Two of the most common questions I get when I mention I do personal shopping are “What is personal shopping?” and “What do you do as personal shopper?”
Personal shopping simply means purchasing items on behalf of clients. It is also the same definition of a personal shopping assistant. The difference of being a personal shopper (based on research) from the latter is that it involves consultation and giving advice to the client. At some instances, being a personal shopper also means you offer styling services.
I can’t say I’m a fashion expert nor a stylist since I have no educational background on fashion, but having worked as a production designer/art director in film, tv and ads at least makes me credible and confident enough to be a personal shopper. Actually, both jobs are highly similar, only this time, purchases will be used in real life and not for fictional purposes. No more visual tricks.
Now, what goes behind those purchases? What do I specifically do? Obviously doing the pre-order part of my services isn’t part of the discussion (it falls under being a personal shopping assistant). Here are the some of the things I do for my clients:
1. Smelling perfumes. Sounds weird? But yeah, few times I get asked by my clients to smell the perfumes they’re interested to get. This is quite challenging because it will highly depend on your judgement and it’s hard to describe scents.
2.Trying on the actual products. I’m a (shoe) size 7 and my dress size is US 8 /M. And if a client has the same size as mine, they would ask me to try the item so they can see the actual “when worn” look. It actually makes my work easier especially for shoes, because at least I know it would fit the client.
Trying on a blazer
Showed client how the hat fits
Same shoe size as the client, tried it on for her
3. Taking measurements. As mentioned in my survival kit in the POC feature, tape measure is a must have for me. Sometimes you cannot just rely on the S,M,L tags. Asian sizes are smaller while European sizes are bigger. And to be sure, aside from #2, I measure the clothes in behalf of my clients (I’m also OC just like some of my clients haha). Sometimes I also measure the shoes and bags for their reference.
4. Swatching. Some clients are so sure of the make-up shade they want to purchase, while some are torn that they need to see the actual swatches.
One time I had to jump from one shop to another just to compare the shades of different brands. It was funny that I was running around with swatches in my hand and was so careful that nobody will accidentally brush it off.
Various foundation swatches
In the event that a shade is not available, with the help of the brand’s SA, we recommend alternative shades or products for the client.
A client wanted a certain dark MAC shade (I forgot the name) but wasn’t available in HK. I presented her an alternative shade instead
5. Presenting options for the client. This must the real deal when doing personal shopping. Some clients trust me enough that they would just send me generic requests (this means no specific brand, store or very detailed description) and wait me to send them options to choose from. All I ask from them is to at least send me their size , the look they’re after and what they don’t like. Sometimes they wouldn’t send me photos anymore and say ako na bahala. So far, I haven’t gotten any thumbs down for my choices. This is the part where personal shopping and working in commercials are highly similar. Challenging but I was trained for this.
Photo on the left is a sample of a client’s peg and was presented with 2 options (two photos on the right)
I tell you, my clients are spoiled. It’s personalised shopping after all. And I enjoy doing it.
Next Hong Kong trip this February. For updates and details on personal shopping services, join the Facebook group “Your Personal Shopper in Hong Kong“.