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Personal shopper is an occupation where people help others shop by giving advice and making suggestions to customers. They are often employed by department stores and boutiques (although some are freelance or work exclusively online). Their focus is usually on clothes, although the number of non-clothing stores – such as furniture retailers – that offer personal shopping services is on the rise, and many freelance personal shoppers will help customers shop in whatever item they happen to be after.
Although there are no formal educational requirements to become a personal shopper, related retail experience is a must.
A personal shopper is typically employed by the store itself, which means that payment for the service is not required – only the items bought. Other stores will charge a small fee to use their personal shoppers. Only large department stores, such as Bloomingdales, Debenham's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Macy's generally offer personal shopper services, although some smaller stores like Fenwick and Anthropologie also offer the service. Personal shoppers are also known as fashion stylists (or shop assistants, or sales assistants). There are also quite a few who work independent of any affiliation with any stores and can be found in large cities such as New York City, London, Paris, Los Angeles, Miami and Boston. Outside of agencies, personal shoppers can be found on auction websites such as eBay where they auction their services to obtain customized items such as men and women's clothing collections.
Online personal shopping
An online personal shopper’s job is to spend time online searching on behalf of clients. Their focus is usually on anything that the web can provide. An online personal shopper is typically freelance however some are employed by websites that offer online shopping advice. Online personal shopping services typically begin with a request or question from the client about the item, product or service that they are looking for. Customers are typically required to pay for the information. After the online personal shopper has located the item or items according to the client’s needs, the customer is notified.
- "What's a Personal Shopper".
- Harris McBride, Laura; Gallanis, Peter J.; Goulet, Tag (July 2005), The FabJob Guide to Becoming a Personal Shopper, Alberta: FabJob Inc., p. 216, ISBN 978-1894638555
- Conway, Susannah. "Get yourself a personal shopper on the high street". Mail Online. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
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