Wednesday, October 22, 2014

No, I Don’t Want a Free Sample and NO, You Can’t Ask Me a Question

We live a very short distance from this gigantic mall:



While I've never measured it, I believe if you walk the complete length of the mall, it's at least a mile. That makes it a great place to get a little indoor exercise while also shopping or grabbing a bite to eat.



There's only one thing that completely obliterates any enjoyment you might possibly get from being in a mall. (Yes, the mall is my happy place!)

Picture it. You're walking along, enjoying your day, inhaling the delicious aroma of Auntie Anne's pretzels and new clothes...


When all of a sudden, a hand is thrust toward you. It's a sample. And some kiosk salesperson wants to know if you want one.


Of course, you say "no, thank you," because you're polite. But the kiosk salesperson isn't through with you just yet. There's one more thing on the script they all use.




Sometimes I say, "No, thank you" and sometimes I keep walking. As polite as I am, I figure the first, "No, thank you," should do it. My stepdad suggests this answer to that question:


If there's a way to get around them, I haven't found it. This article suggests looking poor, while this article recommends feeling sorry for them. 

I wonder if annoying kiosk people are contributing to the death of the indoor shopping mall. I haven't yet seen annoying kiosk people at the many outdoor lifestyle centers that are replacing themI have a feeling once indoor malls are completely gone, kiosks will pop up at lifestyle centers, too.


How would you deal with being harassed every few steps while shopping or trying to get from Point A to Point B?

61 comments:

  1. Look poor? Yeah, I want to wander the mall looking like a bum.
    I just say no thanks and keep moving. It's annoying, but they're just doing their job, which sucks and they know it.

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  2. I avoid eye contact and will veer around to the other side if I see them in attack mode. The cell phone ones are the worst!

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  3. I realized I hadn't been to a mall in ages. Or, maybe I look poor. (I am a writer after all...or maybe they see the insanity in my eyes)

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  4. I seldom shop at the mall but when I go to Cosco, there they are. I just say" Can you read me thge list of ingredients in that food? That takes time and most of these packaged food have soy or soy by products. I don't eat anything with soy or soy by products in them. And that's the end of it. If I'm in a rus, I just wave my hand "NO" and keep on walking...

    Have a great day Stephanie
    Hugs,
    JB

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  5. I just keep walking. If they are too persistent, I say, "No," and keep walking.

    I got over trying to be polite to them a LLLLOOOONNNNGGGGG time ago.

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  6. I don't know, my momma didn't raise me to be rude, but sometimes I do just put up my hand and keep walking because they will keep talking until you are rude.

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  7. I think I might enjoy the samples, because we don't have them here, so it might be fun tasting things for free :)

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  8. Kiosk folks make me miss the door-to-door salesperson. At least going from house to house with goods in tow, they worked for their sales. The kiosk folks just stand there as YOU do the walking, "Hey, can I interest you in [insert some hokie product here] today?"

    You know what, not today, not tomorrow, or any other day! Thanks, I just dropped $250.00 on school clothes and supplies.

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  9. We once had these guys at kiosk who were representing a photography studio that apparently had a set up somewhere else in the mall.

    They were super-aggressive with it, to the point I was about to cuss them out. A little later and they were no longer there. I'm guessing the mall admin. told them to leave after many complaints.

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  10. I think I avoid it by staying out of malls :)

    I'm not much of a shopper, just found another excuse to stay out of the shopping centers :)

    The last time though I was at a mall, albeit this was a year or so ago, I know there were sample people, but they weren't aggressive. Just had their plates out for people to take if interested.

    betty

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  11. Oh my. They rarely approach me. Shall I tell you my secret? Don't make eye contact. Secondly, look busy and keep walking. If you have kids pulling at your sides, that helps too. This was a total NYC development, learning how to put off the signal "I'm not interested, and if you keep bugging me you're going to regret it." I'm not proud of the fact. I am proud of the skill.

    Unleashing the Dreamworld

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  12. I don't ever go to the mall, so I've never had this happen to me. Weird how pushy they are though, I'd be tempted to report them to mall management.

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  13. i detest malls. except for taking my visiting family to one, i've not set foot in one for many years.

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  14. I must have an unwelcoming presence, because they don't approach me. Or it could just be my usual obliviousness that doesn't even acknowledge they exist. I suppose being oblivious has it's benefits.

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  15. Ignore, ignore and then ignore some more. I don't give them any of my time. If I wanted something they are selling then I would go buy whatever it is that I wanted. Outside of that you're not getting my attention at all. I just don't have that kind of energy to waste.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  16. From what I understand, under the agreement these kiosk people have with mall management in various malls, they are allowed to shout out to passersby as long as they follow the restrictions. I'm gathering they are allowed to first offer a sample, then follow up by asking if they can ask us a question...but no more. I just gather that from the fact that all of them seem to have the same routine. At one time I was told the mall prohibited them from bothering customers, but that rule seems to have changed as it has gotten harder for malls to keep those kiosks rented.

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  17. Hm. I rarely go to malls, and I'm never bothered when I do.

    I often use the "You just did" reply to "May I ask you a question?"

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  18. You should carry a bottle of perfume in your purse, and when they try to stop you, pull it out and say, "I'll answer your question if you let me spritz you with this new fragrance. It's like vanilla beans married cinnamon. You'll love it!"

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  19. I don't think I have been to a real mall for about 10 years and back then these people were not present. I love the last suggestion above with the perfume, but you still would have to stop and interact with a person you didn't want to talk to and who disturbed your day.

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  20. Yes! Those kiosk people are really annoying! One of these days I'll come up with a great line for them, instead of the standard, "No, thank you."

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  21. Oh they are annoying and I usually just keep walking. My husband says nice and lous=d and all proud oh no thanks, I have to much to do to stop but you have a great day and he keeps walking. I think he may sound rude but he usually gets a positive response and he laughs and says something else that I think should not be said but he gets smiles! I swear he has told people to F%$ off and they now talk to him and ask how his day is! I can't figure it out

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  22. I was raised to be polite, but have decided I have to fight that instinct when I take my daughter to the mall. We keep walking and just repeat No, thank you, No, thank you, No, thank you until we are out of their reach. My daughter thinks it's funny. She was mortified the first time, but now she knows the routine perfectly.

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  23. yes! I've actually gone less and less to the mall bc of the kiosks which have gotten worse over the years. I used to go every weekend, now I go a few times a year. My worst experience: I was walking and someone jumps out at me and says "can I ask you a question about your hair?" I said "no thank you, too busy" with a smile. The person then proceeded to say "your hair is really dry and frizzy. I can fix that!" ugh! it's called having curly hair--yes sometimes it gets frizzy. so I went to the mall for some clothes and I left with a complex :(

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  24. Sorry Stephanie but I love free stuff. And waving to people. But getting stopped in the middle of the mall to answer questions. No. Unless you're a police man. Though you'll need a warrant to touch my stuff.

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  25. I admit to the fake cell phone call. If I see those annoying kiosk people in front of me I put my phone to my ear and pretend. I'm still polite as I point to my phone and engage in a fake conversation but it almost works most of the time!

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  26. Maybe you can pretend you don't speak English. Or start speaking in tongues--that'll scare them off.

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  27. I avoid malls as much as possible. But if I am 'accosted', I usually just smile and say 'no thanks' and keep moving (rather quickly).
    Thanks for visiting my blog! :)

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  28. I try to avoid eye contact and keep walking. But it is very annoying. I feel sorry for the folks who decided to take the job. ;-( Yuck!

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  29. Yep, avoid eye contact and keep walking. I feel bad for doing it, but I don't want to end up in a long conversation with me saying no and them continuing on.

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  30. I don't go to malls anymore. The malls in Jacksonville are not very nice, and I feel uncomfortable in them. I shop online. No one tries to force anything on me at The Body Shop Web site.

    Love,
    Janie

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  31. Ha ha, the way I dress when I shop shews 'em all away. Faded t-shirt, stained jeans, old work boots skoots works wonders.


    Unless I'm with Queenie ..... then we have to stop for every single one of 'em. Sigh.

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  32. I'm usually power walking by those poor souls. I always feel bad because it's no one's dream job to bombard people. But I would definitely use your stepdad's defense if they were super annoying.
    I, too, love the smell of the mall. I could walk around the mall without even purchasing anything and still feel happy. Of course, it's always better to leave with lots of bags!

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  33. Definitely avoid eye contact, look like you're on a mission, and if they try to engage, just say, sorry, not today.

    I don't have a mall nearby, which is probably just as well.

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  34. I usually go with the "no thanks" option, too, and give them a smile as I continue on. More than the kiosks, what bugs me is when I walk into a store and the salesperson practically leaps at me within twenty seconds to ask if I need help find anything ... and then, even after I've said "no thanks," continues to ask repeatedly. Agh!

    As an aside: I visited Opry Mills when I was in Nashville a few years ago and couldn't believe how big it is!

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  35. We have annoying kiosk people at our outdoor mall, but they are much less annoying that the ones at the indoor mall.

    They drive me CRAZY, though. I just want to shop in peace. It's like all the people looking for donations outside of the grocery store or Target. Let me just shop without having people ask for more of my money.

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  36. Well, I am very fast walker, even in the mall, if they try to ask me something, I rush by and say I don't have time right now, I am meeting someone :) It works for me :)

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  37. I avoid eye contact and will sometimes pretend I'm on my phone! And walking quickly past them, if I can't avoid them altogether, seems to do the trick.
    (I did get caught one time, and they somehow ended up taking off nail polish on my pinky nail. I walked around like that all day. Grrrrr.)

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  38. OMG Jessica, that would make me furious! When I was in New York City years ago, I walked into Bloomingdales and a woman sprayed perfume on me without even asking. It was a pretty hefty spray, too. I reeked of that stuff for the rest of the day. I wondered what would happen if I'd been allergic, but in NYC they don't really care about offending people. Quite different from Nashville!

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  39. Auntie Anne's! I love their pretzels. I haven't been to the mall in ages. Maybe one day when the kidlet isn't so impatient w/shopping. *sigh*

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  40. It's really annoying I confess and i don't like that at all so I can leave without saying anything at the end or be mean.

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  41. I don't go to the mall much anymore but I remember back when I did these kiosks were just popping up and they would stop you and ask to show you something that they wanted you to buy. I just say no thanks and keep walking. Or say I'm in a hurry, not right now.

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  42. I admit to saying "You just did" in response to the "May I ask you a question." I can't help myself. You can also pretend you're on the phone when you walk by them if you aren't in conversation with someone else shopping with you.

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  43. I actually wrote a post about the kiosk folks, a while back. I don't want to be one of those people who posts my links in a comment, but If you're interested, search "Dead Sea" on my blog and it should pop up. The memory from that day with the kiosk people is burned in my brain. Oy.

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  44. So funny! I used to love mall shopping too. I never got bothered by the free sample people, but I remember a hilarious episode of "Friends" where Joey and another cologne sprayer at a store had a cologne fight. lol

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  45. I luckily have this talent of switching on a "don't touch me. Don't talk to me. Don't even look at me" vibe on when in malls.

    Works wonders.

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  46. If sales people are harassing me too much, I usually leave the store. But I've seen many people that don't dare to say no.

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  47. I loath the mall, if I can buy it online in my pajamas I am one happy woman!

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  48. HI Stephanie! Looks like you have hit a nerve here! Plenty of people who feel the same way you do. My husband can't stand being accosted in the stores. I take a milder approach, I know it's their job. But I don't like it either.
    I try to walk behind other people...human shield! And when they ask "Can I ask you a question" I do say "No thanks" and keep walking. I don't know who I feel worse for, them or me? What a miserable job they have :(
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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  49. Head down, fast walk, pretend I can't hear...but then I always feel a little bitchy/guilty!

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  50. I know I'll sound rude. OK, here we go.

    I usually turn my face the other way when I see them approaching me. Clipboard in hand, pleading eyes, but just as they are about to... oops, sorry mate/darling, I can't answer your question becuase I can't see you and i can't see you because I am looking in the other direction.

    Never fails. Now, I'll go and hang my head in shame. :-)

    Greetings from London.

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  51. Happened to me yesterday! So annoying. Seriously. I think you've nailed the reason behind the death of the indoor shopping malls… ;)

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  52. It is such a pain when it happens. If I have time I will allow them to ask me their question...which usually involves more than one question and you purchasing one of their products, to which my answer is always "Sorry, I'm currently unemployed" and they rush away from me as if my lack of funds is contagious. If I don't have time I say "No, thank you," and just keep walking. Other times I avoid eye contact and scurry past them.

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  53. It's hard because I know they're just trying to earn a living, but it's sooo annoying. I try to be hyper-vigilant when I'm at the mall and veer away whenever I see one of them coming my way.

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  54. When I go to malls, I tend to look down and avoid eye contact. It usually works. I guess a little anti-socilaism can some in hand every once in a while.

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  55. Ugh, I WISH I knew! They're so annoying. I look poor and I feel badly for them, and it still doesn't make them go away. And I'm sure they'll find their way into the 'lifestyle centers,' too.

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  56. Is there any way I can get away with saying "leave me alone" while trying to convince others I am truly friendly?

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  57. I sometimes get that, too, so I just smile and wave and walk off briskly. Your stepdad's advice is funny (might be effective, too)!

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  58. Yes, true. The main drawback from walking and enjoying the mall is the sample person/people.

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  59. I just avoid eye contact and walk as far from the kiosk as I can. If they ask anything I just say "No, thanks," and even if they keep talking, I just keep walking. :)

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  60. When I come upon aggressive sales people (or even street panhandlers) I look them in the eye, smile, and say 'no thank you' without breaking my stride. It always works!

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  61. Whatever you do or say really doesn't matter that much. What matters is that you keep walking and do not slow down. Even if you have to curve around the question asker, KEEP WALKING =).

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