The Unwritten Rules of Retail

All aboard the retail train! It’s December. We’ve waited 11 months. And now it’s time to put on the Santa cap and sell. I will have my responses ready. I will be able to overcome any objection. I will highlight the features and benefits. I will stand my ground. I am armed, now let’s roll!

Respond to Any Question

Customer: “Are you as crazy about art glass as me?”
Me: “I bought the whole store.”

Customer: “How long does it take to make one of these vases?”
Me: “About 45 minutes. After 10 years of experience.”

Customer: “I don’t recall what I’ve already bought her.”
Me: “Then let me point out what is brand new and I know she doesn’t have.”

Customer: “Are you going to be making more of these?”
Me: “After the ones your looking at all sell.”

Customer: “Is anything on sale?”
Me: “Everything is FOR sale.”

Customer: “Are you about to close?”
Me: “Not until the last customer goes home … and that’s you.”

Customer: “What do you mean you don’t make (insert random item)? It would just be so EASY for you!”
Me: “I’m glad we make it look easy.”

Customer: “How about making us a custom blown-glass dog treat holder?”
Me: “Sure, what color does your dog like?”

Customer: “Are you open on Sunday?”
Me: “Yes, but buy it now and you won’t have to come back.”

Customer: “I don’t need a box, it’s for me.”
Me: “I’ll box it anyway. Even if it’s for you, it’s still a gift.”

Customer: “Do you have any more in back?”
Me: “Yes, but more choices will not help you choose.”

The Unwritten Rules

You must have a train display at the holidays.

You can never sell the last one. But mix it in with fresh inventory and it will be the first to go.

Husbands and wives shopping together rarely reach a consensus. Now if she would just believe him when he says “whatever you want, hon.”

Don’t assume two people who walk in at the same time are together. It’s weird how often this happens.

Person who enters store and walks directly to the rack of free brochures: Is not a customer.

It doesn’t matter how clear your signage is, people will misread it. Or just not read it.

It never fails. Announce a sale and people start asking if you are going out of business.

The customer who pulls up in an $80K Mercedes will ask for a discount.

Opposite colors do not attract. As an art seller, I can say this is 100% true.

People carrying books: Just looking. People carrying legal pads: Just selling. Boy, I love it when people come in clutching their wallets.

If I’ve sold them all, I didn’t make enough.

Dear Customer … 

The best stuff always sells first. (Which is why it’s not here when you come back for it.)

Negotiation tip: do not ask proprietor for discount within earshot of other customers.

For the record, I would NEVER make someone buy something broken. You break it, I’ll make another. End of story.

I can’t fix your heirloom, either. Ask me for a referral to a repair place, or better yet, just throw that broken thing away.

The very first thing that caught your eye when you came in? That’s what you will buy. After an hour of deliberation.

I profile you by your car.

Next Stop, Closerville

Holiday train display? Check. Boxes, bags, tissue? Check. The exact item you want to buy at the price you want to buy it? Probably not, but I’m ready to convince you anyway. And if you are still hesitant, consider: It’s exchangeable.

-Shannon Felix
Avalon Glassworks

Photo by Kendra McLeod