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  1. #1

    Default Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    I'm asking because whenever I go to the mall I also stop by and get as many samples as I can. Like today I was in Sephora buying two fragrances I previously got samples of. I don't think it would be an issue but the guy said the limit is two.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    It's rude to just come right out and ask for samples. But it's part of the game to act like you're a serious buyer, and coax the samples out of them. Just a little working over and the generally excellent SA's at better department stores will load you up with good stuff. For bonus points, buy something, and you'll be set with samples for a long time.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    I had Givenchy Pi and Prada Amber in my hand to purchase and he still insisted on only two samples.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caius View Post
    I had Givenchy Pi and Prada Amber in my hand to purchase and he still insisted on only two samples.
    What a cheapass. Terrible. You need to shop in other stores. Might complain to management, too. The SA was the rude one here.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    That's what I figured. I'm so non confrontational so I didn't press further when he "insisted". I've been to the store before and a girl who worked there gave me like five and actually wrote the names on the ziploc.

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    Basenotes Junkie mikesc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    I just limit it to two at Sephora. At Nordsroms I fill up as many as I want. They have little 2ml decants out.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    imo if you go straight and ask if you havent sampled anything then yes, but if your sampling and are intrigued by the scent then no.

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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    The SA's at Nordstrom's at Mall of America in Minneapolis, give as many samples as you ask for. They also mailed me a few samples a couple of weeks later. Stores that aren't generous with samples are just hurting their sales.

    The most I've ever asked for is 3.
    Last edited by Kiliwia; 15th March 2012 at 02:33 AM.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    I can't smell on paper because it smells off to me. I've never understood that. I usually read reviews and go over the notes and then spray it on my skin.

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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caius View Post
    I can't smell on paper because it smells off to me. I've never understood that. I usually read reviews and go over the notes and then spray it on my skin.
    The paper method never works for me either. Putting it on and wearing it 2 or 3 times is the only way to know if it's something I want to invest in.
    Let us share each precious moment and enjoy the ones we love for each day is a new beginning and a blessing from above.

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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    I've found the fancier the store, the more samples they give, especially if you seem knowledgeable and interested and spend some time with the clerk. There often seems to be an unwritten rule that you need to purchase at least $100 worth, though. (I have been given a single sample at Sephora for a smaller purchase.) I have never actually asked for them but have been given as many as a dozen samples of top stuff, sometimes worth more than my purchase. I usually shop right after work and it seems to help to be wearing a suit.

    Pretty much everything smells dreadful sprayed on paper at first because it is mostly alcohol right out of the bottle. A better method is to mark down the names and take them home with you, to sniff after a few hours or, even better, use a sample.

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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Just left Chicago last week with many, many, many samples! Most definitely not rude if you at least show genuine interest in the product.
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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    I suppose it depends on the stores in your area, but here you can just ask for samples without schmoozing with the SA-- they have a policy of giving them, period. And it's not rude at all. Three samples at Sephora and..I don't know how many at Nordstrom because I've never asked for more than 2 or 3 at any one time.


  14. #14

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    I just ask haha but I tend to feel bad, and never more than two at a time.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    It's very simple.

    1) Buy something
    2) Ask for as many samples as your heart desires

    I have left Barneys with 12+ samples. I leave Aedes with 7 hand-decanted samples of anything I want if I give them a little notice. Do not be shy. Sampling is key to successful buying.

    It also helps to consistently go back to the same stores. They will get to you know and what you like.

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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Some places are more generous than others. If they offer samples I will take them, but usually don't ask for them when I make a purchase.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Chambers View Post
    It's very simple.

    1) Buy something
    2) Ask for as many samples as your heart desires

    I have left Barneys with 12+ samples. I leave Aedes with 7 hand-decanted samples of anything I want if I give them a little notice. Do not be shy. Sampling is key to successful buying.

    It also helps to consistently go back to the same stores. They will get to you know and what you like.
    I have to agree with this, sampling is the only way to try different scent, and if they have it, why spend the money ordering sample from LS or TPC.

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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    I've also seen clerks in Saks greet repeat customers by first name, sell them something that has just come in, and then bury them in new samples. It certainly makes sense in terms of sales and the store doesn't pay for the samples. I think you just have to show that you are a serious customer not out just for freebies. Some of the Sephora stores I have been to seem to be mobbed with young kids more interested in getting free sprays than actually buying something so the clerks probably get a bit cautious.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    ^ Probably because I look 16 lol

  20. #20

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    i don't have a Sephora or Nordstrom's locally, but living in Iowa, we have Von Maur, which is a very nice upper scale chain similar to Nordstrom's. I have bought several fragrances at the local store and frequently swing through to see if anything interesting has come in. I've gotten to know a couple of the female SA's quite well and all the SA's know about my "hobby". Because of this I almost always leave with several samples. Last purchase I made there was Bleu and I walked out with the fragrance, a nice Burberry weekend bag, a .5 oz Jaipur Homme EdP spray and four or five small samples. Taking the time to cultivate relationships does pay off.

    That being said, I never find myself asking for samples when I visit other department stores unless I've spent some time looking at several different fragrances and they have something I'd really like to try.
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    Basenotes Junkie BurgundyMarsh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Chambers View Post

    I have left Barneys with 12+ samples. I leave Aedes with 7 hand-decanted samples of anything I want if I give them a little notice. Do not be shy. Sampling is key to successful buying.
    I didn't think Barneys even sold as many as 12 different brands.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgundyMarsh View Post
    I didn't think Barneys even sold as many as 12 different brands.
    Barney's has more niche brands than any other department store I've ever seen.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    I've never had any problems asking for samples at Sephora or Nordstrom. I remember the first time I asked for samples at Sephora I felt self conscious requesting five decants so I apologized to the SA. She just laughed and told me not to worry about it. She said the company understands that purchasing a fragrance is a difficult decision and decanting samples is just part of their customer service.

    I've also found Nordstrom to be generous with decants and manufacturer samples. Recently, I decided on my next fragrance purchase so I returned to Nordstrom to buy it. The SA remembered me coming in for samples and was very appreciative that I had returned. When I told him I also wanted to purchase a travel atomizer along with my fragrance he included it at no charge. Granted, the atomizer had been opened and the package was missing but it was, nonetheless, brand new.

    As long as these businesses continue to treat me well I'll continue to patronize them even if it means paying slightly more for purchases.

    BTW, if your Nordstrom has a Bond No. 9 counter be sure to stop by and chat up the SA or, on weekends, the company rep. Chances are you'll be rewarded with several samples without even asking

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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    It can't hurt to develop a relationship with SAs. When I first was given samples at the stand-alone shop I go to, I wrote them a nice card thanking them when I got home. It turned out later that one of the SAs there was growing the same sort of flowers that I do hybridizing work with, and I sent her some starts at the right time of year. I got a massive box of samples in the mail from her later, and we've been friends ever since.

    But yeah, if I'm at a place where they don't know me, I find myself a little embarrassed to ask for samples if I'm not buying something. Which is often the case.

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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Quote Originally Posted by rubegon View Post
    Barney's has more niche brands than any other department store I've ever seen.
    The Neiman Marcus that's in the same mall as our local Barney's has many more niche brands than that Barney's and a much better selection overall but it could be that we are only getting a reduced Barney's selection up here. The Barney's website is better but still fairly limited compared to something like Luckyscent or even our local Saks. Haven't really compared Nordstrom's.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Barneys is a carefully curated store. They tend not to stock entire lines but only what they think are the best from various lines. Having said that, I'm only familiar with the Madison Ave location, and their selection is outstanding.

    Other dept stores are better if you want everything. E.g., Bergdorf Goodman has the full lines for Creed, Amouage, Guerlain, Annick Goutal, Clive Crackerjax, etc., ad nauseum.

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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Our Barney's seems to really only have Malle (which you can't get anywhere else) and doesn't really promote men's fragrances. We must have a Bergdorf Goodman somewhere but I have never been there.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Always depends who I've spoken with. There used to be an SA at the Sephora by my office that was clearly an enthusiast like us and I would end up spending a lot of time there just talking about different frags, even layering etc, and would always leave with plenty of samples. I also had a purchasing history there but didn't necessarily need to purchase anything each time I went in, and still left with samples. I've yet to visit Nordstrom but from the sounds of everyone else's experiences, I'm dying to make a stop now. Would love to get a list together beforehand of must-try frags I haven't had the privilege of sampling yet.

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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgundyMarsh View Post
    Our Barney's seems to really only have Malle (which you can't get anywhere else) and doesn't really promote men's fragrances. We must have a Bergdorf Goodman somewhere but I have never been there.
    If you are referring to the Barney's at Copley, their fragrance department is certainly smaller than that on Madison Avenue but they do carry a limited selection of perfumes of various brands. Last summer when we last were there I saw Lutens, Rosine, TDC, L'Artisan, Byredo, Kai, DelRae, Diptyque and i Profumi di Firenze there that I can recall, and perhaps others as well that I have forgotten about. But not every scent.

    This Barneys does not give out samples (and won't let you decant any)-- the sole exception being Malle carded samples --and they are careful about giving those out. One or two, max.

    Now at the Prudential Mall that connects to Copley by enclosed, over-street bridge, there is Saks with a wonderful Guerlain department, among others.


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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgundyMarsh View Post
    The Neiman Marcus that's in the same mall as our local Barney's has many more niche brands than that Barney's and a much better selection overall but it could be that we are only getting a reduced Barney's selection up here. The Barney's website is better but still fairly limited compared to something like Luckyscent or even our local Saks. Haven't really compared Nordstrom's.
    I see that my experience isn't really representative. I've only been to Barney's in Beverly Hills, and Neiman and Saks in Texas. No Nordstrom that I've been to is that great - they have lots of designer stuff and Jo Malone. From that, Barney's looked like perfume heaven - Malle (with the sniffing booths), Lutens, L'Artisan, Diptyque, Acqua di Parma, and a lot of others that I didn't have time to look at.

    No department store I've seen compares to a place like Luckyscent or Aedes, though (haven't been to Bergdorf). The Scent Bar in LA was the coolest perfume shopping experience I've had. Oh - and they give you free samples - up to four I think.
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    Basenotes Junkie BurgundyMarsh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Quote Originally Posted by 30 Roses View Post
    If you are referring to the Barney's at Copley, their fragrance department is certainly smaller than that on Madison Avenue but they do carry a limited selection of perfumes of various brands. Last summer when we last were there I saw Lutens, Rosine, TDC, L'Artisan, Byredo, Kai, DelRae, Diptyque and i Profumi di Firenze there that I can recall, and perhaps others as well that I have forgotten about. But not every scent.

    This Barneys does not give out samples (and won't let you decant any)-- the sole exception being Malle carded samples --and they are careful about giving those out. One or two, max.

    Now at the Prudential Mall that connects to Copley by enclosed, over-street bridge, there is Saks with a wonderful Guerlain department, among others.
    I was referring to the Barney's in Copley Place but the men's department, upstairs, where I couldn't find a very extensive fragrance selection at all. Women's department may have been better. I think there is actually only one Bergdorf Goodman, the one in New York City, and it belongs to Neiman Marcus, so the selection may be similar. The Boston Saks, which predates Copley Place but is in the same general area, has quite a nice selection for both men and women with a huge Chanel section for women. Neiman Marcus seems to be a bit better though, for men a big selection of Creed, all the Tom Ford lines, Acqua di Parma lines (also at Saks), good Guerlain selection, and several others I haven't seen elsewhere. Very generous with samples in my experience and the SA was extremely knowledgeable.
    Last edited by BurgundyMarsh; 16th March 2012 at 04:49 AM.

  32. #32

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Most Nordstrom SAs are wonderful with samples. Only once did I have a problem with a woman who seemed really put out to soil her hands with perfume, and then she was not generous, only filling the vial half-way up. At one Neiman Marcus, I had to deal with a Tom Ford rep who was stingy, too. Needless to say, I did not buy from him. (He sized me up as non-buyer. Wrong! I ordered from another store.)

    Bergdorf is wonderful!!
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  33. #33
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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    the Barneys in San Fran and Las Vegas seem to have everything......
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    Every great perfume deserves a good home

  34. #34

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    I ask for a sample each time I visit Sephora. But I always visit the same one, my favourite and the SA ladies know me because I usually visit them once a week, sometimes to buy something sometimes not. And I never had problems with getting samples. The biggest number I got once in the past was 5 samples during one visit.
    And once I visited different Sephora and wanted some samples and the SA told me the limit was 3 and I wanted 4.
    So my suggestion is pick your favourite shop, that gives profits after some time

  35. #35

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    As stated, relationships help. I have SAs who know me by name or reputation as a serious buyer. They load me up on my arrival haha. Or call me when something, anything, new comes in. But, when at a strange shop or store, I will sample from the bottles, look around, and if I am really interested in something I don't have, I will ask. That can lead to a good talk and more samples. This week, while traveling, I went into a Nordstroms and while talking to the SA, mentioned that I felt bereft because I did not bring any Chanel 5 with me. I was looking at the Guerlains, and she brought me over a lovely Chanel 5 set of samples.

    But, in places like Sephora/Ulta and others, I don't ask usually. But if I wanted a sample, I would. I think it depends on the SA, the time of day, and the phase of the moon! But stating TWO as some unbreakable rule seems both rude and not good sales attitude.

    Now if I could just find a place to get a nice huge sample of vintage Chanel 5 extrait....

  36. #36
    Basenotes Junkie mikesc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    You just need to buy something occasionally to show them some love. I don't want them thinking I am just there for free juice. Once they know you are a buyer, the SA's have been great with samples. I was just at Saks in NY and the Kilian SA gave me 9 samples. The Creed rep ran out but had me fill out a card to mail me a few. Most were great about samples at Saks, but the Anick Goutal SA who said he would make samples of anything if I bought a bottle. The Tom Ford rep at Bergdorf Goodman said he would give me a 4 ml sample if I made a purchase only. Very different from my local TF rep at NM who gave me samples before I made any purchase. Sometimes you just just run into stingy SA's. So far I've never had any bad luck with the multiple Bond reps I have encountered.
    Last edited by mikesc; 17th March 2012 at 09:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesc View Post
    You just need to buy something occasionally to show them some love. I don't want them thinking I am just there for free juice. Once they know you are a buyer, the SA's have been great with samples. I was just at Saks in NY and the Kilian SA gave me 9 samples. The Creed rep ran out but had me fill out a card to mail me a few. Most were great about samples at Saks, but the Anick Goutal SA who said he would make samples of anything if I bought a bottle. The Tom Ford rep at Bergdorf Goodman said he would give me a 4 ml sample if I made a purchase only. Very different from my local TF rep at NM who gave me samples before I made any purchase. Sometimes you just just run into stingy SA's. So far I've never had any bad luck with the multiple Bond reps I have encountered.
    It may be worth mentioning that Luckyscent ships free samples along with every purchase. I have always received three per paid order. They let you ask for what you want and, in my case, when they didn't stock what I asked for they always substituted something similar in another line. This is great for the expensive niche fragrances they sell because with each purchase you get to test several others you are interested in for free. They also sell samples, I think for everything they sell.

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    Basenotes Junkie mikesc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Quote Originally Posted by rubegon View Post
    Barney's has more niche brands than any other department store I've ever seen.
    So true. I am a kid in a candy store at Barney's.

  39. #39

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Not rude at all. Actually, they always offer me samples before I leave the store. I got 7 samples between Sephora and Nordstrom tonight.

  40. #40

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Here are two things I've done that got me samples without buying anything. Mind you, I buy TONS of stuff, so it's not like I'm being crafty or something. But I've noticed generous sample-giving without making a purchase when I:

    * Walk in and ask for to smell a specific fragrance. Then I look really unsure about whether I want it or not.
    * Walk into a store with a bag that clearly contains perfume from another store.

  41. #41

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Not rude.

    IIRC, Sephora actually encourages asking for samples.
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  42. #42

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    When I have been to Sephora they are practically begging me to ask for some samples. I have had 5 different SA's ask me I would like a sample in one visit to Sephora...and at Nordstroms they have handed me handfuls of samples...it doesn't hurt that my wife and I told her she was the best SA we've ever worked with-which, by the way, is true!

  43. #43

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    I recently wrote to Diptyque asking to purchase samples but their response indicated they don't mail samples. Instead they referred me to a small, locally owned, very upscale women's clothing boutique which carries their line.

    Needless to say, I was viewed as a bit of an oddity when I entered the shop. But as I spoke with the SA she warmed up and was pleased someone was interested in their small offering of fragrances. I sheepishly asked about samples. She left for a moment and returned with a box full of Diptyque manufacturer samples. She said, "Help yourself. No one ever asks for samples and I forget we have these."

    Score! I purchased the bottle of Philosykos I'd come for and walked out with a fistful of samples. The boutique manager said they would be expanding their Diptyque offerings and asked for my phone# to let me know when they'd arrive.

    My point being, no matter where you find yourself, don't be afraid to ask for samples. It's just like the advice mom and dad gave you as a kid, "The worst thing they can do say is no". Well, that and they might give you a withering, eye rolling look. But if they're unhelpful or unfriendly, fine, they've just lost a customer and in this era of internet shopping options that's a loss brick and mortar establishments can ill afford. However, I've always been pleasantly surprised by the level of service and generosity shown by retailers to develop a customer base. Ask.

  44. #44

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    It's all about your style. If you walk in and demand samples like the places owes you a favor, good chance they will be resistant. If you are polite, show genuine interest, most if not all the time they will accomodate you.

    Obviously your best bet to get lots of samples if by 1) asking 2) buying something else (shows you're a legit customer).
    However, just genuine interest alone will show them you are a potential client. I walked out of the Hermes boutique in Chicago with two 4 ml vials of Vetiver Tonka and Ambre Narguile thanks to a kind SA who could see I was a real consumer not looking for handouts. Plus I had a Barneys bag in my hand (bought a Lutens minutes earlier), which is located across the street, so I'm sure that helped my cred!

  45. #45
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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Heck no it's not rude. If I'm gonna pay $100+ for a bottle of what is essentially smelly water, I better get other little smelly waters too for free. Some SAs are great about it, but then others are like it's coming out of their paychecks. I've found the greatest disparity of generosity in Nordstrom. I went over there to buy a bottle of Spicebomb on launch day, and the store I went to didn't have it in, so I ordered it, and to tide me over, they gave me like 40+ samples of Spicebomb. Another time, more recently, I went to one in Denver, and bought another bottle of Spicebomb, and asked for samples, and the SA looked at me like it's coming out of his check. And then, when he did get some, he was vey stingy. Sephora is pretty great about it.

  46. #46

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Quote Originally Posted by 30 Roses View Post
    If you are referring to the Barney's at Copley, their fragrance department is certainly smaller than that on Madison Avenue but they do carry a limited selection of perfumes of various brands. Last summer when we last were there I saw Lutens, Rosine, TDC, L'Artisan, Byredo, Kai, DelRae, Diptyque and i Profumi di Firenze there that I can recall, and perhaps others as well that I have forgotten about. But not every scent.

    This Barneys does not give out samples (and won't let you decant any)-- the sole exception being Malle carded samples --and they are careful about giving those out. One or two, max.

    Now at the Prudential Mall that connects to Copley by enclosed, over-street bridge, there is Saks with a wonderful Guerlain department, among others.
    The Saks there, while they have a nice selection, is chock full of SA's who really don't know much about fragrance. They're mainly good for Kilian and Bond since they're the only ones who carry those lines. They do have the TF Private Blends but they don't know a thing about them. Very stingy with samples and customer appreciation overall. Made one purchase of a Bond after getting a sample a week earlier, SA didn't have a clue who I was despite me spending time with her a week before.

    The Barney's selection there is small, but customer service has generally been good.

    Neimans there has a great selection, and is the only store that carries Creed, Jo Malone, and some others. Their TF rep, Natalie, is the best, extraordinarily friendly, knowledgeable, easy to talk to, does not push purchases on you whatsoever, and lets you sample to your heart's content and take home things to try. If you're just a fragrance enthusiast looking to try new things, go in there and talk to Ann, the manager of the fragrance department. She can talk to you and sample fragrance for hours about fragrance, and is a pleasure to talk to. A+ customer service all around there.

    Don't have much experience with Nordstrom as there are none in Boston and it's a pain to get to the suburban ones without a car.
    Splits!

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  47. #47

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    I think that, as a rule, different SAs will be generous with samples.

    One TF rep was very stingy (in person), and filled samples only half-way.

    At another store, the TF rep sent out tons of samples.

    BTW, TF samples state "4 ml" on the little bottles.

    Some niche boutiques conveniently "forget" to send out samples, even with a $100+ purchase.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  48. #48

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    there actually technically isnt a limit of samples given at sephora...we try keep it lower if theres multiple clients but if there arent a bunch of people that only one fragrance sa is helping than they shouldnt have a problem with it and if they do then make sure and do the survey online and put their name into it because it will be brought up the next time right before they go on the sales floor during the touch base :]

  49. #49
    Basenotes Member chrisaxp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    My girl and I spent about an hour in Sephora this weekend. We were looking for something for her and we must have tried 40 perfumes on tester paper for her. The SA came over a few times and asked she could help. When we were done, she asked us about samples, and we got 5 or 6 of them for her. I got the SA's name and told her I would make sure to come back in and purchase from her and I will. Frankly if I spend 10 extra bucks over the price on Amazon but I get 5 samples when I go in, it was money well spent.
    The fabled musk deer searches the world over for the source of the scent which comes from itself.
    -Ramakrishna

  50. #50
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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisaxp View Post
    My girl and I spent about an hour in Sephora this weekend. We were looking for something for her and we must have tried 40 perfumes on tester paper for her. The SA came over a few times and asked she could help. When we were done, she asked us about samples, and we got 5 or 6 of them for her. I got the SA's name and told her I would make sure to come back in and purchase from her and I will. Frankly if I spend 10 extra bucks over the price on Amazon but I get 5 samples when I go in, it was money well spent.
    Good for you!

    I also feel it's appropriate to reward the salespeople who take the time to work with me. If a sample convinces me that I need something, I make sure to take my purchase back to the same store, and the same salesperson if possible.

    (This is also a good strategy to delay purchases and stretch my budget, I've found. I often can't get back to the same store for a few months.)

    There are some people - especially students - who can't afford to do this sort of thing. They pretty much have to sample locally and order globally. Stores and brands understand. Nobody should feel bad about smart shopping, especially when money is tight.

    A lot of my SAs know that I interact with other perfume lovers, and sometimes they'll even ask if I need extras to spread around to my friends and fellow perfumistas. Not a problem!!! But if I take those samples, I really try to keep my word and get them to folks who I think will truly like them.
    * * * *

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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    rule: only ask for samples after you buy something.

    if you want, just get a 1ml container and spray the tester twice in there.

  52. #52

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    You may be able to get some samples without buying anything by telling the staff you have a friend that's been hospitalized and wants to smell nice. Tell them you're not sure what to pick because he/she may not like it. I have a feeling you can get some samples this way. I've never tried it because I'd feel weird about saying that though.

  53. #53

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    I've found I can score samples without buying if I get in to a good conversation about fragrance in general. I have no experience of Sephora as such so can't comment on them, but my local Fenwick and a large, well-known Hermes boutique in central London offered to give me some samples of their exclusives, although when the SA opened the 'samples draw' it was empty, so asked me to come back but promised me some samples. Sad I know, but it just happened. We were talking about master perfumer J-C.E. She was really taken over by how I "knew my stuff". At Fenwick I had a friendly SA hand me 3 or 4 of several fragrances for no purchase. Some were cr*p of course, but others were totally worth it.

    If the store is giving me samples, then I have a habit of going back to them at least once if I chose to buy a fragrance (not necessarily the one I'm sampling) even if it might be a bit more expensive there (within limits!).

  54. #54

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    Not if you are buying perfume. I think it's totally fine to ask for samples before buying, without buying anything, or after you purchase something. They are meant to be given away. That's why they say "not for resale" on them. The French word is enchantillon, which I love. They enchant by offering a small amount of fragrance to potential buyers, in the hopes that you will fall in love and come back for more. As others have mentioned, some salespeople are very stingy with them, doling them out like special treats only to their favorite pets. I don't think this works to their advantage, in that there's no generosity to it, and it doesn't put customers in the mood to be generous either. The whole exchange ought to be quite effortless. Of course, if you are only seeking samples, and have no intention of buying anything now or in the future, it's pretty easy to pick up on that, and I don't think people should see samples as something in and of themselves to obtain. That's what bothers the associates, I can imagine. Greediness is unappealing in any context. An associate at Sephora actually filled a sample sprayer with Eau d'Issey for me. They were doing this when they first opened a store here, in cases where they didn't have packaged samples. I'm not sure if they still do that, here or elsewhere.

  55. #55
    Basenotes Institution 30 Roses's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    Quote Originally Posted by professor goggles View Post
    Not if you are buying perfume. I think it's totally fine to ask for samples before buying, without buying anything, or after you purchase something. They are meant to be given away. That's why they say "not for resale" on them. The French word is enchantillon, which I love. They enchant by offering a small amount of fragrance to potential buyers, in the hopes that you will fall in love and come back for more.
    I agree, you should not have to buy first-- the samples are meant to entice you to buy (but the word is ťchantillon.)

    Quote Originally Posted by professor goggles View Post
    ... Of course, if you are only seeking samples, and have no intention of buying anything now or in the future, it's pretty easy to pick up on that, and I don't think people should see samples as something in and of themselves to obtain. That's what bothers the associates, I can imagine....
    Yes, if one comes across as only looking for freebies with no interest in ever buying, then it is understandable that the SAs would rather give the samples to people who they think may actually come back to buy something. It's only natural. Nor is this true only when salespeople work on commission. I was told by an SA at Nordstrom that, although they don't work for commission, the department is expected to meet sales quotas.


  56. #56

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    The stores where I'm from are very stingy and it's rare to get a sample, even when you buy you will be lucky to get one.

  57. #57

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    I never ask, if you spend a lot at sephora they fill you with samles or bags or towels, but this happens only where I live

  58. #58

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    In my belated opinion, no, in fact, it is in their interest to keep the customer informed and keen on more.

  59. #59

    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    As far as I know they always give free samples if you want, both Nordstroms and Sephora

  60. #60
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    Default Re: Is It Rude To Ask for Samples at Nordstrom & Sephora?

    I prefer Sephora's samples, they hAve bigger bottles. I got 2 from Nordstrom today, one was less than half full though. My way of getting them, is to claim that i can't smell anything over the frag i have on, so they offer me a sample, i perfected this approach, as i dislike asking them outright. I also got one from Sephora, which i didn't ask for, she offered it to me, as they didn't have what i wanted in the size i wanted. I also got 2 from Nordstrom a couple of days ago, and one on Monday, i like to engage the SA's in a conversation, and bring up my favourite notes, which seems to make them more friendly to me, and seek out frags with the notes i mention. I really ought to buy something now though. But I genuinely needed to compare TF Oud Wood with Arabian Wood, so i got samples of both of those. I prefer the AW. It's next on my list to buy

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