Your Guide to Money Etiquette
Q: Must I buy something when I get a makeover at a department-store beauty counter?
A: No, but you should be open to the idea of purchasing an item or two, says Elizabeth D. Scott, a professor of business administration and business ethics at Eastern Connecticut State University, in Willimantic, Connecticut. Whether you’re popping by on a whim or you’ve made an appointment in advance, or whether you’re asking to try out that shadow palette or to get an entirely new look, there’s an unspoken agreement between you and the salesperson that you are a potential customer. Consider that a makeover can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, and if you weren’t there, the salesperson could be attracting or assisting other customers. Plus, when you occupy one of the stools at the counter, you’re sending other shoppers a message: There might be a wait if they want personal attention. If you know full well that you’re not going to open your wallet, skip the counter completely. Or at the very least, speak up before you ask for any kind of application, says makeup artist and cosmetics-company founder Trish McEvoy. Try something like this: “I’m not going to buy today, but I might next month, when my stash is low.” This shows that you respect the person behind the counter—and her time. No matter what you say, the odds are good that you’ll get the royal treatment anyway.