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10 Ways Shoppers Drive Retail Employees Crazy

BY: Rachel Matuch | Dec 11, 2018

The saying goes that everyone should work a retail job at some point, just to understand what it’s like. As someone who’s never held such a job, I figured the next best step towards being a better customer would be to talk to people who have. I quizzed current and former retail workers on their customer pet peeves. Top ten things shoppers do that drive retail employees crazy. Some common complaints—and a few crazy stories—emerged. Be a good customer and make sure you’re avoiding these 10 shopping sins. 10. Wrecking the dressing room. “The dressing room is not your personal garbage can… the amount of people who thought they could just dump whatever they wanted (drinks, trash, receipts, etc.) in a dressing room was shocking.” - Kitt V. “I hated when I'd work the fitting rooms and someone would leave clothes on the floor (instead of bringing them to me, putting back on the hanger, or lying neatly on the fitting room seat)... What made that worse is if someone tried on pants and left them on the floor with the pant legs inside out. So basically, this person peeled off their pants and dropped them on the floor of a business as if it was their own home.” – Anne P. 9. Destroying displays. “Customers who dig through (and unfold) entire folded piles of sweaters/jeans to find their size—somebody has to refold it all! Better to ask a sales associate; they have a better idea of how the piles are organized, and may even be able to find your size in the back storeroom.” – Carolyn A. “It never failed, you'd get the display table set perfectly and you'd leave it for maybe 5 minutes. When you circle back, it would inevitably look like someone had decided to throw all of the shirts up into the air and let them land where they may.” – Taylor P. “The worst actually was when I worked at Nine West in high school. People would just throw boxes and tissue everywhere. I would literally spend 80–85% of my day cleaning up after people.” – Kelly M. 8. Expecting mind-reading abilities. “‘I am looking for a book, I don't know the name or the author, but it's yellow and has a bird on it...do you have that one?’ Those people.” – Christine W. 7. Attempting humor. “Saying you don't need a bag because ‘I've got one at home! Hahaha.’ Nope, not funny.” – Abigail B. 6. Abandoning your purchase. “If you decide you don't want that milk any more, please take it back where you grabbed it rather than letting it spoil in the checkout lane magazine rack.” – Justin P. 5. Ignoring closing time. “A quick trip to pick up one or two items before closing is okay. Staying an hour after closing to get a month's worth of groceries is not.” – Andrew B. 4. Trying to pull a fast one. “People returning things they never bought. It's a form of theft and it's hard to track if not caught early in a transaction.” – Margaret N. “Returning a bag full of clothing that has been worn, washed, has no receipt, has no tags, is out of season, or all of the above.” – Natalie L. “People who try to put items on sale racks purposefully so you have to sell it to them at a reduced rate, or people who yell enough so you have to give them a discount on an coupon-excluded item.” – Teresa E. “Do not be surprised if I ask for a form of identification [to buy liquor]. Do not be upset if I won't accept a Sam's card, FOID card, college ID, or anything else the DMV won't accept.” –Emily R. 3. Stealing things outright. “The best was opening a box of what was supposed to be leather boots to find a pair of stank-ass gym shoes. Gotta love thievery.” - Kelly M. 2. Being rude. “Once, as I was the only person on the floor applying [makeup] look after look to this woman and her adult daughter, the daughter looked at her mom and said, "None of the good people are here anymore." No whispering. Straight up.” – Bekah L. 1. Holding employees responsible for things they can’t control. “It's amazing how people forget that you are a person and how it's not really your fault that they're late, that there's only X number of lanes open at the registers, or that we were out of ACME toothpaste.” – Justin P. “Cashiers do not set the prices. Say it with me. "Cashiers do not set the prices." Ok. Once more, with feeling. "Cashiers do not set the prices!" Good. Now believe it.” –Emily R. Want to skip the store entirely? We have free online coupons and promo codes for more than 9,000 shops.