If you’ve ever worked retail (shouldn’t there be a law mandating that we all should at some point? Even stevens, ya know?) one or more of these might spark a memory in you. They are the customers that stand out, that irk us a bit, that leave us shaking out heads, rolling our eyes or with that “did that really just happen?” deer in headlights look…
The Sample Seeker: We’ve all seen them, the customer that seems to troll the counters asking for samples but is never seen actually buying anything. Last year a friend of mine that works in the cosmetic department of a certain high end store told me about a wealthy woman who ‘self sampled’ all their most expensive eye creams. This woman was known to sport some pretty swanky name brands and was seemingly dripping in cash but would scoop out the contents of luxe creams into her own jars with her fingers. Cringe.
Bottom line folks, samples are a lovely courtesy some beauty counters offer on the good faith you might come back and buy. Don’t ruin it for the rest of us by abusing said courtesy
The Repeat Returner: Remember that one friend you had in high school who would ‘rent’ an expensive outfit by wearing it to a party then returning it? That person exists in the beauty world too unfortunately. Here in Canada we are lucky enough to have some retailers with very generous return policies, but there will always be that person who buys the $40 lipstick for an event then return it a week later. Same goes for part two of ‘The Returner’ also known as ‘The Frequent Buyers Remorse’ shopper. They get wrapped up in the moment buying and then two weeks of use later come to the realization they didn’t need 6 new eye shadows (pffft we all need 6 new eye shadows)
The Time Taker: I’ve seen it time and time again in my many years of retail work: the customer who just wants to chat. They have no buying intentions and are generally unaware of the fact you might have other job duties, or other shoppers waiting for assistance. While these folks are mostly sweet, they can be an absolute drain and turn other shoppers away in frustration.
The Seldom Satisfied: You know the type, she says, “I want a red lipstick that doesn’t have too much red in it” and has other unrealistic demands like wanting a lipgloss that isn’t sticky, but lasts all day, is glossy but also matte, stains the lips but comes off with water. This type tends to be hard to please in most aspects of life, and can be an absolute nightmare for a sales person. This is also the shopper who might be upset a brand doesn’t still carry the lipstick they wore 30 years ago as a teen, and also isn’t still priced the way in was “In my day”.
Now of course these scenarios are usually not the case and this post is meant to be somewhat lighthearted, but I bet at some point you’ve come across someone like this any retail situation before, am I right? You can read the sister to this post here: Pet Peeves | Shopping the Cosmetic Counters
Let me know any funny/frustrating customers you’ve come across in the comments below!