1. The greeters who welcome you to our store aren’t really there to greet you. If we look you in the eye as you’re coming and going, you’re less likely to shoplift.
2. I won’t ask a yes-or-no question like “Can I help you?” Instead, it’s always an open-ended “What can I help you find today?”
3. Many retailers count the shoppers who come in, then calculate the percentage who actually buy something. If I don’t “convert” enough browsers to buyers, I hear from my district manager.
4. New merchandise goes at the front of the store, bargains at the back. The endcaps on the back side of aisles at Target, for instance, usually have items 15 to 75 percent off. If you want a deal, try to figure out when your favorite retailer does its markdowns. Some do them on Thursdays or Fridays, others at the end of the month.
5. When you ask me if something looks good on you and I suggest a different style, take the hint.
6. Sure, I’ll put that sweater on hold for you. But most of the time, you don’t come back. So don’t blame me if I sell it to someone else.
7. My pet peeve? Customers who paw through a stack of shirts. Now I’ve got to spend 15 minutes board-folding that whole pile again.
8. Even though most of us don’t work on commission, sometimes we’re given a salesgoal for each customer. If we meet it consistently, we’ll get bonuses and, eventually, a promotion. So when I tell you about a pair of earrings that would go perfectly with that sweater, I might have an ulterior motive.
9. Please don’t tell the cashier no one was helping you after I brought you six different sweaters in the fitting room. It’s rude.
10. Plenty of stores have great prices on Black Friday, but mine isn’t one of them. Still, you line up and wait for us to open.
11. What is it about fitting rooms that brings out the worst in people? You stick gum to the walls and even leave dirty diapers in there.
12. After you buy something, keep your receipt and pay attention. Most mainstream retailers promise a refund if the item goes on sale within a certain number of days after you buy it. Websites like priceprotectr.com track the prices of hundreds of products from retailers such as Best Buy, Amazon, and Sears.
13. With savings clubs, e-mail deals, coupons, Internet discount codes, and other incentives, fewer and fewer people are paying full price.
Sources: Retail sales associates in North Carolina, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Texas, and Florida, and a clerk in the Pacific Northwest who blogs at blametheclerk.blogspot.com.