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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

78

How Bath-and-Beauty Stores Trick You Into Buying Lotion You Don't Need

It’s happened to every woman I know: You walk into a pretty soap store just to browse, and you walk out with $100 worth of beauty products. You’re not sure how it happened, you’re not sure if you need the products, and you’re not even sure if you’re upset about losing $100. All you know is that some nice girl showed you some nice things, and now that store has your money.

What happened was that you fell victim to the many deceptively simple psychological tricks that stores like Bath & Body Works, The Body Shop, L’Occitane, Lush, Savon, and Kiehl’s (to name a few) use to get you to buy things you don’t need. I’ve fallen victim to them, too — and I know, because I used to use them when I was a bath-and-beauty store sales assistant. An exposé!

The Question Game
The easiest way to tell if someone knows anything about sales is to listen to the first question they ask you. If it’s “Can I help you?” then they're novices. “Can I help you?” is a yes-or-no question, and our default answer to a stranger is always “no.” (It’s easier, and it covers our butts.) That’s why good salespeople will ask, “How are you today?” or “What can I help you find?” or, my favorite, “Where did you get that amazing handbag?” By engaging a customer in conversation, a salesperson now has an “in,” and they’ve established a human connection (i.e. trust) which they can then use to figure out why the customer is in the store and what they might like. That’s why my handbag line was so great. I was no longer a salesgirl trying to hunt down your money, I was a nice girl making you feel good about yourself. You suddenly liked me and wanted to hear more. 

Don’t Let Them Touch You
Walking through a bath-and-beauty store is kind of like trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. If they touch you, you run a big risk of being infected. Because when someone touches you, you’re more likely to buy something. It’s psychological. Part of it is they’re putting a nice product on your skin that you wouldn’t have tried otherwise, and another is that you now have a physical human connection to the salesperson. Sorry, you're now part of the zombie horde.

Don't Put the Lotion in the Basket
Unless you're willing to drop major dough or are stockpiling shower gel for the apocalypse, do not take the basket the nice salesgirl offers you. If you hold something in your hand, your brain makes an automatic connection between what you’re holding and how much you're spending. If you drop it into a basket, though, the price tag goes out of sight and out of mind, meaning you’re going to remember you have something awesome, but not how much that awesome thing costs. The next thing you know, you’re at the cash register paying $93.56 for shower gel, lotion, hand cream, almond face scrub, a loofah, and a tinted lip balm. Individually they didn’t seem to cost that much. Now, you’re about to drop a Benjamin. Why? Because you took the basket, dummy!

Don’t Follow Your Nose
So you came in to browse and decided to try the hand cream up front. You flip out over its delightful mango-papaya scent, but mention that you don’t need hand cream right now. You think you’re free, until the salesgirl mentions that the same fragrance also comes in shower gel, bubble bath, shampoo, candles, etc., and you cave on the bubble bath. As you walk towards the register, you find out there’s also a mango-papaya oil burner. It’s $7.95. Why not? Next to the oil burner is mango self-tanner. Damn. You need one of those but haven’t gotten to CVS to pick up Jergens… do you see what’s happening? It’s called Cross Product Sales. The reason these stores sell all their products in the same fragrances is so they can hook a casual shopper on one thing and then add more things from there, and because they handed you a basket to put the first product in, it’s easy to grab more. See how it’s all one big conspiracy?

Avoid the Doodads
So now that you have a basket filled with goodies, you’re waiting in line to pay. Around the register you’ll see clear boxes filled with cute little things like bars of soap or lip gloss or oil-blotting sheets, most of which only cost a couple bucks. These are called “add ons” because you casually pick up a few and add them on your crazy pile of products. And you probably know this already, but everything positioned close to the register is a trick: "Add ons" are a way to bump your sale from $26.95 to over $30, which helps stores make sales targets. Beware.

Play the Game, Don’t Hate the Players
If the salesgirls and -guys don’t do any of these things I’ve just mentioned, walk out. Don’t buy anything. You’re probably thinking that makes no sense, but hear me out. Because you’re not really paying for soap, you’re paying for the way buying the soap makes you feel. My managers straight up told me that if people wanted cucumber-melon shower gel, they'd go to Target and get a 32-ounce bottle for $2.99. But they don’t. They walk into the store and pay $8.99 for 10 ounces of the same stuff because buying it makes them feel good.

The reason shopping at these stores feels different than shopping at Target is because of the customer service. The salespeople are there to move product, and that product isn’t the bottle of lotion so much as it is the happiness that that bottle of lotion's supposed to bring you. If the salespeople are doing their jobs well, though, you don't notice the psychological games, and instead see only that a nice person is going out of their way to help you find things that will make you happy. Their job isn’t to make you buy things you don’t want, it’s to convince you that you deserve to treat yourself to things you do want. Actually, the reason I liked working in these stores so much was that nine times out of 10, I could get a person to walk out of the store in a much happier mood than they were when they walked in.

If you think I’m just spinning everything like a good little salesgirl, maybe I am. But I’ll let you in on one final secret that I learned: The women who walk in, make a beeline for the antibacterial hand gel, and walk out always look stressed. The women who walk in, enjoy the “show” we put on for them, and indulge in something they don’t necessarily need tend to leave happy. So, now when I walk into any of these stores, I’m aware of the games and am careful not to get taken in, but I play along. I let myself indulge in maybe one thing I didn’t need but that I want, and enjoy the ride without paying the price. (Which is usually between $2.99 and $93.56.)

Meghan O'Keefe is a writer and comedian who lives in New York. She hopes she never has to work in retail again because explaining this piece will be awkward. She has a silly blog about how her mom watches Game of Thrones.

78 Comments / Post A Comment

shenannies

I don't need any salespeople to cajole me into spending a fortune on lotions, I'm my own worst enemy. They're irresistible! Oh and if The Body Shop puts the Almond Body Butter out again, I highly recommend picking it up. It smelled so good I wanted to gnaw on my arm at work!

whoneedslight

@shenannies Was it almond or just plain "nut"? That stuff was like nose crack.

sarah girl

@shenannies OMG yes, the almond one is the absolute best. I've been sloooowly working my way through a jar of it for years now.

whereismyrobot

@shenannies I have been wearing that stuff for the past month and it is WONDERFUL. And it's really good stuff. Although the Boots body butter is good as well.

janbrady

@shenannies I WILL say, the Body Shop Body Butter is THE BEST. Not only super-moisturizing, but I always get positive comments on the fragrance from boys and girls alike. With a Groupon? Bonus!

Watts Up?

@shenannies I think that was the one that smelled like toast, fresh out the toaster, right? Oh god, I CRAVE that stuff.

LagunaBitch

I'm picturing the execs of these bath & body corporations reading this and shouting 'Nooooooo! The jig is UP!'... In a mango-scented office of course.

lovelettersinhell

When I buy a lot of stuff from Lush, it's not because of the price but because of the corporate policies, the very unique scents, and the fact that they make other products I consider essential to life (henna when I want to be a redhead, marilyn and the blonde when I don't, and ocean salt to keep my face all smoothy smooth).

whoneedslight

@lovelettersinhell
I went to Europe last year and bought a stockpile of bath bombs. Even the crappy hotels there have deep, wonderful bathtubs.

Ellie

Stuff from Lush always seems great when I see it in magazines or read about it but I hate the way the logo and marketing and the look of the store looks. I hate the font they use, it looks cheap and tacky to me. I'm so shallow!

parallel-lines

@lovelettersinhell LUSH has discontinued at least ten products I've fallen in love with over the years, which is so frustrating. When you ask the salesgirls about it they just try to push a similar (but not at all similar) product on you. I quit shopping there--why find something you like if they'll kill it in a year or two?

punkahontas

@Ellie I KNOW! I hate the packaging and the font too. The whole thing is merchandised like it's for hippies.

(There are entire stores and restaurants I don't go into because of their font. I consider it a lack of taste.)

emersonmunro

Yup, this is why Lush gets me. They always want to play... "lets try this bubble jelly .. new hand cream .. see how this henna works" But, I am adamant about not buying things from inattentive shop keepers. I do like having a more special experience buying something from an upscale shop.

melmuu

Woah spooky, this was posted directly AFTER I spent like 30 minutes adding Bath & Body Works stuff to my online shopping cart, and then deciding I didn't need it and x'ing out the window and then opening the site back up again, then x'ing it out again. I haven't used Bath & Body Works since I was about 16, but this all came about because they're having a BUY 3 GET 3 FREE sale and my aunt had Black Currant Vanilla in her shower when I visited and it smelled super good. So wait...DO I have to get it? I think maybe.

shenannies

@melmuu It's like fantasy shopping to Xout after you fill up the cart. If Black Currant Vanilla is *anything* like Molton & Brown's Black Pepper Body Wash I suggest you start stealing from your aunt. That stuff is heavenly.

DorothyMantooth

@shenannies Have you tried Pink Peppercorn? That stuff is even amazing-er! (Then again, I kinda have a problem.)

insouciantlover

@DorothyMantooth ohhhhh you have a new follower! also, pink peppercorn sounds delicious. I love peppery fragrances.

DorothyMantooth

@insouciantlover Wheeee! Thanks!! Now off to find you...

L-Dizzle

Oh lord, the Lush girls. I cannot resist them! That's okay though, because they make me buy the Buffy Body Butter and my skin has never ever been so smooth and soft. Even my elbows!

h_jack

@L-Dizzle Oh god, I would die without Buffy. Or at least turn into a scaly lizard lady.

MollyculeTheory

Also! When they (I'm looking at you, Sabon) demo a body scrub on your hands, you're exfoliating the skin you'll use for touching your newly-scrubbed other-skin, which is a double-exfoliation scam & nothing will ever feel that soft again.

franzia

i had a $25 coupon to bath and body works but i couldn't for the life of me figure out how to spend just $25. it's either one overpriced, undersized item for $8 or the entire set for $30...NO IN-BETWEEN. i think i ended up spending it all on "add-ons," my favorite things in the store anyways. rose's lip balm in an adorable tin that i'll lose before using even a fourth of it? YES PLEASE.

insouciantlover

@franzia I love those tins so much! I have like six of them and considering melting the contents down so I can just use them for pills and pot already.

beeline96

@franzia I buy Rose's lip balm in the tube, because who knows what gross germs are on my fingers and could then multiply in my beloved lip balm?!?!

LolaLooksFrench

@insouciantlover Do it. The lip balm melts super easily. Liiiike don't take it in your beach bag because the whole thing will turn into one big greazy liquid mess and end up all over the book you were going to try to read or whatever. I learned the hard way.

fleurdelivre

@LolaLooksFrench And don't leave it in car's cupholder during the summer. Or if you do, do not drop iPod into that cupholder.

hairdresser on fire

Former Bath and Body Works shock trooper here, and this is sooooo totally right. Another great thing I had to push when I worked there was "scent layering," because why buy just the body wash when the lotion would make the scent last longer, and then the splash, and so on and so forth?

Also I'd like to point out that my hands would dry out after about five lotion hand massages (fact: they train you on a thing called a Signature Hand Massage, which: omg creepy), so I wouldn't recommend those EVER if you actually wanna moisturize. Body butters included, it's all shitty.

whoneedslight

@hairdresser on fire
I helped a friend move a few years ago and was shocked to discover she had about three boxes full of Bath & Body Works crap. Never in a lifetime could she possibly use that much lotion/shower gel.

likethestore

@hairdresser on fire I've been avoiding B&BW ever since a saleslady molested my hands. I think I have PTSD.

Snicker-snack!

When I shopped at Lush, the strategy I would employ involved online research beforehand and not entering the store without a list. Once in the store, I would avoid the salesgirls like the plague and attempt to keep my interactions with them to a minimum. They still always managed to soak me for at least $20 more than I had intended to spend. I don't go there anymore.

every tomorrow@twitter

I love Lush girls but I've had to get pretty proactive and aggressive with the DON'T PUT THAT ON ME I AM PROBABLY ALLERGIC. No, I don't know what ingredient I'm allergic to because it's like 15 of them so I've never been able to narrow it down.

This is also why I'll be your customer forever if you give out free samples. If I can verify something doesn't make my skin fall off without spending $$$ you've got me for life. (MAC gave me enough tinted moisturizer for like two weeks to see if it made my face freak out and they are therefore my new bff.)

likethestore

@every tomorrow@twitter That's why I love Sephora! They will give you samples of anything and they have a great return policy. That place is my playground.

so what?

i am some kind of freak and actually really hate when a) salespeople try to engage me in casual conversation (i know you don't REALLY care where i got my shoes and are just going to try to sell me things) and b) when strangers touch me. i'm much more inclined to actually buy something if i'm left to my own devices. also i have a (really terrible, actually) habit of not ever using a basket, even when i should, and just end up juggling an armload of goods, but hey, at least i know how much i'm spending!

that said, i was surprisingly a really good salesgirl when i worked in retail. i'm great at masking my inner rage/aversion to people with pleasantry.

DrFeelGood

@so what? This is me. Probably why I do all my shopping at places like TJ Maxx, wholesale clubs, CVS and Target. I hate talking to sales people. Just leave me alloone.

jackietgregory

@so what? Yep. I hate to shop but I'm a total badass at customer service. Compliment the old ladies on their necklaces and SHAZAM.

hungrybee

@so what? Totally agree. I'll buy more if left alone, and I will straight up walk out if more than one salesperson tries to talk to me about product. I'm thinking of a certain retailer, where in a two-minute span I was approached by four different salespeople. Your lotion can't be that good if you have to push it so hard.

wee_ramekin

@so what? You are not some kind of freak. I love Lush, but the first Lush store I walked into, I was accosted by a sales girl so chipper that I literally turned around and walked out of the store. I never would have gone back if someone hadn't given me something from Lush as a gift. I *HATE* salespeople!

purplesocks

this is not exactly relevant to this post, but a blog about your mom watching Game of Thrones? that is amazing, i bow to you.

chevyvan

Oh girl, you are preaching to the choir. I used to work at a perfume counter. It's much more fun to sell to guys because they become paralyzed with fear when they are standing in front of the glass case. You can load all sorts of crap on them ("She'll need the spray AND the lotion") and they just buy it.

I now have a masters degree and, God-willing, will never have to work retail ever again. (shudder...)

underthesea

Oh my lord, I am so awkward with salespeople. My mother is obscenely frugal, and ingrained into me at a young age that "JUST BROWSING THANK YOU" is the way to reply. I won't ask for help even if I'm looking to buy a specific thing. Partly this is guilt (realistically, the most I'll spend at any store in one go is usually around $50, and I feel bad if someone spends a lot of time showing me stuff that I love but can't afford) and partly it's just social awkwardness (I KNOW it's your job to help me BUT IT FEELS WEIRD). This is why I never get free makeovers at Sephora. (Though kudos to the girl at Madewell who sold me THE BEST BELT EVER a few weeks ago! I never knew I needed it and now I love it.)

Princess Slayer

That's YOUR tumblr about your mom and Game of Thrones? I love it! Worlds colliding etc.

Ever since I discovered a Bath and Body Works outlet where the ten dollar lotions are TWO DOLLARS I've been unable to buy from the retail store. And last year's lemon vanilla lotion makes me smell like CAKE.

elysian fields

As a hardcore miser/misanthrope, I can promise that a whole army of smiling salesgirls is not enough to coax me into buying $100 worth of product. Not even $50. Probably not even $20.

I go to B&BW for one thing and one thing only, and that is the grapefruit body butter, which smells like grapefruit gelato tastes. Try it and you'll be tempted to eat your own legs.

espagrille

Sharp intake of recognition breath. And yet, I went into a Space NK a few weeks ago and dropped over £200 (it was post-terrible-breakup, I'm not always that irresponsible) on stupid cleanser and stupid eye cream and stupid moisturiser that weirdly, makes my skin look awesome but I THINK makes the hairs on my chin grow faster. And I did this all in ten minutes with no help from anyone. It made me feel not exactly happy but very efficient and kind of manic. But yeah, at Sephora they totally do all of this, and it so works. That basket seems bottomless.

foureyedgirl

@espagrille Ha, I didn't even look at the register when I did my last post-terrible breakup spree at Origins, just let the nice lady tell me I was lovely and perfect just the way I am not matter what some idiot man says and that these things would only enhance that, not fix anything, because who needs to be fixed? Him.

Lotion and stuff shopping as therapy, I've done it. And I swear, I have never owned a better mascara than the one I got that day.

distrighema

I always spend more when I'm not being pestered, partly because of the "salesperson smiles at you= IT'S A SCAM" mentality that I inherited from my cheapskate parents, partly because when I think no one is looking I turn into an obsessive weirdo who smells everything in the store twice and secretly opens all the packaging until I decide I want everything.

whimsy

What I learned from my summer in retail, is that the salespeople always know the products the best, so I try to avoid them if I am really just browsing/checking out the new scents... But If I have something I need, like Bronzer, I ALWAYS ask, because those people are legit. Especially the ones at Sephora and Lush, and pretty much everywhere I agree to shop

workerbee

L'Occitane is the worst! The store is TINY and the sales people are aggressive.
I make my husband go in while I cower in J. Crew. He channels Ron Swanson on their cray cray sales schtick (trust me - they are intense!!!) and feels no remorse. I, on the other hand, cannot handle it and end up with 10 lemon verbena handsoaps and a $50 eye cream !

annapurna

@bcfol440 i love that you brought in a ron swanson reference!

Leila Jane

taking a massive pay-cut has cured me of my specialty lotion needs. Oil of Olay Ultra Moisture bar soap is the bomb and Jergen's works just fine. I will go and buy the fancy stuff at the outlet stores, or when it is on 75% off sale. Also TJmaxx and Marshall's sometimes has good stuff cheap. I also go to Ulta and get their specialty scents (like pumpkin) at the end of the season. Second on that Body Shop "Nut" butter, I also used to wear the mango and the olive oil one. but that is hardly ever on sale.

curryspice

@Leila Jane -Marshall's and TJ Maxx can be amazing for deals! Amazing I say! I just got a Chi hairdryer there for $40 and a BaByliss dual voltage travel hair dryer there for something like $20. I've never seen Lush there, but definitely have seen Molton Brown there, and have a stockpile of fancy Provencal liquid hand soaps that normally cost way more than I can afford elsewhere.

DrFeelGood

@Leila Jane TJ Maxx is the bomb, esp. TJ Maxx Homegoods? That place is dangerous.

Manatee

@Leila Jane Molton Brown at TJ Maxx? I die! I am going to stalk TJ Maxx forever now.

parallel-lines

Oh, but Kiehl's Creme de Corps is the BEST LOTION EVER and the salespeople don't haraass you and they give you lots of samples for shopping there.

But LUSH - I really will not shop there anymore. The salespeople are aggressive in a way that is beyond uncomfortable. I know it's not their fault (they're probably told to do that) but when I tell you NO the first time, it doesn't mean follow me and keep pushing stuff on me, it means go away.

katerrific

@parallel-lines Yes, Lush people are crazy! I recently wandered into one of their stores just looking to kill some time and this sales girl was like "Hii! How are you?! I see you're looking at this product. WHAT IS YOUR NUMBER ONE SKIN CARE CONCERN?" It was a little intense.

heb
heb

I learned every one of these techniques while working at Best Buy. PUT THE CAMERA BATTERY IN THEIR HAND. MAKE SURE TO TACK ON 20% EXTRA WITH ACCESSORIES. PUSH PERSONAL SERVICE PLAN AT THE REGISTER.

jackietgregory

Nobody said boo to me today at Walmart :'''{
I still dropped 30 bucks though.

slb
slb

Hi! Long time lurker, first time commenter! So I used to be totally bullied into buying armloads of crap I didn't need (I think I thought the shopgirls would be personally offended if I didn't buy something after they spent all that time helping me 'workshop a signature scent' or whatever) but ever since I realised that semi oily skin like mine don't need nothin' on it, I feel totally impervious when I go into these places (usually for a gift for someone else). This wouldn't work for everyone, but nowadays all I use in 30+ sunscreen in the morning (I live in Australia where we have no ozone layer, and 30+ is as strong as it gets), wash my face with a flannel and my skin is better than ever! I am also on the *shudders* no-poo band wagon, so you can't even bully me into a $67 bottle of conditioner! Yes. Having said that, during my lunchbreak I went into the bodyshop to see if they had blotting papers, and then walked out with a $30 lip tint after being asked if what I needed help finding, where I got my 'gorgeous' coat from and then having the girl apply it to my lips to see how it looked. So I guess I still suck. But summary: cleanser + moisturiser - break the vicious cycle and you will be invincible forever!

Tim Tracy

The title of this post alone was enough to convince me to comment in support.

Feminist Killjoy

I OWN THE LOTION THAT IS IN THE PHOTO ABOVE AND I HAVE NOT USED IT. EVER. fml

Helvetica

I love Lush and all but I just want to smell the things on my own, not have some salesperson breathing down my neck. If I want a recommendation, I will ask for it but if I say no, it's your cue to leave.
I mostly end up telling those helpful people that I'm just browsing unless I need something specific. Last time I went looking for a new day cream for my face after L'Oréal discontinued their Happyderm, which I loved, I shamelessly had the saleswoman offer me all the possible creams. Since I wanted a simple day cream and my skin doesn't need to be moisturised/juvenated/kept wrinkle-free (I'm 21, godssake), and I needed it in a bottle with a pump (no, I will not put my fingers inside any cream jar!), she was at a loss. But eventually she found me one and she'd earned her pay.
My biggest fear is when the saleswoman wants to help you with your tampons. Seriously?! There are things I need to buy in solitude, and your smile is really not helpful.

Manatee

I can't even go into these stores. They are instant migraine triggers for me. I use Lush face cleanser (Angels on Bare Skin) and I die everytime I have to go in there. I can't stand their pushy salespeople. I also can' stand how the place smells or how it lingers on me after I leave.

Nic Knack

hi! another lurker, first time poster here. as a former associate at one of these stores, this is most definitely completely on target. as another poster wrote, I was also "trained" in the signature hand massage. gross. and definitely creepy. just as much as you dont want me touching your hands, I DEFINITELY dont want to be touching yours. to my manager's dismay I refused to massage people's hands whenever possible.

also, yes, "what can I help you with" is used to prep a "guest" for a sale, but its also used to prevent shoplifting by basically letting you know that we're watching you. so yeah, maybe I just want you to buy this cream and this splash, but maybe, just maybe you should stop looking so sketchy standing next to the aromatherapy oils with those shifty eyes.

and THAT was my favorite part of working in retail. because people who are just browsing or who need help will either say "yes, i need this...", or give you an annoyed no (which I totally understand!). but people who are thinking of shoplifting, (or who already put a lipgloss in their purse), typically get noticeably nervous, act even MORE sketchy, and usually leave the store within minutes. and some sick part of me LOVED watching them squirm and be noticeably uncomfortable. and the fact that i was so good at picking up on the shoplifter signs and making them squirm was likely the only reason my manager didnt fire me, especially in light of my refusal to massage strangers' body parts.

finally, the best part is: even though you now or have known about these psychological tricks, you'll probably still fall for them. because japanese cherry blossom body butter is addicting.

BethH

I have two unpacked storage bins in my new apartment that prove this is true (in fairness to me, probably about half of it was gifts). One of my new year's resolutions is that before I buy anything new, I have to make sure I don't already have it--and no cheating because I don't have the right scent.

punkahontas

I seriously love Game of Thrones even though I expected to hate it. (Seemed too D&D/Tolkien-y, if you catch my drift.

solipsister

I shop at Kiehl's because I basically subsist on their samples. They're a bit stingier now than they used to be, but in 20 years, I've never bought an actual tube of hand cream! My secret is I don't go in and buy everything I need at once. I buy one thing at a time and load up on the samples. So those pretty salesgirls in their scientific-looking white coats may be trying to pull one over on me, but I'm actually bleeding them dry!

Fishbear

I have to call shenanigans on the last bit, about "the game." If I could buy hemp lip balm like Body Shop's at Target, I would. If I could buy all-natural, vegan-happy bath bomb stuff like at Lush at CVS, I'd do it in the drop of a hat. There are qualities and characteristics of the products at these stores that are simply not available at your local drugstore. For example, the Body Shop's hemp lip protector actually prevents my lips from chapping while ALL OTHER lip balms/chapsticks do not. Putting on Jergens after I get out of the shower is like sitting around twiddling my thumbs for five minutes as far as my skin's moisture is concerned.

KirRoyale

It's all true. My mom worked at The Body Shop for years as a manager, and tricked many an unsuspecting rube out out $$. Her trademark was giving hand massages 'just so the customer could could a feel for the product' and talking to them in a soothing bed-side manner voice that would have them passed out for nap time. Instant putty.

PocketRocket

The first point seems to apply to any retail store - we had to go through a new sales training program company-wide a few months ago and it definitely covered the questioning & trying to make a connection to the customer. Kinda glad that's the only part of this that applies to my workplace.
And yick, while I adore Lush (and have a slightly unhealthy obsession), could the sales girls drop off the face of the earth? Between growing up frugal, being pretty poor-ish, and the fact that they didn't have a store here a few years ago, I would shop vicariously through the website & catalog, so once I actually got to a store I knew exactly what I wanted to check out (i.e. smell), and that's more or less the only reason I go now - I need something and/or they have something new I want to check out. The only one at my store who seems to get it is the manager who'll leave me alone and just chat me up at the checkout. Though everytime I get new Lush it makes me smile - more from the product than the experience. The web has made window shopping SO much more convenient; I'm becoming guy-like in my shopping strategy: get in, grab it & go.

princessS

Twice a year Bath and Body Works has a GIANT sale - once right around Christmas and the other is like, mid-June right around my birthday so it's easy to remember! But everything is super duper cheap, lotions of all scents are around $5 or LESS. I drop $20-$30 and I'm stocked for 6 months or more. It's the best! They also bring back some of the discontinued scents, so that's pretty exciting too. I walk out of there with my sack of goodies and feel like I'm stickin'it to the man.

Eden

I actually love the ladies (and occasional man) who work at LUSH. I know they're on commission (at least, that's my understanding), but they're always pleasant and happy and when I clearly know what I'm looking for, gladly to point me to it, maybe suggest something else related and then leave me alone until I need them again or check out. Really, I've never had a bad experience shopping in LUSH and the salespeople have actually helped me find things I've loved.

And I'm someone who's typically of the "leave me alone right now" mindset while shopping. It's always a good shopping experience (at least in the ones I've been in. I suppose other stores are different).

joan

@Eden I've worked at LUSH, and am so sad after reading all these comments. Lushies do NOT work on commission. They're just friendly people who love the products. Nothing in the store is self explainable and people would take a bar of lotion in the tub if they didn't talk to you. If I complimented someone, it's because I liked the item. I gave you a basket because you looked crazy juggling 10 items. Things get discontinued because they get new things every month! Thanks for the positivity, Eden :)

LabRat

@joan I worked at Lush as well, and while we certainly did not have commissions, we did have goals we were expected to meet and pushed to exceed, with a bonus carrot and an angry manager stick. We used to play a game where you'd get points for getting a customer to size up, points for cross-product suggestions that turned into purchases, and extra points if you did it from the register. I have never felt worse about a retail job.

Mimi@twitter

@Eden I love Lush and all my Lush girls, too. I've only ever run into one pushy salesperson there. Instead (after the requisite "Have you ever been to Lush before?" type question), I've been able to wander and touch and smell freely. And then when I asked my (very specific and picky) questions to find the right product, I got trial and error and loaded up with samples...and I always went away satisfied.

It's a shop I sorely miss now, as shopping online just isn't the same.

norma@twitter

Oh Go ahead and Buy it! lol it's hard to resist!

Lovey_081515

I've been at Bath and Body Works for a year and a half now and I like working there, but yup..reading this was like an overview of my average day ha. The one thing I'm ecstatic about though is the fact my store doesn't implement the massage thing. Yucko. We do demo lotion with the pumps which is pretty easy. Btw, you..yes you can purchase a pump for just $1.50..as an add_on of course ;) good day.

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