On being followed and pestered around by sales assistants

I should be really inhibiting myself from endlessly researching about beauty products as they always leave me empty handed. But hey, the research pays off. I'd rather rely on extensive research than over-the-counter salesladies who don't really have a clue on what they're talking about. If you as ask me, I have always been irritated by pesky sales assistants who constantly follow me around even when I'm just looking around and not really in the mood to buy something at the moment.

Reality first slapped me with the realization when I visited The Body Shop alone for the first time when I was still an elementary student. The sales lady immediately followed me and grabbed a basket for me to put stuff on. It made me feel as if I'm a criminal of some sort as they would really take a close look at my every move and blabber about stuff I randomly pick up and just look upon. And when I left not buying anything, the staff annoyingly glared away making me feel as if I wasted their time. Hey, who am I to blame? I politely said I was just looking around. After a few days, I went back. Same thing happened, they follow me and pester me with their pep talk. I rushed over the counter after making my first purchase from them which is their born lippy lip balm (quite popular back then with me and my peers). When I left, they said with joy "Thank you, we hope you see us again!" or something like that.

After all the years, the same thing still happens at the same store. But as the years pass, there are better people and you feel more comfortable.

It's not just one store I'm ranting about. I have had the same experience mostly with clothing and beauty retail stores. You will barely encounter these sales assistants at gadget shops, supermarkets, department and book stores. Either they're bombarded with customers who are lazy enough to do things for themselves or there are too much technical attention needed, a customer at a time.

As I celebrate in my almost a decade of purchasing stuff by myself, let me do a rundown of my thoughts about these creatures we call 'sales assistants' particularly at beauty stores.

1. They will always lure you into something that is not necessary. That's the game anyway - the company they represent earns more when you buy stuff with crap they talk you into. My take on this, be ready when you walk into a store and immediately grab the thing you want and head on to the cashier so that you can avoid buying more than what you planned on getting.

2. When it comes to consulting your foundation shade or whatever shade of makeup, do keep in mind to observe the skin color of the saleslady you're consulting with. When her face appear to be oddly whiter than her neck and the rest of her body, then she can be classified as one of the many who are fascinated about the mestiza look when they are deeply morena. DON'T FALL FOR WHAT SHE WOULD SAY. Well at least not always. Oh this happened to me a lot of times already, buying the wrong shade because of what sales assistant recommends me. Some sales ladies try to keep into account what their take on a particular shade is based on their own personal experience. I suggest to do research and look for foundation matrix over the internet. And hey, it's unfair if the sales assistant gets the blame on your behalf. Tsk tsk. Everything still depends on you anyway.

3. I freakin' hate it that almost 95% of sales assistants ALWAYS try the product at the back of your hand. Foundation = Back of the hand. Lipstick = Back of the hand. Perfume = Back of the hand. Cleanser = Back of the hand. Kulang nalang pati shampoo at sabon itest sa likod ng kamay ko. And they almost always get to hold the product as if they don't want you to touch it.

4. There would always be that one sales lady/dude who will act snobbish if you constantly ask about a particular product for hours and you end up not getting it. I don't know who is wrong here.

5. The customer will never be always right. Yes, sales assistants make a good point at times.

6. If you're the type who is very particular about the ingredient list of a product, then good luck mentioning those to some sales assistant. Really though, it annoys me why some sales assistants only know what would make you look good but barely knows about what would make you look good without risking safety concerns. There was this one time when I walked into the beauty section of a department store and asked if the particular cleanser has harsh surfactants in it. Really, she passed on the question to another sales lady and that other saleslady passed it to another. It wasted my time so I just went away. So now, I always see to it that I know the product well so I won't bother asking about it anymore from the sales people and get a wrong response.

7. I still don't get it why other sales assistants will just follow you everywhere even when you're just looking around. I've learned to ignore it even though admittedly it still bothers me.

8. When you do encounter heaven-sent sales assistants, you should befriend them and don't treat them different. I always take the time to chika with very warm and friendly sales assistants. It assures me that the next time I'd drop a visit to their store, I would be guided very well. My favorite still was that hour and a half time spent in Cutting Edge in Trinoma which the store that sells magic stuff, blades, binoculars, telescope, Coca Cola memorabilia's, fancy pillows, and of course, card deck collectibles. I was constantly bugging them for the best card deck I could give to my boyfriend for our anniversary. Who knew I'd end up befriending sales assistants in a matter of seconds. I was very pleased at how very accommodating they are with their customers. I go back there sometimes not to buy anything but just to catch up with them.

9. When you can do stuff for yourself, do it. Sometimes, we customers are the one who pester sales assistants with our lazy butts. I have to admit when I walked into a grocery one time (a pretty small one, that is) I was so lazy to look around and immediately got the attention of the supermarket clerk and asked where the local chips section is. I turned around and it was just behind me. Lulz.

So maybe there would always be two sides (or more) with everything, including sales assistants...hmmm...idfk.



Anonymous said...

Sometimes, I don't know if it's just here in Pinas. In Harrods, the salespeople there let my friends and I try on a lot of designer shoes and put on a mini fashion show at the back of the store. We looked like backpacking tourists yet they treated us like royalty. In the end, all of us bought something (not designer shoes, sadly) because we were grateful for the service.

But try doing that here in Rustan's! You'll get kicked out before you even try on the first shoe.

I hate how salespeople follow customers around all the time. My trick for that is to jam in my earphones, turn the volume high up and pretend I don't hear a single thing they're saying.

But it's still frustrating and I get where you're coming from. Hay!

Sumi Go said...

I can sympathize with you. Some sales assistants are just makulit. Good thing though, I don't encounter them that often recently. I guess I'm lucky too since I never experienced an unknowledgable sales assistant when shopping for beauty products. They always give me foundation close to my skin color. And some were even nice to put them on my face (I ask them to use my foundation brush though). There are also really friendly beauty sales assistants who gave me a make over (put foundation, blush, lipstick, curled my lashes, etc.) although I just bought the foundation and lipstick.. :)

kath said...

i hate being followed by sales rep too..di ako makapili ng maayos..

PM said...

@thebackgroundstory - earphones....that's a very genius trick! masubukan nga. hehe.

@sumi - Their 'makulit' should inherent to them and not part of their training :)) lucky for us when we encounter adorable and friendly sales assistants! <3

@kath - EXACTLY. (//_-)

allison said...

ooh i hate it when sales assistants follow you around. When they start asking me if I need anything, I tell them I'm just looking around and will just approach if I need anything

The Average Jane said...

We have the same peeve. The worst was when I was still pregnant and was shopping around the baby section at SM dept. store. There would always be at least 1 sales lady who would follow me around like a dog! At one point, I zigzagged my way through the aisles in the hopes of shaking her off to no avail. In the end, I just shouted "please leave me alone." which I time when her store sup was walking right in front of me. Bad, I know. But she annoyed the heck out of me. I blame the pregnancy hormones. Hehehe! =D

PM said...

@allison - that's also what I do :) and I guess it works :))

@the average jane - whoa that was epic! :)) hey we gotta say what we feel when they just won't get out signal that we are fine by ourselves.