A $5 Fee Just to Browse

Posted on by Patricia Odell

One Australian shop owner has had it with showroomers.

pay-meHe has posted a sign on the front door of his specialty food retail store in Brisbane alerting potential customers that they will now be charged a $5 fee to simply enter the store. The fee is reimbursed from the final purchase amount or forfeited if the customer does not make a purchase.

The note goes on to offer the reason for the fee: that people are “using the store as a reference” then buying elsewhere. He adds that his prices are “almost” the same as others and that the store offers unique items that can’t be found elsewhere.

The idea has gotten lots of heat from bloggers, in forums and on chats, but is the owner on to something? He’s likely turning some customers away, but also drawing those in who may or may not plan to make a purchase, but may do so just to recoup their $5.

It’s a risky move, no doubt. We’ll have to wait and see how it all works out.

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