Shoe-Shopping Advice From a Shoe Store Assistant Manager
In a time where large, corporate and discount shoe stores seem to have pushed customer service to the wayside, smaller, independent retailers are thriving with individualized customer attention and highly-trained service personnel. Finding the perfect pair can be daunting nightmare for customers, but with the expertise of a knowledgeable sales associate, one can discover dreamy shoes to melt the heart and soles.
Most sales clerks are trained, either through extensive and cheesy 80s videos or through quality experiences, to ask 'probing questions' in order to best serve the customer's needs. But what if the customer stumbles upon a trainee or otherwise inexperienced associate, and still wants the most bang for the proverbial buck during the shoe-finding experience? From start to finish, a few tips that will keep a shoe quest from becoming a shoe epic journey: Give the clerk a heads up.
Many shoe-hunting customers answer the existential "Is there something I could help you find?" with the witty response, "Shoes!" To be sure, in a shoe store, the customer is not making an unreasonable demand here.
However humorous the response may seem at first, it indicates to an associate that the customer is not ready for assistance. If a customer believes s/he may eventually need help, it's best to give an idea of the ultimate shoe in mind to the salesperson so that s/he can be thinking it over. Chances are, when the customer and clerk reunite after the customer's browsing, the clerk will be much better prepared to suggest valuable recommendations and ideas. Be specific, but relevant.
It's tempting to describe a shoe by the activity one will engage in while wearing it, and for the most part, such a description can be immensely helpful. A "wedding shoe" and a "basketball shoe" can clearly be vastly different pairs. Yet, a "work shoe" can mean anything between a "wedding shoe" and a "basketball shoe," all depending on the customer's place of employment.
When a customer is, indeed, looking for a "work shoe," or any other types of shoes, it can be helpful to describe the conditions the shoe must meet. Is there a dress code to adhere to? Will one be standing on a concrete floor all day? Does the customer have inserts or orthodics to add to the shoe? Sometimes a catch-all label, like "work shoes," doesn't really catch all. Let's get the facts up front.
If one has a hard-to-find size, require a special width or wear orthodics (custom-made inserts for your shoes, made by podiatrists), it will be helpful to tell the sales clerk immediately. That way, the associate can rule out specific brands and styles of shoes based on his/her knowledge of how each fits and direct the customer to more appropriate shoes. Honestly! I hate it!
If a customer dislikes a shoe for any reason, it's best to just say so. There's no sense in wasting time trying on a shoe that reminds the customer of her grandmother or prancing around in hot, red pumps if she finds them ludicrous. Honesty is truly the best policy and can save the customer time if s/he is willing to tell the salesperson what is really on her mind. If the shoe fits...
There's a country song with a chorus line that lilts "Men don't change and shoes don't stretch." If a shoe is too tight or too loose, alert the associate so that s/he can bring you a proper-fitting pair. Feel free to ask the salesperson if the brand runs big or small, wide or narrow; if the salesperson is experienced enough, s/he will know. Also, trust the clerk's intuition with the brand.
Clerks know shoe-tricks; for instance, s/he might suggest a half-size up one width in from what is normal, or half-size down and one width out. In the end, such suggestions might make the difference between the perfect pair and the almost-perfect pair.
If the size is a trouble spot, be honest about the issue or ask to be measured. If one is unsure, honesty can save a lot of time and hassle in the long run. There's nothing worse than hauling out an armload of shoe boxes in several different sizes only to hear the customer cry, "I thought I'd be a 9!" Shoe salespeople should all be trained on the Brannock device, and can quickly and easily give the customer a point of reference for sizing.Ask questions.
The sales associate knows more than s/he probably ever cared to on the topic of shoes, feet, and the like. Fell in love with some shoes but they pester a bunion? Ask the clerk about a spot stretch. Not sure the shoes are perfect? Ask about the return policy! An experience salesperson will give the information up front, but customers should never be afraid to get the real scoop on things.
And speaking of experience, the long-time salesperson is likely to have earned the ability to give a discretionary discount. The better the rapport between customer and clerk, the more likely the customer is to receive a little bonus, whether it's a percentage off or some extra shoe polish. Don't be afraid to ask about incentives for multiple purchases or upcoming sales; one might be surprised to learn that the payoff is immediate! Be polite.
Not only can a customer score serious discounts and cool freebies, but also a potential long-standing relationship. Wouldn't it be nice to receive such treatment every time one shops?
Remember, sales associates are not in charge of policies, prices, or company problems. The salespeople will do their best to help a customer, but as with everything, some things are just not under a clerk's control. Many sales associates are willing to go out of their way, even calling other retailers or special ordering from catalogs, in order to get the customer the perfect shoe. Everyone knows one catches more bees with honey than with vinegar!
Armed with these handy hints, any customer should be able to find dream shoes without a nightmare shopping experience.
Types of Small Appliances
Here at More Kitchen Appliances we understand that people today are always on the go and using the right small appliances can make a big difference in more ways than one. Save yourself time and energy by making food preparation quick, easy and fun. We have created this informative buying guide to explain the functions and features of each appliance in depth. Use this helpful guide to find appliances that will meet your needs and beat your expectations.
The two types of blenders are standard bar blenders and immersion blenders. Standard bar blenders have the ability to crush ice and they are great for making icy drinks. Immersion Blenders are hand held and go directly into the container where the contents are being prepared. Immersion blenders can be used to blend ingredients or puree food. They are great for blending soups, egg whites, stirring powdered drinks,chopping nuts and more! When purchasing a blender there are a few specific things you should look for to ensure that you are getting a high quality product for a reasonable price.
Bar blenders should have anywhere between 3 & 16 speeds, 3 speeds is adequate & anything over 12 may be too many
An ice crushing setting is an added bonus
Power should range between 300-500 watts
Containers should hold between 5-8 cups(40 - 64 ounces)
Glass containers are heavier & more stable then plastic, glass is also easier to clean
Plastic containers may shake during use, they can scratch and they may start to absorb the smell of whatever is inside
Stainless steel containers look great but keep in mind that they prevent you from seeing the material inside
Cleaning Tip: Blenders with a permanently attached blades, touch pad controls and a wide mouth are the easiest to clean.
There are two different types of mixers, hand mixers and stand mixers. Both have similar functions but should be used for different things. A hand mixer is hand held, has less power than a stand mixer and should be used to whip cream or egg whites, mix cake batter, mash potatoes and other things of that nature. Stand mixers should be used for mixing, beating,whipping & kneading. However both have similar functions and it is important to make sure you are using the right one for the job. Some things to consider:
Three well differentiated speeds are sufficient for hand mixers
Slow speeds prevent splattering & are important when adding dry ingredients without creating a mess, the slower the lowest speed the better
Most stand mixers have heads that tilt up, take that into account if you are planning to use the mixer on a counter below a cupboard
Stand mixers should have about five different speeds
Mixing bowl should hold around 4 quarts
The amount of flour or dough a stand mixer can handle is a good way to tell how powerful the machine is
10 - 20 cups of flour are necessary to knead bread dough
Cleaning Tip: Hand mixers that have wire beaters without a center metal post (found on traditional-style beaters) are easier to clean
Toasters and Toaster Ovens
If you are looking to simply toast bread then a basic toaster is all you need. On the other hand, if you are looking to cook frozen food, broil, bake and toast then a toaster oven is what you should look into. If you plan on doing a lot of broiling you should consider a unit that uses convection cooking because it speeds up the cooking process. Keep in mind that these appliances are usually kept on top of the counter so style, color and size should be factored in. The features that every toaster/toaster oven should be equipped with are as follows:
Darkness control so you can cook to your liking
A bread lift to raise the items high above the slots
Cool touch exterior so you do not burn yourself on the outside of the unit
The most common finishes are chrome, copper & brushed metal
Convection cooking & infrared heat considerably speed up the cooking process
Toaster ovens take approximately 4-6 minutes to toast
Toasters take about 2-3 minutes
Cleaning Tip: A crumb try that slides out as opposed to one that is attached and porcelain or nonstick interiors are the easiest to clean
There are many advantages to owning your own juicer. Fresh juice tastes better and is more nutritious for you because the juice is not pasteurized. With a juicer you control how much sugar to add to your creations. The two most common juicers are a citrus juicer and a juice extractor, both are efficient. If you love citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits & limes then a citrus juicer is perfect for you. A citrus juicer is an electric appliance that removes juice from citrus fruit. The juice is removed by pressing a halved citrus fruit onto the machine's cone. Juice extractors are motorized units that use sharp teeth to grate fruits & vegetables into juice & pulp separating the liquids from the solids. You can place entire fruits and vegetables into the machine, although in the case of citrus, the peel must be removed first. To make sure you are getting the right juicer for your needs consider the following:
Juicers should accommodate different circumferences so you can juice a wide variety of fruits
Look at horsepower & revolutions per minute(RPMs)because in order to make a quart of liquid you will need about 3 lbs of fruit and you do not want your juicer's motor to slow down when you put fruit inside
Juicers are likely to be kept on your countertop so take size and style into account before making your decision
For the most convenient juicing, the extractors need enough clearance on the top so that you can insert ingredients
Cleaning Tip: It is recommend to clean immediately after use, with hot water & soap. Some units or parts of units are dishwasher safe but make sure you check with the manufacturer first! The juicing screen which separates the juice from the pulp is probably going to be the most difficult part to clean, try using a toothbrush, nail brush, or vegetable brush to clean it.
Food Processors are used to chop and slice vegetables for soup or stews, they can shred cheese, mix ingredients and some units are able to knead dough. There are many different sizes, styles and functions of food processors. If you are looking for something mid-sized then a 7 cup unit would be sufficient for you, however if you planning on cooking for larger crowds then you should look for a model that can handle between 11-14 cups. Before purchasing a food processor make sure you know what you are paying for and keep the following characteristics in mind when shopping:
The larger the model the more expensive and heavier it will be
Consider counter space & storage space
Check the feed tube size, if the feed tube has a large width it makes less work for you since you will not have to do much cutting
Expensive units usually have more features and accessories & are quieter
Cleaning Tip: The easiest Food Processors to clean are the ones with touch-pad controls & a smooth base
Before you purchase a coffee maker know all of the options available to ensure that you are making a wise choice. First think about how many cups of coffee you drink a day and how many times you refill your cup. Manual drip coffee makers are the most popular, they are convenient and brew fast, they should heat water between 195