A personal shopper is a person who shops for different clients. A personal clothing shopper will pick out garments that best suit their client's needs and personality. Other personal shoppers may shop for gifts, jewellery, toys or food for a client. Other responsibilities of a personal shopper include taking care of shopping for busy families, shopping for the wealthy, finding the perfect gift(s) for companies to give their clients, buying groceries and medication for the elderly and buying Christmas presents. You will need to learn how to gain the skills and experience in becoming a personal shopper.
- Skill level:
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Gain some retail experience. Work as a sales associate for a major retail store. This will help you gain knowledge of the brands, trends, products and prices. Plus, you can learn how to pick out these items for people based on their needs.
Take fashion and retail classes. Many community colleges and online schools offer courses in fashion, marketing, sales and retail. With these classes, you can gain some business knowledge that will help you with your career.
Join the Association of Image Consultants International. This organisation specialises in personal shopping services. You can become a member and get your certification as a personal shopper. This will make both employers and clients realise that you take your career seriously.
Create a resume. Include your previous retail experience, any relevant courses and your certification with the AICI. State in your objective whether you want to work for a department store or on your own.
Find a personal shopper job with a high-end department store. Some stores such as Nordstrom's, Saks and Bloomingdale's offer personal shopping jobs. They will even offer part-time positions.
Train with an established personal shopper. Find a personal shopper who's had years of experience, whether through the AICI or on the Internet. Some social networking websites (such as Facebook and Twitter) will have online groups where you can network with other personal shoppers. Some shoppers may offer seminars and consultations for a fee.
Market yourself. You can develop a personal website, flyers, posters and business cards. Create a name for your personal shopping business. Your advertisement should include your name, address, phone number and your working hours. Include any charges (i.e. order fee) or percentage of commission on purchases. Post your advertisement around your neighbourhood, local newspapers, church or community college.
Tips and warnings
- Understand your client's budget and stick to it. You can always offer a variety of options, but don't exceed the budget. This will create a trusting relationship between you and your client.
- Broaden your target audience. Decide to personal shop for busy men, mothers and the elderly. This will help you create a growing list of clients.
- Have a variety of shopping offerings as well. Choose to buy for Christmas, holidays or corporate gifts. This will give you more experience with your job.
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