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Updated on Jun 27, 2019. Posted on Dec 16, 2017

Always Wash Your Clothes, And Other Secrets We Learned From Talking To A Zara Employee

The best time to actually shop there? Tuesdays.

BuzzFeed Mexico interviewed a Zara employee in Mexico City about what working at the fast fashion retailer is really like.

And here's what we learned:

1. The whole staff has to get checked by security every day upon entering and leaving the store.

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"It's a pain, but it's their way of being sure that you don't take anything".

2. Sale days are the worst for employees, because you work nonstop.

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"If you run out of things in your store, they'll send you to another location for to find the items you need."

3. The employees on the floor have one main job: fold and refold.

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"As soon as a customer puts clothes back, we have to go fix it up so that everything looks presentable ... and when the store is busy, that's near impossible."

4. If the employees aren't punctual, they get sent home.

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I guess they call it fast fashion for a reason, eh?

5. As an employee, the worst thing that can happen to you is getting sick.

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"One time I had a really bad stomachache, and I still had to work for four hours before they let me go to the doctor."

6. Employees also have to strategize their bathroom breaks.

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"It's so busy that using the bathroom or being on your phone is frowned upon, because it takes time away from work."

7. The women's clothing is always very dirty by the end of the day...

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"Usually, there's a lot of makeup stains."

8. But even if the clothes are stained, the store still tries to sell them.

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"I recommend washing your clothes before wearing them."

9. And don't even get us started on the fitting rooms.

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"There are people who seem to go in just to clean out their purses. They leave behind garbage, tickets, hair accessories...you name it."

10. If a customer comes into the store with food, it's up to the employees to discreetly make sure that they don't get it on the merchandise.

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"You watch them very carefully."

11. Employees who have been at the store for less than three months are issued a uniform...

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So you can actually tell pretty easily who's newish on the floor.

12. And afterward, you can wear your own clothes, but they must be approved by the store.

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They usually have to be black, too.

13. And your employee discount only kicks in after you've been at the store for a certain amount of time.

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Which is a major bummer.

14. If you're an employee and management thinks you're good-looking, it's more likely that you'll be assigned to work the floor.

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"It's pretty awful, but if they don't like the way you look, they put you in the stockroom."

15. Clothes that don't sell by the end of a season are sent back to Spain.

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Part of the reason why the turnover seems extra fast.

16. And on busy sale days, you should always check the tag.

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"When there are discounts, people move everything around. So you might think that something is expensive, but if you check the tag, it ends up being from the discount section."

17. The best days to go shopping in peace and quiet are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

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"Especially Tuesdays — that's when new clothes come in, and there are almost no customers."

18. And finally, there are discounts all year — you just have to know to look.

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"You don't have to wait for a change of season. It's very typical for there to be sales on random days ... so it's good to subscribe to the newsletter to stay informed."

This post was translated from Spanish.

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