1. Be nice.
Ask anyone that has worked in the service or retail industry and they will tell you the best way to get what you want is to just be polite and friendly. Say I only have one extra of a popular item and I have two people asking for it. One is super nice and the other is downright rude. Who would you give it to? We've all had bad days, work was crazy, traffic was insane, they messed up your order at the coffee shop, we've ALL been there. You have to understand the person ringing you up is also human, they have rough days too and sometimes shit happens. People make mistakes. But because they are on the clock and serving you, they have to be nice no matter what: stay cool, friendly and work it out no matter how angry the customer is. It's not easy but when the customer is understanding it's much easier to relax and fix the problem.
Look if you know you want to get Halo the day it comes out just come preorder it. Yes 99% of the time we'll have extras. But preordering does not cost you more money, it guarantees you a copy and you'll probably get some kind of preorder bonus. So why not help me out in the process? I LOVE the people that come in and always preorder. I remember them and when I see them walking up to my store I get excited because no matter if they preorder something or not I know they "get it" and yes usually they are NICE.
3. Watch your kids.
To all the parents out there with kids, nothing makes me happier then when your kid is buying a game with their hard earned allowance and you have them count the money and hand it to me. I don't care if they count it super slow or hand it to me crumpled in a bunch. And then when I hand them the game and you remind them to thank me and they do with a giant smile? SWOON. Love it, seriously it makes my day. Especially when sometimes I have the kids that interrupt me while I'm talking to another customer or the kid that just snatches the game out of my hands and walks out. Don't apologize if your kid is shy and doesn't want to ask questions or if he or she drops $5 in change all over the counter. I do not care. I do not care that I got out Far Cry 3 only for you to decide it's not appropriate. I don't care that your kid knocked down all the DS games. I really don't. Because you get that it's important for your child to understand what money is and that maybe an eight year old shouldn't be playing Black Ops 2 even if so-and-so's mom lets them play it. So pat yourself on the back awesome parents, we notice and we remember.
4. Ask questions.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Maybe you're looking for a specific game or you just need ideas for your niece's birthday gift. I guarantee you I can find the game you're looking for faster than you can. I'm here 30+ hours a week and look at these video game covered walls almost every day. So when I greet you and ask you what brings you in today, don't look at the floor and mumble, "oh nothing just looking". You never know if the game you want just got traded in and hasn't been run to the floor yet. Or maybe it's sitting in a shipment box I haven't opened. Hell, I might not even have it but I'm more than happy to see if our website has it and they'll ship it right to you, no extra charge. Need ideas for a present? I got you. Just give me the age, movie preferences and video game system and I'll find a game that the birthday boy/girl will like. It makes your day easier and mine too.
5. Make friends.
I love my job. Before I worked at my store the only person I knew who played video games was my little brother. Needless to say, I am always psyched to meet fellow video game lovers. And the regulars? Those are the people I will call stores an hour away for a game and then drive over there and pick it up for them. We got an extra Devil May Cry lanyard? I know somebody that would love to get it. Missed out on preordering StarCraft II Heart of the Swarm collector's edition and we got an extra one? Yeah I'll hold it for you until pay day. Why? Because you guys are the people that make my job as awesome as it is. You're nice, talkative and obviously you love games. So if you get anything out of my little blog post hopefully this is it: Find a store with friendly employees and get to know them a little. I guarantee it will make your shopping experience much better and it'll definitely brighten the employee's day just to see you come in :)
Shopping isn't always fun and I get it. I hate shopping, I hate being asked if I need help when I think I know exactly what I'm doing. Through my years of retail experience I've come to learn that companies want employees to engage the customer and yeah, in the end it is a better experience. So the next time you walk in to buy a game, say hi or wave at the employee by the counter when they greet you. Or just head nod if you want. Remember we're people too and we're here to help.
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