5 Things to Make You a Better, Smarter Retail Shopper

I feel like everyone in the world needs to work a retail job sometime in their lives. Working retail (especially clothing) makes you a better shopper and a better customer. In honor of my three years in retail, I've compiled a list of things that everyone who loves to shop should know.

1. Put Things On The Hangers!

This is something even I don't always do but in the end, the shop-girls will love you all the more for. When you go into the fitting room, taking a look at how the clothes are positioned on the rack or hanger. When you leave the item hanging back up, try and match the way they do it. If you don't have time, that's O.K. but it saves everybody time and energy that they could be using elsewhere.

2. Leave It To The Girls

As a little kid, I always went around and tried to put things back on the racks after my mum tried them on. While it's nice intentions, the shop-girls (or guys) are required to go around the store and correct what you or your son/daugher/ect. put back. It's nice intentions but whether you realize it or not you are creating more of a hassel. Instead, when you leave the fitting room find a sales worker and give the garment to them or leave the garment on the rack in the fitting rooms.

3. Control the Wild Thing

Kids are the most destructive to a store. Do you absolutely LOVE your Marc Jacobs or Macy's store so much that when you go shopping you take the kids with you? That's fine but listen up, when you walk into a store that store does not become a babysitter. We (as sales workers) are not there to make sure that your kid doesn't hurt himself on the clothing racks or climb up the ladder of books that we created. If you as a parent cannot keep an eye on your kid and cannot control them DO NOT bring them into the store. Besides, wouldn't you like some kid-free shopping in your future?

4. You Get What You Give

Let's make one thing clear: we may be there to serve you but if you aren't going to be nice we are going to get testy as well. If you aren't a people-person, shop online. You may be having a bad day and that's fine, we cheerful people will try and make you feel loved and wonderful but don't take your bad mood out on us. If we don't have you sales workers are the underlings of retail.

5. READ and Then READ Again.

You walk into your favorite store ever and right in front of you is a huge sign: 50% off Women's. You get so excited you breeze past it and dive into the clothing. Then you pile your items onto the cashwrap and the sales worker rings it all up. Three hundred and fifty five dollars. You stare in shock. What happened to 50% off? Angry and frustrated you ask the worker what happened to the fifty percent. She/He then sheepishly inform you that under the huge sign is the following tagline: 'Select Items Only'. Now you're furious. You vow to never shop there again, dropping a few expletives at the manager as you storm out.

Sound familiar? This is the biggest issue that I have as a retail worker. Customers just don't read the signs that management has us put out. Stores (especially department stores like Macy's and import stores like Pier 1) will advertise huge discounts only to have the customer realize (or rather, not realize) that these things are 'Select Items Only' or 'With Purchase of...'. First, it's O.K. to be mad. The stores do it on purpose. Second, be mad at the right people. The sales workers and even the management have no control over the signs and whether or not you read them. It's not their fault. It is both you (as the customer that can't read a whole sign) and the design team who made the signs in the first place.