Serendipidously I had the pleasure to get in contact with Shaunetta Burk here in Raleigh, North Carolina who offers a business called Magnificent Products For Less. Shaunetta and her husband Charlie have devoted themselves to offering a personal shopping service to clients in the area which even includes grocery shopping.
This type of service is one step further for the shopper looking for convenience in grocery shopping. Sure, stores are now allowing you to place orders online with curbside pick-up but what about shoppers that want convenience and savings? Shaunetta to the rescue!
Shaunetta users her knowledge and skills for deal shopping to fulfill her client’s grocery needs and wants. She decided to go into the personal shopping business when she realized the demand for personal shoppers. She realized she wanted to turn her gift of saving into a business one afternoon while hosting a BBQ at her house. Apparently, her family and friends began shopping out of her food storage, the deals they could find were incomparable to anything else around. She was hooked from then on to make personal shopping a living.
She explains, “there are so many people who are unable to get to the store or are unable to walk through the store and with my passion to help others this was a win-win opportunity for me.” Couponing plays a major part in her shopping process. She explains that if an item is not on sale she does not purchase it and will rather shop around for a better deal to see who is offering the lowest price for the items she needs.
On shopping trips she always picks up staple items such as toiletries, toothpaste, soap, etc but when she has a specific list from a client with their personal shopping list she will search for the best deals to match their list. For the most part customers will utilize her service on a biweekly basis and about 30% of customers return for weekly purchases. To find and attract new customers she schedules presentations at venues and hands out promotional items, such as business cards, to spread the word about her services.
As for pricing, she sets her own price for items based on the market value for the item and will usually charge half of that price except on meats and certain other items. She does charge a service fee which is a small compensation for her time and gas to shop around and get the best deals so that she can share the savings with her customers.
Her advice for couponers and individuals trying to cut costs on their grocery bill is to review store sale ads weekly to see what items are on sale and are items that you need. Check to see if there is a matching coupon you can use for that item. She explains her favorite supermarkets are stores that double coupons such as Harris Teether and the local Lowe’s Food. She does not personally like to use warehouse stores for shopping, “because most of those stores do not allow you to use coupons and I can buy individual packs and save more money that way.”
Are you a personal shopper? Have you ever used a personal shopper for your grocery needs? Leave a comment below with your personal stories!