object of interest and physically look at it on the internets, but you can at least get the specs, get a ballpark figure on the price, and in some cases you can see all the details of the object. Most sites even have reviews from other people who have used the item. I don't always rely on the reviews, but they let me know what to look out for, and lets me decide whether or not I really want to get it.

hermaj wrote:You could always go to the store you liked best and say "Hey, I've been really impressed with your service here, but <other store> has the item I want for less. Is there any chance of matching the price?" A lot of places will match or beat competitors' prices in order to still get the business, and if you inquire about it politely, they should be happy to work out some sort of deal for you.


Some stores will want proof that the item is cheaper elsewhere. This can be in the form of a newspaper circular or insert advertising the item for cheaper, or if you take a picture of the item with the price tag on it and show it to the associate at the other store. Also they can call that store, pretend they're a customer, and get confirmation on the price that way as well.

|Erasmus| wrote:I make a point of knowing what I want to get -before- I go shopping...

One reason being that I don't really enjoy shopping. The other is that salespeople will often provide biased advice. I go in knowing what I want, and either just ask for it, or tell them that I have everything under control, and pick the item I want.

If I'm really just looking at something, and not sure if I'll buy, I will say "I'm just browsing" and ignore them from there. I don't like people annoying me, and I know what I want, not them.


If by "biased" you mean, "more favorable towards Brand A over Brand B," I never encountered that AFAICR. I think the closest thing I've come to that is "this brand or model has these features whereas that brand or model does not." If I don't care for the extra bells and whistles one brand or model has, then I make it known I don't need them. If the model without the bells and whistles is cheaper, then I'll buy it. Same policy goes for if I have no intentions of using them (along the same lines as don't need them). Why pay extra for features you really don't need, or won't use?
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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby |Erasmus| » Wed May 14, 2008 11:52 am UTC

PatrickRsGhost wrote:
|Erasmus| wrote:I make a point of knowing what I want to get -before- I go shopping...

One reason being that I don't really enjoy shopping. The other is that salespeople will often provide biased advice. I go in knowing what I want, and either just ask for it, or tell them that I have everything under control, and pick the item I want.

If I'm really just looking at something, and not sure if I'll buy, I will say "I'm just browsing" and ignore them from there. I don't like people annoying me, and I know what I want, not them.


If by "biased" you mean "more favorable towards Brand A over Brand B" I never encountered that AFAICR. I think the closest thing I've come to that is "this brand or model has these features whereas that brand or model does not." If I don't care for the extra bells and whistles one brand or model has, then I make it known I don't need them. If the model without the bells and whistles is cheaper, then I'll buy it. Same policy goes for if I have no intentions of using them (along the same lines as don't need them). Why pay extra for features you really don't need, or won't use?


biased as in "I'm getting payed commision, so therefore it's in my best interests to make you like this product."

The good ones don't make it obvious that they are only point out the positives of any given product. I've lost count of the number of salespeople who "Have this exact model at home, and it's brilliant" :roll:

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby dracharys » Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 pm UTC

Cool. Most of this is close to what I do now, it's good to know I'm on the right track.

Thank you :)
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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby cypherspace » Wed May 14, 2008 3:17 pm UTC

|Erasmus| wrote:biased as in "I'm getting payed commision, so therefore it's in my best interests to make you like this product."

The good ones don't make it obvious that they are only point out the positives of any given product. I've lost count of the number of salespeople who "Have this exact model at home, and it's brilliant" :roll:

Surely it's only in their best interests to make you buy the product at that store? As for people who have that model at home and it's brilliant, do you not think that perhaps they're directing you towards that product because.. they have it at home and it's brilliant? Perhaps if it's the most expensive model I'd be wary, but I don't know many salespeople who are actively dishonest. Being entirely honest and friendly usually turns out to be the best way to get people to buy stuff anyway because strangely enough, they trust you.

Since I've never worked on commission, I've lost count of the number of times I've warned people off certain products or told them they can get it cheaper elsewhere, and then they've bought stuff from me anyway because they respected and trusted me.

Or were stupid. One of the two.
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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby Toeofdoom » Wed May 14, 2008 3:19 pm UTC

|Erasmus| wrote:"Have this exact model at home, and it's brilliant" :roll:


They say that a fair bit at my store, but generally it's true... we buy it because it's the best deal... and we act like that to each other too, who we wouldnt get commisions for selling to. Is there something inherently wrong with saying that?

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby timt » Wed May 14, 2008 3:29 pm UTC

A lot of stores pay hourly rates and not commission (of course you got waiters/car salesmen ect) so it's not like your directly cutting them out if you don't by from them, that is of coarse if they don't loose their job because the owner can no longer pay them due to lack of sales.

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Wed May 14, 2008 3:53 pm UTC

"I have this in my home and it's brilliant/excellent/great/wonderful/ad nauseum" is a fairly common sales tactic used by salespeople who work on a commission. They know cutomers will trust the opinion of someone who actually uses it, instead of someone who's there just to sell it, and the only information they can give you is off the little card stuck underneath the product, or whatever's printed on the box.

If I tell you I have the item, it means I really have the item. If I say that I had the item, then I have used the item in the past. If you ask me why I no longer have it, I'd tell you the reason, good or bad. I sold it because I needed the money for gas/pay rent/pay bills (good). I sold it because I quit using it after a while, or no longer had a need for it (good or bad). I got rid of it because it kept messing up on me (bad).

I'd make a poor salesperson who worked on commission mainly because I'm too damn honest. I'd point out both the good and the bad of anything, but if the bad is easily fixable, I'd say that too. If the bad can be fixed with just a small part that's also available in the store, then I've upped my commission. But, if I say "you'll have to take it to a repair center after a while" there goes my commission, and possibly my job. I'd tell you which brands to buy based on my experience, and the experience of my friends, not on which one will get me the most commission.

I like the kind of sales person who won't pressure you into buying something you don't need. I like the ones that when you say "I don't want to spend more than $x on y," they'll do their best to make sure you don't spend a penny over $x, even if it means selling you a cheaper model, and taking a hit in their commission.

What I hate is when they try to "upsell" you by making you buy more than what you went in for, in order to get more enjoyment out of the item, or to get better success from using said item.

I experienced upselling at a Men's Warehouse. MW is an upscale clothing store for men, that sell business attire, like suits, sportjackets, dress shirts, ties, pants, shoes, sweaters, and other clothing with high-end brands. If you ever go into one of these stores, here's a word of advice: Never, ever say you're looking for a business suit to wear to an interview. Say you want something for formal occasions like fancy dinners, business meetings, etc. If you say "job interview" or "meet with clients", they will upsell you hard. This is what I experienced:

Men's Warehouse Salesperson wrote:"OK, Mr. PatrickRsGhost, here's what we suggest. On your first interview you will want to wear this light yellow shirt, brown-and-yellow tie, and these brown slacks. On your second interview you'll want to wear this light blue shirt, brown-and-yellow tie, and the grey slacks. On your third interview, which will discuss your salary and other details, you'll want the darker blue shirt and red tie. This is your "power tie".


All I wanted was a sportcoat. I could buy pants and shirts at Wal-Mart. The sportcoat was $100, and was made of Cashmere. I ended up spending over $300 there. The next day I took everything but the sportcoat back to the store (they were still altering it) and got a refund. I told them I don't need all that stuff. They refunded my money and a few days later I picked up the sportcoat.
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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Sorry, No Refunds.

Postby rrwoods » Wed May 14, 2008 7:24 pm UTC

Re: Commission: I worked at an Office Depot, and from what I've heard, this is how "commission" works at other stores that sell technology as well. We didn't get any commission at all on the product itself, so there was never any external pressure to sell a higher-priced product or get them to buy more than they needed. We were encouraged to try to sell the "whole package", which can be construed as getting customers to buy more than they need but in the end actually just saves them a trip back to the store (and possibly money if a bulk discount is involved). Usually said "whole package" involves items that what they're buying won't work without anyway, like ink/toner or a USB cable for your printer.

What we did get direct commission on was Product Protection Plans. Not that I sold that many; I tried to be as nice as possible about it ("Would you like to purchase a protection plan for this?") and only offered details about the plan if they asked for them.
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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby |Erasmus| » Wed May 14, 2008 10:15 pm UTC

I think PatrickRsGhost covered what I think about commision, and those who get it, a bit better than I did previously.

I'd like to add though, hawk, that I have heard the "I have this at home" line about the product -I- mention, not the one the salesperson tries to recommend, just a -little- too often for me to think that it's a coincidence.

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby hermaj » Thu May 15, 2008 12:22 am UTC

|Erasmus| wrote:I'd like to add though, hawk, that I have heard the "I have this at home" line about the product -I- mention, not the one the salesperson tries to recommend, just a -little- too often for me to think that it's a coincidence.


I'm another who only says that if I do. The amount of times I say it might be a little steep, but that said, I get a discount buying from the store in which I work, so I am likely to buy stuff from there, which increases my chance of having the same item I'm selling to someone.

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby lazarus89 » Thu May 15, 2008 3:53 am UTC

|Erasmus| wrote:What kind of idiot goes to McDonald's with a person who needs to get to hospital in the car? :?


Dude, that was in an episode of Family Guy. Are you sure it wasn't Peter Griffin in the car?
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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby |Erasmus| » Thu May 15, 2008 5:53 am UTC

lazarus89 wrote:
|Erasmus| wrote:What kind of idiot goes to McDonald's with a person who needs to get to hospital in the car? :?


Dude, that was in an episode of Family Guy. Are you sure it wasn't Peter Griffin in the car?


haven't seen that episode...

and no, I don't think he lives in Sydney.

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Clean Up On Aisle 3

Postby Dream » Thu May 15, 2008 12:38 pm UTC

hermaj wrote:
|Erasmus| wrote:I'd like to add though, hawk, that I have heard the "I have this at home" line about the product -I- mention, not the one the salesperson tries to recommend, just a -little- too often for me to think that it's a coincidence.


I'm another who only says that if I do. The amount of times I say it might be a little steep, but that said, I get a discount buying from the store in which I work, so I am likely to buy stuff from there, which increases my chance of having the same item I'm selling to someone.

I'm with hermaj. I would never fabricate a promise to a customer about my own opinions or buying habits, because they're mine. Nothing aobut me or my reputation is worth any amount of commission. I have gladly thrown sales worth hundreds of pounds sterling, because it became evident after a customer was committed to buying that they could do better elsewhere or that the product was not waht they wanted.

When I worked in off-sales, I knew all of the world beers, most very thoroughly, and huge amounts of the wine and spirits. More often than not if you asked my opinion, I've tried it, and I can tell you all about when and where and why I liked it. I consider that just being good at my job. When I told someone "this is the one I go for when..." I always meant it, every time.
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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Sorry, No Refunds.

Postby Dr. Canadian Ninja » Thu May 15, 2008 1:29 pm UTC

When I was going through Orientation, they were pretty much saying right from the getgo that unless your customer explicitly says they don't want to spend more than $x, always sell the most expensive model. Most of the time, you won't sell the expensive model, but the idea is so the customer knows all the features all of the highest-end model and therefore know what bells and whistles they want to keep and what to cut out and work from there. And as a cashier, this helps to cut down on annoyances at the returns desk where I get angry customers saying they just bought a brand new (object) and it doesn't have (feature) even though I wanted (feature) in it!

After I verify with the person who sold it, half the time, the cynic in me is right in that the customer quite literally explained they wanted that thingamajig that does stuff, or something similar. Maybe another third from there, above approach would be nice because they realized after they bought it, for whatever reason, that there was (feature) that the salesperson didn't tell them about and they think they have to deceive returns in order to get (object) with (feature). Why, I have no idea. The remaining 10-15% is exactly the same without poor attempts at deception.

Of course, if the salesperson doesn't let go of the fact that you won't buy said high-end model, all of that is meaningless and go find another salesperson/store.

And finally, nothing is more schadenfreudally satisfying (and no I don't care if that's a real word) is when a customer insists they're right and you can prove beyond a doubt that they're flat-out wrong. Case in point: I get through a transaction and a woman gets quite verablly abusive with me because I was trying to charge her twice for something. So I angle my monitor so she can see it and show her the entire purchase. I get to the top and the only thing that comes up twice is insecticide. Well, clearly that's the product you scanned twice, followed by a series of curses, verbal abuse and racial slurs that would get people kicked out of stores. (Incidentally, I didn't know that a white Canadian could be black, Jewish, Mexican, Iraqi, French, German and Russian with each trait being distinctive enough to be able to tell them apart.)

I think the best part of that story is when a manager was about three seconds away from kicking her out of the store when she abruptly shut her pie hole when I pulled out of her bag? Two bottles of insecticide.
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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Sorry, No Refunds.

Postby hermaj » Sun May 18, 2008 2:14 pm UTC

Man, so I went to work today specatularly ill and had lots of nice customers tell me I should be in bed after my directions consisted of "*mumble* walk ud de miday s' on d' lef' pas' d' soud visson counder *cough* *apologetic smile*". Would not have missed this shift for the world. This guy has actually usurped plant lady* as my favourite customer ever.


Background: This guy had already established himself as a bit of a wanker. He was trying to exchange a faulty lawn mower and hadn't taken the petrol out, which is a massive no (and stupid, considering the price of petrol), so we made him take it home and empty it out. He came back about an hour later but refused to take the lawn mower back in himself, and so made one of our staff members go out to the car and get it. He didn't want to get another one himself so one of our staff had to get one, but it was busy so he had to wait a little while before someone could get to him. When we called him, the GM team leader was about 15 seconds away, but that wasn't good enough for the dude. Another guy, Tom, had come down to help me with something else, so the service desk co-ordinator (who was taking care of the exchange) grabbed him and got him to get a lawn mower and bring it down.

By the time Tom had brought down the lawn mower, dude had gone for a wander somewhere, so he just put it next to the flatbed trolley holding the parts of the old mower and went to put something in someone else's car while we waited for the guy to come back. He does, looks around quickly, sweeps everything off the flatbed except for a couple of smaller parts, and marches up the midway to get the lawn mower himself. I'm trying to point out the box, but as demonstrated at the beginning of this post if I even managed to make myself heard I was difficult to understand. I don't think he was interested in listening anyway. A minute or so later, the guy comes barging back down the midway, wheeling the flatbed right over Tom's palletjack and marches out the door without showing me any documentation. I'm calling out to my supervisor all "'As 'e even paid bor id?!", Tom's calling after the dude for a) nearly hitting him and several others with the flatbed and b) he's not allowed to have the flatbed out there for insurance reasons, and it is falling on deaf ears as the dude is making steady way across the carpark with a bunch of customers watching in fascination.

Tom goes running out after the guy as he heads towards his car but he has no success getting through to him and comes back. I grab him as he comes in and ask him if he at least managed to get the parts from the old lawn mower back that were still on there. Co-ordinator and Tom both give me identical stares and head for the door, as the guy finishes loading up and starts to take the flatbedaway. We're all standing there at the door with a growing crowd of customers watching the dude to see what he's going to do with the flatbed. Now, our work is in an area which is getting fixed up, and so there's a temporary fence in the car park with some dirt, slabs of stuff and other building materials behind it. The guy wheels the flatbed in there, takes the couple of small parts off the top and buries them in the dirt. He then gets a bunch of slabs, loads them up on the trolley and proceeds to push the trolley down the slope until it hits the fence. He straightens up, rubs off his hands, and grinning maniacally walks back to his car, gets in and drives away.



* I can't remember if I've mentioned plant lady before, and I'm about to head to bed so I'm not going to check right now. in case I didn't, our exchange was "If I plant this in my garden and it doesn't grow, can I get my money back?" "Uh, no, ma'am, this plant is made of plastic."

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Sorry, No Refunds.

Postby |Erasmus| » Sun May 18, 2008 2:55 pm UTC

I hope you at least got his number plate or something?

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Sorry, No Refunds.

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Mon May 19, 2008 2:14 am UTC

hermaj wrote:Man, so I went to work today specatularly ill and had lots of nice customers tell me I should be in bed after my directions consisted of "*mumble* walk ud de miday s' on d' lef' pas' d' soud visson counder *cough* *apologetic smile*".
I'm not sure what this has to do with the story, but man, I HATE when people do that. Stay home when you're sick, don't go spreading it around infecting the rest of us.
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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Sorry, No Refunds.

Postby DaMullet » Mon May 19, 2008 3:36 am UTC

I go to school and work sick all the time. Of course, I'm a sociopath.
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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Sorry, No Refunds.

Postby hermaj » Mon May 19, 2008 1:38 pm UTC

'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:
hermaj wrote:Man, so I went to work today specatularly ill and had lots of nice customers tell me I should be in bed after my directions consisted of "*mumble* walk ud de miday s' on d' lef' pas' d' soud visson counder *cough* *apologetic smile*".
I'm not sure what this has to do with the story, but man, I HATE when people do that. Stay home when you're sick, don't go spreading it around infecting the rest of us.


Other people's health < $75 in my bank account. I don't get sick pay, I'm casual, so if I am able to stand up unassisted for a few hours, I am going to go to work. More to the point, I was not even contagious, just achy and finding it difficult to talk because of the pain and inflammation. What it has to do with the story is that I was rendered mostly helpless within a situation where I would otherwise have been able to communicate with the dude and with the other staff members.

We did get his number and description of his car! I got it and so did my supervisor guy. There's nothing we can really do about it officially, since he had actually paid for the mower he was exchanging and he had selected the correct mower to storm out with, and also didn't nick any parts. It's more in case he ever comes back, so we all know we are in for another shocked laugh. :P

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Sorry, No Refunds.

Postby |Erasmus| » Mon May 19, 2008 2:31 pm UTC

I was assuming the other parts that got buried were not part of what he was meant to be exchanging his mower for, in which case they did not belong to him.

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Sorry, No Refunds.

Postby hermaj » Mon May 19, 2008 11:54 pm UTC

Yes, but he didn't take the parts or the flatbed (also belonging to the store) off the property, nor did he intend for us not to get them back. He just shoved them under some stuff with the sole intention of making it annoying for us to retrieve them. Weird as hell, but there's not really a case for any charges.

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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Sorry, No Refunds.

Postby Likpok » Tue May 20, 2008 12:59 am UTC

I never worked in retail, but when I worked with the Park Service, we did get some strange people. We were remulching a trail in the dog park (a place for people to let their dogs run free), and every Thursday, the park was closed so that mowers could come. One of these Thursdays, a woman pulled up to the locked gate, and just sat there. After 15 minutes or so, the crew leader went over to go see what was up. According to him, she refused to believe that the park was closed, citing that "[She] always came here". Even after he explained the reasoning (mowers might have a nasty effect on dogs), she sat there. I believe he had to hint at the possibility of a ticket before she would leave (he didn't have the authority, of course, but could have called the Rangers. I don't know if there was any real teeth to it or not).

Later that summer, (still at that worksite), a guy came up to us and struck up conversation. Apparently he made bullet jewelry, was a trucker, and had a daughter up in Michigan. He was also giving out some of his stuff to people on the crew. My keys still have a .270 Winchester on my keys from it. Some of the less motivated crew members hung around there more, and got more stuff (one got a belt with bullet decorations).

It seemed pretty harmless, but it was just odd.
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Re: Terrifying Tales of Retail: Sorry, No Refunds.

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Tue May 20, 2008 3:10 am UTC

hermaj wrote:
'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:
hermaj wrote:Man, so I went to work today specatularly ill and had lots of nice customers tell me I should be in bed after my directions consisted of "*mumble* walk ud de miday s' on d' lef' pas' d' soud visson counder *cough* *apologetic smile*".
I'm not sure what this has to do with the story, but man, I HATE when people do that. Stay home when you're sick, don't go spreading it around infecting the rest of us.


Other people's health < $75 in my bank account. I don't get sick pay, I'm casual, so if I am able to stand up unassisted for a few hours, I am going to go to work. More to the point, I was not even contagious, just achy and finding it difficult to talk because of the pain and inflammation.
Well if you're not contagious, it's not a big deal. Also with this guy pushing flatbeds down the parking lot and burying things, I wonder if you could have got him for creating a hazard and/or vandalism.
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