Sunday, July 7, 2013

Hurry Up and Buy | Whos a Menace?

Hurry Up and Buy | Who's a Menace? 

“Hello” The Asian man at the door greeted me
“Check your bags!” He demanded as I entered the local beauty supply store.  He had a row of cubby’s set up, and held on to patrons bags, as they browsed the store. I was shopping on a popular street, and had 3 bag from my shopping  haul. I reluctantly submitted my belongings and was given a tag to claim my bags after checkout. I fully understand why the owners felt the need to implement a policy to prevent loss. People steal.  I disagree with their methods.

Curly haired women spend more money, and purchase more products over all, when compared to straight haired women. Why treat your prized clients like prospective criminals? Why should I submit my recent purchases, just to brows your shelves? I took a look around the store, and soon realized I was being followed.  Each isle was manned by a different employee who kept a close eye, ( and even went so far as to stand behind me as I reach for different products). Annoyed,  I marched back up to the counter, demanded my things, and left! I vote with my purse.

“Hurry Up and Buy!”

This scene in “Don’t be A Menace” always cracks me up. But it’s no laughing matter.  I’m a certified product junkie. I can easily spend an hour in a well-stocked beauty supply store; reading labels, scanning bar codes, and searching for reviews before I purchase.  Countless times, I’ve been follow though a store, or  harassed as I take my time, reading labels, and scanning bar codes for reviews. Mom and Pop BSS cater to the Black community, and are often run by Asian business owners.  These owners and managers often give me the feeling that they do not value my business, and are only interested in making a buck. They are not always knowledgeable about the products they sell, and will often push a product in your hand, just to make a sell, regardless of your needs. I can tell you how many time I run in a store looking for a particular solution, brand, or texture, only to be sold something else.  I was chatting with a friend, who happens to be Korean, about my experience when I go shopping. She chuckled and said
“If black people took over the Korean BBQ market, from manufacturing to importing, Korean’s would be up in arms..”  

She was right. So what are we going to do about it? I’ve made a full effort to purchase locally, and organically. I’m choosing to purchase from small black owned business. Why? Because they understand my needs best. And at the very lest, they haven't followed me around a store, or forced me to leave my bags behind. I now get my oils from a small African import shop. What a difference in service!
“Hello, my sister” I’m greeted at the door “How can I help you” The black man behind the counter asks. (No bag check!)  I give him a quick listing of what I need, and as he’s collecting the items (Customer service) he begins to tell me other uses for the oils I purchased (Knowledgeable). He bags my items and gives me a card. What a pleasant experience.  I wasn’t harassed, over sold, or searched. Im hooked! Going forward ,I don’t care how long I have to travel to get proper service. Im voting with my purse. Any store that treats me as a potential criminal before potential client isn’t getting another red cent of my money.

Sound off! You ever had a negative experience at a small BSS. Followed? Accused of theft? Made to check our purse at the door? SHARE!