Working in a haberdashery we get asked/told and hear many things eyes roll or you titter silently to yourself. These customers all make the job worthwhile even when you are left dumbfounded, here are just a few of them……………

Xmas fabric is piled high along with the ribbons, braids, buttons and all xmas items on the tables to catch your eye as you walk in the shop……………………….

Customer on walking in “Do you sell Xmas fabric”

A chap who comes to the counter with 3 items all the same

Cust: I’ll have these please

Reply: did you notice how much they were?

Cust: £1.95 each

Reply: I think I will just go and check as I don’t want to diddle you out of your money.

I start to leave the counter area for him to look up and say……………oh well in that case if we are being honest they are £2.50 each!

Cust: Do you have some of that sticky stuff to stick on my shoulders pads

Reply: Are you after Velcro

Cust: Don’t be stupid. No! Its sticky stuff you stick to both the pad and your item

After a process of illumination, it was Velcro!

Cust: after helping, advising and her finding want she wanted and colour checking with her sample, is overheard speaking to her husband on the phone regarding the length required for the trim,  Ends call and she comes to the counter and……

Cust: I need a piece as long as my husbands scarf, he doesn’t have the scarf on him at the moment, so how ever long his scarf is the amount I would like please!


Cust: how much are the fat quarters

Reply: £3.95 each

Cust: how much for 3

Reply: Still £3.95

Cust: if I was to buy 3 would you do be a price.

Reply: yes, £4.95 each!!!  He was very jovial and took the reply very well!



Customer pointing to a bolt of fabric in the centre of shelf

Cust: how much is this fabric

Reply: I’ll have to come and take a look

Cust: Obviously you aren’t the owner otherwise you’d know the price without looking!!

Customer comes in with her child who runs straight to the cotton reel display and starts whizzing both hands up and down the display making all the reels pop in and out…………..

Cust: do all the children run to the reels and play with them

Reply: No. But occasionally it will happen

Cust: Ahh, it is fun isn’t it all those colours

Reply: it can be quite annoying when they mix up all the reels into the wrong places

Customer only half hears reply and walks to a different section of the shop leaving child to continue the hand running up and down and all the while mixing up the reels!


Cust with head inside the door and body outside the door shouts in …………….do you know anything about fabric

Reply: Try me

These customers are what makes the working in the shop with all the fantastic fabrics and extras worth the opening up and serving.  You can have a banter, laugh and it doesn’t matter how you are spoken to on occasion the good always outweighs the bad.

I cant escape customer-isms

On recalling a few of these it reminded me of a reply of mine many years ago when I was sat in the dentist chair having my teeth cleaned by the hygienist and upon finishing telling me the dos and don’ts about cleaning my teeth and asking me what toothbrush I had…………………………………………..I was flummoxed, with no time to think, blurted out a blue one.  It was only on further discussion I realised she wanted the answer soft, medium, hard or electric.  I’m sure to this day she tells the tale of my answer to her question to many who will listen!!!


    1. Sharon Reid Post author

      There are 3 of us in the shop (at separate times never together) and have a little book on the go ‘customerisms’ its a great read when you get time to catch up on it. Also the comments each makes to the others encounters add to the smile factor. Thanks Lyn for your comment.

  1. Teresa Barrow

    I totally love this! Many years ago (1981), I was the manager of a fabric shop. Back then it was mainly Dressmaking not Quilting, but I really resonate with the reels of thread! The hours I spent on my hands and knees sorting out the colours & putting them back again into the Gutterman stand, because some precious poppet angel thought pinging them out ‘a la catapult’ was fun!