Post updates by email:

For those of you who shop for cosmetics, skincare or fragrance, will understand what I’m talking about. For those of you who don’t, please listen up…because you’re about to learn some thing very annoying.

There’s a tradition in the cosmetic industry that developed many, many years ago, which involves giving the customer an additional “gift” with a minimum purchase.

For women, the gift is usually a tote bag or cosmetic bag containing: cosmetics, skin care and fragrance items. For men, it’s usually a tote bag or toiletry bag containing: after-shave balm, shower gel and fragrance items.

This little item is called “A Gift with Purchase” or what we in the industry call…a GWP.

(or what “I” like to call…a Great Whopping Pain in my ass)

And the reason being, is because now customers EXPECT a gift and refuse to make a purchase unless they get one. Some customers will also make purchases based solely on the gift, and then try returning their purchases, without returning the gift.

However, my favorite thing about GWP’s is that some customers feel the need to haggle for them.

Several weeks ago, I had the painful pleasure of waiting on two female foreigners, who were purchasing a present for their mother. After taking 45 minutes to make up their minds about what they wanted to get for her, and then closely examining the box as if they were scanning it with an x-ray, they both started haggling me about the gift.

They first began by whispering to one another in their native tongue, and then if magic... suddenly realized that they could speak English....

They: “If we buy this…you give us two gifts?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

They: “If we buy this…you give us two gifts?”

Me: “No…why should I give you two gifts?”

They: “Because we buy something from you.”

Me: “Yes, I know you buy something from me, but the purchase that you’re making entitles you to ONE gift, do you understand?”

They: “Yes, but if we buy this…we want TWO gifts”

Me: “ No, if you buy this…I give you ONE gift.”

They: (holding up two fingers) “We want TWO gifts.”

Me: “ Yes, I understand that you want TWO gifts, but I don’t think you understand what I’m conveying to you. You can’t have them.”

They: “We both buying this for our mother, so we want two gifts.”

Me: “ I’m sorry, but just because you’re BOTH buying this for your mother, does not entitle you to two gifts."

They: “But if we both buy…we want two gifts.”

Me: “Ladies…please try and understand that this cannot be some kind of a deal you make with me. The policy is, if you purchase one item, you’re entitled to ONE gift.”

They: “Then we no buy.”

I suddenly lost all sense of reasoning and went insane. I grabbed both the gift and their purchase off the counter with my fists and walked away saying…

…“Then I guess you no buy….so bye-buy!”


  1. OH HONEY...the absofucking WORST WORST WORST
    is when they try to haggle you over CHEAP items, but then you see they are carrying Christian Dior/Chanel/Coach, etc. shopping bags, and open up their
    Louis Vuitton wallets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    If you say no you can't give them any more off, they leave a dime on the counter and say it's your tip.

  2. Ron, that's hilarious! I know what you mean about the GWP. A lot of times I like the case that the GWP comes in -- never mind the contents. If I were with those women I would have haggled for 3 empty cases with my purchase.
    I'm sure you'll hear many more strange requests during the coming months.

  3. Gosh, that's kinda ballsy.....

    Not you., too.....LOL

    Welcome to the 'gimme' mentality. Seems we've taught the newer generations that they're 'entitled'.

    *shaking head*
    I wanna go on record that I did NOT teach my kiddos to go out into the world asking "what can you do for me"--I taught them to ask "What can I do for you".

    k.....there's MY Monday morning 'Vent'. ;-)

    (((((((((((( Ron ))))))))))))

  4. Ron, my heart, prayers and good thoughts go out to you, especially at this time of year.

    I remember working retail years ago and the customers who would "haggle." Due to my homicidal urges, I got out of the retail business very quickly.

  5. Why doesn't this story surprise me at all?

  6. Aloha Debi!

    Hey!!! I LOVE your new avatar!!!

    It's so damn COOL!

    And YES!!!! I know EXACTLY what you're talking about!

    THOSE are the ones who are the BIGGEST hagglers!

    And I often wonder... did Chanel deal with them???

    (or could it be...that's it's not REALLY Chanel??)


    Thanks for dropping by, Deb!

    And I'm so glad to hear that you understand what I'm talking about it!!

    (except you're lucky...I've never gotten a tip$)

    Enjoy your day!

  7. Good morning Helen!

    It's great seeing ya again!

    YES!...I so totally agree with you about the "cases". Most of the time, that's the best part of the gift - and the most usable.

    Sometimes I think the whole GWP thing is just psychological, ya know?

    Oh it gets closer and closer to the holiday...the "strange requests" get STRANGER!?!?#'s a wonderful lesson in patience for me.

    (and has you can tell...I need the practice)


    Thanks for stopping by this morning, Helen!

    Hope you have a wonderful Monday!

  8. Good Morning Dear Mel!

    Oh man...I can get to the point of being VERY ballsy.

    (trust me, ask the people I work with)

    I can take a lot, but when I'm finished...I'm finito.


    Ya see...the I actually blame the cosmetic industry for this kind of "gimmie" mentality, because they allow it, in fear of losing a sale.

    But good for you, Mel! I'm absolutely SURE you've raised your kiddos with great teachings!!!!

    So the next time they need anything cosmetic...just have them fly to Philly!


    GREAT seeing ya, dear lady!



  9. Good Morning Sista Nitebyrd! ALWAYS make me laugh my ass off!

    I think you and I should open our own shop. And we could call it...

    ...The No Haggle Boutique


    It's funny, because I'll get customers like the ones I mentioned in this post, but then I'll also get the ones who never ask for a thing!

    (I LOVE them!)

    Thanks a bunch for your prayers and good thoughts, dear sis. I'll store them up for the last week before Christmas!!!

    tee, hee!

    Hope you're having a GRANDE' Monday!

  10. Helloooo Diane!

    After all these years of working in this industry...I often ask myself that same question!?!?!?

    So I can't understand WHY I'm always surprised!!


    Oh gives me some good blogging material!

    Thanks for stopping by today, Diane!

    Wishing you a HAPPY MONDAY!

  11. I would have given those two lovely ladies two gifts. I would have put the gift on the counter then taken out a large pair of scissors and cut the damn in half. Then I would gift wrap each half in toilet paper to show them exactly where they could put the two gifts they wanted.
    I bet they do not even have a mother; I bet they were both test tube babies produced by the sperm of Tasmaninia Devil.
    Then I would sing " I wish you a Merry Chirstmas" and wait on blow up doll that I keep in corner.
    Happy Holidays !!!

  12. OMG Dave!!!!

    Your comment made me spit my soup out all over my keyboard!!!!

    THAT WAS BRILLIANT!!!! are truly such FUNNY man!

    Now, why the HELL didn't I think of that????

    And I bet you're right. I bet they weren't even buying the damn purchase for their mother! They were mostly likely getting for themselves!!!

    And your test tube remark was GENIUS!


    Thank you SOOOOOO MUCH for sharing your comment on this post, buddy!

    Leave it to a fellow Libra to put someone in there place!

    Thanks Dave!

    Happy Monday to you!

  13. I suppose you have to give them 10/10 for trying! :)

  14. You know what burns my butt about those two women? They're too cheap to each buy Mom something and expect a gift for their cheapness? It would be really nice had they also wanted to give the GWP to their mom.... ARGH!

    I would have written, in big fat permanent Sharpie ink that nothing, not even metal dissolving Alien mouth spittle can't erase:

    Dear poor sainted woman that had the unfortunate lot in life to give birth to such ungrateful greedy selfish monsters,

    I hope you enjoy the two *insert description of GWP* your good for nothing spawn from hell attempted to bogart.


    the nice mother-appreciating and much put-upon salesclerk that had to endure their crap.

    Happy Holidays!

  15. wow! those chicks were trying to pretend to be clueless or were they really clueless.

    Funny how the volume of my voice goes up when I deal with stupid people. I do that unintentially and the volume of my voice gets louder as my irritation grows. time say. " are a winner. You have just qualified to get one item for the price of two and you get two free gifts with that purchase.

    Sweetie...the television news stations are telling people to haggle and even ask for extra discounts beyong what is offered.

    So that would be a 50-20-10 percent discount. And that doesn't mean it's a 80% discount. Try expalining that to shoppers.

    Anyway they say retail stores don't want to get stuck with the merchandise after the request it.

    Crazy sweetie. I liked how you handled it...with a bye bye.

    Ciao babe and keep kicking ass. :D

  16. Hellooooo Anndi!

    LOVED your idea about sending home the note to their mother!!!!!

    applause, applause, applause!!!

    And you're right. See, that's the thing that REALLY pissed me off. They wanted TWO gifts (for themselves) and I wasn't about to give them to them.

    Most sales people would have GIVEN the two gifts, just to get the sale.

    However me?...I'd rather lose the sale.

    You would be AMAZED at the crap that people try and pull to get 2 gifts!!

    I truly wish that the industry would just do a way with these GWP's.

    But that'll NEVER happen!

    Selling has now turned into Let's-make-a-Deal!


    Thanks for adding your thoughts to this post my Libra friend....because I KNOW that you KNOW how I feel!!!

    Hope you had an awesome Monday, Anndi!

    Happy Holidays!

  17. Hiya Akelamalu!


    I could give them a 10/10 for trying, but a 0/0 for their final SCORE!


    Thanks for dropping by this evening, my friend!

    Hope you had a great Monday!

  18. Hello Miss Fabuous Jones!

    LOVED your idea about getting one item for the price of TWO!!!! That's GREAT! I need to try that the next time this happens to me!!!

    No, these two women weren't really clueless, they were just hoping that I would think they were.

    Tee, hee!

    Oh man...and you're so right about the media telling shoppers how to haggle for additional discounts.

    Thank god I don't actually work for the retail store that I'm assigned to. I'm a separate employee who is supplied by a vendor, so the items I sell are set in price and we offer no additional discounts.


    This holiday season in retail is going to be tough because of the economy. I have a feeling that everyone will wait until the final three days before Christmas, to make their purchases.

    Thanks SOOOOO much for stopping by this evening, my friend!

    ALWAYS a highlight!

    Ciao bella!

  19. Hi Ron,
    If you want to hear stories that are the PITS about retailing, Debi my sis ( No 1 commenting up there) & my Mom have tons !!!
    Hawaii where I grew up is largely with the tourist industry, so you get a lot of different shoppers.
    And the stories just go on & on.

    I know that you are a seasoned retailer,n but don't these things still do drive you bonkers ?!!
    A good customer is hard to find.

    You stay punching and don't let them get the best of you !

    Hugs back to ya ;)

  20. Hysterical, Ron. Occasionally we get someone like that in the gallery. I understand negotiating a price (within reason) on a high-ticket item, but there's the occasional person who thinks they're entitled to a profit-erasing discount. Recently I had this man tell me, "Well, prices are really high here in SF. I admit yours are more reasonable. But prices are lower back home." My response: "If you have something like this back home you like as much and it costs less, what's the problem? Buy it back home." Still, he kept hanging out. I guess he wanted me to throw in a couple of pizzas.

    You've been tagged over at my place.

  21. Bonjour Barbara!

    Good morning!

    Having lived in Florida for 20 years, I totally understand what you mean about a largely tourist area and different shoppers!!

    OMG...that's the TRUTH!!!

    It's like one big flea market, where people think they can wheel and deal!?!?!?

    Yes, sometimes this stuff DOES make me bonkers, but I also wait on a lot of nice and easy customers too. It's just that this GWP thing, can get stressful at times.

    OY VEY!

    Thank you for dropping by this morning, Barb!

    It's ALWAYS a pleasure!

    Hi to Didier!

  22. Good Morning San!

    It's always such a great treat to see that you've stopped by!!!

    OMG....I can't believe your story about the guy in SF!!!

    (actually, I CAN believe it)

    And I LOVED your response to him!!!


    It amazes me that customers think you'll bring the price down, because you fear losing a sale.

    In the items that I sell, all the prices are set, so it's not even possible for me to adjust them. But you would be shocked at how many customers TRY. Sometimes I just laugh at them.

    tee, hee!

    oooh, San...and I want to thank you SO MUCH for thinking about me for the MEME/TAG, but I don't participate in memes. Hope you understand, but again...thanks for thinking about me!!!!

    Hope you had a FABULOUS Thanksgiving Day!!!!

    OMG...before you know it, Christmas with be here!!!

    Enjoy your day

  23. I'm usually the first post because of the time difference-several hours behind everybody else,
    if not half a day, as in B's case.
    I already know that when it's 8-8:30pm my time, Dahling Ronnie is
    blissfully blogging away, probably at some undogly hour where he is!
    RON DAHLINK...I'm STALKING YOU! (j/k) ;)

  24. Aloha Debi/Stalker~

    tee, hee!

    Isn't that the coolest thing about blogging?

    No matter where anyone is in the world, and no matter what the time difference...we can ALWAYS talk!!!

    (especially for those late/early owls like me!!!)

    Thanks for stopping by, Deb!

    Hope you had a great day!!

  25. You are so funny and I would have done exactly the same thing!

    I don't blame them for trying though. ;)

  26. Hiya Linda!

    So nice seeing ya!!!

    OMG...I can only IMAGINE what's coming up in the next few weeks!!

    I think I'll just put up a "Ron's Flea Market" sign on the counter and give a glass of lemonade with every purchase!!


    Thanks for stopping by this evening, Linda!

    Hope you had an awesome Tuesday!

  27. Horror stories!! Yes I got 'em!
    How about the time I had a customer who was buying souvenirs for his daughter. He spent like $45. He said he was a Coastie, and that he came off a "water taxi" from the little Coast Guard station the city below mine (he reminded me of Pugsly from the Addams Family...broad striped shirt, included. He was also drunk. Lucky me.) He opens up his wallet to show me and goes "see how much money I have in here? I have $600. I'll give you $100 if you pull your top down." I think I must've given him a disgusted/confused look because he goes "$200".
    He saw someone pass by outside and he seemed startled so he took off.

    And then (this was the young, skinny gorgeous days of long ago)
    A family came in-father, grown daughter with atrocious home-made-looking (prison?) tattoos and her partner. The daughter tells the father that I'm her brother's "type" (oh no...) she busts out a pic. Says "isn't he cute?" I try to be tactful and say I'm sure he's a nice guy, yes he's cute and all, but I'm not looking for anyone. She gets all defensive "why don't I just meet him" and blah blah blah. Oh yikes.

  28. Aloha Debi!

    First of all...I'm still laughing at your description of Pugsly!!!

    GOD..that was HYSTERICAL!!

    Because I can totally see him!

    And secondly...I can't believe the gonads on that guy!?!?! I would have flipped out on him had he asked me that!!

    And the second encounter you shared was HYSTERICAL!!!

    Can you believe people????'re two stories about retail experiences WIN over mine, anyday!!!


    Isn't working with the public so lovely at times?

    Thanks for sharing, Deb!

  29. Oh my GOSH!!! That story is HILARIOUS, Ron!! I can JUST imagine your face contorted and all as you tried to nicely explain to them -- ONLY ONE!!!! You are too nice, I think...I would have probably just told them.. HEY, if you want TWO gifts, then you have to buy TWO items--- I'm just plain old direct... Saggy self here...
    Also, if I had been able to identify their native tongue... I probably would have said, Nope... sorry... buy one, get one... buy two get two... and shocked the panties off them!!!!! heheheh..... I can speak a few languages... actually by now.. I have lost a lot of my vocab. in both Spanish AND Arabic... but I used to be able to speak both pretty decently.... oh well... if they spoke Turkish or Hmoung -- I would be at a loss...
    Also, you reminded me that at Christmas time, when all the stores (even here in France, too) have their GWP... it makes the real purchase more appealing--- while making the GWP something like an extra bonus... LONG LIFE GWP!!! And let it remain CHRISTMAS ALL YEAR LONG!!!!!
    Take care Ron.....

  30. Bonjour Leesa!

    oooh...oooh...I WISH you would have been there with me, because then you could have spoken to them in their native tongue (chinese or vietnamese) and communicated to them to KISS MY ASS!


    These people ALWAYS want to haggle!

    Gosh...I had no idea you spoke several lanuages, Leesa! How wonderful!!!

    And Arabic!!! WOW! How cool!

    Here in the States, GWP's are offered all year long. And it most definately is a DRAW to making purchases, however, many people get very greedy about them too.

    But I've been in this business for a long time, so I'm use to the tricks they pull!

    tee, hee, hee!

    Thanks for dropping by for a GWP Leesa!

    Enjoy your day, my friend!

  31. I just happen to come across your blog by...well, to be honest with you, I don't know how I got here, but I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed this post. I was with my mom recently when she went to a cosmetic counter and they had a free gift - I never even knew they did that until that moment. This was really funny because it reminded of that moment.

    I'm still pretty new to this whole blogging thing so I'm still trying to figure things out, but I'll continue to visit your site and look forward to more of your life posts - these are the types of blogs that I enjoy (about everyday life) Take care and keep up the good work.

  32. Greetings Tony!

    Welcome...and thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment!

    Nice meeting you!

    Glad you enjoyed this post. GWP's can be both a blessing and a curse at times!?!?!?


    Hey, I stopped by your blog quickly just to check it out and read your bio on the sidebar. Very cool! I'll stop back later to read your posts.

    Me too. I enjoy reading blogs that are about everyday life. For me, real life can be SO interesting!!

    Stop by anytime. The door is always open!

    Enjoy your day, Tony!

  33. This takes me back to my cashier days. You don't realize how much you can hate humanity until you work in retail. I documented every day of the job actually. Really need to do something with all those notes I collected.

  34. Hi Roberto!

    YAY!!! Another retail person!!!

    I think everyone on the planet should be required to experience the PAIN of TWO jobs during their lifetime...


    ...and food service

    I honestly enjoy retail, but BROTHER...can it be a challenge!#?*

    "You give me two gifts"?