PSA for Holiday Shoppers
Hey everyone! So we are in the middle of December and we are DEEP into our holiday shopping. We are waiting anxiously at our doors for our deliveries. The malls are CRAY. This is everyone's favorite time of the year and everyone's least favorite time of the year. It's a love/hate relationship.
As someone who has worked in retail for 8 years, I wanted to make a Public Service Announcement for all you happy shoppers out there. This is like half a vent sesh, half informative. Lehhhhgooo.
Ok. So my family's business is directly affected by online shopping. We own a delivery company (like FedEx or UPS) and deliver you all your goodies! Anything from Amazon to Sephora to Blue Apron. I can tell you that we are swimming right now! Please be patient! Your package will get to you, but it might not be the exact day you thought it would. With so much freight coming in, we have to prioritize someone's medication over whatever is in your Amazon Prime box, cause it's probably just...a candle.
No joke, the job of a delivery guy is WAY harder than any retail worker. Trust me, I've had to do it. IT SUCKS! These dudes get to the freezing cold warehouse at 6am, load up tons of boxes, go drive around and get in and out of their car 200 times (yes, 200!). It is very hard work, and for an entire month they do not see their families. Shout out to da real MVP's of Christmas. So, next time you see your delivery guy, say thank you. If you legit think your package is lost (it can happen and it's usually not the delivery guy's fault), call customer service, but be nice. Better yet, if you can purchase the item you want to get in an actual store, do that.
Be prepared for long lines at the cash register. And please don't say, "You guys need to get more people." No shit, Einstein. Here's the thing. Stores can't just schedule people left and right. There's a lot more that goes into it. One, most retail employees are part time. So, managers have to schedule around that employee's availability (maybe that have school, or kids, or another job). Employees are not just readily available to work 12-hour days, 7 days a week. But it seems like that is what people expect. C'mon now. Two, managers are only allowed to schedule a certain number of hours proportionate to their sales. It's called profit. So if you are buying everything that is on sale or special promotion, that means less money coming in, which means less hours managers are able to schedule your employees.
Back to long lines... Please just be nice when it's your turn. That one person who is extra nice can make someone's day. Also, make sure you are ready and prepared. This means, put down the phone! Have your wallet ready. Don't ask them to gift wrap it for you, unless it is something offered by the store.
The absolute WORST is when a customer asks you for an item off the mannequin because it is the last one in stock, and then they end up not buying it. It takes a lot of time and effort to get something off of a display, and sales staff want you to walk out with exactly what you want. But in the time it takes them to take one item off of a display, they could have helped five other customers. So, if you want something off of a display, make sure you really, really want it!
Also, if the sales floor staff say that an item is for display only, then its for display only. Many companies send the stores items just for the display, and the stores are required to have it that way. This is something that comes from the head guys at corporate, and unfortunately there is nothing the store manager can do.
Also keep in mind that a lot of display items are damaged. They get tied, ripped, pinned so they can fit the mannequin a certain way.
I know, sometimes store policies seem dumb or strict. I totally get it. But those store policies are in place because the company has to protect its profit margin. If an associate or manager says that they can't return an item for you because of a store policy, then that is the store policy. Asking them to make an exception is asking them to break the rules and put their job at risk.
Also, every store policy is different. Some stores, like Nordstrom, have amazing return policies because they can afford it. Other stores have stricter return policies. The worst is when customers say, "Well at Nordstrom etc...." Umm, does this look like a Nordstrom?
Also the worst...when customers threaten you with bad Yelp reviews or letters to corporate. No, you're not going to get me fired for following the store policy created by my boss' boss' boss.
Just be NICE! Retail employees work their butts off so you can have an amazing holiday with your family and loved ones. They work to help YOU! But be nice. You are not entitled to anything. And being the nice customer amongst a bunch of grumpy ones can do wonders. I promise that sales people are way more willing to go out of their way to help you if you are nice. If you are rude or demanding, they won't help you. They don't need the sale.
Alright, that concludes my retail rant session. If you made it this far, thanks for reading. If you liked it, share it on Facebook using the button below. Happy holidays and happy shopping everyone! :)
Photo: UNIQLO (That's me on the company site, even though I no longer work for them)