Sales tactics I love and hate

I LOVE SHOPPING, especially for clothes. I’m the type of girl who would care less about what I eat. I’m perfectly happy with McDonald’s (OK.. I lied, I actually prefer McCafe, but you get the point), but I cant tolerate wearing a shirt that doesn’t match my earrings. I’d buy a new pair if I suddenly notice they don’t look right. Unlike most girls in Hong Kong, I am not a brand shipper at all. I do have some designer purses but I tend to use them for a VERY LONG time. (Evidence: I have been using the same Louis Vuitton makeup bag for six years. The material is just so durable. I have no reason to get a new one.) For clothes particularly, I tend to go with something along the price range of H&M, because I only wear some my clothes less than 5 times. By buying cheap, I can avoid breaking the bank and still get to have a new style from time to time.

I normally like colorful clothes, with pink being my favorite. I used to get asked “how many pink shirts do you actually have? I notice you wearing pink every day but you always look different” a lot. But my wardrobe has undergone a drastic change recently.

My new work requires me to wear suits every day, preferable dark ones. I never had a job that requires business attire. To the point that I used to wear shorts and jeans to work and my bosses were totally fine with that. When I learned of my dress code, I was sad that I had to give up my favorite color, but I was also happy that I got an excuse to shop! I bought a few separates before I reported to duty, but per my friends’ advise, I didn’t go all in because I didn’t know exactly what the norm was. I’m glad I took their advise. Soon enough I realized I could never wear the green dress that I originally bought for work

Two weeks into the job, I noticed some of the cheaper suit jackets that I bought no longer felt right. The materials either feels too cheap or the cut looks good but doesn’t make me feel comfy, so I decided to go on a shopping spree after work today.

I intended to shop alone, like I always do. It may surprise some people because girls like to do EVERYTHING together, e.g. going to the ladies’ room together as if someone would mug us if we didn’t. For me, I normally prefer shopping alone because I hate to keep people waiting and I don’t really need advise from anyone as long as I like what I see.

Tonight was different, I was joined by my friend as we wanted to do some girl’s talk and she insisted she didn’t mind waiting. We went to a chain store specializing in business attire. I was immediately taken by the 40 percent discount. I tried on at least 10 dresses and 5 jackets. Instead of modeling every piece in front of my friend, I just showed her the ones that I liked. The salesperson was commenting on EVERY PIECE and tried to convince me that they ALL looked good on me.

That was the moment I hate most. I’m a very headstrong person, and I clearly know what I want when I shop. I like form fitting clothes cuz I work out too hard to hide my body in trash-bag-looking dresses. The girl kept telling me, “You can buy more so you can have more options. You don’t have to wear slim cut every day.” I was like, “I LIKE wearing slim cut every day. So shut up.”

Among the dozens of pieces I tried, I was determined to buy only 2 jackets and 2 dresses. I was undecided on which one to out among the 3 dresses which I had narrowed down to. After a good 10-minute has passed, I stuck to my original plan made my decision to pick 2 jackets and 2 dresses. The girl at the cashier started crunching numbers and told me if I bought the remaining one, I can get a further discount. She went on for a couple minutes on how much I could save, how good the dress looked on me, and what a good deal it was.

I listened to her patiently and when she finally shut her beautiful mouth, I said, “I will take the four only.” She couldn’t believe I acted like I didn’t hear a word she said. She went on again, “But it’s a really good deal!”

I stood by my principle, “I know, but I only want four.”

I can see her face change at that moment. Her smile was gone and proceeded with the check out as quickly as possible so that she could get rid of another cheap customer.

I am immuned to persuasive talks by salesmen like her. I hate it when people try to talk me into spending money by flattering or attacking me, like saying I look good in a certain shirt because of my fair skin or saying I should buy this magic cream cuz my skin is too bad. On the other hand, I may shop more if a sales assistant showed sincerity. There are several smaller boutiques I visit often. The keepers there were okay if I don’t buy something if they don’t fit me well. One said, “It’s okay. I don’t want you to buy it then not wear it.”

With them I’d always find something to buy just so I don’t waste their time. Maybe that’s what the best salesmen do — making you feel bad for not buying instead of hard selling.


About Nicky

Nicky English is a journalist, an educator, a podcaster, a couch potato, a dreamer, and a child at heart. Learning is her passion, so is the English language, which she believes is the tool to unlock the door of knowledge. Born in Hong Kong, she received intensive writing training at The University of Iowa, where she double-majored in journalism and political science. Apart from the Hawkeye State, she’s lived in Chicago and Philadelphia. When she was a guest student at Georgetown University, she fell in love with Washington, D.C. She also has a Master of Arts in Communication. A little side note—she cannot imagine a world without her Mac and iDevices. Like many crazy ones, she hopes to change the world one day at a time.
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