Tangerine," replied Hogen. And with that, the woman walked out.
It is a kind of customer interaction that happens often these days, said Hogen, who has run his store in Pierre, South Dakota's downtown historic district since 1983.
People come in to look at a product, ask a question or two, then leave, presumably to search for it more cheaply online. Retailers even have a name for the practice: "showrooming." "It's just a gut feeling that she's not buying it from me," he said.
One reason customers shop elsewhere, Hogen says, is that even when he can compete on price, he has to charge sales tax, which ups the ultimate price of his merchandise. The mixer, for example, normally has a $399.99 price tag in Hogen's store, on top of which he has to charge $26 in state and local sales taxes. Some online retailers sell the mixer at the same price or lower, with no sales tax and free shipping.