Shop Etiquette

Since my previous blog post was on a very bad joke, that I’d heard many, many times before, I thought it would be nice to write something about shop etiquette. Most of the customers and staff behave perfectly okay. But there are some things that could be enhanced to make our (grocery) shopping a bit more pleasant.

Tips for customers:

  • Do not make obvious jokes to the staff. Asking a butcher if he has pigs’ feet/ears/nose might be very funny to you, but please, the staff has heard them all many times.
  • Make sure you have enough time to shop. If you’re in a rush, please stay away from the shops. Shopping costs a lot of time and nobody likes a customer racing around like it’s an F1 circuit.
  • Know what you need. You’ve probably been to your local store many times. You know the basic lay-out. So Make your shopping list accordingly. This will make your shopping less stressful, you won’t forget as much as you would when you have to go from one end of your list to the other. Plus, if everyone’s doing this, nobody is blocking things for another person.
  • Plan ahead. You know what you need. You should know what it would cost roughly, too. So please make sure you’ve got enough money on you or on your debit/credit card to pay for your shopping. It’ll save you a lot of embarrassment. “Oh dear… How much??? Uhm… yeah, I don’t have that much money. Can I put a few items back?” The staff has heard it all too often and will probably embarrass you even more by calling the manager and telling him/her just a tad too loudly: “Hey [name], my customer HASN”T GOT ENOUGH MONEY!” Yeah… embarrassing.
  • make sure you are in the right line. Is your line marked cash only? Or 10 items or less? Make sure you’ve got cash or 10 items or less. Nobody likes it if you make a fuss because you didn’t pay attention.
  • Don’t bring your kids with you. Yes, you read that right. Kids run off to everything they see. You can’t shop and pay attention to your kids at the same time. You’ll forget lots of stuff you really need or your kids might run off and pull on a display of glass bottles or run over someone’s foot with your cart. It’s very annoying to other customers, so just leave them home. It’s more economical too, as many goodies are placed on specific heights so kids will ask their parents to buy them. Not buying them will result in a tantrum many times.
  • Don’t leave your cart in the middle of the aisle and run off to get something. It’s very easy to do, but other customers will be annoyed by this very much. So, take it with you or push it to the side.
  • Don’t leave trash in your shopping cart. Now I know you’d rather not take all those cauliflower leaves home, but that’s why stores have trash cans. Use them. It’s the same for your receipt. If you don’t want it, leave it at the register. It’ll get wet, or it’ll fly away with the wind if you leave it in the cart you used. Or a bad person will get your details off it. There’s a lot of personal stuff on your receipt if you pay by debit/credit card.
  • Keep your distance. Nobody likes it if a cart gets pushed into your behind. You don’t like it either, so don’t do it. (I always sit down on the cart if someone does that, helps to get them away from me).
  • dress appropriately. Seriously, bikini’s are great for the beach, but you don’t go shopping in them. And don’t walk around barefooted. You really have no idea how many times there’s a broken bottle and you can’t expect the staff to pick up every shard of glass.
Picture credit to

Tips for staff:

  • Be kind to your customers. Ultimately, they’re the ones that pay your salary. Remember this. And while you don’t have to take all the crap from them, a polite staff member is 100 times better than a rude one.
  • Take pride in your work. If you are happy with how your store looks, you’ll be happy in your job. This will reflect to the customers. And happy staff will mean happy customers.
  • Dress appropriately. Seriously, nobody likes looking at your asscrack with thong. So hoist up your pants and put a belt around them if they won’t stay in place. If you are wearing an apron, shorts are not the right gear. It’ll look like you’ve forgotten to put on pants this morning.
  • Keep your distance. Customers won’t like it if you’re all over them. It’s nice if you are trying to help them, but don’t jump on them as soon as they are through the door. Let them browse for a little bit first.
  • Clean up your trash. If you are restocking items, make sure to get the empty boxes from the aisle as soon as you can. Customers don’t like a cluttered store and will buy less if you don’t take the time to clean up your stuff.
  • Don’t make jokes to your customers. Some of them might like a bit of a joke. But saying: “Wow, somebody’s got diarrhoea.” when a customer buys a value pack of toilet paper is not funny. So don’t do it. Please…
  • Make sure the isles look full. Half empty shelves are a no-no. Place other stock a bit more spread out if you need to keep the shelves neat and tidy.
  • Make sure your prices are right. There’s nothing more annoying than finding out you’ve paid too much when you’re at home going through the receipt.
  • Do not put a discount sign up with products that aren’t. Many customers might not find out, but there are some who do. And word will get out. Now, with social media, even more than a couple of years ago.
  • Do not put your reputation up for grabs. Seriously, bad news about your store spreads much faster then good news. Remember this at all times!
  • If a new register opens, keep an eye on who was first. Most of the times people from the back of the line push their way to the front. Very annoying for other customers who’ve stood in line longer. Also, see who has more items. If the person in front has a cart full and the person behind it has only a couple of things, get this person to the front of the line. It’ll speed things up for everyone.

I hope these points will make our shopping experience a little bit better.

Leave a Reply