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  1. #1

    Default How to get samples at dept stores?

    I want to give the cologne a thorough test run before buying it, especially Acqua di Parma. Any suggestions? Thanks!
    Last edited by a529612; 2nd November 2007 at 02:14 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    Just ask. Most sales associates, with the rare exception, won't offer you a sample unless you have bought something. I would just ask if you could have one. You could even ask what samples they have. Then you could choose. You might get lucky and walk about with a bunch.

    Acqua di Parma is amazing, though. If you want to smell like the ultimate, classy, clean, suave and sophisticated G who might just have a million dollars in his pocket, or he might just have a gun...this is your scent. Old school, soapy, and just about perfect.
    Last edited by Nicolas V; 2nd November 2007 at 03:04 AM.
    You are not your perfume.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    When I ask for samples I make sure they know that I am genuinely interested in scents and it doesn't help to pretend that you are going to come back and buy it if the sampling goes well. I usuall pull a line like "I need to test it on my skin for a few days but I'm pretty sure I'll be back to buy it." Since they work on commission they go crazy for it. They are so stingy sometimes but usually wouldn't deny a specific request for a sample of a scent. Just ask.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    Which dept stores carry Acqua di Parma other than the snobby places like Nordstrom and Saks 5th? Thanks!

  5. #5

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    Quote Originally Posted by a529612 View Post
    Which dept stores carry Acqua di Parma other than the snobby places like Nordstrom and Saks 5th? Thanks!

    I believe that certain Sephora locations carry a few AdP stuff and I have seen a bunch of stuff at Nieman Marcus. It is worth a look.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    I usually tell them its a gift when I ask for the sample...that way I get no pressure to buy it on the spot, and you don't get the stingy response of "I'll just spray it on a card for you". Some SA's act like they had to give birth to the samples and you're asking them for their first born.

  7. #7

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    From my experiences, it is very hard to get samples from big department stores or the smaller perfume shops.

    Most of the sellers are jackasses who give you weird looks if you want some samples after spending 40 damn euros. Two samples just ain't enough damnit, they don't seem to get this.

    I have no clue how i'll pull it off to test the frags i want.
    Buying samples online is expensive and they need to travel internationally.


  8. #8

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    Quote Originally Posted by JBL View Post
    From my experiences, it is very hard to get samples from big department stores or the smaller perfume shops.

    Most of the sellers are jackasses who give you weird looks if you want some samples after spending 40 damn euros. Two samples just ain't enough damnit, they don't seem to get this.

    I have no clue how i'll pull it off to test the frags i want.
    Buying samples online is expensive and they need to travel internationally.

    Bring your own empty decant bottles and fill them up at the store when no one's looking.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    Quote Originally Posted by sofresh View Post
    Bring your own empty decant bottles and fill them up at the store when no one's looking.
    The "perfume divas" (that's who they think they are) already give me weird looks if i just enter this shop. I'm not the stereotype perfume lover with fancy clothing, i'm just a normal regular guy like there are millions.

    The effect of this is that they keep an eye on me whenever i'm there.
    Some b*tches find it necessary to "assist" me every time i show my face...

    I really really can't just go in and spray some juice in an empty decant bottle.
    All their fancy eyes want to see is MONEY MONEY MONEY

  10. #10

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    Quote Originally Posted by JBL View Post
    The "perfume divas" (that's who they think they are) already give me weird looks if i just enter this shop. I'm not the stereotype perfume lover with fancy clothing, i'm just a normal regular guy like there are millions.

    The effect of this is that they keep an eye on me whenever i'm there.
    Some b*tches find it necessary to "assist" me every time i show my face...

    I really really can't just go in and spray some juice in an empty decant bottle.
    All their fancy eyes want to see is MONEY MONEY MONEY
    Ach, find another store! There must be somewhere else that's friendlier. Why suffer for your love of fragrance? Take your custom elsewhere.
    --------------------------------------
    Best 'sample' I ever got was a 5ml bottle of Sa Majeste La Rose in a velvet pouch. It's lasted me ages, and it was given to me by a sales assistant who probably should have known better when her stingy, unpleasant, older colleague was off duty. I went to the 'haute perfumerie' department of my favourite store in the town where I work and bought a bottle of SL Rousse for my husband, and she gave me that as a 'little extra'. I think if her colleague had been there, she'd have probably had a heart attack!
    Last edited by Clemmie; 3rd November 2007 at 09:03 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    "I don't know the key to success,
    but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."
    Bill Cosby

  11. #11

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    when i bought my bottle of armani attitude, i said to this assistant "you know, this is the first armani fragrance i've ever bought". she seemed almost aghast, and said "don't move! i'll get you some samples..."

    i ended up with about 4 1ml bottles of code, another 4 or acqua di gio and (strangely) about half a dozen of 1ml bottles of attitude...

  12. #12

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    Quote Originally Posted by chad278 View Post
    when i bought my bottle of armani attitude, i said to this assistant "you know, this is the first armani fragrance i've ever bought". she seemed almost aghast, and said "don't move! i'll get you some samples..."

    i ended up with about 4 1ml bottles of code, another 4 or acqua di gio and (strangely) about half a dozen of 1ml bottles of attitude...
    hahaha wow where did you get armani attitude?

  13. #13

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    in myer, actually! they had these huge, heaping drawers full of armani samples... right time, right place i guess

  14. #14
    Basenotes Plus

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    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    If you purchase at the same place frequently and a particular SA gets to know you, it is usually not a problem.
    Last edited by stuigi; 3rd November 2007 at 02:22 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    Quote Originally Posted by chad278 View Post
    in myer, actually! they had these huge, heaping drawers full of armani samples... right time, right place i guess
    wow well done! i've never had them give samples with a purchase

  16. #16

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    just ask, usually they're happy to help if you're spending money. just say something like 'hey, do you have any samples in the rest of this range?" if you're buying at the same time it's typically no big deal! are there many good places to shop for perfume in canberra?

  17. #17

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    I was able to get about 20 samples of various colognes tonight, all without purchase. My good friend Patrick at Sephora also managed to give me several ones I'd been dying to try.

  18. #18

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    I usually just ask, and rarely have problems getting them... Although if I did spend they're definitely more generous..
    In Australia, I've had a better history with David Jones in getting samples, even when I'm not purchasing...

    Try to go back on the same day to look for the same SA...

    Occasionally you can also go, "Wow, you smell really nice... what are you wearing..?" once they blush a little and giggle you know you'll be getting at least 5 or 6 samples... lol..

    ps: Was in trying out some fragrances in David Jones last the last Friday, and this SA was wearing Missoni Acqua, and she was smelling absolutely delicious..!!
    In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds it's morning, and is refreshed. -Kahlil Gibran

    Current Favourites: Mandarine by Il Profvmo, Sculpture Homme by Nikos

  19. #19

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    In my case found I was easily able to get my samples from an SA by being able to pronounce the not so weirdness that was her middle name. Well that and I guess half a brain when it comes to scent conversation can be appreciated to.

  20. #20

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    Friends get them for me too. I was given a sample of Diesel Fuel for Life last night - and was blown away by how similar it is to Coco Madamoiselle. And Angel. And Innocent Secret. It was like all of those fragrances cobbled together (to my nose anyway, which I admit needs a fair bit of educating). Clearly, it's the patchouli...
    "I don't know the key to success,
    but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."
    Bill Cosby

  21. #21

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    It seems like you get samples very easily in the USA.

    However; this is not in Belgium and probably not in some other countries.
    Americans are always lucky.
    Last edited by Suppressor; 4th November 2007 at 03:58 PM.

  22. #22

    CologneJunkie's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    Quote Originally Posted by a529612 View Post
    Which dept stores carry Acqua di Parma other than the snobby places like Nordstrom and Saks 5th? Thanks!
    It's actually the SA's @ my local Nordstrom that I find are the most helpful. They're always willing to make me some samples. They have their own lil sample vials, plus cards that the vials attach to. Each card holds 2 vials. On the card, there are spaces for the SA to write down the name of the fragrance & the price of a bottle. And that's just if you go requesting for samples & not buying anything. When you buy something, they REALLY hook you up! This has been my experience, at least.
    "Wait...is David Bowie really God?" - Penelope Garcia

  23. #23

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    Quote Originally Posted by chad278 View Post
    are there many good places to shop for perfume in canberra?
    not really - mostly just myer, david jones, perfume connection and mecca cosmetica. i usually buy samples from the perfume connection for $2-4 each, there's never much choice. haha lucky americans!

    where are you based?

  24. #24

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    i'm in melbourne, luckily, as there's some fantastic places here for perfume. you should schedule a road-trip, come down and sniff for a weekend :P
    current favourites: guerlain vetiver, trumper eucris, adp colonia
    latest swag: cdg man2, lolita lempicka au masculin
    next buys: keiko mecheri oliban, michael by michael kors

  25. #25

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    haha yeah i was actually thinking of going to melbourne in january... if i do i'll know who to ask about the best perfume shops

  26. #26

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    hopefully by january i'll know a little more! yet to really check out david jones down here, and i'm meaning to find a day to go to mecca and test a bunch of lutens, so we'll see how it goes
    Last edited by chad278; 7th November 2007 at 06:47 AM.
    current favourites: guerlain vetiver, trumper eucris, adp colonia
    latest swag: cdg man2, lolita lempicka au masculin
    next buys: keiko mecheri oliban, michael by michael kors

  27. #27

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    Do they have Creed + serge lutens in Melbourne ? Adelaide doesnt have anything !

  28. #28

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    they have a little creed, although you really have to hunt for it, but we have plenty of serge lutens. i know mecca has started stocking a bunch, and they have one south australian store - not sure where it is though as suburb names for sa mean nothing to me! try these two links:

    http://www.meccacosmetica.com.au/brand-detail.aspx?b=39
    http://www.meccacosmetica.com.au/store-finder.aspx
    current favourites: guerlain vetiver, trumper eucris, adp colonia
    latest swag: cdg man2, lolita lempicka au masculin
    next buys: keiko mecheri oliban, michael by michael kors

  29. #29

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    I see haha. Cheers mate.
    I'd like to test some of the Creeds as i tried some of them long time ago and really like this ONE << I dunno/forget wat is it called ( >< It was really really good.

  30. #30

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    If you buddy up with the sales girls at Sephora, they might give you a super generous sample. Bonus if they're about to quit. They don't work on commission.
    --------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by bernat View Post
    If you buddy up with the sales girls at Sephora, they might give you a super generous sample. Bonus if they're about to quit. They don't work on commission.
    p.s. don't bother with disingenuous flattery. i think it works best if they're cool and almost your friend.
    Last edited by bernat; 10th November 2007 at 12:37 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  31. #31

    Wink Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    Catch a SA in a good mood!

  32. #32

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    Wow... I guess I've had really good luck with salespeople. The first time I went shopping for fragrances at a large Canadian department store, I came home with two fistfuls of samples. When I went back to buy a bottle I got a miniature bottle for free, and a few more samples. The second time (just a week ago), at the same department store but another branch, when the salesguy found out I'd never smelled any Chanel scents before, he snatched up a bunch of samples for me *and* my friend.

  33. #33

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    I have worked as an SA in the past and heres the lo-down:

    1. Some SA's are told they are supplied as SALES TOOLS, and thus should only be given if you are about to "lose" a sale. That is, if someone is expressing much interest in a scent, has asked all the right questions, and then because of some factor (eg: pricepoint), may be considering a purchase from a competitiors range. In this instance, they are then offered so that the customer walks away and has the opportunity to try it and return to purchase later.
    2. Other SA's are told to only give a few samples with a purchase. If this is their brand's policy, theres no swaying them!
    3. Some SA's represent companies that DO NOT produce or supply samples.
    4. Some SA's are genuinely generous with samples because they enjoy the product, and regard fragrance as a pleasure, not a luxury for a "select few" who can afford it.

    Heres when you won't get a sample...

    1. If the SA can tell you're lying. After speaking with hundreds of customers a day, week after week, you learn to be extremely perceptive to body language, fluctuations in tone, and downright fibbing that are indicators that the customer is lying. Here are some examples... "Hi my (insert relative here) is sick in hospital and Id just like to take him/her something to cheer them up", or "Hi, Im getting married and have 9 bridesmaids I want to buy perfume for, can you give me 9 samples for me to try on them". Where in some cases these scenarios might just be true, we've heard them time and time again, and often will NOT respond positively to them.
    2. If you hint at obtaining a sample. As in "oh, my friend once got these little thingies, um, what do you call them? That you can test them first?"...
    3. If you go in with the attitude you 'expect' a sample. 99&#37; of the time, the way in which the customer acts and speaks to the SA will determine whether they will get one (if indeed that company has any to begin with).

    Heres what will increase your chances...

    1. Be genuinely interested in the product, and be humble. Fragrance "snobs" will put a SA off, where as fragrance enthusiasts will usually be able to engage in light and knowledgeable conversation about perfume, which will demonstrate they are a serious buyer and are likely to return. If youre the type who needs to "prove" you know it all, you can forget it.
    2. Build a relationship with one SA! A good genuine rapport with one or two very special SA's over a period of time will see your bag filled with samples and GWP's in no time. Guaranteed.
    3. If all else fails... a sneaky trick is to be perceptive and identify the staff and their companies they represent by their uniform, or fragrance their touting.
    If you are what the SA's call a "walk-in", ie: someone entering the store for the sole purpose of obtaining a sample and then leaving, then you have to be smart about it. The fragrance floor is full of SAs who are loyal to their company. They will be more likely to give a sample away from a competitors stock just to appease you, rather than diminishing their own stock. SO, if you would like something from YSL, and the counter is unattended, or the YSL SA is on a break, go see the Thierry Mugler assistant, and ask about YSL products. Chances are their knowledge is little with regard to YSL releases, and often when asking if you may sample a YSL product, the Mugler assistant will hand you several and bundle you out the door so they can go back to their own counter. Its always worth a try!

    I apologise for the epic mail, but it may be insightful to read how SA's think, as seen from the "other side" of the counter!
    Last edited by Sorcery of Scent; 2nd December 2007 at 09:50 AM.

  34. #34

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    Good tips! I have NOT been having much luck at my local Macy's, but perhaps when I go to the city I'll hit some of the bigger department stores some of you have mentioned. My friend said she went once and got like 7 samples! I've only gotten 2 at a time, and I got 2 Paris Hilton (Heiress and something else) the first time and the second time I got another PH and a female scent by Usher. NONE of these are my types at all, so I'm totally outa luck.

    Once I was told by a SA that they had a special season when all of the perfumers give out LOTS of samples. I seem to remember that it's around this time of year, but they've still upheld their rather "chincy" nature. Tips?

  35. #35

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    I have found most department stores and high end fragrance shops tend to want you to buy a sampler. This bugs me because I am interested in their products and would most likely purchase a bottle if it smells good on me. I wear a suit for business on a daily basis and have noticed that it makes no difference if you come in jeans or a suit. I ask for a sampler and am usually told 'that will be $3.50 sir.' At that point I tend to leave, no sense in arguing with a 20 something with an attitude.

    Such a shame. They might of lost a sale due to their attitude.

  36. #36

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    Before I leave the house I spritz myself with a fragrance or when I'm at the store. I do this before I ask for samples. Then when I ask for samples I tell the SA's that I'd like a sample of such and such to try because I'm already wearing a fragrance. I try to be firm and no nonsense so they they know I'm not there to play cat and mouse. 99% of the time I'll be given a sample. Or, better yet, look for the new employee who's not learned yet to be stingy with the samples. ; )

  37. #37

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    Thanks for the suggestions, Dimitri =0] Good to know...

  38. #38

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    Quote Originally Posted by silverdragonfly View Post
    Before I leave the house I spritz myself with a fragrance or when I'm at the store. I do this before I ask for samples. Then when I ask for samples I tell the SA's that I'd like a sample of such and such to try because I'm already wearing a fragrance. I try to be firm and no nonsense so they they know I'm not there to play cat and mouse. 99% of the time I'll be given a sample. Or, better yet, look for the new employee who's not learned yet to be stingy with the samples. ; )
    I'm a newby at this, but Silverdragonfly's trick is a good one - tell the SA you're interested in a fragrance, but you're already wearing something. I've gotten samples that way.

    Sephora is very good at making samples for you (some SA's are more accommodating than others); my local Nordstrom's provides little splash vials and lids so you can make your own samples. Macy's has never been helpful at all - in fact, I've been in two local Macy's stores and overall the staff have not been pleasant or friendly to deal with.

    Currently loving: Hermes Un Jardin sur le Nil, Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile, Prescriptive's Calyx

    dying to try: anything violet

  39. #39

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    One thing I have noticed (at least at most of the suburban dept. stores in the Greater Vancouver area) is that while I've always gotten quite a few samples with a given purchase, they are usually just for the newer frags that are getting marketing push. I've rarely seen samples for scents that are well-established.

    As for walking in and being handed a bunch of free samples... It seems crude to expect something for nothing. The other day I had a great and enthusiastic conversation with the SA at the downtown Hermes boutique regarding the Hermessence line. He seemed glad to have a customer that knew something about fragrance and with whom he could abandon the standard sales pitch and just chat... In the end, although it was pretty clear that I was just browsing, he handed me three very substantial and elegantly designed sample vials of the Vetiver Tonka, Poivre Samarcande and the Brin de Reglisse. It felt like a fair exchange, though; we'd had a great and educational (for me) talk and, being exclusive fragrances to that boutique, I feel like I'd want to go back and buy from him rather than seek out cheaper prices online.

    I've had similar experiences at the Perfume Shoppe where the owner, Nazrin will gladly decant out samples of whatever interests you, as long as you are willing to give something in return... Even if it is just some of your time.

  40. #40

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    I'd agree with theLateDoctor, but, what tends to help, is isolating the manager, flattering them, and genuinely caring about the stuff they're selling, rather than just about the sample. At House of Fraser in London, I spoke to the female SA, was nice, even slightly flirty, but I genuinely showed an interest, and told her I didn't want to buy at the time, as I had spent my money (I had a couple of designer shopping bags on my hand, that always helps, makes you seem like a customer, rather than an onlooker!)

    I left with 2 CKin2U samples, 2 Vera Wang for Men samples, and a Marc Jacobs Man sample ! Although, I liked the CKin2U so much, that I went back the same day, and having already spoken to her and become friendly, she said if I spent over &#163;30, she had a 'special offer' and could give me some free CK One showergel I got it nonetheless, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't an offer on at the time !

    Final Moral: If being nice and slightly sucking up, but showing a genuine interest doesn't work. Ask for samples lol. Works all the time!

  41. #41

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    I'm going to David Jones, Myer, Perfume Connection and Perfume Empire at Warringah Mall in Sydney tomorrow afternoon. I've got a big "to try" list that I'm going to have to print out if I want to remember them all! I'm really interested in many of them, so hoping to get a couple of samples... which of the stores am I most likely to be able to get samples from? Of course, I'm not just after samples... I'm genuinely interested in these perfumes and possibly purchasing them if I *really* like them, which seems to be the attitude to have in getting samples.

  42. #42

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    At Sephora, I honestly just go in and look at the fragrances. Some lady usually walks up and I small talk her. I'll usually spray a different cologne on each arm. Almost everytime, they ask if I just want samples for both. Small talk = samples. I've gotten 4 from a really nice lady once.
    I have: Davidoff Relax, Dior Homme Sport, Boss Selection, Azzaro Visit, and Creed MI (will provide # on bottle for verification) available.

    Looking for the following: DG The One, Himalaya, YSL L'Homme, John Varvatos (not vintage) Canali For Men or Paypal.

  43. #43

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    I had no idea that you could get perfume samples at a dept store counter! I have to make friends with the lady at the Guerlain counter!
    ~Grenouille knew for certain that unless he possesed this scent, his life would have no meaning.~
    Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

  44. #44

    Default Re: How to get samples at dept stores?

    I sent my husband and son out on Christmas Eve to the Guerlain counter, where the saleswoman thought that my son was a girl and showed him how to rub perfume into his palm...My husband smilingly pointed out that he is a boy (8, longish hair, scruffy jeans and trainers, navy fleece), and she was mortified and pressed two samples of Insolance on him....She must have been incredibly tired, this was about 4:30 on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately I don't care for Insolence at all, it just smells super-sweet to me. (I'd be happy to post them out to anyone in the UK who wants them)

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