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Mar 28, 2013 07:36 PM

Store in Australia charging an "Entrance fee" bc too many "just looking" customers

Saw this posted on a local forum (redflagdeals), thought it was interesting:

Basic summary. A gluten-free/celiac store in Australia is finding that customers are coming in, browsing and not buying. The store owner things that they are coming in to find products they want and then shopping elsewhere. So, now you have to pay $5 to enter the store and you will get re-imbursed when you leave.

Definitely the store owners freedom to do what they want with their business but I could see this backfiring. Personally I wouldn't shop at this type of store. I think the better way to handle it is to make your products more attractive to customers, have better service/etc and have customers wanting to shop at your store vs. the competition (The owner says the price isn't the issue as they are "close").

(Link to original Reddit thread) -

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  1. I think they just arranged to go out of business.

    Their thought process seems to be "If someone comes in, looks, but doesn't buy, then they are cheating us out of our rightful business and must be stopped."

    A more useful way to look at it would be to regard browsers as potential customers, and to figure out how to get them to buy.

    The result of their current approach is that people who are curious, or checking things out, or not sure if they want to buy will not enter the store. Plus, some of the serious customers will see the sign, thing "What the $#@$!" and go somewhere else.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

      just speculating here,

      but if i were a serious gluten free customer, i would probably think, "i could easily spend $5 on a loaf of bread, so a $5 experiment in a product or two doesn't seem like very much."

      even without being gluten intolerant, when my daughter was going through a phase during which a book convinced her that she was gluten intolerant, i would have spent $10 just to look. ANYTHING to get food that she'd eat.