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8 Things You Shouldn’t Do When Shopping – Holiday Retail Etiquette

During my many years as an “adult” I have had the pleasure of occupying various retail positions. The retail industry is a highly stressful environment and the level of stress skyrockets during the holidays. Here are a few things shoppers do that turn happy sales associates into angry little grinches.


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Do Your Own Math

 
 

"If this is 10 dollars, how much is 25 percent off that?" Finding the answer to this question is easy. Phone a friend, ask your 8th grader, or use the calculator that your phone has, but as much as I'd love to do elementary math, I have to go stop that kid from peeing on a sofa. True story. Keep reading.

 
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Wait Your Turn

 
 

Here's something we all learned long ago from our parents. "Wait until the adults are finished speaking and then you can have the floor." There is nothing that bothers retail workers more than trying to answer someone's question and boom out of nowhere there is some crazy lady asking if this comes in gold. Wait your turn, dude. Besides, gold isn't your color, Gladys.

 
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That Doesn't Go There!

 
 

Respect the store, associates, and the merchandise. If you decide you don't want an item, put it back where you found it. No, that can of beans doesn't belong carefully balanced on top of a rack of bras or buried deep in a pile of $3 DVDs.

 
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Mind Your Kids

 
 

I love children just as much as the next 24-year-old single girl, but what I don't love is when your kids are running around touching everything and knocking stuff over.

I use to work at a furniture store. In this store we sold couches. On this particular day there was a little boy probably no more than 4-years-old walking around the store by himself as his mother shopped around. Well, as she was shopping, the little boy proceeded to pull down his pants and purposely urinate on one of our display couches. Needless to say we were livid, so we billed his mother for the dry cleaning.

 
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Avoid the Sweater Toss

 
 

Shopping is not a race. There is enough for everyone.

One thing that sales associates are highly trained in is sizing items from smallest to largest. Are you an extra large? Perfect, you can find your size at the bottom. There's no need to throw sweaters around like you're digging for a $100 bill at the bottom of a kid's ball pit.

 
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Mind the Store Hours

 
 

Holiday hours suck and nothing crushes holiday spirits of retail workers more than people walking in 10 minutes before lights out.

If you need to absolutely get something don't peruse the aisles like it's noon on a Monday. Walk in, get out like it's Mission Impossible. Retail workers are ready to go home. Don't make us stay open an extra 30 minutes so you can buy that $3 drink coaster.

 
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Don't Touch Store Displays

 
 

You're searching all over for this adorable shirt in a small. There's one left and it's on the mannequin. Stop. The last thing retail workers need is little Amanda on her lunch break from high school undressing the mannequins.Trampling through the store display to get the last small shirt is only going to make more work for me after you've left.  If you ask, you shall receive. So ask!

 
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Read the Signs

 
 

One tool that stores spend a ton of money on is signage and marketing for sale events. If you want to know if this particular item is on sale, look around and read the signs. Odds are, you'll be able to figure out what is and what isn't on sale before asking an employee.

 

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