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Old 26 March 2013, 06:16 PM
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Default Australian store charges customers a $5 'just looking' fee in bid to stop showrooming

Quote:
A speciality food store in Brisbane, Australia is charging visitors a $5 AUD (roughly $5.25) in an effort to stop them from "showrooming."
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/busine...-1226607041430
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Old 26 March 2013, 06:26 PM
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So what if me, my bff and my wife all walk into the store. Do we pay $5 each, or just $5 for the group? Say my BFF buys something, but wife and I do not -- do we then lose our $5?
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Old 26 March 2013, 06:33 PM
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I sympathize with her frustration. I don't know what the answer is, but I don't think a $5 "just looking" fee is going to inspire more people to buy from her. She'll get some of her time back, but that won't help unless she gets some customers who want to buy from her.
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Old 26 March 2013, 06:33 PM
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If the issue is that people leave because they think other stores have it cheaper (and don't) then why not post comparison prices on the shelves?
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Old 26 March 2013, 06:43 PM
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It makes sense to charge customers a consultancy fee for advising them on which products to buy. A browsing fee is just wierd
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Old 26 March 2013, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
"I can tell straight away who are the rat bags who are going to come in here and pick my brain and disappear,'' she said.


Maybe she should consider a different line of work, one involving less direct interaction with customers.
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Old 26 March 2013, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
"I can tell straight away who are the rat bags who are going to come in here and pick my brain and disappear,'' she said.
Then why the need for a browsing fee? Just stop helping the "rat bags."
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Old 26 March 2013, 08:07 PM
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I can't speak for Celiac supplies, but I doubt I'd shop at a store that charged a consultation fee (unless maybe that was standard for the industry), much less a 'just looking fee'.
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Old 26 March 2013, 09:01 PM
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It sounds like a reasonable solution to a problem, but poorly presented.

Our church holds an annual tag sale, and "early birds" have been a persistent problem. The sale starts at 9:00 AM; no, you can't come in at 8:00 and have a look around while we're still setting up. After many years of dealing with this, someone hit on the solution of changing the signs from "No early birds" to "Early Birds welcome - $5 entry fee." If the workers had to deal with the inconvenience, at least it would be at a profit. It's worked out rather well - those who want to be first in line for the best bargains have to decide whether it's worth $5 for the privilege, which has kept the numbers relatively low, and since they've already forked over some cash, the ones who do come are more likely to be serious buyers.

I wonder whether this store might consider an annual membership program (such as some of the discount clubs use) - maybe a "members' information kiosk" or similar? Offer member and non-member pricing? Is the goal to encourage customer loyalty or merely to get rid of the "showrooming" customers?
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Old 26 March 2013, 09:43 PM
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I think a lot of business that don't run completely on the convience factor are probably going to go to some sort of membership based business model.
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