'Just Looking' $5 Fee: An Anti-Showrooming Tactic Gone Awry

'Just Looking' $5 Fee: An Anti-Showrooming Tactic Gone AwryUsually, real stores take on the practice of “showrooming” by matching the best prices found online; however, a store in Brisbane, Australia has caused a sensation for charging a $5 “just looking” fee to stop customers from stopping in to “reference” their prices and shopping elsewhere.
Showrooming is the vastly spreading practice of looking at products in a physical store, but then going online to make the actual purchase, most often at a better price. Smart phones and tablets have made showrooming easy and quick.
According to the person who posted the photo of the “just looking” sign on Reddit, it was spotted on the door to a specialty food store in Brisbane.
“When they open tomorrow I’m going to see how many times I can walk in and out without paying the toll,” the Reddit post reads. The strategy of combating showrooming with a “just looking” fee is a bad idea that won’t likely take off in the U.S. or anywhere else.
Smarter retailers take on the practice by showcasing their own prices and brands, such as Best Buy. The U.S. retailer known for mostly selling electronics said last month that it is making its Internet price-matching policy permanent with 19 of the biggest e-commerce sites, including Amazon.
Best Buy said it  will price match all local retail competitors and 19 major online competitors in all product categories and on nearly all in-stock products, whenever asked by a customer.
Now that’s how you fight showrooming.
Here’s how you don’t do it. The full message on the Brisbane store front:

As of the first of February, this store will be charging people a $5 fee per person for “just looking.”
The $5 fee will be deducted when goods are purchased.
Why has this come about?
There has been high volume of people who use this store as a reference and then purchase goods elsewhere. These people are unaware our prices are almost the same as the other stores plus we have products simply not available anywhere else.
This policy is line with many other clothing, shoe and electronic stores who are also facing the same issue.

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