Gift Shop

9 Simple Rules for Visiting a Museum Gift Shop

Photo by dullhunk via Flickr.

Ah, the museum gift shop. Many a visitor has dropped a penny or two in these lands of postcards and other pretty things. Gift stores are an opportunity to take a piece of the museum, or a piece of the museum experience, home with you. However, they are also battlegrounds of bad behavior. Here’s a handy guide for┬áminding your manners and getting the most out of your gift shop visit.

  1. Gift shop workers are there to serve you. They are not your servants. It’s a fine line.
  2. Be aware that there are other people in the store. This means that you shouldn’t just stop in the middle of it. This also means that there is bound to be a tall person around to help you reach something on a high shelf.
  3. There are no stupid questions, but…it’s a good rule of thumb to think before you speak.
  4. Try to put things back where you found them.
  5. If you really loved something in the museum, but there’s not a reproduction of it in the store, don’t freak out. Let the gift shop attendants know, they might be able to help or it could be considered for future purchases.
  6. Gift shop employees are great sources of information. Don’t hesitate to test their knowledge.
  7. Don’t haggle over the price. This is not a bazaar and it’s not like the sales tax was made up on a whim.
  8. Mention that you are a member, or inquire if you are eligible for a discount, before the transaction is processed. It saves everyone time.
  9. No museum has a catalogue of its entire collection. And, if they did, you wouldn’t be able to get it home. Instead, ask about what books or items come closest to what you’re looking for.

Any rules you think we missed? Let us know in the comments.

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