Retail Employees Share Secrets About Stores I'd Rather Not Know

Sarah Kester
Cast of Superstore
The Guardian | NBC

Working in retail is not for the weak!

There are rude customers (ahem, Karens), shoplifters, and many more things that make these workers deserving of a raise.

They also hold the key to a lot of juicy secrets that weigh heavily on them. These will either a) make you want to to shop to get all the best deals or b) save your money instead.

You may want to get your ears pierced anywhere but Claire's

Ear piercing
Unsplash | Kimia Zarifi

If the staff at Claire's are "certified ear-piercing specialists," then I must be the Prime Minister!

That's because one Buzzfeed member shared that their training for piercings (when they were 16, BTW) was to practice on a teddy bear and one of their co-workers.

Clothes go through lots of wear and tear

Superstore cast near drinks aisle
Vox | NBC

"Unless it’s an easily damaged fabric, clothes can be dropped under giant shelves, shoved in second-hand boxes, found in the dusty back corner, tried on by several people (customers and employees alike), and dropped on wet floors. Since working in retail, I always wash new clothes before I wear them. Always." - u/Menix8

Retailers track purchases and returns

Unsplash | Blake Wisz

If you thought you were being sly returning items all of the time, think again.

One Redditor shared that individuals who make too many returns (including suspected fraudulent returns) may be banned from shopping at stores. This includes Amazon, T.J. Maxx, and Sephora.

Steer clear of Victoria's Secret if you want a nice working environment

Mean girls
Unsplash | Ben White

"I recently worked for Victoria's Secret. Their new pathos is that they are inclusive and support mental health. This is a joke. I was a manager, and the three other managers were so mean I had a mental breakdown and had to go on disability. They are toxic and problematic. Mean girls still exist, and VS is a party to this." —saras4263f9ee5

If you're nice, you'll get a better discount

Worker and customer
Unsplash | Clay Banks

It pays to be nice! Larry, a former store supervisor at a northeast Best Buy, told Mental Floss that polite, mannered customers are “200 percent” more likely to get a good deal than someone who is rude or throwing a tantrum.

Wait for sales

Giphy | Paramount Movies

"I’ve worked in both retail and the fashion industry and the one thing I’ve learned is to never pay full price if you can avoid it. Most stores the mark up is so crazy and it will probably end up going on sale." - u/comeback_kid14

5-6 p.m. is the worst time to shop

Unsplash | Malvestida

Although this certainly varies by store, it's been said that most stores go through shift changes during this time.

This means that there may be more closed tills and more grumpy workers who don't even want to clock in.

Retail workers lie... a lot

Dwight in The Office

"In a couple of stores I worked in, I was straight up told to lie to make the sale - everything looks great on you, especially if that dress doesn't fit but it's the closest to your size we've got, or if I know for a fact those shoes will fall apart in a few weeks." - u/mbaby

Working at Bath & Body Works comes with major benefits

Looking for a full or part-time job? Try Bath & Body Works! One Buzzfeed community member shared that you can get free items.

Once the semi-annual sale is done, for instance, workers get to fill up a medium-sized bag with whatever is left for only five dollars!

If you want to complain, do so to the store manager

Giphy | CBS

"We can help you and truly value your feedback. Posting comments on websites doesn’t help at all. It’s passive-aggressive and doesn’t give us the opportunity to make things right." - u/mmemday

It pays to be nice to Lush employees

Open store sign
Unsplash | Mike Petrucci

Yes, the employees at Lush are chatty. But the good news is that you can use this to your benefit!

A Buzzfeed community member shared that customers who are nice and vibe well will receive free stuff, such as bath bombs and face masks!

Retail store have a ton of waste

Unsplash | Jilbert Ebrahimi

"I worked in a clothes store for years and when delivery arrived, every single item had to be unwrapped. A pair of socks, jeans, a pair of £3 earrings etc., every last thing comes in a plastic sealed bag. We'd throw away enough rubbish to fill a huge dumpster easily before the store even opened every day." - u/trolltollwhatyousay

The scents at Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret are basically the same

Giphy | The Voice

If you noticed that they smell similar, what a Buzzfeed community member shared will makes sense.

They wrote that because the stores are sister companies, the company will recycle retired scents and fragrances and brand them as brand-new fragrances.

You are likely being profiled

Joe from You
Giphy | Lifetime

"Worked 10 years in retail. Our loss prevention team profiles you. Teenagers, especially in groups, are watched the entire time they're in the store. You are economically profiled, if you look like trailer trash or a gangster or just broke, there's a camera on you the whole time." - u/d0ndada

You might find poo in the changing rooms

Grossed out

shudders. Many retail Redditors have shared horror stories of them walking into clothing areas and finding fecal matter. How could someone want to do this?! Sadly, it's the retail workers job to clean it up.

If you ask for an item "in the back," it likely won't get checked

Giphy | Superstore

"When I worked in retail, I'd tell a customer 'let me check the back!' With a cheerful smile. And then I'd go in the back and- if I KNEW we didn't have the item- I'd use the restroom if I had to, or just text on my phone for a couple of minutes before going back out to the sales floor." - u/strawberry36

There's a reason clearance sections are so messy

Unsplash | Artem Beliaikin

There's a method to the madness! According to Mental Floss, stores leave the clearance area this way so that customers will want to return to the neat and organized displays of regularly priced merchandise.

Certain stores really can't accept expired coupons

Cast of Superstore
The Guardian | NBC

"I was a cashier. We couldn't accept expired coupons, because it counts as a loss and deducts from the till. If the cashier is already off, that .10 cents could raise them up to a write-up." - u/sauerpatchkid

A going-out-of-business sale is probably NOT the best place to find bargains

Closed sign
Unsplash | Tim Mossholder

"There are companies that specialize in running going-out-of-business sales for other companies. They will mark UP (not down) the price of the remaining inventory, and they will bring in new inventory that was never sold in that store before." - u/JimDixon

H/T: Buzzfeed, Reddit, Mental Floss