The Best $10 This Store Will Ever Spend

May 30, 2012

My daughter Jessica – 12 going on to 18-  is   brilliant at covertly finding out what my wife Isabella would like as gift, so when her birthday came around this year we were ready. It had to be “skinny jeans”.

A week before the big day Jessica, my son Nicholas and I  headed to a very well known jeans retailer located at our local shopping centre. After browsing for a while we asked one of the attendants for  some help.

The conversation went something like this:

“It’s my wife’s birthday next week and we’ve come to buy some “skinny” jeans. She’s a size 12″.

“OK. What colour do you want?”

“Well, I’m thinking perhaps two pairs; one blue and one black”.

“Fine, it’s one of our regular items,  we should have them, I’ll have a look for you”. So far so good.

A couple of minutes later the attendant returned.

“I’ve got the blue in the 12 but I’ve only got a 10 in the black. Why don’t you take the black? It might fit her”.

” Er, I don’t think so”, I said laughing.

” The last thing I want to do is make my wife of twenty years feel fat on her birthday.  I’ve still got some time. Can you see if one of your other stores has a pair in the right size and I’ll go and pick it up or, can you have it transferred to your store and I’ll come back?”

“Sorry, we don’t do transfers”.

“How come”, I asked.

“We found it was too expensive. It costs us about $30 to do a transfer and it’s not worth it”.

“Alright, I’ll just have the blue for now, thanks”.

Is this customer likely to shop at the same store again? Maybe.

H U G E  Mistake! 

It’s a fundamental of retailing that you must do everything you can to turn shoppers into loyal fans.

Here is what I would have done:

I made a quick call to my local post office and was told that to post a pair of jeans within Melbourne would cost $6.60 or $9.00 if they were particularly heavy.

$30 really?

I would have asked for the customer’s name and address and phone number and offered to have the jeans posted at no extra charge.

When I located the pair from another store I would have asked for three things.

1. They post them to the customer.

2. They get a couple of dollars from petty cash, and include a simple birthday card  and write a brief message such as:

“Dear Isabella, I know you are going to look amazing in these new jeans. I hope you have a wonderful birthday. Lots of love, from the team at (name of store).

3. After a few days, follow up with a brief call to confirm delivery.

Is this customer going to be delighted? You bet they will!

Are they likely to shop at the same store again after this kind service? Absolutely!

The customer didn’t even query the price and wanted not one but two items. The husband was shopping for his wife with two teenage children and the store sells jeans for teenagers, so  that’s three more potential customers.

Let’s look at the numbers:

Average cost of jeans – $70.00 (my sale was $90.00)

Now this store has become the one of choice for jeans.

4 people buying 2 pairs of jeans per year = $560.00

After this kind of service will the customer mention the experience to anyone else?

Of course they will!

Let’s say they mention it and ONLY one other person becomes a customer who buys 2 pairs of jeans per year.

5 people buying 2 pairs of jeans per year = $700.00

All of a sudden the $10 investment has turned into another $700 in sales! 

That’s that’s only in the first year!

That’s with only one referral!

That doesn’t include other merchandise!

That doesn’t include any more than one referral!

That is a 7000% gross return on a $10 investment!!!

“We don’t do transfers”. REALLY ?


What are you waiting for?


To your abundant success,

Leon Skaliotis – Founder, Retail Fundamentals.

Leon is an accomplished retail specialist in Melbourne, Australia, who  successfully coaches Melbourne retail owners on how to create highly profitable businesses by attracting shoppers and converting them into loyal fans.

To receive your free copy of “Retail Secrets Every Owner Should Know” click:

You can contact Leon Skaliotis direct on +61 425 83 3344  or email:


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