Trade Secrets of a Department Store Salesperson

salesThe typical department store opens at 10am. A few customers are already outside with sales fliers in hand or an armload of items to return. The phone is ringing off the hook while the red light on the phone console flashes to indicate a flurry of customers who want someone to call them back–today, of course, and preferably first thing in the morning.

This is how I start my day as a retail salesperson. I'm here to tell you what goes through my head as the doors are unlocked and I get ready to greet whoever walks through them. I'll also divulge some secrets of the trade that you can use to get better deals and better service while maybe giving me a little bit of a (well-needed) break.

-- Compare your salary to a retail salesperson's.

The salesperson knows what size you really wear.

Most customers shuffle through the racks, pick out what they want, pay and leave. However, we do have the needy clients, too. She usually asks for a dress in a size 4; the salesperson suggests an 8. No, she wants a 4. The salesperson finds the 4 and brings it to the changing room. She also discreetly places a 6 and 8 on a chair nearby. Ten minutes later she hears a whisper: "Hello? Sales lady? Could I try the size 6?" She grabs the 6 and passes it along, while also hanging the size 8 on the outside of the door. In the end, the client leaves the store with a size 8 dress tucked into her shopping bag.

Number one pet peeve: return-and-exchange abusers

Colleen Hollis, who owns a children's clothing store, notes, "We know what brands our store carries. A lady brought back a dress that looked similar to one we carry and it did have our sales tag on it." But on close inspection, Hollis noticed that while the dress was similar to one she sold, it wasn't from a manufacturer that she'd ever dealt with. "The customer had bought a cheap knock-off brand and our dress. She kept our dress, took the tag off and applied our tag to the knock-off brand dress to get a refund for the more expensive dress!" She laments, "The extent some people will go through to abuse the system amazes me every day."

If it's not on sale, you're paying too much

In most cases, even when an item is 50% off, a brick-and-mortar store is still making 100% profit on it. This is why Lezlie, a sales associate who didn't want her last name used, states, "My motto is never pay full price. I always wait for the items to go on sale." Of course, retailers hide the marked down items in the way back so that you have to pass all the newest pieces, with their 400% mark-up, to get to them. But hunting those items down will give your wallet a break without hurting the store one bit-though I must admit that splurging on the occasional hot-new-thing will make your commission-earning sales associate very happy.

Next: Trade Secrets from the Cosmetic Counter >>

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October 11 2011 at 5:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No it is not racist because I am only stating what I observe where I live. Maybe things are different where you live. If your area gives equal treatment to all new-comers to our country, the residents should be commended for their willingness to be fair. Where I live, however, this is not the case.

By the way, the fact that everyone makes grammatical errors does not make it okay. This very attitude keeps the literacy rate in our country declining. Also, if we do not speak correctly, how can we help recently arrived immigrants learn the language.

April 14 2010 at 2:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Vinsmom99's comment

Where I live There's a lot of Russians, Italians and Asians that can't speak nor write English and they are working. And guess what, all the Russians and the Asians never hires Americans. Not even one American you see working with them. Okay! Most of them are illegals. You're only pointing fingers at all the Hispanics. So it's not only Hispanics is other races as well.

By the way, my Puertan friend identity was stolen by an illegal Indian. My friend almost went to jail. Luckily, the women got caught. Okay!

April 23 2010 at 8:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You do not want me to judge the Hispanics around me yet you are more than willing to judge me. I never said I did not like blacks, Hispanics, or other races and ethnicities. You assumed I was discrimiating against them because I had the audacity to stick up for white people (who should have the same rights as other qualified applicants). I do not want to see ANY QUALIFIED applicant denied a job. However, I cannot understand why everyone is forced to learn Spanish instead of Hispanics learning English. Where I live there are also many Polish immigrants; yet no one is required to learn Polish and there is only Spanish bi-lingual education in the public schools. I am only pointing out how unfair this is.

Furthermore, I sincerely doubt your ability to decide who does and does not speak English well. Your written English is awful. For example, you wrote "most Hispanic doesn't..." This should read Hispanics (plural) if you are using the quantifier of most. Therefore, the sentence should read "most HispanicS don't..." You made the same mistake in the next sentence where you wrote "I know a lot of Hispanic that ..."
Again, you used a quantifier (a lot). Therefore, the word Hispanic should be HispanicS (plural). In addition, Hispanics are people not things (maybe you are the bigot as you seem to put these folks in the same category as animals and objects). They should be referred to as WHO not by the word that. Therefore, the sentence should read "I know a lot of HispanicS WHO were born..."

April 12 2010 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Vinsmom99's comment

So I made a little mistake with my grammar. What's the big deal? Who cares? Everyone does it all the time. Anyway, by the time I noticed the mistake it was too late.

Anyway, you mentioned that where you live there are many Polish immigrants; yet no one is required to learn Polish and there is only Spanish bi-lingual education in the public schools. That's so untrue. Where I live is full of Russians and Chinese immigrants. All the businesses here from supermarkets, health centers, restaurants and also public schools are all bi-lingual.

Now, let me clarify this, when you said that most Hispanics that are bi-lingual can't speak the English language, you are actually insinuating that even if they're born and raised in the United States they still can't speak the English language. That is a racist remark.

April 13 2010 at 10:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thanks. sorry for the wrong name... I must have not hit the "S" key all the way. And thank you for agreeing with me.

April 11 2010 at 1:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

cozycall, you are a disgusting racist. I reported you.

April 10 2010 at 11:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I just reported both Sarah and Karla for making racist comments. The definition of racism is predjudice + power. Meaning that it is impossible to be a racist unless your race is in power. That means white people. When you make comments that people need to learn english (which they are apparently trying to do) and that this is The U S of A (like were special or something) you are being racist. You are requiring everyone to "live up to" your expectations. Everyone in this country is an alien except for Native Americans, so we should really be speaking their language. English is spoken by most Americans at this time, but that is about to change. Latin Americans are about to outnumber white people in this country. But your ancesters came her and displaced the people who were already here. I believe that everyone is entitled to come to America, the same way our ancestors did, to have a chance at a better life. Most immigrants work very hard, and are trying to learn english. in most other countries, people learn at least 2 languages or more so they can communicate with other people in the world. Most immigrants are more hard working and have a lot more integrity than many of the people who have posted on this page.

April 10 2010 at 11:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Becca, At least I interjected facts and platformed an argument with actual content. I have seen your comments under both of your names, and you don't have much to say except namecalling and attacks, so calling others ignorant doesn't really validate your presence here. Apparently you favor only attacking others under the anonymity of the Internet. Gee, I do apologize for the single misspelling. (I don't believe I used the word "deserts OR desserts"). And if you have a correction regarding my punctuation, point out exactly where and how - because having be published; I have no problem "red-checking" my own work.

April 10 2010 at 10:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

First I never put my high school graduation date on my resume that would be silly. I just put down when I graduated. They cannot guess age from that as many people get a degree later in life. I am 50 and I graduated 15 years ago so by your logic a prospective employer would asume I am 37.

April 10 2010 at 3:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Today there are a lot of situations that can be considered "as" discrimination. Those who choose to discriminates doesn't realize that someone else can discriminate against you too for either being too fat, too skinny, too ugly, too old, too tall, too short, too black, too brown, too white, disable in any shape or form, like retarded, blind, sick, gay, and even religion or just for being a woman or a different race. It is illegal to discriminate and you can get sue. So for those of you who likes to discriminate, you are as bad as an illegal and maybe even worse. You too are breaking the law.

April 10 2010 at 1:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is in reference to Mel's answer. There are a lot of Italians, Russians, Polish in my neighborhood that still doesn't know how to speak the American language.

April 10 2010 at 12:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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