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  1. #1

    Default The Nit-wits of Sephora

    Going round Paris, my ladyfriend and I visited several perfume stores. I was tempted to buy Very Mat Male, but decided against it, as it was somewhat close to Lempicka. We visited Sephora in Champs-Elyesse and various niche stores like Artisan and Nikolai, and other high end places. We were dressed in smart casual wear, and were treated very well in all those establishments.

    We were staying at the Hotel Concord Lafayette, which has the Boutiques de Palais adjacent/below it. My ladyfriend and I went for a walk through this nearly deserted "exclusive" shopping centre, wearing the same casual gear we did everywhere else. We didn't realise we had entered snob city. Gone was the friendliness we'd experienced across the rest of Paris.

    We walked into the Sephora in this place. There were three customers in the store and about 7 or 8 staff. None of them came over and asked if we wanted any help, as they had in their main store. And the two security guards kept their eyes trained on us like hawks, as we merrily went round and sprayed ourselves with scents we hadn't seen.

    It is a weird experience to be treated as vermin, when I have over $100,000 in credit in my wallet.

    Some hours later, I decided that a patchoulli scent I'd sprayed on me (made by a brand I'd never heard of) was really quite good. I thought about going down there and buying it. But then I thought about it, and decided it would be better if the people in that Sephora shoved it up their backsides.
    Renato


  2. #2

    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato
    I have over $100,000 in credit in my wallet.
    Renato, my friend! We need to hang out! [smiley=wink.gif]
    Seriously, though -- drinks on the house and Renato's buying! [smiley=beer.gif]
    And the Sephora bitches? They can suck it.

  3. #3

    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    Quote Originally Posted by Coleman
    [quote author=Renato link=1120934078/0#0 date=1120934078] I have over $100,000 in credit in my wallet.
    Renato, my friend! *We need to hang out! * [smiley=wink.gif]
    Seriously, though -- drinks on the house and Renato's buying! * [smiley=beer.gif]
    And the Sephora bitches? *They can suck it.
    [/quote]
    I said "credit".
    I do have to pay it back at some time.
    Renato

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato
    [quote author=Coleman link=1120934078/0#1 date=1120934300][quote author=Renato link=1120934078/0#0 date=1120934078] I have over $100,000 in credit in my wallet.
    Renato, my friend! *We need to hang out! * [smiley=wink.gif]
    Seriously, though -- drinks on the house and Renato's buying! * [smiley=beer.gif]
    And the Sephora bitches? *They can suck it.
    [/quote]
    I said "credit".
    I do have to pay it back at some time.
    Renato[/quote]

    You have to pay those things back? Uh-oh....
    [smiley=wink.gif]

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    This behavior sickens me. I've known a few people who could literally buy most of the establishments that they walk into. These people purposefully dress casually at times to see how they are treated and if they are properly looked after, that is where they spend their money. How can a salesperson ever have any idea to "qualify" a potential purchaser based on what they dress like or what they look like? Impossible.
    I'm glad you didn't go back there to purchase that scent, they can stick it.
    Sephora here in the States is totally casual and the best place to sample scents because after the initial greeting, they leave you alone to spray all you want and if you beckon them, the service is excellent. Other US establishments should take their cue from Sephora. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience there.
    Lastlyand most importantly, I hope you both had a fantastic vacation!

    Regards, Eric

  6. #6

    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    I agree that there is no excuse for store staff to prejudge a customer based on appearance or to treat a customer in a snobby, distrustful, or otherwise less than gracious manner. Sorry you had a bad experience.

    However, one thing I LIKE about my local Sephora is that the staff does NOT try to help me. They have testers of everything out on the shelves and just leave me alone to spray and sniff. The lack of attention (as distinct from a bad attitude) is actually very pleasant and refreshing.

    --Steve
    Just because it happened to you doesn't make it interesting.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

    My sales thread: http://www.basenotes.net/threads/304...85#post2614885

    Wanted: YSL Nu EdP

  7. #7

    CologneJunkie's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    Quote Originally Posted by SmellsLike
    They have testers of everything out on the shelves and just leave me alone to spray and sniff. The lack of attention (as distinct from a bad attitude) is actually very pleasant and refreshing.
    I'm totally with you on this one. I get so distracted when sales people try to "help" me, when I know what I'm doing & know what I'm looking for. My tastes veer toward the unisex/soft-masculine fragrances, & I get SO MAD everytime someone says "The women's fragrances are over here" or "You do know that scent is for men, don't you?" Can't I just sniff in peace???
    "Wait...is David Bowie really God?" - Penelope Garcia

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    Very interesting experiences all around. *I've had some of my own as well! *I usually shop the Sephora in Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, IL. *I must agree with Eric, they are one of the best places to sample at! *Attention when you want it...freedom when you need it...ahd, even though I'm a large guy with a possibly intimidating appearance, they have never "hovered" over me or tried correcting me if I strolled into the female scents! *The manager is nice, but does seem rushed at times (I've been in retail for years...I can sympathise!). *The rest of the staff is pleasant and cordial, and I can jawbone with the two male sales reps for minutes at a time about men's frags! *Nice people, overall!

    Another place in Woodfield that seemed pleasant to shop at was their Nordstrom's. *Upon asking two ladies at the Men's Fragrance counter if they carried Creed fragrances, they both apologized and said "no," with one going on to say that Creed was a line kept in Chicago by (to their knowledge) Nieman Marcus. *They said they didn't know of anyone else, but the one went on to say, "Well, we DO have something equally unique: *Truefitt and Hill." *And I'm like "cool!" because I never tried a Truefitt and Hill and here's my chance! *They were both very accomodating and sprayed scent strips and the one asked, "Would you like to try one on yourself?" *I politely declined and was offered a take-home sample of their shave cream and a vial of Grafton EDT (nice!!!). *They did not act rushed, inconvenienced or bothered. *Think if I decide on a T&H frag, I'm goin' there!!

    Lastly, The Barney's in downtown Chicago is fantastic! *Pleasant, accomodating, helpful, cordial....they seem to have it all! *In spades, no less!! *Though I didn't spend a single cent my first time in, every SA was really nice and friendly. *They encourage you to sample the frags and will gladly help with any questions. *And their approach is so down-to-earth!! Nice!

    And I've had bad experiences too. *I won't name names, but I will tell you that a couple of Mag Mile retailers could REALLY use some customer service pointers. *As much as some folks beat down Perfumania, there are some instances where I'd rather deal with the inexperience of a Perfumania SA than to be treated poorly by an SA from one of the "Un-Named"

    Kinda reminds me of an incident years ago when my buddy Jeff, at that time a Porsche owner, stopped by one of the local Porsche dealers. *He parked his (gorgeous) Iris Blue 911 Targa by the front double entrance door and noticed the place was devoid of customers. *Dressed in knee-length jean shorts, Hawaiian shirt, and white Nike sneakers, he strolled calmly about the lot where a majority of both new and used Porsches were parked. *Minutes later, a salesman approached Jeff and greeted him in a cool manner. *Jeff didn't take it to mean much, but as time went on, Jeff could clearly tell this guy was looking down his nose at him. *The salesman sorta sneered when Jeff mentioned (and this is just about verbatim), "I may be interested in trading in my current car on something newer or different." *No brand was mentioned. *By this time, the salesman had written off selling anything to Jeff and said, "OK...well, I'll just let you look around." *And turned and walked away without even waiting for a response. *Jeff glanced the salesman's way every second or two as he walked towards the showroom. *Finally, the salesman rounded the corner for the door, amd saw Jeff's 911 sitting there. *Knowing full well there wasn't anyone else there but employees, he quickly doubled back and started walking briskly towards Jeff. *"Hey is that your Iris Blue '87 Targa?" *"It's an '86," Jeff quipped back at him tartly. *By now the salesman was a jumbled mess of words and expression as he tried to recover from his blunder. *Jeff just looked at him and said, "Nah I'm just gonna keep my car." *And LEFT!!!!!

    I LOVE that story!!!!! [smiley=grin.gif] * *

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    I hardly ever get attitude from sales assistants. On my last trip to NYC, I had the BEST time chatting (and spending) with the helpful and friendly SA's at Chanel, Takashimaya, Barney's and Caron. None of them could have possibly guessed I was actually going to buy something (I am a big, burly, furry middle-aged avuncular type in very plain clothes and a trademarked baseball cap) and yet each seemed eager to assist.

    Still, there was this one time I did get the vermin treatment here in the bay area. I had wandered into a ridiculously expensive bed and bath shop looking for bed linens. The prune-faced sales person actually recoiled when I entered. I smiled and asked if I could look around. He lifted his nose up into the air and through the rictus of a forced smile hissed, "Certainly." I sauntered about the shop, not finding anything to my liking. He kept his distance as well as his eye on me for the entire few minutes. When I would ask a question about this or that sheet or thread count, he would answer as though having to even acknowledge my existance was the most painful thing he ever had to do.

    I was handling a good looking coverlet when he rushed over and blurted, "That is an extremely expensive cover... " At that point, I had tired of being on the receiving end of attitude.

    "Why yes, I would imagine this coverlet would be extremely expensive for someone eeking out a living on a clerk's pay but if you work hard and scrimp and save your pennies, someday, maybe in a few years it could be yours!"

    I can still remember the little silent "o" of his mouth on his reddening face as I curtsied and left.

    Gruff



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  10. #10

    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    Quote Originally Posted by evogel
    This behavior sickens me. *I've known a few people who could literally buy most of *the establishments that they walk into. *These people purposefully dress casually at times to see how they are treated and if they are properly looked after, that is where they spend their money. * How can a salesperson ever have any idea to "qualify" a potential purchaser based on what they dress like or what they look like? * Impossible. * *
    I'm glad you didn't go back there to purchase that scent, they can stick it.
    Sephora here in the States is totally casual and the best place to sample scents because after the initial greeting, they leave you alone to spray all you want and if you beckon them, the service is excellent. * Other US establishments should take their cue from Sephora. * *I'm sorry you had such a bad experience there.
    * Lastlyand most importantly, I hope you both had a fantastic vacation!

    Regards, Eric
    Thanks very much Eric. The vacation is fabulous so far.

    Actually, I left out part of the story.
    The very first shop we walked into in that centre was Nikolai's Perfumery. The scents were all made by Nikolai, and were pretty interesting - some bore a resemblence to the Penhaligon stuff. The sales assistant couldn't have been more helpful. So I bought yet another Eau of something or other for my ladyfriend.

    So when we walked into the snobby Sephora, my ladyfriend was carrying a Nikolai's bag with perfume in it. They would have had to be brain dead to not know that we were people who could spend!

    I've never seen such self defeating behaviour - a store that looks like it's going broke, not liking the look of possible customers who obviously have some money to spend. The same goes for other shops in that centre - the Pomme de Pain place we bought coffees from, and the cake place we bought pasteries from, and the Chanel place, and even the fine foods supermarket.
    Renato


  11. #11

    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    Quote Originally Posted by SmellsLike
    I agree that there is no excuse for store staff to prejudge a customer based on appearance or to treat a customer in a snobby, distrustful, or otherwise less than gracious manner. Sorry you had a bad experience.

    However, one thing I LIKE about my local Sephora is that the staff does NOT try to help me. They have testers of everything out on the shelves and just leave me alone to spray and sniff. The lack of attention (as distinct from a bad attitude) is actually very pleasant and refreshing.

    --Steve
    I don't disagree with your sentiments, in general, I like being left alone too.

    But, as is obvious, it really got up my nose when they applied that policy selectively to my girlfriend.

    My one regret is that I don't know french - I would have enjoyed inquiring into the nature of their stupid behaviour.
    Renato

  12. #12

    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    Quote Originally Posted by duxoop772
    "Nah I'm just gonna keep my car." *And LEFT!!!!!

    I LOVE that story!!!!! [smiley=grin.gif] * *
    Me too!
    Renato

  13. #13

    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    Quote Originally Posted by Griff

    "Why yes, I would imagine this coverlet would be extremely expensive for someone eeking out a living on a clerk's pay but if you work hard and scrimp and save your pennies, someday, maybe in a few years it could be yours!"

    I can still remember the little silent "o" of his mouth on his reddening face as I curtsied and left.

    Gruff
    I've filed away that fabulous response for future use.
    Renato

  14. #14

    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato
    [quote author=SmellsLike link=1120934078/0#5 date=1120940684]I agree that there is no excuse for store staff to prejudge a customer based on appearance or to treat a customer in a snobby, distrustful, or otherwise less than gracious manner. Sorry you had a bad experience.

    However, one thing I LIKE about my local Sephora is that the staff does NOT try to help me. They have testers of everything out on the shelves and just leave me alone to spray and sniff. The lack of attention (as distinct from a bad attitude) is actually very pleasant and refreshing.

    --Steve
    I don't disagree with your sentiments, in general, I like being left alone too.

    But, as is obvious, it really got up my nose when they applied that policy selectively to my girlfriend.

    My one regret is that I don't know french - I would have enjoyed inquiring into the nature of their stupid behaviour.
    Renato[/quote]

    Yes, that's why I made a distinction between being left alone out of courtesy to a browsing customer, and being left alone based on snobbery or other bad attitude on the part of the staff. It's usually very obvious to the customer which is which.

    --Steve
    Just because it happened to you doesn't make it interesting.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

    My sales thread: http://www.basenotes.net/threads/304...85#post2614885

    Wanted: YSL Nu EdP

  15. #15

    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    When I was young, the SAs would ask me if I'm getting a fragrance for my father or mother. And they would bug me while I was trying out the scents and say things like "this is a fresh fragrance", "this is a formal fragrance".... how helpful..... Being 1/3 their age then, I think I could do better than them. I think teens deserve to use a few good fragrances, too, and not be restricted to stuff like Adidas deodorants which makes me want to steer clear away from them...

  16. #16

    CologneJunkie's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    Keep the stories coming if you have them! The stupidity of some people never ceases to amaze me. I have a lil story, myself. It's not about being looked down on though, it's about the stupidity of the SA.

    A couple weeks ago I was browsing through the men's fragrance department @ Dillards. The way the Dillards is set up is that there are two seperate stores @ two seperate locations in the mall: one for menswear & one for ladieswear. I had been collecting several test strips as I was browsing. Each test strip said what the fragrance was. A lady came by to "help" me, & I just said I was browsing mens' fragrances. She then took a look @ the all the test strips I had compiled (I had them spread out fan-shaped so the scents wouldn't mingle too much). She then took the strips of Aqua di Gio & Armani Black Code out of my hands & said "Well, these are ladies perfumes..." I know I had a look of "OMG you idiot" on my face, but either she didn't see it or just ignored it. If I hadn't have ruled out those fragrances anyway & if I had been feeling fiestier I probably would've corrected her. No wonder that Dillards location has an opening for a fragrance SA!
    "Wait...is David Bowie really God?" - Penelope Garcia

  17. #17

    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    In this age of "charge it and worry later"...almost anyone can pony up for an expensive purchase..regardless of whether it looks like they can or not. So salespeople that "prequalify" according to your look and assist you accordingly are missing the boat in a big way. I have swerved away from using credit cards as I used to..but I remember saying to a girlfriend after we had gotten the blowoff and superior attitude from some cosmetics counter witch in a white lab coat, "What's her problem? My credit spends as well as anyone's!" haha A sale is a sale...whether it's a splurge for that customer or a drop in the bucket.

    This is why I do most of my perfume buying online.

  18. #18

    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    All a SA need do is simply say "Let me know if you need any assistance" and thats it! That way you don't feel like know one wants to help you, you have someone to go to when you do need help, and they are not prodding over you making you feel weird and not having personal time to make decisions. Personally, if someone wants to act snobby in front of me, I quickly remind myself of what little education most of the people that work in a Neimans, sephora, etc. have and walk off in pitty for them. You don't exactly have to yield a triple integration or speak rhetorical philosophy to seel cologne so, keep your head up buddy and don't let those nasty SA get you down because while they were uncouth, there are some good ones out there!

  19. #19

    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    The SAs at my regular haunt pretty much leave me alone. I get free reign behind the counter now, to browse and peruse as much as i like. It helps when on the first visit you can tell them what year a fragrance was made, who the perfumer was and what the active ingredients are. [smiley=happy.gif]

  20. #20

    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    When I walk into these stuck up snooty establishments, I always remember that the poor soul that is treating me in such fashion is most likely an hourly employee. And they probably do not make the money that many of the shoppers make.
    I have a quick story. This really happened. A man walked into a Chevy dealership dressed in what I will call " Farmers Clothing". He stood around for about 20 minutes with out any attention from any of the Sales People. A new hire saw the Man standing there and asked if he needed help. Long Story short.... The Man in the Farmers Clothing bought not 1 but 2 brand new Pick Up Trucks. Oh yes.... and let me add.....................He Paid CASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The new hire was advanced and is now in Management....... You can't judge a book by its cover.
    Gary

  21. #21

    Default Re: The Nit-wits of Sephora

    Once upon a time I picked up a drooling and filthy Howard Hughes hitch hiking on a lonely desert road. Of course I didn't recognize him but he was grateful and told me he was going to leave me controlling interest in a few casinos and there would be some nice babes coming over.

    I'm still waiting.

    [smiley=angry.gif]

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