Retail Salesperson  What They Do

Just the Facts


Sells merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, appliances, or apparel to consumers.

This career is part of the Marketing cluster Professional Sales pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Greets customers and ascertains what each customer wants or needs.
  • Describes merchandise and explains use, operation, and care of merchandise to customers.
  • Recommends, selects, and helps locate or obtain merchandise based on customer needs and desires.
  • Computes sales prices, total purchases, and receives and processes cash or credit payment.
  • Answers questions regarding the store and its merchandise.
  • Prepares sales slips or sales contracts.
  • Maintains knowledge of current sales and promotions, policies regarding payment and exchanges, and security practices.
  • Maintains records related to sales.
  • Demonstrates use or operation of merchandise.
  • Places special orders or calls other stores to find desired items.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Art Dealer -- Connects artists with art buyers by representing artists and selling their paintings, sculptures and other works of art.
  • Bridal Consultant -- Helps a couple plan a wedding.
  • Cashier -- Records and receives payment from customers for the purchase of goods, services and admission fees.
  • Haberdasher -- Sells small articles for sewing, such as buttons, ribbons, zips, and other notions.
  • Merchandise Coordinator -- Responsible for stocking stores and keeping the styles up-to-date and making certain that the buying public has a wide selection of merchandise to select from.
  • Paint Mixer -- Assists customers by helping them choose a paint color and then mixes the paint.
  • Fitting Room Associate --
  • Garden Consultant --