How To Not Be A Jerk During Sales

During big sales, such as those held post-Christmas, armed soldiers of capitalism move on local games outlets with just one thing on their minds: New stuff for less money.

Dead Rising

Gaming equipment is expensive. We get it. But games retail employees don't need to suffer for our thriftiness. Every year, they do. This year, in our urgent fury to grab a new, discounted PS4 Pro (or in your dad's confused journey to find a late Christmas gift good enough to make up for its lateness), consider the store employees' side of things.

They are experiencing the retail equivalent of Dynasty Warriors.

To help advocate for the brave men and women behind your local EB Games, Big W or Toys 'R' Us counters and in the stacks, we spoke with a few current and former employees who've sold games and consoles during huge sales. They have kindly provided Kotaku readers with tips on how to make their shifts less miserable:

  • Figure out what you want before going into the store. Call ahead a few days beforehand. Don't wait in line for an hour, get to the counter and ask a retail employee what's hot in gaming when there are dozens of people behind you.
  • Prioritise. It's unlikely that you'll get a console deal, deals on three popular games and every accessory you want at the perfect price. Think about what you'd be OK going without and consider that, often, the console deals are better than the deals for individual games.
  • Retail employees are working as quickly as they can. Seriously.
  • Research promotions before you head to your local games outlet. All the information you'll need is online and it will take a load off in-store employees if they don't have to explain the deals to you.
  • If you're being helped by a new employee who doesn't know the ropes yet, instead of getting upset, just thank them and move on to another employee.
  • Know when the sales start. Sometimes they start early.
  • If you are nice to a retail employee, they will be more likely to help you. Weird, but true!
  • Know the return policy for items you purchase. Also, don't argue with retail employees about the return policy or cut them off when they're telling it to you.
  • Games retail outlets don't have an infinite stock (See: NES Classic). That's not the sales rep's fault. It's first come, first serve — especially for the latest console at the lowest price. Don't get mad if the outlet runs out of something. You can probably buy it online at the same price.
  • Don't get violent! Don't yell! Calm down. It will be fine. Everything will be OK.

Finally — and this is my tip — buy a few things for friends and family! Now's a great (and affordable) time to get your loved ones into your favourite hobby.


    Another good tip - shop online. Most retail outlets have the same sales on their online stores, a lot of which actually start today. Save yourself the hassle, get things posted to you or pick them up in store a few days later (like target) :)

    Do people not do this already? I generally have an idea of what I want, what the recommended retail pricing is, what price I'm willing to pay and which store has it cheapest. I'm always nice to the people behind the counter. It's not their fault if something isn't in stock.

      You'd be surprised. We're talking about parents who have little to no idea and will buy GTA V for their 10 year old.

        I witness it and I still don't get it. I just don't understand their logic.
        Mind you, I go to my local shopping centre everyday (I'm a full time carer for my Mum and it's easier to buy day by day) so I tend to know the workers. We share complaints about horrible customers.

    Shout out to the team @ JB-Hi Fi broadway. They were super friendly (as always) and got me a great deal on my sons ps4 (so i can play mine in peace!), some games, bit n pieces n an extra controller for a very nice amount. I tried to repay the generosity by helping an older gent figure out what kind of games his kids might like while they dug the console out of the back room.

      JB has always been pretty good in my experience too.

    Consumers in general these days are more entitled than ever before. I see truly douchey behaviour on a daily basis.
    - talking to the cashier like they are subhuman.
    - refusing to make eye contact
    - throwing money or credit cards across counter
    - getting pissed off because they can't manage their time properly and blaming shop assistants
    - holding up massive queues to argue about refund policies or count out bags of loose change
    - asking for advice and then berating the assistant because they disagree with the advice given
    - trying to haggle because they are cheap skates
    - serial refunders who think they are entitled to multiple changes of mind because they can't make a choice
    - people who don't have the decency to greet a cashier or salesperson when addressed
    - dictating store policy to staff when completely wrong about facts
    - physically pushing other customers to get to stock
    - misusing products and then trying to return user damaged stock
    - enter the store 2 minutes before closing time and complain when staff try to close while they waste everyone's time
    - yelling at cashier in foreign language which can't be understood
    - talking on mobile phone while being served.

    I saw all these behaviours this week alone in a busy retail store. If you do any of these things you are a massive arsehole and shouldn't be allowed in civilised society.
    hospitality workers cop exactly the same shit regularly.

      And it always boils down to one thing. Power. A large number of consumers seem to believe they are better than people in service jobs and can treat them with disdain. If it takes effort to be polite to other human beings you are doing life wrong.

      Last edited 25/12/16 5:52 pm

      I agree with all your points except one- haggling. There is a time and place for everything ( eg- don't quibble the price of a mars bar and a coke with a 10 person deep que), but negotiating the best price you can get IS every consumer's right. Plus some merchants (usually the older, savvy ones) actually respect a bit of intelligent deal making. I know when i used to do retail *shudder* if someone was pleasant, articulate and knew their stuff i would happily go back and forth with the price. Plus, that is the sort if customer you want coming back for repeat visits as an enthusiast will always spend far more than a mum buying an afternoon of silent brats.

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