Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Sweet Sale Shopping

I've pounded those pavements and believe me - the Christmas rush is more like a Christmas trickle. The streets are quiet and purses are shut which means retailers' tills are empty. So the sales have hit the highstreet early this festive season. To make the gift of the sales even more sweet, here are my top tips for successful sale shopping:

  1. TRY BEFORE YOU BUY. It's quiet out there so take your time.
  2. Sale items are NON-REFUNDABLE. If you want to bring your items back you will be offered an exchange or a gift card. You won't actually get your physical cash back. This policy should be explained to you at the till point and it may be printed on the reverse of the receipt.
  3. Get a GIFT RECEIPT. This will extend the period in which you can bring your item back (it will probably be up to the 4th Jan) and give you more time to think about your purchase.
  4. You may notice in larger stores that the music is louder in the sale section. This is to get your adrenalin pumping. Try and ignore the music and shop as you normally would.
  5. Pretty much anything on promotion will soon go into sale so if you can bear to wait for that purchase you may get some more pounds off it.

Let me know how you get on!
Happy shopping
Love The Wardrobe Angel x

Friday, 9 December 2011

How to complain...and get a result

We all love a good moan about bad service we have received. When that person behind the cash desk just won't go that extra mile and you leave the shop feeling mightily pissed off ALL your friends, family, colleagues suddenly get to hear about it. It's well documented that when we receive bad service we readily tell 8 people but if we have good service we keep quiet about it.

After 7 years of working on the shop floor and being a shopper these are some tips I use to complain and get a result:

1. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS write to Head Office if you are displeased. If you ask to speak to a manager on the shop floor they will deal with you there and then. You'll get an 'I'm very sorry' but if you are really genuinely upset about service in the shop the apology just won't wash.
2. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS write to Head Office if you are displeased. Now I have written this twice (and in CAPITALS no less) you will see its importance. I said WRITE. Not email. I always write. A letter shows you have taken the time to put pen to paper, to think about you want to say and write it in a logical and well thought out argument. An email can be dashed off in a hurry, a letter is a demonstration of your commitment to the complaint.
3. So what do you write? I always start by praising the company. You must love the shop a little bit to have been shopping in there in the first place. Tell them WHY you love them - the quality of clothes, the depth of product, the music they play. Everyone LOVES a compliment and retailers are no different.
4. After you've laid down the love, list the complaints - the member of staff was rude, your item on hold was sold to someone else, you can never find what you are looking for, how you were made to feel. Be as specific as possible but don't go overboard. Get your point across and tell the truth.
5. In the letter tell the retailer which shop you were in, which location, and the time. Service provided by retailers can vary widely depending on the time of day and how busy the shop is. Plus, if Head Office follow up your complaint with the store the manager will be able to pinpoint which staff were giving poor service. This is why you must tell the truth; if the member of staff you name and shame says you were rude to them, and you fail to mention this is your letter, the egg is on your face my friend.
6. Wish the retailer well - think of the letter as a complaint sandwich: love/complaint/love. Always include your address and phone number.

Let me know how you get on. Til next time ...x

Monday, 5 December 2011

Christmas Shopping...easy as 1,2,3

Tis the season...the tree is up, the advent calendar is a wreck of cardboard and empty shells where chocolate once lurked and you are ready to hit the shops armed with your Xmas shopping list. So how to successfully shop at Christmas....and this starts with the staff in the shops:

1. Pictures Speak Louder than Words. Seen the perfect gift on the Internet/in a magazine? Heading to the shops to buy it? Take a picture of it with you. This will save the awkward descriptions ("It's black with a purple trim." Really? Turns out it's pink.), the annoyance when you are greeted with a blank look by the staff member and the sense that that precious commodity,time, is slipping away. Thousands upon thousands of units of stock pass through large stores everyday and a picture of the item you are looking for will help you one step further on your quest of finding it that bit quicker.
2. Shop staff work a variety of shifts. 7-11, 9.30-5.30, 1-10pm, overnight...the list goes on. The upshot of this is that all staff don't work on the shopfloor at the same time so when you are asking for a specific item and the member of staff says 'I don't know', they actually might not know: they may work on delivery, back-of-house, payroll, and not even see the shopfloor that often. They should, however, find another staff member who can help you.
3. If they can't, look for staff members wearing ear pieces, radios, holding rotas or wearing suits. Say hello to the management team. They will help you immediately by dealing with the query themselves or finding the best possible person to help you, saving you time.

And last but not least - yes shopping during the festive season can be stressful, yes the queues can be long, yes they can sell out of the perfect gift for your Auntie Joy - but don't take it out on the person behind the till. They have feelings too.