I’ve been working in retail for eight years and have really seen it all. I compiled a list of do’s and don’ts regarding shopping in a mall store to help make and shopping experience easier!
Do ask if the store has something similar if the item you want is sold out. Most stores don’t keep back stock but a lot of times employees will be able to find you a similar item or direct you to a different store to grab the item you want.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions– but be as specific as possible! It’s incredibly difficult to help someone who is unable to describe what they are looking for. Instead of asking “Can you show me dresses?” ask “Can you show me any midi dresses I could wear to a wedding?” It also helps to have photos on your phone you can bring up to show the look you wish to achieve.
Do inquire about any rewards programs, newsletters, or promotions. Many stores have a rewards program where you receive points by spending money which turns into big discounts and savings. At H&M you can donate a bag of clothing for 15% off your purchase. Usually every store in the mall has a discount program that’s free to join and saves you money.
Don’t yell. No matter how frustrating the situation, yelling at another human being for clothing is disrespectful and will get you nowhere. Yes we’ve all experienced bad customer service, but how are you as a customer contributing to this? If there is a problem calmly speak to the sales associate or manager and ask if there’s a way you can come to an understanding; this is the way most exceptions are made.
Do ask about the return policy. This is major!! The most frustrating situation is trying to return an item that doesn’t fit and realizing it’s final sale. Always ask about the return policies for make up, underwear, swimwear, and jewelry. Ulta allows customers to return makeup within 60 days with the receipt if you try the items and don’t like them. On the other hand, Forever 21 only allows the return to be given in store credit. When you don’t have time to try on or test products it’s really important to ask about the policies.
Don’t expect an exception to be made for you. Exceptions are rare and therefore aren’t granted to everyone. If you’re expecting an exception you will get disappointed when it doesn’t come through.
Do ask an employees opinion when trying on. We love to help with this– it’s probably my favorite part of the job.
Don’t expect a personal shopper. Yes, I will absolutely help you pick out an outfit, show you the fitting room and grab you a different size. However, personal shoppers are paid a lot more to do one task; shop for you. There’s a huge difference between asking assistance and expecting someone to fetch you options and/or follow you around while holding your shopping. This can be perceived as disrespectful towards sales associates.
Do call ahead. If you look online and see something you like, call ahead and see if they have it in the store! This will save you time searching and the store can hold the item for you so your size doesn’t sell out.
Don’t leave messes. This is one of the most disrespectful things you can do!! Retail employees are constantly working to keep their store clean and most clothing stores stay anywhere from an hour to two hours after closing cleaning the store. Leaving your clothes in a ball on the fitting room floor may not seem like a big deal but it is a huge deal to the employees.