T Nation

Starting Out In Retail


Hey guys, I just got a job at this hockey shop and I will be starting tomorrow. I've wanted to work there for at least 3 years now and I want to make sure that I do the best job possible. I know to start off with I'll mostly be stocking shelves, cleaning up and making sure the store is tidy, but I know that pretty soon I will get the chance to help sell things to people. I am an outoging guy and I love to talk to people, but I'd still like some help from anybody that's been in retail. Any tips or advice is appreciated.



Retail is awful. Get out while you still can!


Breath mints


EVERY customer is a genius.

They are always right.

Even when they ask you what you recommend, all they really want is for you to confirm that what they want is the right thing.

make a point of telling them about the more expensive product, but push the mid/low price. most times, they'll pick the expensive one anyway. those who dont, will appreciate you.

seriously. they're always fucking right.


Buy a .357 Magnum with your first paycheck. After a few weeks on the job, you'll understand why you bought it.


retail can be very stressful/a lot of work but it can also be pretty fun and enjoyable on the right days. try not to have the mind set of trying to "sell" the customer on something. be available and ready to help. I did my best when I was just trying to answer their questions and provide them with the best option for their needs.

also, if you have a strong knowledge of what you're selling it will come across to the customer. nothing worse than trying to be helped by someone that doesn't know very much about what they are selling. just have fun with it, work hard, and treat each customer the way you would like to be treated. good luck


i just got a job offer to run a pro-shop inside a rink, figure i'll give it a go for awhile. if they offer decent money, i'll give it ago. it would be primarily running the pro shop but also working odds and ends around the rink at the same time. i figure why not, not the career i want, but low stress compared to the sales job i had!

but yeah, retail sucks man. just tell them what they want to hear. hopefully you get commission as hockey gear these days is expensive as hell.