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Finding and Keeping Retail Consultant Jobs

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If you're looking for retail jobs, you're in luck. Retail jobs are plentiful, especially during the holidays. It may be more difficult at present to find retail jobs with benefits, but those too can be found. In most cases, you can get a retail job with benefits if you've been working at your particular place of employment for some time. Your employer does not have to offer benefits, but there are employers who do.

And who says retail jobs can’t be fun? Fun retail jobs can pretty much be had in any sector of the industry. Especially at Christmas, little children make retail jobs fun because they’re so excited about all the toys they are going to receive from Santa or from Mom and Dad.

What the job entails

When you work in retail, you are dealing in some way with customers who want something. They’ve come to your store to get it, and it’s up to you as the retail salesperson to help. It doesn’t really matter what you sell. Do you sell computers? Shoes and clothing? Toys? Appliances? You need to be able to help them find what they want quickly and efficiently. You should also know as much as possible about the products you sell, because customers may have questions about products that only you can answer.

Indeed, doing sales as a retail salesperson can be fun, because not only are you on the floor dealing with people every day, but you may also actually get to demonstrate products to customers.

Other skills you will need to have

In addition to enjoying working with people and knowing how to demonstrate the products, you will also likely have to be able to make out a sales check, know how to accept payments including payment by check, debit and credit card, and cash; you also need to be able to make change. If you work at a cash register, you’ll also likely be responsible for the money in your till so you have to know how to count change very precisely.


Working in retail can be very stressful, so you’ll need to be able to keep your cool even during hectic situations and you’ll need to be courteous and efficient at all times. Remember that you have competition out there, and if a customer isn’t happy with your service, he or she will go elsewhere.

Special training

With certain items, you need to be particularly skilled to be a retail salesperson. As an example, if you sell cars, you need to be able to explain the various features and options, as well as talk about the financing available in the warranty for the vehicle.

Education and training

Oftentimes, you can begin doing this type of work while still in school, as long as you’re old enough to be employable. In some cases, you’ll need a high school diploma or even a college degree, especially for some management positions.

Beyond that, most of your training comes from on-the-job training. The store owner or supervisor will teach you how to do everything from making a sales check to operating cash registers and dealing with customers. You’ll learn about the stores procedures and policies and may also be given extra training about particular products you sell, such as appliances or cars. You may be required to undergo a background check, especially if the items you sell are expensive.

Other qualifications

Again, patience is always key, because customers can be difficult and you as a professional can’t lose your cool. The ability to speak a second language (especially one commonly spoken, like Spanish) will put you in good stead, since this will allow you to communicate directly with customers who don’t speak English well. And being very persuasive in manner with customers, especially for large-ticket items like cars, can earn you very good commission.

Believing in the product(s) you sell is important, too, because the more you believe in them, the more believable you will be to the customers to whom you’re selling. However, if your selling skills are particularly strong, you may find it very enjoyable to be persuasive and to actually close the sale—not just for the commission checks you get, but for the joy of selling itself. If this is you, retail sales may be the best career for you.

Compensation and outlook

As you move up and become more experienced, you’ll be given greater responsibility and may even be allowed to choose where you work. This, in turn, gives you the ability to earn greater commissions. In general, retail sales people get paid by commission, so the more you can sell, the more you earn.

When the economy is soft, retail jobs tend to be less available, too. In addition, consumers usually put off purchasing more expensive items like cars, furniture or appliances.

Because earnings are on commission, there is no set salary for retail salespeople. However, the average earnings retail salespeople could expect was about $10 an hour including commissions as of 2006; more for large-ticket items. For example, automobile sales people could expect to earn about $18 an hour.
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