Stores Charges Customers $5 'Just Looking' Fee to Combat Showrooming

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There's a store in Australia that really hates it when its customers walk around the store without buying anything.

Redditor BarrettFox posted a pic of a sign informing shoppers of a new fee at a  specialty food store in Brisbane.

It's $5 for "just looking."

The fee exists to stop people from "showrooming" — which occurs when a customer looks at items in a physical store, then makes the purchase online.

The sign assures that you'll have the five dollars deducted from the final purchase price, so you'll get your money back if you buy something.

Here's what the sign says:

As of the first of February, this store will be charging people a $5 fee per person for “just looking.”

The $5 fee will be deducted when goods are purchased.

Why has this come about?

There has been high volume of people who use this store as a reference and then purchase goods elsewhere. These people are unaware our prices are almost the same as the other stores plus we have products simply not available anywhere else.

This policy is line with many other clothing, shoe and electronic stores who are also facing the same issue.

Management

The policy is being ripped apart unanimously.

"It has to be the most misguided strategy we've seen for dealing with showrooming," wrote Matt Brownell at Daily Finance. "The goal of any retailer should be to impress customers with competitive pricing and great customer service — not treat their customers with suspicion and hostility from the moment they walk in the door."

"If customers aren’t buying, the seller needs to figure out why and adapt accordingly," wrote Chris Morran at The Consumerist. "If this store’s prices are truly the best, then maybe it should be offering a price-match guarantee. If it truly offers products that aren’t available elsewhere, then how are these showrooming shoppers buying these items from someone else?"

The commenters in the Reddit thread were more straightforward.

"This store seems desperate to go out of business," quipped one commenter.

"If it was me, I'd say 'Screw you.' and not give them a dime, walk out and refuse them any future business," wrote another. " They are asking to go out of business."

And those were the polite ones.



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