It was amazing how in my shop how many of these "time wasters" who just wanted to play with the merchandise we got if it was raining or snowing until it stopped, as you write experienced salespeople can usually recognize them for what they are, but I must admit I have sometimes in the past been surprised and been very wrong.
Originally Posted by CGW
It was about ten years ago that I stopped working in photographic retailing which was before the internet really got going, I'm just glad to be out of it and happily retired it must be hell now.
Hmm talk about The World Owes Me a Living.
Some retailers have already learned that they have to find a way of competing with online suppliers or else go to the wall. Some clearly haven't. I can think of three likely scenarios where this charge will backfire.
First it will highlight that many photographic retail staff know next to nothing about what they're selling and any attempt to sell their lack of knowledge will cement a customer view that they will be better off elsewhere. Frankly here in the UK I can gert better more detailed advice on the phone from a distance seller than I often get in a camera store.
Second some people will feel that handling and operating the goods is an integral part of retail, not something to be unbundled and charged for. These people won't pay the $30 and will go elsewhere.
Third, some people will consider that if they've paid $30 for "advice" they are now morally entitled to go anywhere to buy. These are people who would have hesitated to waste the retailera time without a clear probability of buying there.
Its the conversation with the retailer that turns the tyre-kicker into a potential buyer. I hope this ill-conceived venture will get all the success it deserves. Whilst retailers view the people who deign to walk through their doors as timewasters instead of opportunities there is little hope for left for them. When people stop walking through their doors and stop "wasting their time" there is no hope left at all.
As one who has owned a brick and mortar business for most of my life, I can tell you how much it cost per hour to keep my doors open. If someone is using my employees time, only for their own benefit (shopping with no intention of buying,) they are stealing money from my pocket and perhaps from the pocket of my employee if they are compensated on their sales volume. Additionally they are taking money out of my pocket if their handling, touching, feeling my gear turns it from "New" to "Used/Demo." Bill Barber
If they are stealing you should call the police.
Originally Posted by nsurit
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I know someone who charges a fee for trying on sports shoes because he got tired of people trying shoes to see if they fit and then buying the same pair cheaper off the internet. Of course if you buy the shoes from the shop, then the fee gets taken off the price.
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That is smart. People will pay the fee if they are sure they want to buy that product from the store.
Originally Posted by Edward_S
I bought some cowboy boots a while back and I was really unsure of my size (usually you want them a little larger than regular shoes, if they have a pointy toe). I walked into a store and tried on 2 pairs and found the perfect size. They had the brand but not the style I wanted so I didn't buy boots. On the other hand, they had the only pair of laces I have managed to find for a pair of 14-up DMs, so I got those.
(See, when you get people in the door, sometimes they buy stuff they forgot they needed).
I think I might have been prepared to pay a fee (maybe a fiver?) to confirm my boot size as that is the crucial part of buying shoes online.
As far as cameras go, I would generally be smart enough to download a manual before doing the shopping IRL. Nothing beats checking it out in a shop though. Handling is an important aspect.
But that's retail. Either someone has already played with their friend's 5DMkII and wants one, or they need to keep up with the Jones family, OR they're not sure about the product yet. You let them get a feel for it, they might buy it from you. If you can compete with other retailers, you've got an advantage. If you pay astronomical rent, then you're at a disadvantage because your prices simply have to be higher. Several camera shops here (Dublin) have gone bust because they were in very high-rent areas.
I always got taught to 'do it yourself', but I still recognise a useful salesman and don't mind paying a little for their help. It is kinda like tipping. Unfortunately, a lot of sales people these days (in many industries) just don't care for their jobs (and will lose them, given time).
the world is full of time-wasters
they should have started charging extra
money a long time ago ...
I'd gladly pay that fee... If I was paid to enter the store.
I'm happy to pay a few bucks more and support a local retailer, just for the opportunity to see/try items before purchase. But a fee *upfront* just for a looksie? LOL, I don't think so. Desperation of that sort I would have no interest in supporting.
Exactly. And what happens if you "stump the schmuck" behind the counter? Do you get your 30 bucks back?
Originally Posted by wotalegend