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  1. #1

    Default SA greedy with samples

    Do you guys/gals receive samples easily? I feel that I have to ask to get a sample. Then if I want another I have to ask again. I always want to try them first before I buy so samples help me a lot. I think that if a SA sees you checking out a fragrance they should offer a sample.

    Don't department stores receive samples for free? I bet you they aren't greedy about bring them home for their spouses.

  2. #2
    smeller
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    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Quote Originally Posted by gmm150 View Post
    Do you guys/gals receive samples easily? I feel that I have to ask to get a sample. Then if I want another I have to ask again. I always want to try them first before I buy so samples help me a lot. I think that if a SA sees you checking out a fragrance they should offer a sample.

    Don't department stores receive samples for free? I bet you they aren't greedy about bring them home for their spouses.
    Here in Brazil they don't even give you samples.

  3. #3

    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Man that blows. I have purchased many scents after I sampled them. I also have not purchased many many scents because I didn't like them or they didn't last.

  4. #4
    smeller
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    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Well, here I can get a spray from a tester in a store (luckily on skin, mostly on card), but I never got a vial except from online sellers.

  5. #5

    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Here they dont give samples. (Generally)

    Last week I asked for Guerlain Homme....the cute SA of Guerlain gave me 3 samples.

    Why? Because I asked directly for Guerlain Homme. She said she will sell it 1 week more....Only promotion.

    I was so happy that day!
    "Burn their homes and churches.Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again.
    For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a new Armenia."

    William Saroyan.
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  6. #6
    brianroy's Avatar
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    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Here in The Netherlands you always get 2 or 3 samples when you buy a frag.
    Yesterday I got Comme Des Garcons (original), Ed Hardy Men, Guerlain Homme.
    Once I bought 1million from Paco Rabanne, and received a sample of Lolita Au masculin. I went back after testing Lolita and swapped the 1million for Lolita.
    For sale: Nemo Cacharel 1,7OZ (30ML) 99% full

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    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    I've given this opinion in another post. It is highly probable certain SAs who are stingy with samples are saving them to give to their friends (or to themselves) for personal use or for later sale on the internet--which is loaded with offers for sales of manufacturer provided 'free' samples..
    "Are you a god?"
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Maybe if I keep repeating this, it might catch on...

    Samples are an ENTICEMENT to buy, NOT A REWARD!
    Lately I've been wearing:
    Windsor, Bois de Santal, Original Santal, Elixir, Douro, Endymion, Reflection, Arcus, Marwah

  9. #9

    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    When I used to sell fragrances, out of 10 new launches, maybe three would be sent with promotional samples. We literally had to phone up and beg the companies to send them. Even then you'd only get a box of 20 or something.

    And once that 20 was gone, getting even more was even harder.

    Most of the time, we had about samples of about 5-10% of our stock
    Currently wearing: Gardénia by Chanel

  10. #10
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    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Isn´t it smart to expose people who already spend money of fragrance to different perfumes? Hoping they will spend more?

    I can understand SA if they don´t want to give samples to people who ask for them but never seem to buy anything, if you buy a bottle though you show that you do buy perfumes so it makes sense to me to give those people samples of other perfumes.
    But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

  11. #11

    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    When working in fragrances, I would give samples to customers who were genuinely interested in the scent in question, and whom I had determined were not "serial sample-collectors". You'll be surprised at HOW MANY HARD-LUCK PLEASE-GIVE-ME-A-SAMPLE-TO-CHEER-UP-MY-DYING-CAT/BROTHER/MILKMAN STORIES we will hear in a day's work, but after a time, one tends to develop a sixth sense about whether people are being genuine or not.

    The bottom line, is that samples are an expensive commodity, and as scentronic mentioned - are used as sales tools, not rewards.

  12. #12

    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Here in the U.S. I find department store SA's are often stingy with samples - even when you make a purchase - or they claim not to have any. Maybe they truly don't. The exception is Nordstrom, whose SA's are great about samples. If they don't have a carded sample they will decant one for you. They keep the 1 ml glass vials there for that purpose. Same at my local Sephora, they will decant a sample for you if you ask them nicely. I find it varies by location, though. In New York, getting samples from SA's was like pulling teeth. When I was in Florida last summer staying with my mother who'd had an accident, I went shopping for cosmetics for her at a department store, Bloomingdales I think it was. I asked them if I could have some perfume samples to cheer my mother up because she was in physical rehab (quite shameless I was! ), and they couldn't have been nicer. The SA went up to another floor to get a free gift with purchase that didn't start until the next day, plus an assortment of perfume samples.

  13. #13

    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimitri View Post
    When working in fragrances, I would give samples to customers who were genuinely interested in the scent in question, and whom I had determined were not "serial sample-collectors". You'll be surprised at HOW MANY HARD-LUCK PLEASE-GIVE-ME-A-SAMPLE-TO-CHEER-UP-MY-DYING-CAT/BROTHER/MILKMAN STORIES we will hear in a day's work, but after a time, one tends to develop a sixth sense about whether people are being genuine or not.

    The bottom line, is that samples are an expensive commodity, and as scentronic mentioned - are used as sales tools, not rewards.
    So, funny...we were posting at the same time. My SA believed my hard luck story. It really was true. Or perhaps he didn't think I was the type who wore the $150 jar of cream I was buying for my mother.

  14. #14

    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Quote Originally Posted by lilybelle View Post
    So, funny...we were posting at the same time. My SA believed my hard luck story. It really was true. Or perhaps he didn't think I was the type who wore the $150 jar of cream I was buying for my mother.
    Haha... well, its true that some of these stories hold some truth, but it becomes pretty to clear after a while, who is telling the truth and who is simply scavenging!

  15. #15

    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    india, they let you test any fragrance you wish but no policy of free samples unless ofcourse if you buy a scent. if one is makign a purchase then they load em up with some minis and samples. a lot also depends on how many purchases you make from that counter and the kind of rapport you build with them over years...

    im so tempted to have Jrd4t to place a order on my behalf at Barneys...the way those guys load him up is juts insane.....the reason coudl also be coz he purchases really high end stuff from them...

    also, as Dimi did mention...samples must be an expensive commodity...imagine 100's flockign by and taking free samples...thts like giving away 2 full bottles for free...
    Last edited by jenson; 20th November 2008 at 03:18 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Quote Originally Posted by lilybelle View Post
    Here in the U.S. I find department store SA's are often stingy with samples - even when you make a purchase - or they claim not to have any. Maybe they truly don't.
    I have the same problem here in SF. I find it hard to believe that places like Needless Markup and Barney's don't have samples. But walk into either place with a fresh (and full) Louboutin shopping bag and they are all over you

    Now, that said, I love the SAs at the Barney's in SF - especially the gentleman at the Malle section (he seems to have a small fan club on BN) but had he sent me home with a sample of D'Hiver, I'd have been back in 2 days to buy it.

    Quote Originally Posted by lilybelle View Post
    The exception is Nordstrom, whose SA's are great about samples. If they don't have a carded sample they will decant one for you. They keep the 1 ml glass vials there for that purpose. Same at my local Sephora, they will decant a sample for you if you ask them nicely.
    That has been my experience with both establishments as well. Don't have it, they make a decant for me. Unfortuneately, neither Nordies or Sephora carry niche brands or I'd be giving them all my fragrance business.
    Looking for small decants
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  17. #17

    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Why can't more department stores adopt a Sephora-like policy i.e. 3 free samples/visit and if they don't have any carded samples they will decant one for you? This should be standard in the industry. Chandler Burr asks,"Would you buys a pair of jeans without trying them on? So why would you buy fragrance without trying it on?" Stores that are stingy with the samples don't get my business. Macys, Neiman, CO Bigelow & Bloomingdales come immediately to mind.
    "I exist for myself, and for those to whom my unquenchable thirst for freedom gives everything, but also for everyone, since insofar as I am able to love - I love everyone. Of noble hearts, I am the noblest - and the most generous of those that yearn to give love in return. - I am a human being, I love death and I love life."

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    My classics: Dior Homme EdT, YSL Rive Gauche PH, Helmut Lang Cuiron, L'Occitane Neroli (vintage), Davidoff Zino, L'Occitane Eau des Baux

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  18. #18
    Futami's Avatar
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    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Here in south Florida, for the most part I have no issues getting samples. I just ask nicely and 9 times out of 10 they oblige( Macys, bloomies, Neimans and Saks.) I try to dress a little nicer when going to the fragrance counter especially when I know I'm not going to buy anything. Unfortunately most SA's do judge other people by appearances.


    I do have to agree Nordstroms SA are the best usually. They are always very nice and will make a decant on the spot for you. i agree with renngrrl, It really is a shame that they don't carry niche lines or I would buy all my scents from them.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Quote Originally Posted by kbe View Post
    I've given this opinion in another post. It is highly probable certain SAs who are stingy with samples are saving them to give to their friends (or to themselves) for personal use or for later sale on the internet--which is loaded with offers for sales of manufacturer provided 'free' samples..
    Interesting. I have always suspected this, as I do use eBay quite often ( especially for fragrances). And I wonder, why do these individuals have so many of a certain label ? Just does not make sense. Now some perhaps are not "taking" them from work, but I am sure a lot are.

    I just indulged in a heavy amount of samples on eBay and it came with a big price, at least for something that is supposedly not for sale. The seller does not come across as amateurish and has a solid reputation so I was OK with spending the money. Not an outrageous price however, as I would not want to support any buyer who is "ripping" me off. But none of the vials would have been found in shops in my city ( some discontinued, others hard to find). And unfortunately, there is no Sephora in Canada. Buying sample vials gives me a chance to carefully choose and determine whether a scent will work for me.

    Back to the main point, I do not expect SA's to just hand out samples. That is unreasonable. Too many people would just take advantage of this. It would be nice if I could just drop $2 or $3 for a sample vial and that way the companies would not have to worry about the amount they are giving away as samples. When I buy a bottle, I usually get several samples. Depends on who the SA is , of course.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    When I used to sell fragrances, out of 10 new launches, maybe three would be sent with promotional samples. We literally had to phone up and beg the companies to send them. Even then you'd only get a box of 20 or something.

    And once that 20 was gone, getting even more was even harder.

    Most of the time, we had about samples of about 5-10% of our stock
    Now that would be a great communication from the SA to the soon-to-be-disgruntled potential customer. I have yet to hear anything like that from an SA when no samples were forthcoming.
    "Are you a god?"
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    In two years I have bought two bottles of Edt over the counter at retail outlets in a total of 8 visits. The visits all took place in 2006.Both sales were decided from samples given at that particular visit. I have asked for samples each of the other 6 visits without receiving any ("out of samples", "the supplier doesn't supply samples", "store policy is to only give a sample with each purchase", etc. from 6 different SAs at 3 different retail stores. As a result those experiences helped in my decision to buy a total of over a hundred and sixty bottles from online stores and Basenoters instead. Would I have bought all these at those retail brick and mortar stores? Nope, but more than likely I would have bought a large percentage of them there.

    Not nearly in the same league with Julia Roberts' character going back in the store with the snooty SA who snubed her in Pretty Woman but definitely along the same lines:

    "Shop assistant: Hello, can I help you?
    Vivian: I was in here yesterday, you wouldn't wait on me.
    Shop assistant: Oh.
    Vivian: You people work on commission, right?
    Shop assistant: Yeah.
    Vivian: Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now. "
    Last edited by kbe; 20th November 2008 at 09:49 PM.
    "Are you a god?"
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    "Are you a wizard?"
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    "Are you a man?"
    "No"
    "Then what are you?"
    "I am awake.."

  22. #22

    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimitri View Post
    Haha... well, its true that some of these stories hold some truth, but it becomes pretty to clear after a while, who is telling the truth and who is simply scavenging!
    Guilty as charged, I'm afraid. I used to go into stores and ask for samples "to give to my sister whose birthday is coming up". Nowadays, I just explain I want to know about a frag's development on the skin before committing to a bottle. 'Course, the only place where they really know my face now is also the only place where I've bought two large bottles at full retail price, so I guess it evens out.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    When I used to sell fragrances, out of 10 new launches, maybe three would be sent with promotional samples. We literally had to phone up and beg the companies to send them. Even then you'd only get a box of 20 or something.

    And once that 20 was gone, getting even more was even harder.

    Most of the time, we had about samples of about 5-10% of our stock
    I work fragrance retail... I second how difficult it is to get samples out of the companies. While our head office tries to lean on the companies to get samples, and we are constantly ringing up the reps and badgering them, we rarely get anything whatsoever.
    It's even worse now with the new launches, in the last 6 months, we've had roughly 20 new launches, and I think we've had samples for 5 - and not many!!
    I might make the suggestion to our head office that we begin to offer a sampling service described by some of the people here, decanting into vials.
    I don't like the notion that 'greedy SAs' take them home to sell them. I get my samples when I purchase elsewhere. I'd be sacked if I was taking home samples.

  24. #24

    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    i find it depends here in NY:

    Sephora and Aedes is the easiest place to get samples and so friendly!!!!

    SAKS Creed counter forget about it...but Bergdorf I have

    Bond stores sometimes...depends who is there, some have been really stingy when I have been genuine interested in the fragrance, but I am not about to buy a fragrance in 5 seconds unless I have a full wearing and they are so pushy to make a sale

    Barneys never gives me any samples, claims to not have any not sure if true or now, and I am really interested in the Frederic Malle line, so I keep going back to try each one

    Never got any samples from anyone at SAKS except Penhaglins

    Tom Ford at Bergdorf was very generous and made up 4 ml samples of about 6 different ones I was interested in right there on the spot

    I think it really depends on the SA, the store, your attitude, genuine interest
    Last edited by denec; 21st November 2008 at 03:30 PM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Quote Originally Posted by Scentronic View Post
    Maybe if I keep repeating this, it might catch on...

    Samples are an ENTICEMENT to buy, NOT A REWARD!
    Frequent policy however seems to be the opposite: you buy a fragrance, we reward you with samples. You are possibly interested in fragrances - smell 'em at the store. I always make a point to SA's that it is impossible to judge a perfume by a quick spray-on. If I'm shelling out $100 I want two full wearings, to be sure. Wouldn't buy a car without test-driving. In that respect, I cannot understand fragrance companies keeping samples in short supply - it's promo, who cares if 20% of samples are picked up by scavengers. Considering the profit margins in the industry that peanuts. And what is more sensible than giving as many people as possible an opportunity to thoroughly get acquainted with what you as a seller believe to be a quality product better than the competition's? (ay, there's the rub, perhaps . I greatly appreciate the service at Parfümerie Albrecht in Frankfurt - the best "little" perfumery in the world - where they will fill a sample vial for you of pretty much anything (well, I haven't asked for Invasion Barbare yet and admittedly I've boufht expensive stuff there before). I actually got the same treatment at a German drugstore chain - Müller - which has a large perfume department. They filled some Jaipur Fraicheur for me just like that. While I didn't buy it ultimately I make a point of getting other stuff there now, because that kind of service deserves to be recognized.
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    While I didn't buy it ultimately I make a point of getting other stuff there now, because that kind of service deserves to be recognized.
    right. Speaking with the wallet. But...I doubt if those in upper management in those stores, in whose stores SAs are probably acting on their own in not giving out samples to folks like you, are aware. They are the ones who might really care that possible sales are being thwarted by arbitrary and sales-killing withholding of samples by SAs.

    As for me, I have given up buying fragrances in stores. I only drop in on occasion to see what tester is available for some frag I want to try. I never buy fragrances over the counter any more, that way I don't have to duel with SAs over their giving out samples to try first. I just pay to have any samples I want sent to me from one of the eTailers.

    Whoops-- I did buy a $29 large M; Men from a local Sephora last year on a Basenoter's post about the price at Sephora. I never asked for samples or interacted with an SA, just walked in and right over to the bottle and took it immediately to the cashier. I was in and out in less than 10 minutes.
    Last edited by kbe; 21st November 2008 at 08:17 PM.
    "Are you a god?"
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    "Are you a wizard?"
    "No"
    "Are you a man?"
    "No"
    "Then what are you?"
    "I am awake.."

  27. #27

    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Leave a tester out and I am happy. Most samples I have received at dep. stores are of fragrances I did not like anyway. I rather be at a perfumania where they let me smell anything than at a store where they will give me samples of phat-farm, unforgivable, everest, Nautica competition (I have like 10 of them in my drawer), Aqua di Gio, L'eau D'Issey (as If I did not know what they smell like), RLs, etc. I have never seen a sample of YSL, Guerlain, or Chanel.
    As far as I am concerned, it would be better if I had to pay for the samples I choose than to expect getting freebies of random stuff. That is why Sephora, Aedes, Luckyscent and BAsenoteres selling their EDTs are at another level. Scent Monkey is also great, though their samples are a bit too expensive (flat $3 charge).
    Shameless Plug: Sales thread with Roses Musk, Rose Poivree, and others.
    Looking for lot of samples of female fragrances.

  28. #28

    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Quote Originally Posted by irish View Post
    Leave a tester out and I am happy. Most samples I have received at dep. stores are of fragrances I did not like anyway. I rather be at a perfumania where they let me smell anything than at a store where they will give me samples of phat-farm, unforgivable, everest, Nautica competition (I have like 10 of them in my drawer), Aqua di Gio, L'eau D'Issey (as If I did not know what they smell like), RLs, etc. I have never seen a sample of YSL, Guerlain, or Chanel.
    As far as I am concerned, it would be better if I had to pay for the samples I choose than to expect getting freebies of random stuff. That is why Sephora, Aedes, Luckyscent and BAsenoteres selling their EDTs are at another level. Scent Monkey is also great, though their samples are a bit too expensive (flat $3 charge).
    I usually visit local stores to first smell frags on cardboard. Then, if I'm still interested, I may ask for a sample - although I may not always get one. If not, I don't mind "going" to a seller of samples and pay a small fee to get what I want to test. I wouldn't mind paying a small fee at local perfume counters if they were willing to sell me specific samples.

    My local Sephora store has been stingy with frag samples, yet they tend to offer me tons of cosmetic samples.... of which very few ever interest me or work for me.
    I am NOT my hair, I am NOT my skin ; I AM the soul that lives within!

  29. #29

    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    I get free samples from department store SA's by talking to them for ten minutes about fragrances. Seems like they are learning from me!

    And, of course, I make purchases once in a while. I'm the kind of guy that when I need to stop to use the restroom while driving, I'll buy a drink at the fast food place I went into.

  30. #30

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    Default Re: SA greedy with samples

    Yes, I've had SAs at a certain store tell me they don't have samples even though another SA gives them freely. At the department stores I'm lucky to get any samples. One perfume shop even sells samples despite the samples having "sample, not for sale" on them!

    Then again, I'm an Avon rep where they encourage us to give out samples. However, they expect us to buy the samples and then give them away for free! Grrrr!

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