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Day 146: Secret shopping may not be my dream job after all

I started shopping at an early age.
Like all young shopaholics, growing up my dream job was always to be a secret shopper (I mean, also to be a nail-polish naming mogul, or some kind of child writer prodigy a la Gordon Korman). Secret shopping seemed ideal - just go out and do the shopping I'd do anyway, but get paid! In my imagination, I figured that I would be reimbursed for the stuff I bought, as well as extremely well paid.

So, in the course of investigating make-more-money options for my shopping detox/debt repayment project, I came back to secret shopping. Win/win, right?


You guys, it's just not what I thought it would be. I haven't actually gone out on a secret shop, but reading about what you need to do just kind of grosses me out. When I'm shopping, I like to wander around and see what I can find and put things together on my own. But as a secret shopper, I would have to put on the persona of someone who requires a lot of assistance. And the salespeople would get bad marks if they don't start giving me suggestions of things to try on, and foisting accessories on me, and checking the fit of things I try on.


Please do not emulate the sales clerk from old "Cathy" cartoons, stores of the world.

Like, I'm sorry to the talented sales associates who work in department stores across this fine country, but if I was looking for fashion advice, I would not turn to the salesclerk in a mall department store. I also wouldn't go ask the salesclerk in a chain store in a mall, or most any store, really. Why? Because I know what I like, and I don't want some stranger's opinion.

I've done enough freelance fashion stylist work (i.e. helping my friends buy clothes) that I know peoples' tastes are really particular. If I dressed the world, everybody would be dressed like I was today: in a retro 50s dress with puffy skirt, chunky cardigan, fluorescent pink toenails and bright orange wedge sandals. And a blue fedora hat and big sunglasses. But how many of you want to dress that way? Probably not a lot of you. (To those of you who do: I salute you!)

Punky Brewster and I salute all the fashion weirdos out there.

What I'm saying here is: PEOPLE HAVE THEIR OWN TASTE. Also: I hate when salespeople try and get me to buy ugly crap. Let me make up my own mind, please and thankyouverymuch.

So, I could either approach this secret shopping thing like a spy, and pretend like I am somebody who I am not (i.e. pretending I'm the kind of person who goes into in-depth fashion discussions with department store clerks). Or, I could just not earn that $10 and continue living my life the way I like.

"Oh, hai. I'm just a normal, everyday shopper who needs some help selecting a pair of leather pants."

PS -- Kim Kardashian announced she may have a series of weddings in various international locations, all of which would be televised. She wants her wedding to be bigger than Kate and Wills. But the thing is... I don't think Kate and Wills wanted a big wedding, which added to the charm and loveliness of their wedding. I don't want to see Kim's 17 different wedding dresses. But I do want to see the glitter mini ponies. Get on that, internet.


Frugal(er) said...

I signed up with a few secret shopping companies a while ago, despite the fact that when I was working in the bookstore, secret shoppers constantly ruined my life. I never actually applied for any of the big store shops where you have to go in and be needy because, like you, I just couldn't stomach it. Plus, the amount of money they were going to pay me to behave that way--hells no.

What I did get into, and it didn't make my skin crawl, was doing bank shops. Just go in, deposit a check, and report back whether or not the person smiled and asked you about the new promotion. If you can find something like that, it's not a bad gig.

jesspoole said...

I want to be a personal shopper. Then you can push whatever you want on people. but I guess if you have money to pay someone to shop for you, you are probably pushy enough to get them to buy what you want... hmmm. Anyway, it was always my dream!

Lindy Mint said...

I've had to "shop" our competitors both when I worked in apartment leasing and when I worked in the furniture industry. I had to pretend like I wanted to lease an apartment (or buy furniture) just so I could spy on their rates and see their goods. I am not a good liar and always hated doing these things.

So yeah, secret shopping is not so alluring to me either. Neither is being an international spy. Though if I got to wear leather pants every day I might consider it.

Annabelle said...

Frugal(er) - yeah, straightforward secret shopping like at a bank sounds much more palatable.

Jesspoole - Yes! Personal shopping is definitely a dream job of mine, too. Much more fun than secret shopping.

Lindy - lol. Leather pants would convince me to be a spy, too.

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