Your experience there would have given me a major headache. I feel for you.
So here is how my latest trip to the big box went:
I try to go to the same guy at the frag counter because he is nice, helpful, and doesn't try to get me to buy something in particular. I was talking to him about a John Varatos gift set where they had 4 minis of 15ml each for $50. I was about to buy it from him, because I think he deserves my commission, when he went to lunch (I think I made him late.)
I get attacked by a vendor, not an SA, who obviously works for a particular company, and keeps trying to get me to buy these particular 3 frags. I told her in the beginning of the conversation I owned Chrome and the aftershave, but after a few minutes she tried to sell it to me. She was going on about special linear lock technology that everybody else wanted but couldn't break. I told her I didn't like the linear lock and how it smelled the same on every guy. She said it smells different on her husband than anybody else. I said that's funny because I can tell instantly if anybody is wearing that one. I start trying other samples and walk around and I guess I walked out of her sales range because I get passed off to another vendor.
This one tries to sell me Gucci by Gucci. I hadn't tried it before and try talking to her about what it is similar to. I say it has a fruitchouli sweet musk thing going that reminds me a little of 1 Million and she says No, shakes her head and says no again. I say yeah its just me but I think for what they are both doing, 1 Million will probably project more and last longer. She says oh no Gucci last longer; her husband wears it and it lasts all day. I said I don't like using more than a couple sprays. She seems a little frustrated so I ask about something a little more manly, like Burberry London, which she tells me is discontinued....
Of course I tell her they wouldn't discontinue it until March of 13 cause that's when the perfumers contract expires but she insists. I keep telling her it isn't discontinued, but maybe just discontinued at this Macy's, and she can only say, well I'm not going to argue with you. She walks away and another vendor who was a little more pleasant chats me up a bit while I bring up Basenotes and show her London is still available.
I think this nicer one felt a little sympathy for me because she recommended I go to Ulta, because they have more of the "rare" fragrances. Or she was just trying to avoid a scene I was apparently instigating....
Your experience there would have given me a major headache. I feel for you.
so did you ever end up buying the John Varatos gift set?
I think Macy's is pushing Chrome. I had a sample pushed under my nose not too long ago.
"There is no accessory greater, nor more intimate, than scent." --Tim Gunn
Macy's is like the worst place to shop for frags ever in my experience. The people working there are so aggressive and rarely know anything what they are talking about, and are all about pushing the purchase instead of finding something that works for you.
Expect the unexpected.
Oh those pushy fragrance models... they can be quite the pain. I'm an SA and get along very well personally with 95% of the models but I have to admit I kinda prefer to be alone at the counter. There are some gracious models who won't push their line down your throat and have actually recommended a competitors frag, but they are the ones who seem to get fewer and fewer hours.
It's great you have an SA you trust, my advice is stick with him and do your best to block out the models, except of course when you buy something in their line. Then you can be all buddy-buddy with them.
And I think it's a good thing you pulled out basenotes to show that London is not discontinued. You will be remembered and they will hopefully not ply you with bull shit I actually had a model one time say that her lines deo sprays were all alcohol free... I covertly pointed to the ingredients on the can in her hand and she saw the alcohol was the very first ingredient... she's not the brightest bulb on the tree.. but hopefully most are not like that.
BTW, Chrome was not being pushed by Macy's unless it was a single store or regional thing, so it was probably just a pushy model. She only has Chrome, Mugler, Mont Blanc and Burberry, so it's a rather small line. John Varvatos did, until the end of last week, have a bonus for us. Sadly, I didn't sell any
@Firemave I agree for the most part; they don't know as much as your average Basenoter, but I don't have a lot of options for testing where I live. I have already spent $270 at myperfumesamples.com and really need to stop...
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@SteerlerOpera thanks for the insight. I think it was the Mont Blanc that she was *really* trying to push. And will my SA get commission if he rings me up?
Last edited by ToughCool; 6th November 2012 at 01:26 PM.
"As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round."
* If you want to purchase something and you can't get there when your SA is working you can ask him to put it "on hold" for you. He can even do this over the phone. The item(s) will be held behind the counter with his employee number on it so that if you pick them up when he isn't there the SA will ring your purchase so that your SA gets the commission even though he isn't there. This happens often when a SA helps a person out, but the customer doesn't have the $ right then and there or maybe even if they are buying a gift for someone and don't want to be seen that day with the items (for the surprise effect) This should only be used for items that your SA has helped you with (either in person or on the phone), you shouldn't say "Would you mind ringing this under Tom's name so he gets credit for it" if Tom never had a thing to do with the sale.
We know our "good" customers. And for me that does not just mean the ones that spend a lot. I have quite a few people that I have great conversations about frags and such. If you're a pleasant person we will remember you and try to give you perks when we can
As for the 4 piece coffret of Varvatos, I looked at your wardrobe and I think you might be better off going with a bottle or set of just one. I'd recommend the original, it's a great frag and will compliment your other pieces well. While I love all 4 in that coffret 2 can be a bit challenging, the Artisan Black and the Vintage. Vintage tends to be a bit boozy and the Artisan black has an bit of cat pee in there Don't get me wrong, I like them both, but I know I would not use them as much as the original or artisan.
Also keep in mind the bottles in the coffret are not sprays, but splashes. My advice is to try them all again in the store then wear your top 2 (or all 4 if your good at a precise spray) and see which one you like better. Just my 2 cents
Tell them your broke. Works every time.
I don't have many choices where I live...basically Macy's and Bergners. I actually like my Macy's because every time I've gone there, I've been left alone. Testers and cards are out for me to play with on my own. When I've needed someone, they've been nearby, but never up in my business. Sorry your experience sucked.
"We don't fail because we aim too high and miss, but because we aim too low and hit" - Les Brown
"Sometimes we need to suffer just so we can look at our lives and know we're for real" - Francis Chan
I like Gucci by Gucci on my boyfriend, but even so I would very much disagree with that SA that it does NOT last longer. The longevity is pretty poor IMO for the price you pay. I've tried buying fragrances from Macy's, but I'm constantly turned off by the celeb fragrances shoved in my face during the times I attempted to sniff perfumes I was actually interested in.
But for the SA that you have a rapport with, it seems to have been a dispiriting experience.
Probably 2/3 of the people who work for the fragrance stands in those big corporate stores like Macy's don't really know anything about fragrances - aside what they've been pushed to sell (or myths that people tell them).
Most of those employees who sell fragrances are people who are moved around from other departments.
Sometimes when I am at those stores, I pretend I'm someone whose never tested a cologne before, asking what they would recommend, just to see what direction the industry is going in.
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I stopped buying from Macys years ago. The SA are as helpful as a rock in the water.
Went to pick up the coffret and found out my SA is actually the fragrance counter manager. I guess that explains why he is always there. Well, he got his job for a reason in my book. I asked him if he was salaried or commission-based and he said both, so I will continue to support him.
Very nice it's always great to find SA's you like and who are helpful
When they offer me something, I usually tell them that I own the bottle or "I'm just looking."
If you give them the "I'm just looking" excuse, they back off.
This is Precisely why I choose to deal (remotely) with BARNEYS in Las Vegas...
Barneys WHOLE approach is better.
Sorry man. Online shopping has always been great to me.
And @CaproDog, I have been burned too many times with blind buys, even with reading reviews. I order the hell out of samples (check my wardrobe, and that isn't all of them) so I can test before I buy. And I will and do order online a bit. But since I spend all the SA's time, every once in awhile I feel I should buy something from them.