Friday, October 07, 2005

Counter Girl Story 1- Gift Sucks

Okay, so I finally gave notice to my cosmetics counter job. I thought it would be interesting to do makeup for people and work in a fun environment for a while. It's certainly not what I usually focus on, so why not give something new a chance? Well, "fun" is not how I would describe it. I have some behind-the-scenes moments for the blogosphere:

Gift Sucks

You know that "gift-with-purchase" thing that so many people go nuts over? It's not so great on the other side of the counter. The goals that the parent company sets for its employees are unrealistic at best. I don't want to call you at home and tell you about the fantabulous special we are offering, but it's hard with the corporate representation right there at the register with me, breathing down my neck and tracking my every penny.

Additionally, we have two goals: "presale" and "gift." My presale goal for three weeks was $4,000 (yes, that's a lot for a part-timer). Enter a couple of hurricanes and rising gas prices... Needless to say, I did not reach my presale goal. Additionally, I am not meeting current gift goals (nor, as I found out, is any store right now). This, of course, is not the fault of rising gas prices, a crumbling economy, or a human desire to maybe not spend money on "anti-aging" cream and give it to people who no longer have homes or food. No, this is my fault. I didn't call enough of you. I didn't go out into the store with jars of creams and makeup and pull you into my chair to tell you how hideous your skin will be (or is) without our products. I didn't let you know just what a great deal you are getting.

Enough about me, let's talk about you.

How about that great deal? You get the standard bag to hold your new goodies. You probably wouldn't want to use this bag in public, but it's cute enough to be attractive. You get a FULL-SIZE lipstick, a blush or an eyeshadow sample, a fragrance sample, a cream sample, and some kind of tool (a brush, an eyelash curler, etc.)

I just described EVERY company's gift this season!

First of all, the bag is cheap. That about sums up that piece. Secondly, the company will have you believe that your "full-size" lipstick is a $22 value, but don't be fooled (let's not even talk about the hideous colors)! It is the full amount of product, but the packaging is cheap. I don't particularly care, but packaging is what you usually pay for, so the lipstick is NOT worth $22! The rest of the cheap/non-existent goodies (0.01 oz of moisturizer? Is that just for my nose?) are not really worth the $24.50 or whatever minimum price they are asking. And, surprise, most of the "basics" are not enough to cover that cost (mascara is $21, cleanser is $22, toner is $19, lipstick is $22, etc.)! So, you end up buying more to get the free stuff! It really makes me sad when a woman comes to the counter looking for a mascara, doesn't qualify for the gift and ends up circling the counter in search of something that is either $4-$5 (ha!) or worth another $21! And, yes, they do track them, so it's not up to us to just give them to you.

Basically, I don't like tricking people anymore. My last weekend at the counter, I had a panic attack when the counter manager cornered me between the cash register and the company sign for 30 minutes, lecturing me about sales goals and client lists. And this is because I've been doing a good job!? I'm just not sales material!

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