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  1. #1

    Default Fraghead v Sales rep

    Hey guys,

    I have a little story and possibly a life lesson to share with you all. So today, I found myself in town after university and thought I would take myself into the House of Fraser department store to have a little browse through the fragrance department. After smelling what I wanted to smell, I approached the member of staff in charge of the fragrance department and politely asked them would they happen to have any samples they could give you. Now, you must take into account that I had just got out of university and didnt exactly look a million bucks so why should they give this random guy samples?! The sales rep obviously noticed this and proceeded into a somewhat rant of a reply about how samples cost money to make (seriously?!), how they "dont give them out willy nilly, here there and everywhere" (how are we meant to test them?) and that I simply couldn't have any. Now i'm not the confrontational type, far from it...however on this occasion I didn't really appreciate being treated like a nobody. So I thought I would chance my arm and push the issue a bit and replied to this rant with "oh...thats a shame...I was hoping to buy myself a new Creed but just didn't know what one to go for". At this point with the £120 ($200+) pricetag in her head, the sales rep quickly changed her attitude and said "well we might have one or two...i'll have a look...i highly doubt it though"

    End product: I left the store with samples of Aventus, Silver Mountain Water and Millesime Imperial.

    Result: Fraghead 1 v 0 Sales Rep

    I guess people shouldn't judge a book by its cover! Hope you all enjoyed this little tale
    Creed Aventus lid wanted: please pm if you can help

  2. #2
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    Good for you. Well done!

  3. #3
    Lean in closer, dear
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    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    Lovely.
    In a world where 6 million people are added each month, every landscape matters.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    Well, it's all mind games.

    At least if you're like me and don't dress up. Personally I make my purchases after school and I don't look dressed up or anything, just chat a little, if I don't like a SA, I leave her/him and go to the next. Until I find my perfect prey, I proceed with my chatter then request some samples.

    Remember, those people make less money than you do (or will do). They're supposed to give you samples, but they probably use them themselves or give them to friends/customers they find attractive. You gotta show them their place.

    But then again there are smart and generous SAs....but they're a minority.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    "Remember, those people make less money than you do (or will do). They're supposed to give you samples, but they probably use them themselves or give them to friends/customers they find attractive. You gotta show them their place."

    What place would that be? What does their salary have to do with how a person should treat them?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    "Remember, those people make less money than you do (or will do). They're supposed to give you samples, but they probably use them themselves or give them to friends/customers they find attractive. You gotta show them their place."

    What place would that be? What does their salary have to do with how a person should treat them?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    Enjoyed your story. Nothing wrong with being assertive! Enjoy the samples (which I've found are much better when sprayed on).

    Martin

  8. #8
    Shaheen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    Are you presuming that she works off of commission, or do you know this for a fact? She may have just been having a bad day.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaheen View Post
    Are you presuming that she works off of commission, or do you know this for a fact? She may have just been having a bad day.
    Maybe she was having a bad day, but the way story was told, she doesn't sound like the best of people to be fair. Had the OP been wearing a flash suit, I bet he'd have been given samples without hesitation.
    Last edited by sdmilne; 28th January 2011 at 11:31 PM.

  10. #10
    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaheen View Post
    Are you presuming that she works off of commission, or do you know this for a fact? She may have just been having a bad day.
    Having a bad day is no excuse for her rudeness. Well done Mervin for handling it so well & not sinking to her level. Enjoy your samples!
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  11. #11
    Basenotes Institution
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    Default

    The SA needs to learn ' not to judge a book by its cover'. Anyhow looking down on customers and being rude is just not on. As Teardrop said - a bad day is not an excuse - that's when professionalism steps in.
    Thanks for the sharing your encouraging story !
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    One could have also noted that advertising costs money as well and that most successful businesses spend heavily on it to promote and market their goods.
    The Bark Bites Back on film here --> https://thebarkbitesback.wordpress.com

  13. #13

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    She sounds like the typical snotty sales rep. If you came in a suit and tie, she probably would've given you a lot more than samples lol But seriously, yes they do judge the way you dress. I've seen/know guys that dress like total bums but drive £100k vehicles. For some reason, Floyd Mayweather's uncle comes to mind! ha In fact, a lot of wealthy people blend in much better than you think (because they're usually miserly hoarders lol -- dont mean to offend, just a joke ).

    Anyway, in my experience, all of the department stores are very reluctant to give samples. You are more likely to get them at independent places. Maybe they just want the quick sell? Or think you'll take the sample and buy elsewhere or online? It's doesn't seem the fragrance houses are too eager to help either. Trying finding samples of Bond no.9.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    Many people care only about appearances. Once I went to NY, and visited a Lacoste store to buy shirts and trousers. I was wearing jeans, the simplest possible sweater, and tennis shoes. The sales guy looked at me with disgust and made jokes about poor brazilian people buying clothes to resell. It was only when I asked to have the hem adjusted that he began to treat me better.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    I've noticed that the SAs here in CT tend to ignore me, unless I hang around for more than five minutes, in which case they give me the casual, sometimes blatantly disinterested "can I help you?" type attention. I really don't care at all what kind of attention they give me - personally I hate attention when I shop. I know I'm the minority in that, but it's the truth. Having anyone look at me and speak to me when I'm trying to make my mind up on a purchase is totally distracting and yields little in the way of help. I usually walk into a department store feeling like I know I can't make my mind up, and once I do, the only thing I need is for someone to ring up the sale.

    As for the OP's experience - naturally most people prefer positive attention from the sales reps at department stores, and this particular rep was completely out of line. I don't subscribe to Ekove's belief that income should dictate how a person is treated - honestly, if I'm dealing with someone who makes $8.75 an hour, or $100 an hour, that person deserves respect and kindness regardless. That said, I do believe that a large number of sales reps in department stores carry a very strange high opinion of themselves, which sometimes comes off as blatantly conceited, and it behooves them to remember that they're working at Macy's, not the White House. If you treat every customer with respect and kindness, you increase your chances of making a commission, do you not? Just the way I see it.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    I had a very similar experience at the By Kilian counter at Saks recently. I've also found that entering into discussion with people and showing you know about fragrance, even if you don't suggest you're likely to spend big bucks, makes people more willing to give out samples.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    As a former fragrance sales rep, I know something about this.

    She is likely to have been "tight" with samples from her own portfolio of perfumes (each rep in a store generally represents a specific perfume house or manufacturer). As soon as you opened your mouth and mentioned Creed (potentially a line NOT in her portfolio) she was glad to hand over samples from a different firm, as it did not diminish her own sample stock.

    I think it unfair to immediately judge SA as "snobby" and assume she is making assumptions based on your appearance. Arent you making assumptions too?
    Few people actually have an understanding of the background behind a retail space, and the companies/reps that fill it.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcery of Scent View Post
    As a former fragrance sales rep, I know something about this.

    She is likely to have been "tight" with samples from her own portfolio of perfumes (each rep in a store generally represents a specific perfume house or manufacturer). As soon as you opened your mouth and mentioned Creed (potentially a line NOT in her portfolio) she was glad to hand over samples from a different firm, as it did not diminish her own sample stock.

    I think it unfair to immediately judge SA as "snobby" and assume she is making assumptions based on your appearance. Arent you making assumptions too?
    Few people actually have an understanding of the background behind a retail space, and the companies/reps that fill it.
    I agree with your point, however, if the customer perceives it as snobby (which the original poster did) then it is snobby. The customer is always right on this occasion. The customer doesn't know about what's going on in the background and that's not relevant to their experience. They didn't receive the service they expected, certainly not with a smile.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    Quote Originally Posted by badr View Post
    I agree with your point, however, if the customer perceives it as snobby (which the original poster did) then it is snobby. The customer is always right on this occasion. The customer doesn't know about what's going on in the background and that's not relevant to their experience. They didn't receive the service they expected, certainly not with a smile.
    I almost agree with you 100%. There may have been an awkward standoff at first, and no smile, but the customer left with samples in hand... the purpose of his/her visit.

    I will agree that this is ATROCIOUS customer service, but one cant always make assumptions about SA's and their motivations, without considering what the SA makes of yours.

  20. #20
    Basenotes Junkie Matthew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    Did you ask for a specific sample, or did you just ask if she had some samples she could give you?
    I perceived it as the latter, and so could understand her reluctance. Sounded like you just wanted some free stuff, ya know?
    Last edited by Matthew; 31st January 2011 at 12:51 AM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    Quote Originally Posted by Ekove View Post
    Well, it's all mind games.
    Until I find my perfect prey, I proceed with my chatter then request some samples.

    Remember, those people make less money than you do (or will do). They're supposed to give you samples, but they probably use them themselves or give them to friends/customers they find attractive. You gotta show them their place.

    But then again there are smart and generous SAs....but they're a minority
    .
    Nice attitude!

    I worked in as a sales rep and a laborer in a factory to pay for my degree(s). I learned a lot from that experience, knowledge that isn't taught at school. I'm pretty sure experienced SAs can see you coming from a mile away.

    To the O.P: All I got from your story is that you actually can't afford to buy the perfumes you wanted free samples of (at the mo).
    Last edited by jathanas; 28th January 2011 at 11:57 PM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    Sounded like you just wanted some free stuff, ya know?
    I tend to agree.
    If you're asking for samples up front - and when denied them - you THEN disclose your intentions, is rather like putting the cart before the horse.

    If you enter a retail space and have an engaging conversation with an SA, explaining your intentions, which in this case was:
    "I was hoping to buy myself a new Creed but just didn't know what one to go for"
    ... then I would imagine the SA would perhaps be more forthcoming with information and samples.

    If you ask for them up front, then you will 9 times out of 10 look like you're sample-mongering. Stating your intentions after being denied, only for the sake of 'putting an SA in their place' is just game-playing.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaheen View Post
    Are you presuming that she works off of commission, or do you know this for a fact? She may have just been having a bad day.
    The lady who I was dealing with seemed to be in charge of the entire fragrance section as she was the only person there and another employee informed her that they had sold "a big bottle of 212 Sexy Men" to which she replied "Very good! That will look good tomorrow". So there's some sort of agenda going on even if it isnt personal commission.

    Quote Originally Posted by MOONB View Post
    I've noticed that the SAs here in CT tend to ignore me, unless I hang around for more than five minutes, in which case they give me the casual, sometimes blatantly disinterested "can I help you?" type attention. I really don't care at all what kind of attention they give me - personally I hate attention when I shop.
    Generally I prefer it whenever a customer assistant just leaves me alone while i'm shopping also but having walked around for 15-20 minutes, I didn't get approached once.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcery of Scent View Post
    As a former fragrance sales rep, I know something about this.

    She is likely to have been "tight" with samples from her own portfolio of perfumes (each rep in a store generally represents a specific perfume house or manufacturer). As soon as you opened your mouth and mentioned Creed (potentially a line NOT in her portfolio) she was glad to hand over samples from a different firm, as it did not diminish her own sample stock.

    I think it unfair to immediately judge SA as "snobby" and assume she is making assumptions based on your appearance. Arent you making assumptions too?
    Few people actually have an understanding of the background behind a retail space, and the companies/reps that fill it.
    There isn't really one particular counter at this department store, the fragrances are just littered around the fragrance area with one till to pay at which was being manned by the lady who I was speaking with. I completely understand where you're coming from in terms of potentially I am "assuming" things but I worked in Marks and Spencer which is THE "up market" food store here in the UK so I understand about good customer service and how to interact sucessfully with customers which unfortunately this lady didn't do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    Did you ask for a specific sample, or did you just ask if she had some samples she could give you?
    I perceived it as the former, and so could understand her reluctance. Sounded like you just wanted some free stuff, ya know?
    I went into the store looking to gather maybe 2 or 3 samples to help with future purchases but I didn't want to start rhyming off a few fragrances I wanted samples off so I simply enquired as to whether they provided samples or not. I understand she just might have assumed that I wanted free stuff bu she should have actually assisted me by asking what I was interested in rather than just dismissing me out of hand.

    Thanks for all the support by the way guys, hopefully this helps a few of you out when it comes to awkward sales reps!
    Creed Aventus lid wanted: please pm if you can help

  24. #24

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    I think what is important to understand is that samples are SALES TOOLS, not "freebies", and there is ZERO obligation for a sales assistant to give them out unless they deem it appropriate or necessary.

    Ugh, this just reminds me as to why I left retail!

  25. #25

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcery of Scent View Post
    I think what is important to understand is that samples are SALES TOOLS, not "freebies", and there is ZERO obligation for a sales assistant to give them out unless they deem it appropriate or necessary.

    Ugh, this just reminds me as to why I left retail!
    I understand that samples are indeed sales tools but the way this lady was talking was that they were given to people after they had made a purchase of something which seems fairly pointless.

    I guess I just didn't like the way I was judged and spoken to by this sales rep and made to seem like some sort of fool for asking whether they provided samples or not.
    Creed Aventus lid wanted: please pm if you can help

  26. #26

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    Quote Originally Posted by Mervin View Post
    I understand that samples are indeed sales tools but the way this lady was talking was that they were given to people after they had made a purchase of something which seems fairly pointless.

    I guess I just didn't like the way I was judged and spoken to by this sales rep and made to seem like some sort of fool for asking whether they provided samples or not.
    No mate, she probably judged you to be a student and hence unlikely to have the disposable income to buy much. She wasn't too far off the mark was she?

  27. #27

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    Quote Originally Posted by Mervin View Post
    I understand that samples are indeed sales tools but the way this lady was talking was that they were given to people after they had made a purchase of something which seems fairly pointless.

    I guess I just didn't like the way I was judged and spoken to by this sales rep and made to seem like some sort of fool for asking whether they provided samples or not.
    Samples are intended for use at:

    A. A fragrance launch, or
    B. When closing a sale. The idea of adding samples to your bag after a purchase is to promote other lines that may interest you, AND build that ever-important rapport with the customer. This is how good SA's build and maintain their return customer businesses. It, in part, is what makes the difference between a good SA and a bad SA.

    Is it really such a surprise that some SA's take exception to the gradual erosion of their tools?

    My guess is that you were judged less for your appearance, and more for your presumption that samples were forthcoming.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    Quote Originally Posted by jathanas View Post
    No mate, she probably judged you to be a student and hence unlikely to have the disposable income to buy much. She wasn't too far off the mark was she?
    I go to university but i'm a postgrad student...not an undergraduate therefore I get paid for the research I do so I can indeed afford to go into this store and buy pretty much whatever fragrance I want.
    Creed Aventus lid wanted: please pm if you can help

  29. #29

    Default Re: Fraghead v Sales rep

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcery of Scent View Post
    Samples are intended for use at:

    A. A fragrance launch, or
    B. When closing a sale. The idea of adding samples to your bag after a purchase is to promote other lines that may interest you, AND build that ever-important rapport with the customer. This is how good SA's build and maintain their return customer businesses. It, in part, is what makes the difference between a good SA and a bad SA.

    Is it really such a surprise that some SA's take exception to the gradual erosion of their tools?

    My guess is that you were judged less for your appearance, and more for your presumption that samples were forthcoming.
    Ah right, that makes sense I suppose. Although whenever I went to the counter I didn't demand any samples, I enquired as to whether they provided them or not. Maybe the lady misunderstood and instantly thought I was trying to blag some free samples which I wouldn't have minded at all, its very easy to misunderstand someone. However, she went very defensive very quickly almost trying to belittle me, maybe because i'm a young guy who was wearing normal clothes...I dont really know why.
    Creed Aventus lid wanted: please pm if you can help

  30. #30

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mervin View Post
    I go to university but i'm a postgrad student...not an undergraduate therefore I get paid for the research I do so I can indeed afford to go into this store and buy pretty much whatever fragrance I want.
    But you just wanted freebies...
    Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.

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