Saturday, August 13, 2011

Helpful Hints for Bookstore Customers

Thinking about going book shopping at your local Christian bookstore? Here's a few helpful hints so you can make the most of your visit.

- Need help? Walk to the counter and ask like you're an adult. Yelling "Excuse me! Excuse me! I need help!" from whatever section you're in is a bad idea for several reasons:
1) You may (well, probably will) annoy the intrepid employee that comes to help you. Why? Because there may be people ahead of you who (like adults) walked to the front to ask for help.
2) 7 times out of 10, the employee doesn't know off the top of his/her head if the store carries the book/CD/t-shirt/random-gift-item you're looking for, and if the store does carry it, what section it's in. Therefore, the employee will then have to walk back to the counter and check on the computer. This isn't a huge hassle, but it does tend to waste both your and the employee's time. The exception to this rule is if you need help with selecting a Bible. In this case, it is easier to just walk over to the Bibles and help you (the customer) find what you're looking for (this is because Bibles are organized in a very specific way that actually makes it easier to find specific things in person rather than on the computer).
3) There are a lot of different areas of the store, most obscured from sight by tall book shelves. The employee (probably) doesn't know you, and matching voices to faces isn't always easy. Thus, more wasted time.

- In most cases, the employee has not, in fact, read the book you're asking about. Many employees, however, will tell you that they have and that the book/CD/movie is "really good." Employees don't like to sound ignorant, and do like to sell products. Listen to the employee's evaluation of the product: the more general it is, the less likely it is that the employee has actually read the book. Just take everything with a grain of salt, and don't base your decision to buy that new $24.99 hardcover book on an employee's glowing review.

- Related to the above, if you ask about a product and the employee's response is that they "Sell a lot of those," or that it's "really popular", that means they have no personal experience with the product. Also, there is also a chance that the employee is overstating the popularity of the product so you will purchase it.

- Please, please, PLEASE do NOT phone-shop. Reserve calling the store for when you have specific inquiries. There is nothing that employees HATE more than looking for the perfect birthday card for your grandson. In addition, about half the time you will not be satisfied with whatever the employee picked out for you. The only thing MORE annoying than wasting 45 minutes trying to describe things over the phone to you is wasting 45 minutes trying to describe things over the phone to you only to have you come in, decide you do NOT like the item, and then (using your own time and eyes like you should have done to begin with) pick out "the perfect item" in less than 5 minutes.

- If you didn't care enough about saving money to remember to bring your coupon, why should employees care enough about you saving money to find "an extra coupon" for you to use. If you didn't bring your coupon, you can't use the coupon. Period.

I have more, but that's all for now.

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