Shoppers outnumbered salesclerks at the digital camera section of Best Buy by a ratio of at least 10 to 1 this past Monday. An impromptu clerk waiting line had formed which I joined just as the harried sales guy reappeared. He had been trying to find something on the computer for the first customers in the line.
“It looks like we are out of stock,” he told them.
The second customer in line had apparently been listening to the first customer’s camera inquiries. He pointed to a Canon display and asked if they had considered that one. “I’ve done some research on the Internet and this one seems to get pretty good reviews.”
Before the first customer could respond, the sales guy chimed in “That’s a very good camera,” and then proceeded to point out that it was actually a better a choice than the camera the first customer had inquired about. “It’s on sale too,” he added.
A brief discussion of that particular cameras features and benefits then ensued with questions and answers following back and forth between the sales guy, the first customer in line, the second customer in line, a fourth customer and me.
The first customer decided to go with it. They were available in dark gray, light gray or light blue. “I’ll take a dark gray one,” he said.
“While you’re down there grab me a light gray one” the second customer suggested.
“I’ll take a light blue one,” I said.
The fourth customer went for a light blue one too.
Before you know it, the sales guy had taken care of four customers in one swoop. Of course we the customers had a lot to do with that. We collaborated on this one holiday shopping task and saved a good deal of time and energy. I never got anyone’s name but for that brief period of time we worked pretty well together as a team. The whole experience was pretty interesting, for me at least.
“I hate this time of year,” the sales guy said as he rang up my purchase.
The Double Standard
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