Ten on Tuesday – 24

cooltext468162920Ten Types of Shopkeepers and Their Salesmen

It’s that time of the year, when everybody is out there in the market, to do what is mandatory in this season. Yes, the festive season demands us to shop till we drop and go back home with loads of shopping bags and depleting bank balance. So, you have old uncles and aunties checking the goods, you see the mothers with a couple of bags in one hand and the other hand dragging a balking child. Then there are groups of college going kids spending more time on fun and noise than doing the shopping, also there are these lovey-dovey couples who look less at the showcased stuff but more at each other and of course the regular shoppers like me. So whether you shop in the big malls or in the narrow by-lanes of the old city, you will come across, different varieties of shopkeepers. Yeah, shopkeepers, the people who sell their wares/goods to us. This post is about the various types of shopkeepers and their salesmen who enhance and enrich or wreck and worsen our shopping experience.

  1. The No-Nonsense Guy : You ask for a product X, he shows you the product X. He does not believe in much customer interaction and just talks to the point. Try asking him for some discount, (Oh, how much we love discounts and freebies), he will not look up from his bill making process. You grab the bill hungrily only to find the product is being sold to you at the specified rate only!
  2. The Super Salesman : You want to buy just a shampoo. “Ma’am, for your damaged hair, this conditioner is a must use. You should try this. Don’t you use a toner for your face, your pores are all big and gaping. This is best toner for your skin type. Use it and you will thank me for this! This is the latest range of eyeliner which Kareena is promoting… You go to his shop to buy one product and you come back with three!!!
  3. Totally Indifferent :  You say, “Bhaiya aur dikhao… Do you have this design in pink?…” He acts as if he didn’t hear anything. This is despite when neither you have rejected a  dozen options nor you are asking for some silly piddly thing! You look around yourself for the object of your desire and tell him to show ‘that’ piece and grudgingly he will take it out. Such a passive approach is so sad and a big mood (shopping mood, I mean) killer! A walk-out is the bestest option here.
  4. The Brothers : Ok, you address the shopkeepers as ‘Bhaiya’ and a few are ‘Uncle’’ too, so naturally they call you ‘Sister or Didi! In Jaipur, some even call you ‘Bhabhi ji!!’ There was this guy who once addressed me as ‘Small Sister’(yeah in English only), I tried to rationalize, he must be influenced by The Big Brother!.
  5. Jo Tera Hai Wo Mera Hai : But Jo Mera Hai Wo Mera Hi Hai! You buy a thing which costs Rs 1999. You pay Rs 2000 and wait. But they close the cash counter firmly and move ahead to wait on the next customer. Go ahead and judge me but I am talking about THAT one rupee. Just think what that One Rupee of YOUR hard-earned money does to the shopkeeper’s account. Suppose a shopkeeper does not return this One Rupee (and you know that almost all the brands are priced which end with the magical no. 9, so you have prices ranging from Rs 49 to 99… 199, 299, 399…) to 50 customers in a day, his daily earnings would be Rs 50, and monthly earnings would be Rs 50×30 days= Rs 1500 and look at the yearly earnings from YOUR ONE RUPEE, Rs 1500×12 months = Rs 18000!! Think about it, the next time!
  6. The Snails : Working in slow motion is what they do. So, whether you have all the time in the world to shop or are in a tearing hurry, these shopkeepers just cannot work fast to even save their lives! Some of the guys who pack gifts are slower than the snails too!
  7. The Big Talkers : They greet you warmly, they ask you questions, they suggest a lot of options, they even compliment you, and can talk to your 1 year old too… in short, they do not keep quiet even for a minute. Sometimes, it’s ok to listen to all the blabber and at times it’s irritating too.
  8. The Hard Sellers : Perfect in their product knowledge, they rattle the feature, advantages and benefits of a product with great panache. You ask any query, they have the answer, you try to find faults, they know how to handle that too. Persistent and confident, they know how to close the deal quick. 3 years ago, when I wanted to change my laptop, after all the research and comparisons, I wanted to go for Dell, and this shopkeeper convinced us to buy Acer. We bought it but somehow, I was never proud of my Acer Laptop!
  9. Always Missing : These are the shopkeepers who are never at their shops. You always have to wait outside, look here and there and hope that they see you standing and came back to their workstations ASAP. The courier guy next to our office and the aquarium guy from whom we buy our gold fishes are NEVER at their respective shops.
  10. The Troubled Ones : These are the guys who are angry, frustrated about something in life, so they vent out their irritation, anger at the unsuspecting customer. A nasty comment or an irritating look is what you get from them.  Thank You Jack and Destination Infinity for contributing to this category. Truly appreciate it.
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80 thoughts on “Ten on Tuesday – 24

  1. Shilpa,

    You covered almost all main ones. There are also quarrelsome type who will pass nasty comments if you move on without buying anything after have seen a few. I have come across afternoon siesta ones, who would be relaxing after lunch and will inform you of nonavailability of an item inspite of it being visible in the shelves.

    Take care

  2. I wanted to buy a book and hence entered a book shop recently. This was a small bookshop having mostly Tamil books. I selected one book and since I was in a bookshop, I started looking around. Sometimes I get tempted to buy more, that way.

    But the ‘shop keeper’ was saying things like what else do you want, etc. implying why I was looking around wasting his time!! I wonder why owners appoint employees who think that people come asking the name of a book in a book shop and they have to sell only that book!!

    Destination Infinity

  3. damn…and i didnt even notice (till now) that there were soo many types….you must be a journalist in real life to have noticed soo much in the few minutes it takes to buy something….
    P.s…now you have totally spoiled me too..i am going to go around classifying all the shopkeepers mentally from now on..

    • LOL Ganesh! No, I am not a journalist in real life!! 😀
      Great, so share with us, how many types of shopkeepers you could spot from this list!! Happy hunting, I mean happy shopping! 🙂

  4. Wow, that is some list!! You really have a way of coming up with interesting lists. Loved your classification :D, it is this variety that makes shopping that much more fun.

  5. There is a snail in the shop next to my house. One fine day, I did a shopping of around 3000 Rs of regular household commodities. The guy took a century to scan them and create a bill and then hit the wrong button on his laptop and deleted it.
    He then proceeded to scan all the items again. I thought of sending an SMS to my wife not to miss me for the next 10 years.
    The best part came in the end. The guy produced my bill and then realised that he has not deleted the previous one. How I wanted to smash his head in his laptop.

    • OH MY GOD!! He surely deserved his head to be smashed with the laptop! 😀
      Now, we can laugh about the experience but at that particular time, such things just test your patience!! 😀

  6. Yes that one rupee is a real irritant and I never let go.
    When the bill is 135.50 they take 136 (and dutifully gives back Rs 4) I don’t even like to let go off 50 paise which is dutifully mine. Just imagine in a year they can make Rs 9000/- So I always carry 50 paise change with me and give it to them by which they are forced to give me Rs 5.
    Liked that ‘small sister” approach. Had never heard that before.

  7. Ah! Once we were shopping for some bedsheets and there was this 40 something guy whom I called uncle. In retaliation he kept calling me aunty!! I was like come on……He was old…

    And then there are those salesman who know what you want as soon as you keep ur foot in the shop 🙂

    A damn good read 🙂

    • Gosh! How ridiculous!! My mom is fed up of being called MataJi by the oldies! 😀 Ah! the know-alls are very irritating too! Thanks Smita, glad you liked reading this! 🙂

  8. that’s a tick, tick, tick, tick…for every point!! what a comprehensive list! still rolling over laughing!! esp. the ‘one’ rupee pinchers! i always make it a point to ask for my rupee and let them give me the oh-what-a-stingy-lady look! much to the embarrassment of my hubby who wonders if i will build a house with that money!! now i can show him your calculations!

    • I know, same here. Even I embarrassed KG once, when I asked for my coin back! 😀
      Go on and share the calculations with your hubby, would love to know his reaction. KG here is shaking his head! 😀

  9. I would like to add the type of sales person who is very enthusiastic while he is selling and tells you, that he would have no problem if you change your mind and would want an exchange, you are always welcome to his shop anytime, for the exchange.
    However, when you go back to exchange his tone and behavior changes automatically, he makes all kinds of fuss etc., and irritates you so much that you decide you would never ever enter his shop.
    This happened to me today, and I got so mad, that i gave him left and right, and told him not only this was going to be my last visit to his shop, but I would also inform everyone whom i know never to buy anything from his shop.
    Abroad it is so simple, they even give back the money without deducting anything , and you are given 3 months time before you return anything.

    • Yes, the talkative types can be very irritating. I do not like the sales guys hovering around me when I am shopping for clothes in malls. But then we did a workshop for Apparel Mktg company and came to know that these guys are trained to be assisting the customer, help him decide, give advice what would look good with what (like fashion consultants) and push for sales. In fact they have incentive based targets for specific things. So, that is why all the talking and hovering around!

  10. I am sure you would have heard about the legendary Puneri shopkeepers! They are sooooooo rude, I tell you; as if they are doing us a favour by selling goods. It was a new experience for me. So long I had seen shopkeepers bending backwards in accomodating the customers, atleast politeness and courtesy are important.
    Yes, Diwali shopping happening in full swing without any guilt 🙂

  11. The ones who send you back – Not kidding. I see them all over Europe. These are the most unfriendly types who opened the store maybe just coz someone in their family cornered them. They are interested in a lot of things, unfortunately selling is not one of them.

    Nicely collated by the way.

  12. My goodness, you observed so well..I was trying to recollect which type I faced, when? 😛 I seriously agree with the One rupee thing..It’s not just a rupee shilpa, it is more than that. Even the auto wallahs, if the meter shows 16 or 17 rupees, they take 20, not bothering about the change. But would they take Rs 10, if it is 11 or 12? Sigh!!
    I faced a super sales man in my last India trip. That was the owner itself. We were buying artificial jewelry, went to buy one or two pieces and ended up spending…you won’t even believe the number.

    • Exactly. The autowallahs or these shopkeepers will not leave even a rupee of what’s due to them but are cool about not giving us our due amount!
      I can understand… they would have flooded with you options and deals and sweet talk etc etc and their objective is achieved! Sigh!

  13. LOL! The brother one was really funny, ‘small sister’…He was taking English way too literally. And thanks for evaluating it to 18000, now I’ll not give anyone a penny of my money. But this practice is in India, In US you get all your cents back.

    A fun read and thanks for it!

  14. give me a hi- 5 for this post, shilpa.

    so with you on that one rupee thing. it is not about the one rupee but that attitude behind it ‘chalta hai’ types and another thing is when they have to give a change of 4or 5 rupee. the shop keeper says chutta nahin hai and shoves 4 halls or mentos instead.

    and in hyderabad, the city is dead before 11 in the morning, no shops are open till 11.00. i once stepped into a lace shop at 11.05 in the morning when the shop keeper was drinking tea. I said “bhaiyya. woh pink lace dikhao” and guess what he said?
    Madamji diktha nahin hai kya? chai pee raha hoon. his chai is his priority not his customer. nizami city you see.

    BTW beautifully compiled post.

    • :)) You made my day, Asha! 🙂
      Yeah, these mentos- melody toffees are so not on. We have this Easy Day in our Apartment complex and we go almost everyday to buy milk, veges etc and everyday we get a Melody Chocolate as change. And with Aaryan in a boarding school and I dont like the taste of this Melody, so now we have so many of these toffees in our fridge! I once told them to at least change the toffee type, but it fell on deaf ears!!
      My God!! How rude!! Yeah, customer can wait but not the tea!
      Thanks 🙂

  15. Your post is simply marvellous. You are a keen observer. Nothing goes unnoticed by your vigilant eye.The post has come at the most appropriate time, the festive season, when maximum shopping is done..

  16. That no 5 – I totally agree to it !!! Its always the case with Bata – many showrooms never return that one rupee !!

    Going thru this post was like Diwali shopping for me 😉 Met many kinds of salesmen – all in one place !!!

    • There are some who do return back that 1 Rupee but then there are so many who dont and yes, I guess, Bata started this Rs 99 concept of pricing and now there are so many brands and products priced this way!

  17. Totally agreed on the things… The time when the shopkeepers act understanding the nature of the customers has gone.. Now its our turn,, Understand the mood of the shop keeper and act! Else you won’t get satisfied with you product! A nice post which almost made me laugh…

  18. Don’t you just hate it when the cosmetic store guys go “Aren’t you buying something for the dark circles around your eyes?”? My response (internal one) is “How rude! Now that you’ve pointed out I have dark circles, I’ll buy the cream at another store!” 😉
    You’ve covered them all!

  19. You have a wonderful list there. I get irritated by everyone except the no-nonsense guy. 😀 And there is another category- ‘The flatterers’ they begin by saying how cute you are, how every colour suits you and then slowly change their opinion to make you buy what they want you to – “Actually, your skin tone will look dull in this colour, not that your skin tone is dull…but you know” and so on! Aaargh!

  20. So engaging.. I loved the details and anecdotes related with each.. n I guess I have met with mostly all kinds of shopkeepers.. I detest the Totally Indifferent and Snail kinds.. I love the hardsellers atleast they know what they are selling..

  21. A really good one…Very original….I know how embarrassed bus drivers make you feel when you ask them that 2 rupee or 5 rupee back…And the funny thing is everyone else looks at you as if you are a really cheap person asking that change back… 🙂

    • Thanks Sunny! 🙂
      I know the feeling! Not returning Rs 2/5 is way too much! The point is would the bus drivers/cabbies take Rs 2/5 less from their fare? The answer is No. So, I guess, one should not hesitate to ask for the due money! 😀

  22. There is one more! In malls/big shops where you can look around and pick what you want (different from a behind-the-counter type shops) there is this salesperson who follows you every inch you move. It’s almost like they think you’ll flick something the second you are by yourself.
    This is so embarrassing especially when you’re window shopping. :O
    Super post btw 🙂

    • I know the feeling! But they are there to assist you in your shopping experience, suggest the various options etc. I usually tell them to leave me alone! 😀
      Thks for liking the post! 🙂

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