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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Be a better shopper (part one) : : Research



I'm currently on the management team at a local Ann Taylor store, and I absolutely love it! I get to help women shop all day -- could anything be better than that? Unfortunately, there are days when clients leave confused, disappointed or even angry. There are so many ways that you can prevent yourself from feeling that way the next time you hit the mall... After all, shopping is supposed to be fun!

Introducing... my three-part guide to being a better shopper. We'll start with RESEARCH, move on to IMPLEMENTATION and end with FOLLOWING UP. By the time you're finished reading this series, you'll know exactly what to do to make your shopping day successful, easy and -- most importantly -- fun!

Before shopping, ask yourself the following questions. If you don't know the answers, it's time to research!



QUESTION ONE: Where are you going?
If you have your go-to mall, you should already be aware of the hours and parking situation. However, it's always a good idea to double-check the mall's website for any construction or special holiday closures. If you're hitting a brand-new mall to you, that's another story altogether!

Fortunately, most malls have a website complete with details pertaining to which stores they have, what the hours are and what the parking is like. Make a list of which stores you're planning to hit, write down the mall's hours for that day, and calculate if you'll need money for a meter or parking structure. If it's a Saturday or Sunday, give yourself plenty of time to find a parking space -- and remember that malls usually close earlier than normal on weekends!

QUESTION TWO: What are you shopping for?
Think about your wants and needs, then refer to the list of stores you like. Which ones will have what you're looking for? If you're unsure, look up the stores on-line and peruse their catalog. Most companies have a way to search for certain items and show the stores in your area that currently have them. This will save you the time (and heartbreak) of hitting a shop for something specific and finding out that they don't carry it. If you're thinking "I don't have the time to do all this before I go!" just think about the time you'll save once you're in the store.



QUESTION THREE: What's in your purse?
I cannot stress this enough... make sure that you have your coupons with you! This will save you the time of going back to the store later for a price adjustment (which some places don't even offer). A sales associate may be kind enough to give you a coupon if you ask, but don't count on it, especially if you're not a regular customer. The easiest thing for everybody is to keep coupons with you at all times -- in a special pocket of your purse, your wallet or a zippered pouch perhaps. (For the record, my coupons are organized -- though my receipts are not!)

If you're unsure of what a coupon means or if it's expired, feel free to ask an associate once you get to the store. If you call ahead and ask, the associate may not be sure of which coupon you're speaking of and you could receive false information. Most stores have a plethora of coupons out at the same time with different expiration dates and percentages, and they may or may not be combined with other offers... It's best to wait and find out when you get there for this one!

If you're heading to the store for a return, be sure to have your receipt with you, along with the item's tags, your ID and the original form of payment if it was a credit or debit card. Not all stores are able to credit you without seeing this information, so it's best to have everything with you just in case!

24 comments:

  1. Good advice... I always pre-shop online. Helps me not to spend frivolously and prevents wasting time.

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  2. Great tips - they all seem like they would be real time savers!

    xoxo ~ Courtney
    http://sartorialsidelines.blogspot.com

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  3. I never thought about putting that much effort into shopping but it really makes sense!!!

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  4. Haha very cute! I think I'm a queen of research, but not so much on implementation : ) : )

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  5. Neat feature! I have a little purse insert from a satchel that I put all my coupons in and switch it from purse to purse and I always have it on me at all times

    Shasie
    Live Life in Style

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  6. Great idea! I can't wait to read the other two parts! Sometimes I forget coupons because they'll be in another purse or in my planner which I may have left behind because of it's weight (lol!)

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  7. Good advice, especially about the cupons. I try to put them in my wallet as soon as they arrive in the mail.

    Heather
    http://thestyleconfessions.com/

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  8. Awesome tips doll, they all seem like great advice!
    -Ellie

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  9. I really really love your tip about the coupons because I always forget and it's such a happy day when I remember. Plus, that zippered compartment is not really great for makeup (which can be messy and should probably be in a cosmetic bag anyway) so now I'll make it my coupon spot. Love it!

    xo Mary Jo

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  10. Number 3 is funny because I always get coupons in the mail and forget to take them with me when I go to the stores.. I need to work on that!

    ps. I need your help! Please see my latest blog post and help me have a chance to win this contest I've entered. xoxo

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  11. Excellent advice, lady. The funny thing is? I ALWAYS forget my coupons and then curse myself when I realize I forgot them. Haha!

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  12. Some great advice there! Thanks for sharing, it's a good reminder for me.

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  13. That is some obnoxiously excellent advice.

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  14. Thank you, this is really helpful! I'm excited to read part two and three!

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  15. Thanks to you I will now have my coupons on me at all times!

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  16. Great advice. I agree with the first commenter, I pre-shop. I usually know exactly what I'm going into a store for, and I try not to buy anything else. If I don't pre-shop I'm going for a clearance sale, and I'm trying to score some great deals.

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  17. Hi lady! I just came across your blog (and this post) through Links a la Mode on IFB this week -- love it, you have so much interesting content!

    My biggest problem when going shopping = diversifying the WANT vs the NEED. Ha!

    - Hallie :)
    coralsandcognacs.blogspot.com

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  18. I am a total coupon fail. But usually like you said, salespeople tend to give them to you if you ask. I like to make lists too; I'll pick a few things I want each season to freshen up my wardrobe and then I'm focused on what it is I actually need and buy less "impulse" things I'll never actually wear.

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  19. Dream job! I used to be a personal shopper at BCBG and it's amazing how many deep-seated psychological issues clothes shopping can bring up for so many women. It was very confusing at times. The one that got me was how attached they were to the number on the tag.

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  20. It is EXTREMELY important to keep coupons with you at all times. I keep mine in a seperate pouch so that they won't get lost and mixed up in the scuffle. Great read here especially for those who LOOOVVEE to shop all the time like me. Can't wait for parts 2 & 3!

    http://thriftyandshameless.blogspot.com

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  21. I love shopping, but it can be a little stressful sometimes...your tips will help a lot :) :)

    Corinne xo
    http://corinnemonique.blogspot.com

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  22. I always take my coupons with me- keep them in a small pocket inside my purse. Usually I remember them, but I have definitely bought something and forgot to use the coupon sitting in my purse!!

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