London enjoys the enviable reputation of being the most eclectic and fascinating shopping destinations in the world. The city offers everything from high street to high fashion and it is very easy to get lost in the multitude of shops strewn across the British capital. When you have worked throughout the week, the last thing you would want is to spend your valuable weekend by shopping on the high street. But personal shopping on the high street has undergone drastic changes over the years which have helped to revolutionize shopping habits.
The concept of personal shopper is not new in London but it has become very popular in the last few years only. If you are planning to buy something to add to your wardrobe or buy an outfit for the upcoming job interview, you can hire a personal shopper to do the hard work for you while you sit and relax with a cup of tea and magazine in your hand.
What to look for in a personal shopper?
A bulk of the personal shoppers is freelance but some work for major departmental stores. You can find them at many high street stores such as Debenhams and Selfridges. You can hire them to find the clothes and household goods that you need and the best part is that there is no obligation to buy.
Many experts suggest that one should always go for freelance consultants as they will never force you t purchase your needs from one store only. The departmental store consultants, on the other hand, will be inclined to force you to buy something from the store. There is no such problem with the freelancers as they do not work on commission basis.
You can opt for a freelancer or a store personal shopper but there are certain keys areas which need to be looked into before you hire their services.
- Knowledge – London is a huge place and the personal shopper must know the city like the back of their hand. Do not be afraid to ask them a lot of questions and it is very easy to differentiate an experienced shopper from a novice just by hearing their voice over the telephone.
- Patience – A lot of personal shoppers set a time frame by which you are expected to complete the shopping. They are usually not very eager to extend the timing as they have their own personal life. This is totally understandable. But since you are getting the services in exchange of certain fees, you have every right to ask them about their terms and conditions fully.
- Honesty – This is the key strength for a personal shopper. Honesty is the best policy and you may not like honest remarks all the time but this is actually what you need to hear. A personal shopper will always guide you on the colours that will suit you and what looks best on you.
A Guide to Personal Shopping Services
Consultants are available in the store and they will do the shopping for you while you take a hard-earned rest. Beverages and magazines will be served for you while the consultant buys things on your behalf in the store. If you intend to buy larger household items then the personal shopper will take you around the store and will also help you in choosing gifts. Your personal details will be kept in a confidential file so that in the future you only need to call to make an appointment and the consultant will gather the preferred items for you when you visit the store. The service is totally free of charge and there is no obligation to buy anything at all.
- Marks & Spencer
The personal shopping services are only available at selected stores across UK. However, the company has started to train their very own womenswear advisors so that they are able to offer personalized shopping advice right there on the shopping floor.
- John Lewis
The John Lewis Store on King’s Road offers a personal shopping service. They offer up to 3 hrs of free consultation and they will help you choose everything from cots to pram. However, you need to have prior appointments in place to get their services. The advisors will talk to the parents about their needs and then put together a list of things that they should and shouldn’t buy. They leave no stone unturned in advising how to choose the dresses for the little one and how to choose his/her first toy.
What should I be paying?
Most of the departmental stores offer the services of personal shopper totally free of charge for a limited number of hours. But if you are hiring the services of an experienced freelancer then you need to pay then from your own pocket. The reputation of the personal shopper can play a big role here. One must stay away from personal shoppers who are way too cheap but if you still hiring then you need to check their credentials properly. A good personal shopper in London may set you back by GBP300 which is a lot of money. However, the experience can be very cost effective as you will never buy clothes that you will never wear and you will not lose money by buying clothes that do not suit you in the first place.
There are many personal shoppers in London to be honest and it’s really difficult to select one from the rest. However, always choose one who has huge experience in the field of personal shopping. If you are using their services for the first time, you will not be disappointed as you will have a novel experience. Google is your friend; so use it wisely to zero in on a personal shopper if you intend to use the services of a freelancer. But if you prefer to listen to the advice of the store personal shoppers then you just need to call up the respective departmental store and fix up an appointment.