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Feeling Awkward While Shopping

Written by admin, Monday, May 25th, 2015 in Fashion, Q&As

I really want to take your advice and upgrade my wardrobe, but I feel very uncomfortable at stores.  It’s obvious that the clerks are watching me and I feel judged.  Shopping online is limiting. What do I do?

Don’t be awkward about it – they’re there to serve you, not the other way around.

For some asinine reason, and despite an onerous recession, store clerks at high-end clothing stores continue to be cold people. Chalk it up to creating an image or just those clerks feeling important for being associated with the brand.

Needless to say, you shouldn’t let it bug you – they are there to serve you, not the other way around. You have the money, and therefore have the power in the buying relationship.

If you really want more specific tips:

  • Be polite but curt with staff.  Don’t let them follow you around or give unwanted “recommendations.”  Tell them you are browsing and then simply ignore them.
    • (But let them get out their obligatory sale language.)  Lots of clerks are required to say stupid little phrases.  For example, most stores require that clerks “let you know” about an ongoing sale.  Just let them get it over with, it’s obligatory.
  • Let them know you’ll grab them if you need them.  Some clerks get aggressive and hover around because they don’t like the idea of losing potential commission.  Let them know you’ll get them if you need them and they’ll likely leave you alone.
  • Don’t fall for fake flirting.  Attractive women are sometimes enlisted at menswear stores to “sex up” the brand and to subtly pressure men into spending money.  Recognize that for what it is and ignore it.
  • Be blunt if things get pushy.  “No, I don’t like that,” “No thanks,” and similar phrases are key.
  • Be willing to leave.  This is very, very important, and I’ve done this a number of times.  If a clerk is being hyper-aggressive, weird, needy, or simply offensive, walk out the door.  That’s a lost sale, and a powerful message.

Hope this helps!

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