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Store charges $5 "Just Looking" fee

Posted by on Mar. 26, 2013 at 1:09 PM
  • 28 Replies

 There's a store in Australia that really hates it when its customers walk around the store without buying anything.

Redditor BarrettFox posted a pic of a sign informing shoppers of a new fee at a  specialty food store in Brisbane.

It's $5 for "just looking."

The fee exists to stop people from "showrooming" — which occurs when a customer looks at items in a physical store, then makes the purchase online.

The sign assures that you'll have the five dollars deducted from the final purchase price, so you'll get your money back if you buy something.

Here's what the sign says:

As of the first of February, this store will be charging people a $5 fee per person for “just looking.”

The $5 fee will be deducted when goods are purchased.

Why has this come about?

There has been high volume of people who use this store as a reference and then purchase goods elsewhere. These people are unaware our prices are almost the same as the other stores plus we have products simply not available anywhere else.

This policy is line with many other clothing, shoe and electronic stores who are also facing the same issue.


The policy is being ripped apart unanimously.

"It has to be the most misguided strategy we've seen for dealing with showrooming," wrote Matt Brownell at Daily Finance. "The goal of any retailer should be to impress customers with competitive pricing and great customer service — not treat their customers with suspicion and hostility from the moment they walk in the door."

"If customers aren’t buying, the seller needs to figure out why and adapt accordingly," wrote Chris Morran at The Consumerist. "If this store’s prices are truly the best, then maybe it should be offering a price-match guarantee. If it truly offers products that aren’t available elsewhere, then how are these showrooming shoppers buying these items from someone else?"

The commenters in the Reddit thread were more straightforward.

"This store seems desperate to go out of business," quipped one commenter.

"If it was me, I'd say 'Screw you.' and not give them a dime, walk out and refuse them any future business," wrote another. " They are asking to go out of business."

And those were the polite ones.

by on Mar. 26, 2013 at 1:09 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Bronze Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 1:11 PM

That would strike me as kind of rude. I just like windowshopping, and sometimes I will check out and compare prices, but I rarely buy online so I don't think it's showrooming exactly. They just have to compete with other local stores that sell the same thing.

by on Mar. 26, 2013 at 1:12 PM
1 mom liked this

 That's amazing. Imagine if the malls started charging people for just going inside.

by Bronze Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 1:13 PM

LOL, then I'd "just look" somewhere else, because I'm not fool enough to abide by this policy, and my time and money would be better spent elsewhere.

by Jenn on Mar. 26, 2013 at 1:16 PM

 I do know what they mean by people coming in to look at something in person, only to go and buy it online. I've done it myself. However, it was at places like wal-mart where I really don't feel any guilt about taking my business elsewhere.

Now smaller privately-owned businesses are a different story, and I think that's what this store is. I always try to buy from local businesses if I can. We don't realize the damage we are doing to our own local economy by buying everything online or at large chain stores. I'm guilty of it too. 

by Ruby Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Upon reading that sign, I would do an about face and never come back to that store. Problem solved.

by Gold Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 1:25 PM

I would never even consider a store with a policy as such..

by on Mar. 26, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Do they charge you for the kids with you as well?  There is no way I would pay $5 for myself and each of my 5 kids just to enter a store.  That place would lose ALL of my business.

by Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 1:31 PM

I don't think that I've ever looked around a food store and not purchased something but I'd still stop shopping at any store that adopted this policy.

by on Mar. 26, 2013 at 2:17 PM

So they're charging people as they walk in or how? I don't get how they're able to enforce that.

by Platinum Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 2:19 PM

What?  I'd never set foot in that store again, as a matter of principle.  Though I often intend to buy when I shop - because I hate shopping! - sometimes, the store simply doesn't have what I want. 

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