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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 for 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 and the amenities that come along with the service, usually including a spacious and comfortable environment and beverages. High-end department stores, such as Bloomingdales, Debenham's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Macy's generally offer personal shopper services, although some lower-end stores like Fenwick and Topshop 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. These personal shoppers without affiliation tend to work on a freelance basis including private client event styling and closet organizing. 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.
Global/International personal shopper
Global personal shoppers' job is to spend time searching items on behalf of clients from Online shops or Local Retail stores that don't ship internationally and/or don't accept payment methods internationally available. And a global personal shopper ships purchased items to an international address on behalf of clients. A global personal shopper works for corporates and provide service through websites or at international shopping center such as international airports. A global personal shopper focuses not only on fashion items but also wide range of items in several categories including music, books, home & kitchen, home appliance, beauty & health. A typical global personal shopper speaks more than two different languages to respond to international clients needs. Personal shopping services of a global personal shopper typically begin with a request from the client about the item, product or service that they are looking for. And clients request the estimate cost of shopping that includes the price of items, commission for the personal shopper and shipping fees. After payment of the commission for the personal shopper or the total cost by the clients, personal shoppers purchase items by providing shopping advice and tips, and ship the purchased items to the shipping address as requested by the clients.
- 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.