100 Totally Wacky & Weird Questions People Ask Retailers That Catch Them Off Guard—And Probably Make You Giggle, Too!

Woman caught off guard

Access My FREE 5-Part Retail Sales Training Email Course!

While much has been made of the Great Resignation in retail, hospitality, and other service jobs - and it is serious - retail frontline workers often get some of the oddest and funniest requests.

I asked my followers on Facebook to share and wow, did they!

Some were for products you'd never think that retailer would carry...

Others revolved around odd situations in their personal lives...

And some, of course, had a sexual or physical focus.

See how many you've heard yourself working in retail...

Here are 100 of the strangest things retailers have been asked by customers:

  1. Jason Hall
    Do you work here?
    While wearing a radio headset, a logo’d lanyard a name tag and immediately following them seeing me help another customer.
  2. Monica Gotshall
    When do they turn the smoke on in the mountains?
    We are near the entrance to The Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
  3. Heather Summers
    Do you want to sell my old sofa?
    I sell furnishings but all new. No consignment.
  4. Jennifer Brady
    Do you have a helicopter land once a month to drop down some food and supplies?
    (We live on an island.)
  5. Stacey Scannell
    They wanted to take off their shoe and show me their extra-large toenails so I could see what they’re working with. They also got angry when I wouldn’t allow them to open each pair of clippers we have to “sample” them before buying.
  6. Jason Zandbergen
    Is this dryer loud? If so, my cat will not like it and I will not buy it.
  7. Mathieu Rayburns Raymond
    If it was a coincidence that there were 51 flags on the border of the map he wanted to frame, the exact same number of Heinz products available in Germany.
  8. Julia Clara
    Can you try this on for me?
    I am buying this for my mom, for her to wear to her funeral.
  9. Melissa Briggs
    Do you have a place I can dump my bacon grease?
    I own a garden center.
  10. Thor Karlsen
    After closing time, lights off, a customer knocked on the locked door asking if I’m open.
  11. Juliana Stokes Bender
    Who are you voting for in the presidential election, and then giving me a hard time when I wouldn’t tell.
  12. Andrea Moore
    I have a favorite set of scrubs at home, can you help me find them?
    But they have no idea what brand, size or style they have.
  13. Ellen Lyle
    Where are your security cameras?
  14. Suzanne McDonald Sullivan
    In a lingerie store, "Do you have prosthetic legs?"
  15. Randall Benton
    Where did you get the recipe for this colored granite?
  16. Michelle Shevill
    Do you sell chin pads for dogs?
    While in a sports store.
  17. Sara Ruholl
    I own an embroidery boutique. You pick it out and we personalize it.
    A customer asks what kind of machine do I have? What thread do you use? Where do I buy wholesale from? Because she was thinking of starting her own business.
  18. Kerry Derby Wood
    Do you sell ADULT toys too?
  19. Craig Williams
    My goldfish is used to a small tank, will it be ok if I put it in a deeper one? He's not used to the water being that deep.
  20. Cheryl Chyinski Dolloff
    How do you get semen stains off my couch? My wife is going to kill me.
  21. Nelda Carnley
    I would like the price of this purse but it has some stuff in it.
    I told her, Madam, that is my purse. It was on the floor under a shelf in my booth. But she still wanted a price!
  22. Pamela Wall Barnes
    How much money do you make?
  23. Robert Palleja
    A physician once asked me what the difference was between oil and vinegar… I thought he was yanking my chain. He wasn’t.
  24. Robert Nied
    Do the lobsters come from the lake?
    Worked at a restaurant in high school next to a lake in the Poconos.
  25. Annie Looysen
    Where are your kids while you are working here?
  26. Lauren Klopfenstein
    You look like you would have sexy feet, can I see them?
  27. Richard Harfield
    Can you tell me who sang “Green Green Grass of Home”?
  28. Tim Reilly
    Do you have any cell phones that absorb radiation, like the stealth bomber? Granted, he was mentally disturbed and the police eventually had to take him away after he stripped down to his boxer shorts and was shooting imaginary basketballs.
  29. Cindy Abernethy
    Where can I buy a good cigar?
    I own a YARN shop. He just came in to ask that. Not like he was with someone who was shopping or anything.
  30. Jesse Heiman
    I used to work for Radio Shack and got asked for anything from washing machine parts to dynamite.
  31. Rachel Anne
    Why does your pet shop smell like dog food?
  32. Ron Desi
    Trying to keep this PG-13....So, I do videos for small businesses, products, etc. One guy had a "male enhancement pill" and asked if I could record in my underwear. If I had a "big one" great. But if not, could I "put a cucumber in my underwear." I did not take this job.
  33. AngienRoger Keen
    My business is named The Painted Peacock (I paint furniture and sell home decor) I had a customer ask why I didn’t sell peacocks.
  34. Paul Devilbiss
    Are your nuts fresh?
  35. Justin Tedford
    I was in the camera business for almost eight years as a manager. Lady walks in wants to talk to a manager. Her gripe you ask? Why I didn’t sell cell phones. I politely said Verizon is next door.
  36. Carrie Rosenquist
    A dude asked me to measure the inseam of the pants he was wearing.
  37. Shane Little
    Can a bottle of whiskey age in bottle?
  38. Jamie Ford Gray
    While working at a Victoria's Secret, a man came in to buy a gift for his wife. He decided to buy a bra set. I asked what size she was. He held up his hands and said " this big". Now imagine his hands- he was holding up his hands in a "cupping" way!
  39. Margo Lemons Dueber
    Where do they store the sandcastles in the winter?
  40. Thomas Fasshauer
    Are you open Saturday?
  41. Laury Baker
    Do you know how to speak alien? I do... they talk to me.
  42. Laury Baker
    How big is the 16" pizza?
  43. Crista Gunther
    Are you gonna clean up my dog's poop? It crapped in the aisle.
    I proceeded to give her a garbage bag and paper towels and spray cleaner. The dog wasn’t allowed in the store in the first place. People have nerve.
  44. Emily Zick Carvalho
    I got an email yesterday asking if we sold Christmas decorations. We’re called The Christmas Shoppe.
  45. Annika Benitz Chaloff
    Bra shop: customer lifts up shirt. “What size am I?”
  46. Janet Beard
    This comment is more funny than strange. (We are a large gift/apparel store). A male shopper came in and said “This store is just like Las Vegas, you’ve got bright lights, pretty women, and you can spend all the money you want to.
  47. Gail Lynn Miller
    As a pharmacy tech, a young man of about 18 once asked me for assistance in finding something. I walked to the area and discreetly pointed to the section. He then asked, “What size do you think I need to get?” I don’t know whose face was redder!
  48. Tyler Camella
    What’s the difference between regular and decaf coffee?
  49. Tammy Lynn Trossbach
    A product was named "Nut Munch". The customer while laughing, " Nut munch. Do you have a hard time saying that?"
  50. Allison Peyton
    We are a shoe store. A lady asked me if we sold a pair of shoes every day. I told her I’d shut down if I didn’t.
  51. Marilyn Halpin
    "If I pay for this repair, how do I know that it will be fixed?"
    Um, that's what we do here sir.
  52. Heather Summers
    I had a customer tell me she was looking for something but wanted Kohl’s pricing. I told her to go to Kohl’s.
  53. Jennifer Dicke
    Are these clothes made in China? Because I don't want to wear trackers.
  54. Tara Wariner
    I was asked if I wanted to take a ride on a guy’s motorcycle with him… right after he bought his wife a solid gold Pandora bracelet for their anniversary. I had to pass on the invitation.
  55. Judy McInis Coelho
    How many days do I have to work to qualify for unemployment?
  56. Donna McCollough
    I had a guy ask if we carried Penthouse magazine - we are a Christian book & gift store.
  57. Alla Calderon
    How much are you? Can you do it tomorrow?
    (We do balloon decor. The customer was looking for a balloon twister for her child's party.)
  58. Victoria Renehan
    When I sold shoes I loved it when people would hold up a displayed shoe and ask;
    do you have this in my size?
  59. Molly Brown Jaber
    Can you give us directions to get to the Tillamook Head lighthouse?
  60. Angie West Gunter
    I can get that at Walmart for that price....then go to Walmart
  61. Melanie Buckingham
    Do you have anything that isn’t ugly?
  62. Ryan Raffuse
    I was once propositioned a sexual encounter in exchange for a discount on a radio-controlled car.
  63. Sharon Bernth
    A call was routed to me, as a supervisor at the Home Care agency I worked for. The caller asked if I was the person in charge of bad service.
  64. Denise Lukavic
    They asked me why their foot got wet in their waterproof open-toe sandals.
  65. Ivan Salamon
    Can you do a copy of my key? (Home key).
    We own a computer/hobby shop! We get this question asked on a regular basis. Maybe because they see USB key on Google?
  66. James Anthony Hall
    Why is my size 6 shoe so huge on my foot?
    The customer read the tag upside down and tried on a size 9.
  67. Edward J Wright
    Can you transport illegal Labrador puppies across the Mexican border?
  68. Matt Miller
    Why do these ribs have so many bones, why is the frozen margarita so cold and do you have red flavored Kool-aid?
  69. Hal Lieberman
    Customer: Can I have a cup of ranch?
    Me: (after the customer was done eating) Why?
    Customer: I like to drink it
  70. Olga Sander
    Can you give me a discount on this hat as I’m going to wear it very rarely?
  71. Rune Larsen
    is there gluten in the potato?
  72. Nancy Erhardt
    I didn’t send my payment in but why did my policy cancel?
  73. Vicki Kutner
    I need to return my $5000 order. It didn’t sell. This is 6 months after the purchase.
  74. Bronwyn Sebesta
    Can you marble this steak for me?
  75. Tim Paul
    Do you sell pianos?
    Our store name is Piano Trends.
  76. Hans Masing
    Customer: "Uhhh, what kind of toy store is this?
    Me: "If you have to ask, we're not the one you're looking for."
  77. Paul Bromm
    The ingredients for time travel potion.
    Yes, really.
  78. Shirley Nixon
    Is there any meat in the chicken pie as my daughter is a vegetarian?
  79. Alex Job
    What is it like to be lefthanded? Got that question a lot when we did handwritten invoices.
  80. Leslie Genszler
    A customer asked me to read their palm. I was selling pottery at the time.
  81. Jason Von Glahn
    How did you learn to talk so fast?
  82. Mary Carkin
    My husband is an artist and we carry items in our store with his drawings of animals on them. An expectant couple asked him to tell them what their unborn child's spirit animal would be.
  83. Marlo Miyashiro
    A customer walks in on a mission and says, "I'm looking for shoelaces. The round ones not the flat ones."
    Our store is The Handmade Showroom. And no, we do not have shoelaces, artisanal or otherwise.
  84. Jim D'Amico
    I was once asked by a young woman that lifted up her top and asked "How do you like these?"
  85. Al Sanders
    Why aren’t your newspapers fire-proof?
  86. Sharon Elizabeth
    She gave me her kids back-to-school list, said she had to go somewhere else and could I find the items while she was gone?
    I worked at Target.
  87. Andrea Styers
    If I wore contacts because of my eye color. I know I’m not the only person who has blue eyes! Look at my kids…
  88. Michael Kline
    So, the orchard is outside?
  89. George Nelson
    How could I put her on hold when she called, what if she were calling in a 'bomb threat', then how would I have acted?
    I said I take calls in the order they come in, How may I help you?
  90. Diane Sechrist
    At the airport. Puts a boarding pass in my face, says what do I do with this?
  91. Christine Benevides
    A customer asked me if we sold cat milk for kittens?
    I said to her...am I on Ellen? Lol
  92. Jason Brown
    Can they exchange an item that has been in their closet, unworn, for the newest version?
    My answer was “No, why not just start wearing it?”
  93. Julie Godfrey
    Was the mountain here when Walt bought the lot??
  94. Janet Olson
    Asked me where the KY Jelly was located in the store. I told him in aisle 6 next to the peanut butter. LOL Don't try to shock someone smarter than you. LOL
  95. Ray Allen
    I got a mannequin down off of a stand so i could take an item off of it for a customer. As I was doing so, I apologized to the customer for having to put my hand in the crotch of the mannequin to set it down securely. The female customer replied, “That’s okay. I just came from the gynecologist. It looks like you have great technique as well!”
  96. Deanna Bogdan Solomon
    I was a store manager at Barnes and Noble for many years. A lady brought a dead cat into the store and asked me where the pet medical books were located because her cat was “in a coma”
    It was clearly dead.
  97. Becky Kienzle
    I was asked by these two couples to engrave a plate with the words "Dead Pool". Apparently their group of friends bets on the number of celebrities that die during the year.. The couple with the closest guess wins the trophy. That being said I convinced them to add a design of the Skull & Crossbones to go with. They loved it!!!...
  98. Mary Carkin
    A woman looked at the industrial-sized HVAC pipes hanging from our ceiling and wanted to know if that tube carried hot water to our local hot springs pool.
  99. Joanne Smida
    Is the squirrel in your store a pet squirrel?
    We had a baby squirrel in our store and advised people when they came in. It was safely removed after three days.
  100. Melissa Moore Wilson
    I was a manager at Lowe’s. The customer wanted to buy “peach paint.” Ok, I helped her look at the sample cards for a color she liked. Ah…no. The color needed to say “peach” and no matter how hard I tried, she didn’t understand that people pick out something they like the look of, and that’s about it. This went on for 20 minutes.
It's easy to see why so many retailers shared with me on my Facebook page as many of the comments seemed to come out of thin air. When you're shopping at a store remember the times you might have said something weird or wacky to a retailer - then think before you speak and maybe add just a bit of explanation.