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If you've got an eye for fashion and love spending time at the mall, personal shopping might sound like the perfect career for you. Personal shoppers listen to a client's wardrobe needs, then purchase her outfits or escort her to the store for a shopping tour. Salaries vary widely, but personal shoppers often charge between $25 and $300 an hour for their services. This may sound like a dream job, but like all jobs, it does have some downsides.
Some high-end department stores may employ personal shoppers, but most likely, you'll work as an independent freelance shopper. Freelancing gives you flexibility, but it also means that you need to find your own clients. When you first open for business, it can be difficult to find new clients. Once you've acquired a few clients and impressed them with your shopping skills, though, your reputation will grow. Happy clients -- with your encouragement -- will spread word of your services to their friends, and new clients will seek you out.
Most of your clients will have typical Monday-through-Friday jobs that make it difficult to schedule consultations during the week. This means that you'll need to meet clients in the evenings and on the weekends. You won't have a set schedule; instead, you'll meet whenever it is convenient for the client. You might not enjoy this type of schedule if you're used to clocking out of work at 5 p.m. each day and sleeping in on the weekends.
Too Much Shopping
When you're a personal shopper, it's your job to spend long hours in stores to find the perfect items for your clients. This may sound like fun, but shopping all the time can eventually get tedious and boring. You'll need to consistently deal with long lines, rude store clerks and harsh fluorescent lighting. You will be on your feet much of the time as you race through stores to find what the client needs.
When you're a personal shopper, you spend plenty of time talking to clients about their lives, jobs, relationships and desires. Chatting with clients can turn into a therapy session for them, and if you don't like to talk, you might not be interested in that. You might also discover that the client has body image problems or a shopping or alcohol addiction. It's very important to be discreet and not tell others what your client has told you, especially if you're working with someone important or well-known. If you hate keeping secrets, this might be difficult for you.
Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.
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