General Retail: Holiday/ Everyday Shopping Etiquette Informative - Ytropious' 4 Simple Rules Of Being A Retail Customer During The Holidays
Just a few helpful reminders for your Christmas (or heck anytime) shopping needs. It’s a doozy, just follow along and enjoy ^_^
The Holiday season can either bring out the best of us, or the worst of us. As a cashier I've seen a broad range of holiday shoppers. For the most part people are awesome during the Holiday season, most people are in the spirit and most people are kind. Not everyone though. The following are just a few suggestions from a long time cashier.
1.You're likely buying gifts for lots of people from lots of different stores. You’re not sure if they’re going to like it? You need a gift receipt. Now here’s where the real advice comes in: The cashier is not psychic. It would be awesome if we could breed a race of psychic human beings for the simple task of being a cashier, but that’s wishful thinking. In the mean time, if you need a gift receipt, use your voice and speak up! Tell the cashier BEFORE you even whip out your credit card to pay “ I need a gift receipt”. If you tell them just that you will get everything you purchased on one gift receipt. If you need several gift receipts for different people or households be sure to tell them that as well, and it even helps to have the items separated into piles “I need these all on one, and I need these all on another, and I need this one by itself, and I don’t need one on these really.” Trust me, as a cashier I LOVE customers who do this, don’t think you’re making extra work, your not. It takes all my guess work out and I’m more then happy to print them everything on as many gift receipts as they need. Hell even if you buy 60 items and each one needs a separate receipt you can have it. (Where I work it’s actually easier to put everything on one or everything on separate, but breaking it up is fairly simple too). So to recap that point, don’t assume your cashier will “just know” to give you a GR, you have to ask. As a cashier if you’re an older adult and your buying toys, even if you don’t ask I’m going to usually have the foresight to print one for you. I can’t speak for all cashiers. If you’re a mom with 2 girls buying a Barbie doll I’m not going to print one unless you ask. Whatever you do, do NOT wait until after the payment has cleared and your original receipt is printing to ask for one, you’ve past the point of no return. At some stores, like Kohls, they can scan the receipt and print out GRs from it. Not every place is that fortunate. At my store we have to void and rering to give you a GR. Also DON’T blame the cashier if you forgot to ask for one and they tell you it’s too late. Not many places ask every single customer “do you need a gift receipt?” and if you ask me it isn’t their job to remind you if you need a GR or ask if you have any coupons or anything like that. It’s your job as a customer, so don’t pass the blame when you could have easily spoken up.
Second: Item holds. Christmas is a time of severe need. Everyone needs something, everyone has something on their list they absolutely must have. We know this, but please respect store policy when it comes to item holds. Some stores will allow “to the end of close” holds, some stores don’t allow any holds of any kind, some stores only allow holds on non sale merchandise. Don’t beg, don’t plead, don’t threaten. If the store says they can’t hold your item for you, especially over the phone, respect it. Why don’t stores hold things, I’m a paying customer you say. Well, not quite. When I do hold items for customers, only about half ever come to pick them up. In that same time I usually have someone in the store looking for that item, and I don’t have any more except your hold. I could have made a sale. You never came to pick it up. It’s hit or miss. Yes, there are customers who come for their items, but the ones who don’t spoil it for everyone. How would you feel shopping in a store where the cashier had an item ready for YOU to buy, because YOU are presently in the store, and they can’t sell it to you because someone on the phone begged and pleaded that it be set aside for them, only for them to change their mind and not come for it. You’d be pretty angry I bet! In my section at work some people will hold things, but I seldom do, and when I do it’s only to the end of my shift so I take full responsibility for the item, and it’s not tied up for an entire day if someone else wants to buy it. To summarize, it never hurts to ask if you really really need something held, but if the store says no, well, then try to get to the store and buy it asap. If they do hold it, please come for it. We’re staking a sale on the fact that we hope your coming to buy it. If you can’t make it a simple phone call to the store to release your hold is always appreciated, not just by us, but for your fellow consumers.
3. Respect the cashier. What I mean by this isn’t obvious so let me explain with an example. I had a woman ask me about an item, she wanted to know if it was part of a sale. I scanned the item and told her it wasn’t. “Well how do YOU know?” She asked me in a very demeaning tone. “The register can tell me if something is part of a promotion just by price checking it, and this item isn’t part of any promotion” I explained. It was a simple explanation, but her questioning bothered me. It felt like she thought I was either lying to her or didn’t know how to do my job. I can do my job, and why would I lie? Our jobs are hard enough without people assuming we can’t competently do our jobs. I’ll give you this though, Christmas time sees tons of new hires and inexperienced workers, but my name tag clearly says my years of service on it, you can tell I’m not new. In summary, your cashier can do their job, or they wouldn’t be standing there by themselves doing it. We might get minimum wage, but we shouldn’t be given minimum respect.
4. We love your business, but please respect our stores. This one is pretty straight forward. You like a clean store, we like a clean store too. This means throwing your Starbucks cups in the trash and not leaving them on a shelf hidden behind some items. This means if your child has an accident on the floor please come get an associate to clean it. This means only fill your cart with what you intend to buy. I know it’s hard but not impossible. My husband and I follow the cart rule: if it’s in the cart, it’s not coming out. If we need to decide on an item we stand there and decide. It doesn’t come in the cart for us to decide at the register. Giving the cashier one item you decided against isn’t bad, but when you have half a cart full of stuff you changed your mind on, it’s just stuff we’re going to have to put back at the end of our shift, multiplied by tons of Christmas shoppers and you’ve got hours of work ahead of you. You get paid to do that, I can hear you say it. Well yes, but let me put it this way. The less stuff we have to put back at the end of the night, the faster we can go home, the more sleep we get, the happier we are when we come to work the next day to help you. Little things like that add up. Also, I know it’s hard parents, but please try to control your kids. Christmas shopping is exciting for everyone, but if your kid is constantly running off and getting in other shoppers way, or screaming throughout the store, it annoys other paying customers. It may annoy them so much they take their frustration out on the cashier, which probably just makes the cashier resentful towards you when you come to check out. Also be mindful of what your kid is putting in the cart. I’ve had lots of instances of “where did this come from, were not getting any of this”, which just causes 2 of the problems I touched on; a cart of stuff to put back and a screaming kid. To summarize, treat the store like your home. If it doesn’t fly in your house, why should it in public?
Oh boy, I’m sure I can think of more but I think that should suffice right?