About two years ago I wrote a very angry post about Minus 417, a shop selling skincare stuff that you should really steer clear from. Not because of their products, but because of their disrespectful sales tactics.
Update (26 May 2017): Minus 417 at Serangoon Nex is no more. You can read my short, vindictive condemnation about their closure here.
Original: It’s been a long time since I have been pissed off by a salesperson. So I will try to make this post as succinct but entertaining as possible.
I was in a rush to buy dinner for my family tonight when I was stopped by a salesperson from Minus 417 at Nex. It is a store that sells skincare products. The salesperson asked me if I wanted to “try” out one of their Dead Sea salts products, “free of charge”. Because I was in a rush, I just replied “yes”, thinking that she would pass me the free sample and I could be on my way.
Instead, the salesperson, Ting Ting, dumped a lump of salt into my palm. I was about to purchase and handle packets of food — no way I was going to leave the salt on my hand — so I had no choice but to enter the shop and get it washed.
I had absolutely no intention to buy any of the products on the spot, but politely asked for a brochure so I could go home and think about it. So what does Ting Ting do? In an act of desperation, she proceeds to massively slash the price of a product from S$160 to S$60, taking away a “free gift” in the process.
My first reaction in my mind, as a customer was this: “Why is she selling this at such a big discount?” It could only mean one thing: the products at Minus 417 were being sold at over-inflated prices, and she could afford to slash the price down but still earn some overhead.
At that point, I had made up my mind and was no longer interested. Any shop that disrespects and insults the intelligence of its customers is bad, bad news.
But Ting Ting kept going on about how she was selling the item to me at a “special price” that was almost the same as what the outlet’s staff were paying. She quickly dumped the skincare product into a plastic bag, and then proceeded to ask me to fill in a purchase form without even asking for my purchase consent.
I had lost all patience by then and flipped on my angry switch, telling Ting Ting and her colleague at the counter with a stern face: “I’m in a rush. I don’t mind looking at your brochure, but I don’t want to buy now. You are wasting my time.”
The latent anger and dark expression on my face finally caused them to back down and I could see their faces relenting with a hint of fear. I stormed out of the store, having wasted 20 minutes there, and proceeded to buy dinner. In my haste, I completely forgot to take a picture. You can try googling for “Minus 417 Singapore” to see what their outlets look like.
So what I am trying to say here is this: beware of any salesperson claiming to give out “free samples” of anything. It is just a tactic to lure you into the store so that they can pressure you into buying stuff.
I will never purchase anything from Minus 417 and I will make sure that none of my friends and family do so either. You should do the same. Stay away from such places, and don’t support outlets that encourage its staff to use such unethical tactics.