I have to admit: I’ve never given much thought to mall kiosks, other than trying to avoid eye contact with the piranha-like lotion and mobile phone salespeople. That, and the fact that my husband sold thongless flip flops at a mall kiosk one summer in high school. (That was more than 10 years ago, but they are apparently back in vogue — go figure.)
My friends and neighborhood residents Lauren and Dewayne Bailey, who own a company called Complete Dog, recently decided to take their online business and try it out at a Galleria kiosk. They ultimately decided to forgo this business model. But what they learned in the process was pretty interesting and quite hilarious. Here are Lauren’s piquant witticisms on “what it’s like dealing with people at the mall,” which is excerpted from her original post:
1. People who say “my dog can destroy anything” are the bane of my existence. Many say it with a hint of pride in their voices, like they enjoy the strength of their dog’s jaws. The ones that walk by and flippantly say to their friends “Oh, my dog would destroy everything over there” without even stopping are the worst. They don’t want to hear about how West Paw Design makes the most amazing toys that they actually guarantee to last. That’s right – your dog destroys them, the company will replace it. If I go through my whole spiel about the toys and the guarantee, and they don’t buy it, I know they actually like the fact that their dog destroys things (despite my sneaking suspicion that he’s probably destructive because he doesn’t get any exercise or attention). Move on people, move on.
Read more after the jump:
2. Don’t make me look at a picture/watch a video/talk for 2o minutes about your dog and not buy something. Hello! I work a kiosk – I am More than happy to look at your pictures/watch the videos/talk for 20 minutes about your dog if you are more than willing to buy something. But otherwise, move it along – I’ve got an email to check or a move on words with friends to play.
3. I am NOT a mall concierge. I don’t know if xyz store is in the mall, I don’t know where abc store is in the mall, there isn’t a food court in the mall, if you ask me all annoyed where the nearest bathroom is, I will send you to the furthest bathroom. I park in one parking lot, come in one door to the kiosk, and leave the way I came. I am not a mall expert – please get a map from the stand 10 feet from the kiosk.
4. Don’t walk by and say loudly while trying to sound important to your friends, “Oh, just the usual.” Umm..I can hear you, and you may not know how much time I’ve invested into finding products that aren’t just the usual, but it’s rude either way. While we do have some products you can find in many places (because people kept coming by and asking for them and buying them – hello, we give the people what they want), I’ve gone to a lot of trouble to get fantastic toys and collars and hiking gear that isn’t “the usual.” That’s my thing – I like to find great products and try to introduce them to dog owners. The problem is that innovative and exciting products are more expensive than your average product and not everybody is willing to invest in their dogs. Period.
5. Parents – I realize dog toys are bright and shiny like kids’ toys. But they aren’t kids’ toys so please stop your children from picking everything up and making a huge mess of the kiosk. And as a side note on this topic – please don’t pick everything up yourself and replace it upside down in the wrong spot and then walk away. I am happy for anyone to pull down all the products they want to see while deciding, but if you’re not going to purchase something, it’s a waste of my time.
I know, I know it seems like a rant. But here’s the up-side. We’ve sold some products that just weren’t moving on the website that I don’t intend to re-stock so I’ve opened up room for products that have more online potential. I’ve actually learned how to use Quickbooks much to the surprise and delight of Dewayne. We’ve passed out tons of magnets and have already had a little feedback on the website (two submissions to The Pack page).
Plus, the best upside in my opinion, is that I do believe that there are some true dog lovers out there that I was able to introduce to some really great products. I had someone come by just the other day and tell me how much their dog Loved the canine genius toy she bought for him. All selling, business-y stuff aside, that really is what I enjoy. I really believe in some of the products and genuinely want people to have them. Cheesy, I know.
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