FAB BAG Magazine
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Published on June 6th, 2016 | by Yashodhara Ghosh

To Buy Or Not: Counter Sales

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Like buying cosmetics from spur-of-the-moment sales at mall counters? Here are 5 things you need to be wary of!

Bacteria, everywhere:

  • Omigod: The brushes, the products themselves and sometimes unclean hands (be it yours, the buyer or tryer before you or the salespersons themselves) may in fact be spreading germs everywhere. The counter make-up artists do clean the brushes but once they’ve used it on another person before you, you really can’t trust the brush again. Also, it’s not just the counter staff, customers often disregard bacteria by simply picking up a tube of colour and applying it directly to their lips!
  • What to do: What’s in a tube is relatively safe to apply – however do carry some Q-tips (or earbuds) in your bag and use them instead of your fingers or their brushes. Also, you can make out a lipstick shade by applying it to your finger (not the back of your hand) and holding it up against your face. For the rest, carry make-up removal wipes and hand sanitizers to use after.

Make-over, but not free!

  • Omigod: That “free” makeover is not really free – once they’ve done their magic on you, there is a solid expectation of you buying something (particularly what they recommend) from their counter then and there. If you don’t buy it, other than your own “guilt” complex, you will be subjected to discreet eye rolls and elaborate shrugs that ruin the entire high you just got from that make-over.
  • What to do: If not in the mood to buy, firmly refuse that offer of a “free” make-over. And if you do get tempted, well then reward them by buying something small even if you don’t need it – think of it as fees for the make-over.

Don’t fall for it:

  • Omigod: Those compliments you get for your skin, eyes, hair or whatever may be true – but coming from the counter salespersons, they are just marketing spiel. On the other hand, the “wonder” product that could do miracles for your “problem” is also just that – spiel.
  • What to do: Accept the compliments with a smile, the litany of your “problems” with an amazed eyebrow – but don’t fall for them lest you end up paying a mini fortune. The counter staff, trained as they might be, are sales people not experts – the end game for them is to “sell”.

They keep tabs:

  • Omigod: Innocent questions like “which product do you use” are actually a ploy to see your spending capacity for them to gauge how much “time” to spend on you. Also, if you are a habitual “sampler” then they do keep tabs on how much you sample and how much you buy.
  • What to do: Choose your answers well – if shopping at a high end counter, name the other high end products you use or tell the counter woman that you intend on upgrading your beauty spend. Also, if you are a bit of a sample collector – do buy the products you like – and take only those samples which you would genuinely like to try (and later buy).

Ingredients, ignored:

  • Omigod: The world may be going dodo over not using parabens or any other current “villainous” ingredient there is a flurry over, but the counter staff keep their lips zipped when it comes to selling you something. There are certain things brands won’t want to tell you about the product if you don’t know to ask about it.
  • What to do: Read the product yourself before buying it – if an ingredient has “scared” you – be sure you cut it out of any future purchase you intend to make…

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