HW Check/Shopper Profiles: Life From Behind the Register

7 Jan

First off, did you do your homework?

(See Assignment Here)

Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Yes, I assigned you homework yesterday and I said I’d check… so lets see who came prepared…

Secondly and Unrelatedly (word?)…

I’ve spent a lot of time in retail and there are certainly different kinds of shopping styles.  You’ve all been to the mall. You’ve witnessed these shopping tactics… Some are comical, some are just down right ridiculous, and some are worth adopting for personal use. The confrontational, price adjustment person to the coupon crazed–they are all shoppers looking for their product.  But as a cashier sometimes it is difficult to maintain an even keel.  It is hard to remain pleasant as streams of shoppers come through your register’s line…

I have recently come to the conclusion that most everyone can fall into a shopping profile.  I have observed plenty… Here’s how I see it…

***Disclaimer: These are my personal opinions. They are based on absolutely nothing else.
  • The Crazy Coupon Lady

This is the woman in line with 37 different coupons.  She knows the in’s and out’s of every single coupon–sometimes better than the employees. She will gladly provide the cashier with her phone number and email at the end of each transaction in an effort to maintain her high status couponing reputation.  In fact, she will do just about anything to redeem a coupon.  Like, drive in a snow storm to get her FREE 1 oz tester shampoo knowing that the coupon clearly states “supplies are limited” and she’ll be damned if she misses out on a free item.  This shopper is ruthless and will get cranky if one of her bargains are not attained– again, she’s read all of the coupons and understands them completely.   If you’re smart, you won’t interrupt her while she is arranging all 77 of her products on the counter and matching them with the appropriate coupon.  It is best to let her think out loud and never comment unless you are directly asked to. She knows exactly how much she’s spent and saved.  The crazy coupon lady is always pleasant to the employees and never rushes the cashier.  She is happy to be shopping and it shows. Unless you mess up her coupons… then she will be mad at you.

image from clipartof.com 

  • The Paranoid Purchaser

This shopper is convinced that everyone is out to scam him or her. There are no deals, everything is a rip off. Everyday. All the time. This shopper will absolutely not provide the cashier with his/her phone number or email at the end of the transaction because they think they will get prank phone calls or something.

     Me:  Sir, you’ve actually qualified for a free product today because of what you’ve already paid for.

    Paranoid Purchaser:   What? What kind of show are you running here? Nothing is free. How much extra will it be? What do I have to do?Donate Blood? Give you my social security number? No. I don’t want a free product. What a scam.

  • The I’m-Too-Rich-For-Coupons Shopper

Too rich for coupons. Too rich for sale products. Too rich to even bother to say hello.  This shopper slaps their top-dollar product on the counter and doesn’t care if the total is $10.50 or $1050. They’ll run their card and sign without flinching.  It doesn’t matter to them if what they are buying can actually be purchased on sale; they want to get the top dollar item. Let it be.

image from tgrundy.blogspot.com

  •  The Spuratic Grab and Go Shopper/Tornado

Whatever you do DO NOT get in the path of a Spuratic Grab and Go shopper.  This woman gets in line with  3 products but keeps running back into the store and adding things to her purchase that have been forgotten or just came to the forefront of her mind.  She will leave the store with at least 10 products. And she doesn’t care if people are in line behind her.  She will run a route through the store more swiftly than an NFL tight end to get that one last thing she forgot. From what I’ve gathered, this is the most inefficient shopping style but more effective in terms of burning calories.  If you are more interested in burning calories you shouldn’t be doing it with your debit card in hand. Just saying.

  • The Painfully Undecided  Shopper

This shopper is in NO hurry. They are at the cash wrap but they still don’t know what to buy.  I’ve known them for 42 seconds and now all of a sudden WE are making joint purchasing decisions.  It is usually best to speak up in these situations.  Ask the undecided shopper key questions to help them decide what they want. Point them in the right direction accordingly.

  • Captain Cranky Pants

Of course everyone is warranted a bad day. But Captain Cranky Pants Shopper is in a bad mood and wants to take it out on anyone being paid mini wage because that minimum wage employee? Yah, they are going to grin and bare it. Captain Cranky Pants loves to tell bark at the cashier about how their favorite product is no longer being sold.  Obviously the cashier has a whole lot of control in that department (not). Yet Captain Cranky Pants will persist… he/she will carry on until the transaction is over. And even then they will probably complain. Just smile and apologize.

image from michaelandgina.com

  • Need For Speed Shopper

Similar to the Spuratic Grab and Go/Tornado shopper but much more methodical. This shopper knows EXACTLY what he/she is purchasing. No add ons. No questions. Exact change in hand. Just as quickly as they come into the store they want to leave. I love this type of shopper.

  • Overly Caffeinated/Under Slept Mom

I have a soft spot for this lady.  She looks like she has slept 4 hours in the past 3 days.  Her kids are running around like cheetahs and she is just trying to make her purchase without having to pay for broken merchandise. She’s clearly running purely on caffeine and her temper is wearing thin.  Don’t ask her a lot of questions. She can’t deal with the whole phone and email question that all cashiers are required to ask because Johnny has just climbed three stories on the glass display case.  Bare with her.  Sometimes she might snap at you, but again, she hasn’t slept in forever. She often gives you the wrong amount of change because she is interrupted from her counting 984121327 times. If it is less than a dollar, act like it was the right change and pay the difference at the end of your shift for her (unbeknownst to her, of course). Don’t worry, some day when you are the overly caffeinated mommy who hasn’t slept and your son just knocked over an entire display, you’ll be happy to see a patient cashier.

image from ozzzz.com

  • Takin’ Their Good Ole’ Timer

This person is in no rush. They want to tell the cashier their whole life story.  And they do not care if there are 14 anxious-to-check-out people behind them.  This shopper will talk about his/her cat, dog, grandkids, cousins, plane ride, vacation, whatever. Listen to them. What’s a few minutes to appreciate what someone else has to say? Even if you don’t know anyone in the story.

I could go on and on and on…. there is the I NEED A MANAGER Demander, or the Give the Cashier a Tip Lady, etc… but this post is consuming my entire Saturday night… Just remember, the person behind the counter is just that–a person.  So be nice to the cashier, they like it.  Unless of course the cashier was rude to you. Then by all means, do your thang.


One Response to “HW Check/Shopper Profiles: Life From Behind the Register”

  1. Mom January 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    Grandpa Pakela is the Paranoid Purchaser for sure! hahahaha What category would you say I fall under?! You know how I LOVE to shop and how you cannot stand going to the store because I always have 10 other stops to make. Of course, I can’t make up my mind sometimes either! I’d love to know what you think!

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