I was a vendor at an Expo a week ago.
It ended up being a strange experience as it conflicted with ALL my past experiences. I could not figure out the demographic to save the day. I have been in retail for a LOONNNGGG time and I felt as if it was day one.
But, the thing that sits in my “craw” is one experience I had with one shopper. Maybe you can all help me understand her thought process.
Anyone who is on the other side of a counter has or will have a moment where the request for a discount is presented. I get them now and then (last weekend it was a constant) and sometimes I do acquiesce.
However, this time was a first . . .
I have a line of bracelets that I have set aside to donate 100% of the profits to Feeding America.
This organization is terrific and I have been supporting them for about three years now. A customer walked up to my display and picked one of the items up and asked, without a smile or a “Hello,” “Can I have 50% off this?”
She was well dressed and well-groomed and she threw me a little with her introduction. I explained to her my donation goal for the item and that if I discounted it I would be taking away from my charity. I said, “I hope you understand and will support Feeding America.” She proceeded to try to pull the bracelet apart and tell me it was defective. I was shocked. I gathered myself together so quickly and gently put out my hand to show her the “flaws” she saw were the way the bracelet was made. I knew she was just trying to get this piece for less. She turned and walked away.
I must have stood there with my mouth agape because my daughter came back to our space and asked me what was going on.
I understand that everyone wants a deal. I understand that asking for a discount is the way of the world. But, if you are going to ask for one . . .
1. Be polite
2. Say “hello” first
3. DO NOT ask for a discount on a charity item – I mean really! That is greedy.
4. If you are turned down say “Thank You” anyway and understand that the retailer is trying to make a living.
I have been known to give discounts readily and now and then I have even given a piece away. You get what you give folks. Have any of you ever dealt with a customer like this? What would you have done?