Shopping in New York City is not the same as shopping in any other US city. Coming from the west coast and Hawaii, it’s nearly shocking at the lack of customer service I’ve yet to experience at the vast number of stores I’ve already shopped at on this trip.
Some things to keep in mind when shopping in New York:
- You need to have a lot of $$$. 50 bucks magically vanishes from your wallet when you walk out the door.
- Have no expectation that anyone will help you, even at the big name stores. However at a boutique store in the meatpacking district a store Jeffrey blew my mind with such nice sales staff. In fact I was instantly humored when this guy asked if we could be boyfriend/girlfriend. New Yorkers were never accused of being timid.
- You need endurance, lots of it. Keep snacks like almonds and water in your purse.
- Other shoppers may have enjoyed a few cocktails at brunch before hand.
- Just like you, New Yorkers love a good bargain. Find the sales rack near the back wall, there are always a few gems hidden in there, though digging is required.
- Don’t be shocked at the checkout line, add 10% sales tax before you swipe your card. If you’re buying something big, have them ship it to your home address if you live in a state with cheaper sales tax.
- If you need another size in anything, say your prayers, it’s probably sold out. Fashionistas know a good thing when they see it. Act fast when you find something you like.
- Sales people act like they’re doing you a favor by ringing your stuff up. When they say they close at 8:30 pm, they really mean lights off, drawers closed at 8:30 pm. Though this was the case at Bloomingdales we did find a nice lady who helped scour the racks in the dark for any other pair of pants by the same maker as the ones I wanted to buy but were missing a tag. We were there, lights turning off, and she was the only one that would help us! We even had to leave through the employee exit. I couldn’t believe that they didn’t make sure all shoppers left before drawers started closing. This is unheard of at Nordstrom.
- True for street fairs: If you have to ask the price, it’s not set. Bargaining is necessary. If you don’t like a price, say so. And if you think it’s too much, walk away. Next time you walk by they may just be ready to sell it to you for the price you were willing to pay.
- Style doesn’t have to be expensive. Case in point: I purchased $10 pair of earrings at a street market. Three different sales staff at super uber expensive Jeffrey commented on how much they liked them. Flattery or not, it was nice.
- NYC is a great place to find large bargain shopping stores like Loehmann’s & Century21. However the secret is out, so expect huge crowds and shared dressing rooms. Prepare by dressing in base layers that you can easily slip something over what you’re wearing to avoid exposing your skivvies to total strangers.
- Don’t put your purse down, or leave it in the dressing room, ever. This goes for everywhere, not just NY.
- In order to get what you want, you must be adamant and push back. Or you might just have to leave empty-handed.
So if you don’t LOVE to shop, shopping in the heart of NYC might be just too much. Enter the scene with caution. I love it here, and love shopping here, but it takes a true shopping junkie like me to deal with all the craziness shopping here entails. Look for more shopping tidbits and photos to come soon.