career

12 things retail staff wish you’d stop doing when you're out shopping.

There's nothing quite like working in retail.

From the long hours to dealing with complaints about things you have absolutely no control over, working in retail comes with its own unique set of challenges. 

But as a customer, a lot of us might be doing things that we don't realise are making their job a little more... frustrating.

Watch: Shop assistants translated. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

So Mamamia decided to ask people who've worked in retail to tell us things that really get under their skin. 

And the answers came flooding in. 

So before you pop out for your weekend shop, here are 12 things retail workers wish you'd kindly stop doing (immediately).

1. Coming into the store right before closing and wanting to try things on. 

via GIPHY

"Don’t come in five minutes before closing and ask to try on multiple pairs of shoes..." - Mel.

"Don’t walk in two minutes before closing, when the doors are almost shut and say 'are you still open?' and then take your sweet time to browse." - Nicole. 

"Coming into the store five minutes before you're about to close and MESSING UP YOUR COATHANGER SPACING SO NOW YOU HAVE TO STAY BACK." - Gemma.

2. Rocking up to the store way before opening. 

via GIPHY

"Staring into the store waiting for me to open the doors and tapping on your watch to wonder what's taking me so long even though it's not even 9am yet." - Simone. 

3. Making a mess in change rooms.

via GIPHY

"You wouldn't believe some of the things I've seen! If you can't hang something back up or don't have time that's totally fine! But you don't need to leave stuff inside out all over the floor." - Emily. 

"My biggest pet peeve was when people would leave the change room and everything that they tried on would be in a BIG ball on the floor. And then they would smile at me and leave." - Mikayla. 

"When they break a zip and then bring it back to you and tell you it's faulty. Like I know what happened in there Susan." - Tamara. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"S**tting in the change rooms." - Emily.

4. Or making a mess of the store in general. 

via GIPHY

"Coffee cups, juice cups, rubbish and food packets being left all over the store." Maddie.

"Coming in and just messing with the display for no reason. It's fine obviously to pick up things and try them on but some people leave a trail of destruction that you have to clean up." - Melody.

"Oh my god, when people are touching things and they fall off the hanger and they just leave them on the floor." - Talia. 

5. Arguing about the store's return and refund policies. 

via GIPHY

"When people try to return shoes/clothes/items that have clearly been worn/used... like I can see all the scuff marks on these shoes I will not refund you sorry." - Lily. 

"Arguing about the store returns policy and threating to sue me personally because you/your partner is a lawyer." - Simone.

"When people try to get a refund for things that are in no way faulty and it's obvious they just had a change of mind. Or it's for a product that's four seasons ago... Or when they try to refund things without a receipt or any proof of purchase. Like I can't just give you money." - Melody.

6. Treating female workers differently.

via GIPHY

"Stop assuming just because I’m female I know nothing about the product I’m selling. No, I’m not just telling you all the information for you to go and ask a male, have him give the same or less information and buy from him." - Kylie.

"Asking to speak to my male manager even though he'll give you the same answer to a question that I just did." - Simone. 

"Stop telling young females to smile." - Alyce.

"One thing that makes me the most mad is... If a (usually young) woman is cleaning (shelves, wiping windows, sweeping/vacuuming, sweeping outside the store) DON'T say 'Oh come do my place next?' like because I'm a woman I just exist to clean. This is 96 per cent of the time single, middle-aged men... no I don't want to be your housemaid." - Diana.

7. Trying to bargain down the price.

via GIPHY

"If there's no price tag on something don't say, 'Is this free?'" - Andi. 

"I own a boutique... ‘What’s the best price you can do on this?’ Last time I said $5 more than what the tag said and it confused them so much." - Sophie. 

"I know it's not your fault but <insert complaint about price of items in store here>." - Rebecca.

8. Going overboard on the samples and testers.

via GIPHY

"When people would come in to Mecca and just ask for samples of La Mer there was a woman who would come in once a week to buy a lip liner. And she'd just help herself to the testers and try it on without sanitising it and run frantically in and out of the store with like six lip liners in her hand because she wanted to test them all in natural light." - Maddie. 

9. Replying with "just looking" when someone asks how you are.

via GIPHY

ADVERTISEMENT

"When you say hello to a customer and they reply with 'just looking thanks' I haven’t worked in retail for years and it still gives me the irks when I overhear it." - Meaghan.

"Staff member 'Hi how are you?' Customer 'I’m just looking.' That’s not what I asked you, but okay then." - Jenine.

10. Having a conversation with someone on the phone while being served. 

via GIPHY

"Don’t be on the phone when you’re being served. It’s so rude!!" - Prudence.

11. Being unhygienic with money.

via GIPHY

"When I worked at coles when I was a teenager I used to HATE when people would take sweaty money out of their bra." - Tracy. 

"Lick money this included during hard lockdown where they would reach under their mask to lick their finger then touch the money. Rummaging through bag/pocket and give scrunched up money with a side of lint or bag dirt." - Olivia.

12. Asking to check out the back. 

via GIPHY

"Not believing staff when we say there's no stock out the back (due to COVID, stock levels are all over the place and are particularly low in my company for this time of year)." - Emily.

"Asking for a 'new one' from out the back. Okay, but they have probably been tried on too." Emmeline.

"When people would follow me into our back room. Our backroom was hidden behind a curtain then a door. Kids used to follow me out there all the time. I once caught a lady looking for a size in our backroom and I had to explain to her why she wasn't allowed out there." - Mikayla.

Do you work on retail? What do you wish customers would stop doing? Let us know in the comments below. 

Feature Image: Getty.

Want $100? Take our 5 minute survey for your chance to win.
MMSurvey
00:00 / ???