Target Sucks - We Hate Target and We Know We're Not Alone.

May 11, 2013 - RedCardMan

Getting redcards and the GSTL off your back – A GIFT!

I’ve been with Big Red for about 2 years solely as a cashier. In that time I’ve been totally jerked around: I had 12 years experience in retail, handled $200,000 accounts in my former real job and have been screamed at by people over REAL issues and not just where their damned bread is, and managed a crew of five bringing in trucks and maintaining  a stockroom – none of which counted for anything when I was hired. Mgmt didn’t even know my history or care. I was offered a position in electronics which never materialised unless they wanted me to fill in for their breaks, I pushed carts in a pinch in the rain though I’m over 30, My first raise evaporated when they bumped up starting pay to $8.25 (so I was only making as much as a new hire, and expected to train them!).

It turns out my promotion to electronics and the dollar more an hour it promised was rejected because the GS exec knows I get them more redcards than any other employee at the time, and she wanted me to stay in her location as a cashier. Now, they have all our cashiers doing what I did and I’m almost sorry I ever took it to another level beyond (nasal voice) “Do you want to apply for a redcard?”. To all my fellow cashiers, I apologize. People like me got us into this mess.

But I’m only in this for the health benefits while I wait for a real job to appear (looks like I’ll keep waiting) and this is not the be all end all of my working life, so I can afford to hate Target while also doing enough of a good job that I don’t have to listen to their bullshit. EVERYTHING I do is to insure I don’t have to listen to their bullshit, I do a good job and I go home.

I singlehandedly turned around our store’s conversion score with the way I ask people to sign up for the debit card. I was almost asked by management to mentor the other cashiers but they didn’t want to create a monster they’d have to pay (me) so they’d just hover around listening to what I was saying. It takes alot of personality, but if you’re on the front end you must be there for a reason, right? The way I get enough redcards (a 2.3 average almost all 2012 and into 2013) to keep them off my back is this:

1) Wait until you see how the guest is paying. DO NOT launch into the card pitch when they first walk up, it scares them off. NO ONE wants another credit card these days. They’ll say no right away, as you know. You’re going to have to get a little personal so pick your “targets”, don’t ask anyone in a rush or screaming at their kids or who’s distracted – you’ll be wasting your time and pissing them off.

2) If they’re paying by AMEX or DISCOVER then forget it – ask nicely “Any interest in our store card? – Gets you 5% off the bill everytime!”. They’ll say no, but now the GSTL can’t accuse you of not asking. It’s a no pressure and quick way of getting your point across.

3) If they’re paying with another credit card ask the same way  – you may get lucky. A lot of people really respect that we give the 1% to schools so mention that to moms and old ladies. It’s sometimes more of an incentive than the 5%.

4) NOW – wait until their card is out and wait to see if the prompt is for debit after they first swipe. Notice which bank.
QUICKLY –  say loudly enough and quickly enough before they begin hitting their pin number “Oh! You’re paying debit! They’ll think they’ve done something wrong and stop. Make sure you have they’re attention, they’ll ask “Why?”
You say “Well, because you no longer need a credit card with our store to get the 5% off the bill – there’s a debit version that debits YOUR OWN ACCOUNT  – NOT A CREDIT CARD – you just use OUR card with YOUR account  –THAT ACCOUNT – and you save 5% off the bill everytime.” DO NOT launch into this if they have already begun entering their pin number – people fucking HATE to be interrupted entering numbers. If they have begun with the pin numbers and prompts there is still hope so I just say “Oh, I’ll wait until your done to mention…” and then finish the pitch.
Now – they may tell you they’re paying credit on the bank card – if so, forget it – they’re aleady getting points, or charged a fee for debit. Get to know which banks near you charge fees so you’ll know when to save your breath.
Now, at this point they may say maybe or no thanks but if feel like you have their interest say “Yes, we need a VOIDED check (DON’T say ‘blank’ – they’ll think we’re going to keep it!) to run through the machine, I give it BACK to you, two minutes on the swipe machine and you make up a pin number – and you’ll have our card. 5% off every sale, free shipping AND the 5% online, and 1% of every sale you make to the school of YOUR choice – charity from us!” 
You have GOT to speak quickly and clearly because the poor slobs just want to go home  – I know it’s tough and I don’t do this for everyone – just the ones that seem likely. Don’t speak all fawning and mechanical like a cashier who is a front for a big company – speak like you are their neighbor who knows something they don’t, because YOU ARE. You are giving them a gift and you should make them FEEL that, make them grateful for listening to you! I can’t tell you how many people have shaken my hand (yeah!! can you believe it?) after this pitch. I’m a nice guy or I wouldn’t be spending by Thursday evening writing all this, you’ll feel good too when somebody thanks you, especially if they’re buying diapers and really NEED the damed card. If they ask why they’ve never heard of this debit card, keep it real: I always say quietly but with a smile “Because we all make less than $9 up here and no one wants to carry on about it.”

Finally, ask sweetly, “SO –  do you HAVE a check on you today????” Be cute about it, smile. Look them in the face.If the answer is no, give them a booklet and remind them to bring one next time. Tell them to NOT fill out ANYTHING – to come back to YOU because you’ll tell them all about it like no one else will. If they have it, remind them it only takes a couple of minutes and they get the check back and they save on the spot. I usually say “Great! Let’s DO this!” Get aggressive, hold your hand out for the check and license. Remind them it can be written on or anything.Now, a few anomallies and hints: People who are paying by check will not want to go for this. They are set in their ways. I mention all this VERY briefly but I don’t expect much out of them. It’ll make you crazy, but let it go. 

Ladies without bags will not have a check, especially if they’re wearing sweatpants  – HOWEVER, lots of guys have one check in their wallets for an emergency, so ask, especially if they’re buying formula or diapers or dog food.
Zero in on people buying dog or baby food, cosmetics, or groceries: these are regulars and they will be back.
Don’t bother if they are buying only a couple of greeting cards but DO say something if they are buying only one houseware or something – you’ll be surprised!
Girls: dress nice, wear some tasteful jewelry, look like money even though Target pays you shit.
Guys: wear a tie with a button downed collar shirt -they’re cheap on eBay  – so are ties. I don’t spend more than $7 on ties and only $17 on shirts. You will get all kinds of looks and the execs will mutter about if it’s “brand” but they’ll give in eventually and the GUESTS WILL HOLD YOU IN AWE, I promise you. A guy with  a tie looks like he knows what he’s talking about. I probably just gave myself away since I’m probably the only one on the east coast who does this. In the long term, I get far less shit from guests wearing the tie – it instantly commands respect – and if you know how to bag well they really will be stunned.
Back to the redcards – I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH: you MUST tell them just before they sign their name that it will take two to three days for the bank funds to debit “It will look like the money is there but it isn’t and it DOESN’T say pending!” I always say. If you don’t tell the guest this they WILL come back extremely pissed off and hating the card, and you will fuck it up for everyone in your store as word gets out that the card is “no damned good”.
Once they’ve finished signing up, tell them to select no junk mail and to select a school by the phone number provided in the new card packet, and to go on Target dot com/manage my  redcard and make a profile because they’ll get more deals. I always say “Folks who had the card online for Black Friday got many of the deals on WEDNESDAY with free shipping!” Guests love that, and they’ll love you for it.
This is of course a LOT of effort at first that becomes a little more mechanical and easy the more your repeat it – but you WILL get more redcards in the longterm and that will get the fucking GSTL off your case and that is the POINT: to work at Target, maybe because you HAVE TO (like I do), and not get bugged for bullshit. The company has gone redcard crazy and everyone’s job is contingent on getting them, it’s ridiculous. I can’t guarantee you’ll get more hours (’cause I haven’t) but you may get a slightly better review (I did – the max). Once the GSTLs and execs KNOW you’re asking they’ll leave you alone, but they may expect it from you and that brings it’s own problems, but at least you won’t be termed and any shit they give you will obviously be just that – shit.

Employee Experience


  • Bullseyeaintforme says:

    Good advice I've been at target for about two to three years. I've been struggling to get people to sign up. i'd get the lucky one here and there however i'll take your advice, I've been on a good streak lately.


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