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Store Combats Showrooming in Worst Way Possible, Charges Customers “Just Looking” Fee

“Showrooming” is the process by which customers go to a store to get their grubby little hands on a product before going to order that product online for less money. Stores hate it, and would love it if you stopped doing it. Some stores try to offer better deals, or improve the buying experience, but one store’s taking the opposite approach and charging customers a fee just to look around. You’re doing it wrong.

That’s a real thing that is happening. There was a meeting to solve the problem of showrooming and the solution that this store came up with was “Let’s charge every customer that walks in the door $5 just for walking through the door.”

You can read the full text of the sign posted at a Brisbane, Australia specialty food store below:

The reflection makes reading conditions for the sign less than optimal so here it is typed out:

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

The $5 will be deducted when good 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. There 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 in line with many other clothing, shoe and electronic stores who are also facing the same issue.


I’m no business expert, but I’m pretty sure charging a cover isn’t the solution to your problem of showrooming. The policy is basically trying to get people pot-committed into buying something because if they don’t, they lose their $5.

If I’m in that store, and I know I’ll get my $5 if I buy something, I will probably make a purchase before leaving, because I don’t want to lose my money. The fatal flaw in the plan is that when I go to enter the store and someone tells me I have to give them $5, I’m just going to turn around and go to a different store.

Showrooming is a problem because customers that are coming into stores are ultimately buying online, but the solution the problem isn’t to stop customers from coming into store altogether.

(via Consumerist, image via Reddit)

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Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.