When I go window shopping, the sales clerk would usually come near me asking what I like. How should I politely shoo them away? Can I simply say


or something like


I know I can just ignore them and they get the body language that I just want to look by my own. What is the common way to say it?

I usually feel awkward especially in electronic shops like yodobashi or yamada. For bookshops, they just leave you alone. I guess electronic shops' clerks are agressive.

By the way, as a side question. Is there a word for "shoo" in Japanese? I know Japanese are polite but do they have it?

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    I feel that clerks at American electronic shops and stationary shops are much more annoying than those in Japanese shops. In Japan, clothing shops are the most annoying.
    – user458
    Mar 21, 2012 at 6:27
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    @sawa-san, Yes!! Clothing shops' clerks are sooo annoying here ~~
    – user1016
    Mar 21, 2012 at 6:35
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    @sawa-san, Actually, your right. clothing store clerk are more aggressive. haha.
    – Nap
    Mar 21, 2012 at 6:39
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    For "shoo", the first thing that popped into my mind was あっち行け!, though it sounds fairly strong to me...
    – cypher
    Mar 21, 2012 at 8:38
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    @cypher-san, Haha, how about 「シッシッ!」? (Just kidding)
    – user1016
    Mar 21, 2012 at 10:15

4 Answers 4


When the clerk asks me if I'm looking for anything particular (何かお探しですか?), I usually say あ、だいじょうぶです。 or あ、もうちょっと見てから。.

When the clerk says at places like boutiques よかったらどうぞ試着してみてくださいね~(Please try them on) or 他のサイズ/お色もご用意してますのでね~(We have different sizes/colours too), I say quite shortly あ、はい or あ、ども.

"to shoo away" = [追]{お}い[払]{はら}う...?

  • I have one clarification. why is it the shoo away translated as 追い払う? Doesn't it mean add payment? So your saying to the clerk that your adding payment even if you haven't bought anything?
    – Nap
    Mar 21, 2012 at 7:16
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    @Nap-san... The verb 追い払う has nothing to do with 'to pay' or 'payment'... The verb 払う also means 'to brush away/to dust off', and 追う can mean 'to chase'.
    – user1016
    Mar 21, 2012 at 8:05

Normally just say something like「いや、ただ見ているだけです。」


I normally say "いいえ、結構です!". If you use "(いいえ、)大丈夫です" then you are consenting to their help.

Kekkou means more 'the situation is fine as it is', whereas daijoubu is 'ok'. There are some parts of town you can get yourself into trouble if you're not careful. (eg. "Masa-ji?" Never reply daijoubu!)

I often find that I have to be a little more direct, as there aren't many foreigners in my area who speak Japanese, so "今頃お手伝いは結構です" (I'm fine for the moment) or "いりません” (I don't need help!) usually does it. It's polite and to the point. The downside is that they might decide to have a conversation with you instead as you speak Japanese.

If everything else seems to be failing, then try getting down into unkoza (squatting like you're going to use one of holes in the ground) to look at something. If you're a guy you'll look like a hood/uncouth person, but it often has the desired effect.

  • 2
    (1) We never say 今頃[いまごろ]お手伝いは結構です. (2) Lol, what is "unkoza"? Is it standard Japanese? (3)「"いいえ大丈夫です" then you are consenting to their help」--> それは訪問販売と街頭のキャッチセールスの場合でしょ!OP's talking bout 'window shopping'!
    – user1016
    Mar 24, 2012 at 16:18
  • I'm not meaning to be pedantic, but is there a reason you spelt "masa-ji" with one "s"?
    – Golden Cuy
    Mar 25, 2012 at 6:03
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    @AndrewGrimm-san, massageではなくてmasa-jiと書いたのは日本人が英語の発音が悪いことを暗に揶揄しているのではないかと。@mogg-san, 今頃お手伝いは結構ですdoesn't make sense. Maybe you're trying to say 今のところお手伝いは結構です? We wouldn't say that either, though.
    – user1016
    Mar 25, 2012 at 17:33
  • @Chocolate Eigo o onegaishimasu?
    – Golden Cuy
    Apr 18, 2012 at 8:38
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    maybe he means うんこ座り?ドン引きだけどね。 Dec 30, 2013 at 4:01

These clerks are doing their job exactly as if they were trained, and the behavior of clerks is something that every Japanese person is used to; it is expected. You are the customer (an important person) and you do not ignore an important person. They are not trying to sell you anything. The clerks will be very helpful if you do need something.

You do not have to say anything; it is not actually expected. I find myself smiling and making a tiny head movement (because the clerk is also an important person, and you do not ignore an important person).

Watch how locals react to the clerks and do the same thing.

Just play along and everyone feels good.

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