Small Business News

Store Charges Fee For “Just Looking”

Celiac Supplies, a Brisbane area-based gluten free shop, has become a viral phenomenon, but not in a good way. Reddit user BarrettFox posted an image of a sign the store posted on its front door, and it quickly became the subject of a great deal of mockery on and off the social news site.

The sign (as seen above) reads:

Dear Customers,

As of the first of February, this store will be charging people a $5 fee per person for “just looking.”

The $5 fee will be deducted when goods are purchased.

Why has this come about?

There has been high volume of people who use this store as a reference and then purchase goods elsewhere. These people are unaware our prices are almost the same as the other stores plus we have products simply not available anywhere else.

This policy is in line with many other clothing, shoe and electronic stores who are also facing the same issue.

BarrettFox’s image came under the title, “When they open tomorrow I’m going to see how many times I can walk in and out without paying the toll.”

Comments from redditors include:

“This store seems desperate to go out of business.”

“The thing that confuses me is: How is this allowable? Someone walks in, looks around, decides not to buy anything and starts to leave. They berate them until they pay? What if they hadn’t noticed the $5 fee sign and don’t have any money on them? If it was me, I’d say “Screw you.” and not give them a dime, walk out and refuse them any future business. They are asking to go out of business.”

“I don’t have my glasses. Does it say ‘Going Out of Business Sale’?”

“”Introducing the new loyalty program! Every $100 you spend you get 20% off your next purchase” Fixed that. I’m a small retailer, I have to compete with the internet, but many of my customers come to me because I make my store a positive and enjoyable experience. Most of them don’t even want a discount.”

At least one person sees where the store is coming from, commenting:

“Eh, I’ve been to a store before and then gone to Amazon to see their price. Amazon had a higher price but it was only by a buck or two, certainly more even after tax was applied. But I was already home, and it’d be delivered to my door, so I just ordered through Amazon.
Now I have a smartphone and just check the price in the store. Also, now Amazon charges tax.”

The store’s owner assumes people are leaving without buying anything and going to buy products at a supermarket chain or online. Perhaps one alternative for the store would be to sell products online (they have a site, just apparently not one that sells products), and advertise that site on a sign on the door.

By the way, this story comes from reddit’s WTF section.

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