Every so often, we walk into a store and are immediately bombarded by a salesperson who needs to meet their quota for the day. They bumrush us at the gate, and follow us around making inane suggestions regarding clothing that we are just as capable of pulling off the rack as they are. They attempt a hard sell, set up dressing rooms, force themselves on us, and put us in the awkward position of having to repeatedly tell them “no.” Come to think of it, it’s not unlike dealing with drunken assholes at bars.

Butt here are ways to handle this situation, in which you don’t waste too much of your own time and you don’t get forced into dropping $250 on a pair of shoes you don’t really want:

  • Avoid excessive eye contact. When you walk in the store, say hello, then immediately turn away and go about your business.
  • If you’re just there to look, say so up front. If they keep pushing, say it again. Firmly, and with conviction.
  • Be aware of their tactics. Don’t start answering questions, or talking about your skin type, or engaging in banter about how cute something is. You’re entering their web if you do. Treat them as you would your sworn frenemy.
  • Do not try on anything you aren’t honestly considering buying. Remember — no means no, even if you have to repeat it five times.
  • If worse comes to worse, tell them to back off. There’s no need to be rude, but a simple, “I understand you’re just doing your job, but I’m really just browsing today. Thanks.” should do the trick.