News:

  • April 26, 2018, 02:51:27 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: How to deal with freeloaders??  (Read 12186 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

lady_disdain

  • Member
  • Posts: 5872
    • Contemporary Jewelry
Re: How to deal with freeloaders??
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2014, 07:07:55 PM »
I think this is something you should ask your employer, not the general internet population. They may not mind people having several samples, for example, or they may have their phrasing.

Octavia

  • Member
  • Posts: 517
Re: How to deal with freeloaders??
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2014, 07:49:30 PM »
I definitely try to keep my samples under cover and only have a few out at time- unfortunately, I'm not the one who sets up the actual display, so if they don't provide me with a way to cover my stash, I'm out of luck.   Also, some people will actually stand by my station (usually trying to hit on me- gross :P) and wait for more customers to come, and then try to grab the samples that I'm putting out for the new customers.  Of course, if it's food or a beverage, I can't very well order them to spit it out and hand it to the customer it was intended for. 
Can you speak with the people who set up your display beforehand and request a configuration that makes it easier for you to manage your inventory?
"I never explain anything." ~Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins

AnaMaria

  • Member
  • Posts: 51
Re: How to deal with freeloaders??
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2014, 09:15:02 PM »
I definitely try to keep my samples under cover and only have a few out at time- unfortunately, I'm not the one who sets up the actual display, so if they don't provide me with a way to cover my stash, I'm out of luck.   Also, some people will actually stand by my station (usually trying to hit on me- gross :P) and wait for more customers to come, and then try to grab the samples that I'm putting out for the new customers.  Of course, if it's food or a beverage, I can't very well order them to spit it out and hand it to the customer it was intended for. 
Can you speak with the people who set up your display beforehand and request a configuration that makes it easier for you to manage your inventory?

If I do multiple promotions in the same place, and it's small enough that I can communicate with the right person, that would definitely be an option.  Usually, though, promotions are one-time gigs where I don't know who's in charge until I walk in (and, if the head manager set things up and then left another employee in charge, said employee may not be comfortable making changes).  But if a single store books me repeatedly, I can try to make requests that might benefit the promotion.

camlan

  • Member
  • Posts: 9278
Re: How to deal with freeloaders??
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2014, 09:23:24 PM »
If I'm reading correctly, you are working in different stores all the time, giving out sample of  different products, and have been hired by different agencies. So there is little to no consistency between your individual jobs.

I think the only thing you can do is ask the person/agency that is hiring you, during the hiring stage, questions like, how many samples per customer? How many repeat trips to the sample stand are allowed? What do I do if I run out of samples?

It is possible that the company that produces the product you are sampling does not care if one person walks away with a dozen samples. They may see that as creating a certain good will with customers, who may then think of their company favorably and buy their products in the future.

So while I don't like freeloaders either, and would not be happy with someone coming back for more and more samples, this may not bother your employers at all. I think you need to ask each and every time, "What do I do if I run out of samples?" because that is the real problem, not the freeloaders. And then follow the instructions of the people hiring you for that gig.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


MommyPenguin

  • Member
  • Posts: 4132
    • My blog!
Re: How to deal with freeloaders??
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2014, 09:25:53 PM »
Could you possibly bring an extra cardboard box yourself, that you'd keep under the "counter" of the display and keep extras in it, so that you would only have to put out a few at a time?  It would help keep the others under your control, although it wouldn't work if it were, say, bottles of sparkling juice (it only took us one sample for us to buy a pack :) ) as they would take up too much space.  I would definitely work to try to modify the space as much as possible so that you only put a few out.

Also, you could try handing samples directly to a person, especially if you have a lingerer and you are trying to hand them to a new customer.  A saleswoman once told me that people tend to take things that are handed to them, too, so it encourages people to take one who might otherwise have just passed by.  That would block the lingerer from being able to snatch a second sample when you are trying to set it out for a new person, because it would be in your hand or the new person's hand.  You might also try to take note of the lingerers and address them directly.  For example, when the person first comes up and takes a sample, then steps aside near the booth to eat it and stays there for a while, you might turn to them after a minute or two and say brightly, "Sorry, just one sample per person!"  Or wait until they take their second, if you decide to allow people two, and then say, "Sorry, just two samples per person!"  Then, if they're still hanging around, still in a bright voice, "Are you interested in buying one?  They're in aisle 12, right next to the oatmeal!  I hope you enjoy!"
Emily is 10 years old!  1/07
Jenny is 8 years old!  10/08
Charlotte is 7 years old!  8/10
Megan is 4 years old!  10/12
Lydia is 2 years old!  12/14
Baby Charlie expected 9/17

lollylegs

  • Member
  • Posts: 735
Re: How to deal with freeloaders??
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2014, 10:42:46 PM »
I don't think its up to you to limit people to one sample per person if they are indeed a customer particularly if your employers have not laid this out as a policy.

I could see not giving in to someone who wants a whole bag's worth of samples or something who is letting all their kids go through your stock.

But, I can't count the number of times that I have gone back for 2 or more samples and ended up buying the product because of it.

I might not pick one up right then, but as I walk around the store having tasted the one sample, it will occur to me that maybe I should try it again and see if it is something I really want.  That decision making process--to buy something new and not only my list continues until I am ready to check out.

As far as alcohol, I don't think you can get that drunk on those small samples--maybe feel it a little bit.  You can moderate that by not pouring a great deal into the cup.

In essence though, I think it might help to view the people who stop for samples as prospective customers rather than "freeloaders."  Every time someone comes back for another sample is one more opportunity to push the product face to face and that is what you are there for.

I don't think its a good idea to think about it in terms of "fairness."  You don't have to let someone take advantage if they are just coming by and swiping it over and over.  But, limiting people to one sample?  I think that is going to cost you sales.

Well if '1 sample per customer' is the company policy then the OP can't really do anything about that but I get the sense she's not talking about people who take more than 1 sample, she's talking about the freeloaders. If you've ever had to hand out free samples, you'll know exactly who these people are - the people who take handfuls (literally), the people who stand there and eat/drink sample after sample, the people who eat the last four samples even though they can see three people standing in line behind them.

'Sorry, one sample per customer,' is a just a bit easier to say than, 'Sorry, only a reasonable amount of samples per customer, which is around one or two but maybe a few more if I think you're serious about buying, but definitely no more than that.'

bopper

  • Member
  • Posts: 14140
Re: How to deal with freeloaders??
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2014, 08:32:59 AM »
I would talk to your company about how to do this in general....

Also you say you don't want to tick off customers of the store, but I would think if they are freeloader types I am not so sure they store wouldn't mind if they didn't come back as they probably do the same thing to the store.


"Sir, you have already had 5 samples. I need to have some for other customers."

Really?

  • Member
  • Posts: 773
Re: How to deal with freeloaders??
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2014, 01:05:18 PM »
HI OP,

I used to do sampling for a food company and the biggest challenge I had was the children trying to take any samples.

It goes something like: (and we had to learn to keep an eye open before the kids got to the samples).
Child: trying to take sample or multiple samples.
Me: Sorry have to have you're parents permission.
Child: They already said its ok.
Me: I have to hear them say it. Where are they? ..(then I usually got to ask the parent directly).

Sometimes the child would just reach for it and I was learned to put my hand over the food before the kid got to it and didn't have to touch the kid and says something to the above. It worked well for me.

I am concerned that you do the alcohol samples and think that yes you should ask your employeer if they have anything on how to handle it.

So please not talk about legalities beyond the OP is worried there might be some when alcohol is the sample. Another poster mentioned they didn't think you could get drunk on a small sample, and maybe someone can't however you are talking about dealing with someone who wants you to fill them up with your samples. So someone wants enough wine to either get 1/2 bottle of wine, what do you do. I am suggesting you ask your employeer and get something in writing about how to handle this. Or better yet have you tried to look on youtube and google it for tips. I'm sure there is something on the internet that has suggestions. but definately check and see if you're employeer  has anything that they can help with.

Onlyme

Carotte

  • Member
  • Posts: 1744
Re: How to deal with freeloaders??
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2014, 01:26:46 PM »
When alcohol is involved could you request having a security type person nearby?
For this particular scenario the store hosting you might have more incentive to actually do something than the brand employing you so I think it's worth it to ask the store how they want to handle it.

whatsanenigma

  • Member
  • Posts: 2053
Re: How to deal with freeloaders??
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2014, 01:39:51 PM »
When alcohol is involved could you request having a security type person nearby?
For this particular scenario the store hosting you might have more incentive to actually do something than the brand employing you so I think it's worth it to ask the store how they want to handle it.

I agree, and again, we shouldn't get into the details of what the legal situation might be, but I will say that I am sure that whatever they are, the brand employing the OP and/or the store who hired them certainly, beyond any doubt, knows what those details are.

If I were the OP, at least for the alcohol samples, I would ask both places what the correct way to handle this should be.

whatsanenigma

  • Member
  • Posts: 2053
Re: How to deal with freeloaders??
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2014, 01:44:04 PM »
I don't think its up to you to limit people to one sample per person if they are indeed a customer particularly if your employers have not laid this out as a policy.

I could see not giving in to someone who wants a whole bag's worth of samples or something who is letting all their kids go through your stock.

But, I can't count the number of times that I have gone back for 2 or more samples and ended up buying the product because of it.

I might not pick one up right then, but as I walk around the store having tasted the one sample, it will occur to me that maybe I should try it again and see if it is something I really want.  That decision making process--to buy something new and not only my list continues until I am ready to check out.

As far as alcohol, I don't think you can get that drunk on those small samples--maybe feel it a little bit.  You can moderate that by not pouring a great deal into the cup.

In essence though, I think it might help to view the people who stop for samples as prospective customers rather than "freeloaders."  Every time someone comes back for another sample is one more opportunity to push the product face to face and that is what you are there for.

I don't think its a good idea to think about it in terms of "fairness."  You don't have to let someone take advantage if they are just coming by and swiping it over and over.  But, limiting people to one sample?  I think that is going to cost you sales.

Well if '1 sample per customer' is the company policy then the OP can't really do anything about that but I get the sense she's not talking about people who take more than 1 sample, she's talking about the freeloaders. If you've ever had to hand out free samples, you'll know exactly who these people are - the people who take handfuls (literally), the people who stand there and eat/drink sample after sample, the people who eat the last four samples even though they can see three people standing in line behind them.

'Sorry, one sample per customer,' is a just a bit easier to say than, 'Sorry, only a reasonable amount of samples per customer, which is around one or two but maybe a few more if I think you're serious about buying, but definitely no more than that.'

On occasion I have wanted to take a second sample to see if I really want to buy it or not, but when I find myself in this situation, I always actually tell the person, "I'm really thinking I might want to buy this, but I'm on the fence. May I have one more sample to try, please?" (or similar wording).  I can't help but think that some of the responsibility for taking a second sample, even for a good reason, should fall on the customer, in the sense that they should explain and try to keep the person offering the samples out of an awkward position.

JoieGirl7

  • Member
  • Posts: 7962
Re: How to deal with freeloaders??
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2014, 02:39:58 PM »
On occasion I have wanted to take a second sample to see if I really want to buy it or not, but when I find myself in this situation, I always actually tell the person, "I'm really thinking I might want to buy this, but I'm on the fence. May I have one more sample to try, please?" (or similar wording).  I can't help but think that some of the responsibility for taking a second sample, even for a good reason, should fall on the customer, in the sense that they should explain and try to keep the person offering the samples out of an awkward position.

When I need a second sample, I will say something like "mind if I snag another?  that first one was excellent."

Usually doesn't take more than two bites at the most, but could.  And because I am considering the product, I make it obvious by talking to the sample person about the product.

Something to keep in mind is that most people will feel an obligation to buy the product the more samples/time they take particularly if the product is good.

The whole point of the exercise is to increase sales and gain customers.  The relatively small percentage of people who take more than one or five but don't buy don't cut into sales--if they did, you can bet that the company would have a policy about it.

Hillia

  • Member
  • Posts: 3427
Re: How to deal with freeloaders??
« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2014, 03:14:14 PM »
The OP never said she considered customers freeloaders.  She is very specifically talking about people who load up on handfuls of samples, many more than the one or two it would take to decide on a purchase.  People like this have no shame, and are totally immune to the thought process behind 'I took several samples, I should buy the product'.  Their whole mindset is, 'I'll take a bunch of samples so I don't have to buy the product'.  20 little packets of dog treats with 3 treats in each adds up to a box of dog treats.  Score!  Free dog treats!

Lynn2000

  • Member
  • Posts: 8322
Re: How to deal with freeloaders??
« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2014, 03:17:42 PM »
I think I would also start by talking to my employer(s) about what their policy is. At the very least they've surely encountered this before and have some tips for dealing with it.

I can certainly understand that the general intent is to give samples to as many different people as possible, thus increasing the number of people who might purchase the product. But, it may be that some companies don't care about the occasional freeloader as long as you make a reasonable effort--they may be more interested in keeping relations pleasant with the customers.

If you don't already, you might try keeping a log of when this happens, so you can back up your observations with numbers. "March 3rd, Hometown Foods, Springfield: One man took approximately a dozen samples of breakfast pastries."

If it's a store you've never been to before, I wonder if there would be time for you to figure out who's in charge/who you can contact for problems right when you arrive? Maybe even ask them specifically, "Sometimes I have trouble with people taking a lot of samples. What should I do if this happens here?" And/or, afterwards, perhaps you could talk to them and tell them if you had trouble that day. They won't be able to do anything for you after the fact, but perhaps they'll start thinking about it for the next promotional person.

Another idea for the setup of the booth, however much control you have over that: Could you have full-size products for sale right there? So people try a sample, like it, and can pick up a full box right then. It's sort of like telling a freeloader, "So glad you like them! They're for sale in aisle 5!" only you can actually pick up a box and hand it to them as they're reaching for more freebies. "So glad you like them! Here you go, you can purchase this box if you want to eat more!"
~Lynn2000

poundcake

  • Member
  • Posts: 1371
Re: How to deal with freeloaders??
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2014, 03:45:31 PM »
I think the idea of talking to store management about backup, rules, and security (in general) is a good idea, especially since OP mentioned some of the guys taking the creepy-flirty approach. It would be nice to know that, should something feel like it's escalating a bit, she can catch someone's eye, or ask the guy behind the deli counter for "a glass of ice water" as a secret code for "I need some reinforcement this way."