What Is a Personal Shopper?
A personal shopper is someone who shops at the furniture outlet store on your behalf. The personal shopper will facilitate the transaction by obtaining your item wish list, passing along images of available inventory, completing the purchase, and coordinating delivery.
Personal shopper services have become incredibly popular since building this outlet community, especially Serena and Lily Outlet personal shoppers. Outlet shoppers allow folks that are not local to a featured outlet to get in on the great deals, since many outlets do not offer in-house shipping. If you are local to the featured outlet, take a look at some third party delivery options and ideas.
Are You A Personal Shopper?
At this time, I am not offering personal shopping services. Since I am not a personal shopper, it is unlikely I will know current outlet policy or be able to provide specific process details.
Do You Recommend Personal Shopping?
I have had a unique perspective on the personal shopping process, often receiving feedback from customers. At this time, I recommend personal shopping if an item you need is discontinued, backordered, or a seriously slashed price at the outlet (for example, wallpaper is only $39/$59).
All other things, I honestly feel you should just wait for a sale. After shopping/coordination/storage fees and shipping costs, you often break about even on their sale price, PLUS you lose out on a warranty provided when purchasing directly through Serena and Lily.
How Do I Find a Personal Shopper?
IMPORTANT PERSONAL SHOPPING PSA!
I want to be very clear that I am in NO WAY associated with any personal shoppers. I am not recommending any specific person, just providing resources for you. Enter transactions at your own risk. If you have specific questions, comments or feedback, please email email@example.com.
These platforms allow you to search for someone in the area to complete the transaction on your behalf. Make sure to search for the city where that outlet is located.
I haven’t utilized these methods myself, but check out this Facebook group thread on the process. Keep in mind, most personal shoppers don’t live in the immediate area, so you may have to pay for drive time.
Personal Shopper Costs
Personal shoppers set their own rates, similar to any service business. There is a ton of unseen work that goes in on the personal shopper side- communication, driving costs and time, sending photos or Facetiming, transporting inventory (those rugs can be a beast!), storing, packaging, arranging delivery, and more.
Keep in mind that shipping costs can also be rather pricey depending on location. I recommend connecting with as many folks as you can to determine the best personal shopping services for your specific needs and pricing for your budget.
Personal Shopping Considerations
You might be wondering if personal shopping services are right for you. While personal shopping can be a fantastic way to save money on your favorite brands, there are some questions I would like for you to consider before hiring a personal shopper:
- Is the item currently on sale online? I have seen items at outlets that are similar in price to the current online sale price, so do a quick price check. Click here for a list of over 60 online outlets from a ton of your favorite brands (even Serena & Lily!)
- Do I want the security of a warranty? Since your are purchasing items at the outlets “as is,” any sort of warranty is null and void. When purchasing an item retail, you can also often receive free repair kits if the need arises in the future. Shoutout to Crate and Barrel for being awesome in this way. My nightstand needed a paint touch up and they sent me a paint match pen 5 years later completely free of charge!
- Am I willing to accept the risks that come with personal shopping? Any sort of transaction between two parties carries an element of risk. Make sure you utilize a platform for exchanging money that offers both buyer and seller protection. Additionally, make sure you purchase insurance for your items. Outlet furniture can get damaged in transit, so having insurance in place will be critical to any claims you may need to make.
How To Become A Personal Shopper
I am often asked this question and wish I had a clear roadmap to give you. As it stands, my best recommendation is to simply just go for it! Set your rates in alignment with the time, energy, and resources it will require. Research the best delivery options: FedEx, UPS, and uship are great starting points. There are many folks looking for personal shoppers in the Facebook group. Reach out there, start building some credibility, and watch your customer base grow.