A Note on Shopping Tours

You might have our recent post about how to determine whether your shopping tour guide is legally licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs. If you're booking a general sightseeing tour of the city's popular tourist destinations, anyone with a valid guide's license should be able to show you around town. But what if you're in the market for a shopping tour?

One thing that professional costume designers and stylists discover early on is that when it comes to clothing, everybody has an opinion. Most people wouldn't dream of telling the lighting designer which gobo to use or advising the cameraman on proper shooting techniques, but they often have no problem telling the costumer what they think looks best. Everybody wears clothes, which means that everybody knows the lingo.

The same holds true when it comes to those offering "personal shopping" or "shopping tour" services. While some personal shoppers and shopping tour guides are indeed highly qualified, it's not always the case. Just because someone likes clothes and knows a few cool places around town does not mean that they're a professional shopper.

For costume designers and stylists who work in the entertainment industry, shopping is the job. Most costumers start out as production assistants and eventually graduate to shopper or assistant designer positions, all of which require a great deal of time (often 12+ hours a day) spent in the city's stores. With a few years of theatre or TV experience under their belt, a great shopper should have business relationships with every fabric store and every industry resource. They'll know their way around all of the city's department stores (including "insider" info like where the best public bathrooms are located, and how to get from one store to another without going outside in the rain) and have a strong working knowledge of the city's boutiques and specialty retailers. A great shopper can tell you--without hesitation--where to find vintage silk flowers, an odd-size bra, an authentic military uniform, a 1980s "eight ball" jacket, a life-size squirrel costume, antique buttons, a karate gi, or a belt for a guy with a 60-inch waist.  They're also great with the city's public transportation system, since 30-40 bus and subway trips per day is not at all uncommon when returning items or searching for the perfect piece.

When you book a shopping tour with Seek, you're getting the best of both worlds:
a fully licensed New York City Sightseeing guide, and a professional shopper with years of experience in television, theatre, opera, and print. Why would you settle for anything less?