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  1. #1

    Default Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    There's a place near me which I frequent for testing fragrances, but I very rarely buy. Today was particularly noteworthy, as a couple of the staff gave me a rather disparaging look on my way out. I now feel incredibly guilty, and not particularly about going back in other than to buy.

    My question to you, BNers, is do you ever feel guilty after testing in a shop and not buying?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Ill let you no tommorow. Im going to Libertys to check out Frederic Malle, Byredo, Serge lutens, Odin and Le labo. I am not taking any money with me to spend, as i refuse to purchase under pressure or because i feel obliged.

    If i come home and decide ive found a gem then ill order online and have them deliver to my door, and not before.

    Thats if they dont bar me from the store beforhand...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    No, because I know that if find something I like, I'll buy it. And the only way to find that special perfume is to sample....

    Even if you "very rarely buy", you do sometimes buy... it's not as though you are just using them with no intention of ever buying. It wasn't professional of them to give you that disparaging look.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Not at all. Any Sales Rep. knows that an educated fragrance consumer is going to test, re-test, and re-test again to make sure the scent combines with your skin type. Only at the dry down will you be certain whether or not the fragrance is for you.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    No.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    No.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Next time when you go in there tell them their prices are too high and you can get them online for 50% to 60% cheaper. Can't blame the consumer for being informed.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Quote Originally Posted by silentrich View Post
    Next time when you go in there tell them their prices are too high and you can get them online for 50% to 60% cheaper. Can't blame the consumer for being informed.
    This is what I tell Perfumania everytime I go in there

  9. #9

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    As much as frags costs these days, and as much as I've spent buying them, I think not!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Not at all, no.

    But then, at the places I mainly sample - John Lewis, Debenhams, and Boots (all in Liverpool) - the sales assistants have always been friendly. At John Lewis and Debenhams, I find a generally pretty good knowledge of the stuff I like too - at Boots there seems to be more of a bias towards new stuff for younger people, but still friendly and helpful. And I do occasionally buy from them, especially when there's a loyalty card promotion on (I have cards from Boots and Debenhams).

    In fact, if I ever found a store where I got disparaging looks for sampling, I'd probably never go there again.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    It depends on whether I'm at a local independent shop or a chain store. At Nordstrom or Sephora, I feel no guilt. But I try to be considerate when browsing at an independent local shop because I don't want to waste their time if I know I'm going to buy online instead.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    It depends on your ethics.
    If you consciously know you'll never but from the store & only USSR them to test a perfume, then buy online because it's cheaper. Then tread if feel guilty.

    Testers are there for you to test & buy from them not elsewhere.

    That's the whole point of providing the 'try before you buy' service of testers.

    It's an honor system but it doesn't feel like it because it's a cold hearted corporation not a person.
    Last edited by hedonist222; 1st February 2013 at 10:25 PM.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscroft View Post
    Not at all, no.

    But then, at the places I mainly sample - John Lewis, Debenhams, and Boots (all in Liverpool) - the sales assistants have always been friendly. At John Lewis and Debenhams, I find a generally pretty good knowledge of the stuff I like too - at Boots there seems to be more of a bias towards new stuff for younger people, but still friendly and helpful. And I do occasionally buy from them, especially when there's a loyalty card promotion on (I have cards from Boots and Debenhams).

    In fact, if I ever found a store where I got disparaging looks for sampling, I'd probably never go there again.
    This.
    "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.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscroft View Post
    Not at all, no.

    But then, at the places I mainly sample - John Lewis, Debenhams, and Boots (all in Liverpool) - the sales assistants have always been friendly. At John Lewis and Debenhams, I find a generally pretty good knowledge of the stuff I like too - at Boots there seems to be more of a bias towards new stuff for younger people, but still friendly and helpful. And I do occasionally buy from them, especially when there's a loyalty card promotion on (I have cards from Boots and Debenhams).

    In fact, if I ever found a store where I got disparaging looks for sampling, I'd probably never go there again.
    I went to Boots today. Pretty good selection of designers, and most fragrances have accessible testers (one of my pet hates is when there's no testers in stores), but they always seem content to sell you on whatever the newest fragrance is. Today I was nice enough to let them spray me with Davidoff's The Game, which smells like 1 Million mixed with toilet cleaner. Bleurgh.

    Also visited Selfridges today, fantastic selection but if I could offer some advice to the staff, if you've asked me once and I said I was okay, don't ask again unless I approach you. Seriously, I know this is probably some demand from the shop manager and you get told off for not doing it, but I was asked 3 times in the space of as many minutes, and this was in the same section! Otherwise I had a lovely chat with the Chanel SAs, very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their range. I asked them if Egoiste was being discontinued, to which they were very reassuring about it being just a case of stock limited to Chanel stores. She also seemed to really love Cuir de Russie.

    John Lewis tend to leave you alone after asking once, which is how it should be. Somewhere in between Boots and Selfridges, a good mix of niche and designer. Debenhams is much the same. I should visit House of Fraser and Harvey Nichols again soon, and I can't wait to visit Harrod's again when I go down to London, but overall I'm feeling a lot less fearful about testing after today.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    At first, I did. The first time I ever tested, I tested like 40 fragrances. I was there for like a half hour. I was going to walk away, but I felt really bad for taking up their time, so I bought a bottle of something.

    But honestly, the profit margin for fragrance is huge. They've already mathematically calculated into their operations that most people who walk in sample and don't buy anything, but yet with the prices they set, they will still make an optimal profit. So, by sampling and not buying, you aren't in anyway interfering.

    Maybe you sample 100 times and buy nothing. That's the liability they take. But there's also some people who sample once, and then buy it instantly. So it balances out. The juice is cheap. Retail charges just for the logistical aspects of things.

    They know that fragrance is a personal journey. Sometimes it takes people quite a number of samples to find that special one for them. The people who sell fragrances know that it's worth risking people sampling without buying because in the end many people will sample, and will like what they sample, and they will buy it.

    So, don't feel guilty. Just enjoy sampling. And if you like what you try, buy it.

    And if I choose to sample 10 fragrances, go home and buy them on Fragrancenet, then that's fine too. That's the great invisible hand of capitalism at work.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    I have the opposite problem which is either the store doesn't have testers - discount chemists fall into this catergory - or testing at the big stores makes me want to buy something. Even if I know I can get it online cheaper, I'm concerned whatever it is won't be available when I'm ready to do an order.

    I've solved this problem by being a rampant blind buyer. That way I stay away from big stores and their temptations, while at the same time being able to take advantage of discount chemsits and online bargains. It sounds foolhardy but the irony is my worst buys have occurred after testing in stores - too much distraction and choice. Meanwhile 90% of what I blind buy I love/like and enjoy, 7% meh, and 3% unwearable. I use reviews, noses and accords to decide and I can take my time in a calm environment.

    So no, I don't feel guilty.
    Last edited by grasslands; 2nd February 2013 at 03:45 AM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Well, i am back!

    Had a great day.

    I didnt buy a thing, as i promised myself, and it was quite interesting.

    Selfridges was a little stuck up at the Creed counter, im not sure i would entertain purchasing from there if my honest, but other than that everyone i dealt with today has been great.

    The SA at Frederic Malle and Byredo at Libertys, and the Dior SA at Selfridges where exceptional, giving me cards and allowing me to try whatever i wanted and making other reccomendations, giving me contact numbers and names and no pushy sales pitches whatsoever. The SA at Creed John lewis was also reasonably helpful to.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Quote Originally Posted by DMA View Post
    Selfridges was a little stuck up at the Creed counter, im not sure i would entertain purchasing from there if my honest, but other than that everyone i dealt with today has been great.
    Had pretty much the same experience. The SA at Creed didn't look too happy to be there, frankly. Didn't try Dior or Tom Ford today, but had good experiences in the past.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    If a place makes you feel guilty, they are likely not the type of place you want to develop a relationship with. stores such as Barneys, which in my experience, no on other department store can compare with in terms of service, do a very good job of empowering the SA to give samples, send samples or do what they ned to to help you find and buy something. i live in Idaho, and the next nearest Barneys in in vegas. However, when I visited Barneys for the first time this summer, they loaded me up with lots and LOTS of samples before I'd even bought anything. i am like most people, I want to give something a proper wearing prior to spending $150+ on a fragrance. now whenever I need a fragrance, I call my SA (or email her) and see IF she can get something i am looking for and HOW MUCH it is...sometimes I buy, sometimes i do not.

    But to answer your question.... no I do not feel guilty, because 99 times out of 100 I am more educated in fragrance than is the clerk tending the counter, and if they could see my collection, they would not think twice about me being a "user" anyone with a brain would tell you I have a problem with buying too much!!

    If the store makes you feel bad, either don't go back, or go back and start using them for sampling only. but it's hard to imagine a company that will smirk at you when you do not buy, will do much for you when you do.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cosgrove View Post
    Had pretty much the same experience. The SA at Creed didn't look too happy to be there, frankly. Didn't try Dior or Tom Ford today, but had good experiences in the past.
    Its possible we had the same SA then lol. It took me about 5 minutes to gain her atttention although she was aware i was there, and then she had a bit of an im betetr than you attitude about her, i cant be dealing with all that. Dior was amazing, i tried the 3 from the private collection i wanted to try, and we had a little chat about the collection and she went through everything. When ie xplained that i wasnt purhcasing today she said she understood and gave me her contact number so i dont have to run down to central london if i decide to purchase, shell be happy to take an order over the telephone with a card and post whatever i want to me as its not available to purchase online.

    This is how it should be, especially at the high end of things, im not sure what was up with the Creed girl but i cant be bothered with all that kind of snobbery stuff, especially when it involves my money potentially.
    Last edited by DMA; 1st February 2013 at 11:24 PM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    I guess my views are biased partially due to vested business interests but I would think its quiet immoral for you to use a store to test their fragrance and then come back to buy it online at a discounted price.

    Look at all the empty high street shops and I guess this "culture" is to blame. Don't get me wrong, I am no socialist (I preach Capitalism, lol) but I think it's principally wrong.

    If you want to ultimately give your custom to an online-only company then I guess your should either blind buy or pay for a sample to be delivered to you.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Not if it's a professional set up. The SAs with poor attitude are probably part timers or greenhorns who work on commissions. They have yet to acquire the service culture. I reckon you won't see them a few months down the road.

    But I agree with the ethical argument. If I plan on testing extensively at one place I usually already have at least one fragrance in mind for purchase. It's a fair arrangement imo.
    Last edited by Diamondflame; 2nd February 2013 at 01:42 PM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Keep in mind that being an SA or a fragrance department doesn't require years of experience or a civil service exam.

    The SA you see at the counter likely could have been working at the shoe department two months ago.

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    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Quote Originally Posted by noirdrakkar View Post
    Keep in mind that being an SA or a fragrance department doesn't require years of experience or a civil service exam.

    The SA you see at the counter likely could have been working at the shoe department two months ago.
    Yes, & it's ok to try on shoes, isn't it? Why not perfumes, too?
    "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.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    Not if it's a professional set up. The SAs with poor attitude are probably part timers or greenhorns who work on commissions. They have yet to acquire the service culture. I reckon you won't see them a few months down the road.
    Yeah but the store owner will still be there and that's who you owe something. Since he/she provided a service in exchange of a sale. The SAs are moot points in this discussion.

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  26. #26

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    I have a local store here, whose owner and staff is very knowledgeable and very generous with samples and sampling. Therefore, I buy my MPGs and L'Artisan, in particular, there. That's a committment. I don't look for cheaper opportunities online, but their pricing in general is competitive and fair plus I get a special discount.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Not really, I am quite a regular, frequent and well-paying customer in the few shops where I test frequently and thus my sampling sprees, even if not leading to immediate purchases, will eventually become future shopping sprees, often consisting of both multiple bottles and/or matching cosmetic/grooming/beauty etc. products.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    It depends on the store. Usually I feel guilty in Macy's, but that's because they push so hard to get people to buy their fragrances. So I avoid that place. I feel at ease in Sephora and Nordstrom because both stores are helpful, but they let you sniff at your leisure.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    While there may be a large markup on any given perfume sale, the overhead costs of running a shop are not trivial. Most places I go, it is hard to find a shop dedicated to fragrances, except for the few well known chains. Even these chains seem to stock a very limited set of fragrances compared to larger collections in the past. It seems that it used to be easier. I like browsing books in bookstores, or checking out electronics in a store prior to purchase. Many bookshops have gone under to the competition with the extensive listings and low prices one can find on line. A local perfumery can be a very useful resource, but to treat it as an asset that will always be there for your education and entertainment, when you and many other people could easily never buy anything there seems an unfair proposition and a risky expectation. If you want your shop to stay in business, buy there from time to time. It doesn't have to be every purchase you make. Getting zero sales from the people who should be their best customers must be a pretty disheartening way to do business.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    I am not a collector, I am extremely picky when it comes to perfumes and I pretty much have a signature scent, so I am not someone who will buy bottle after bottle in any place, be it online or in local shops. Having said that I don't feel guilty sampling anything if my intention is to make a purchase should I find something I like enough to want it (I won't buy if there isn't something I like). For this reason I bought Carnal Flower in the shop where I sampled it rather than online (which would have been cheaper). I do think it's important to support the things you like (businesses, artists etc). I have befriended several SAs and I am quite honest when I sample - saying I have a signature scent but am looking for additional perfumes to fall in love with. I sometimes ask for samples, sometimes the SAs ask if I would like samples. I only accept if I am interested in the scent. Oh, and I tell my friends about places I like - and bring business to my favorite shops this way too.

  31. #31

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    As long as you are willing to buy from that store if you do find something suitable (as opposed to sampling there and _always_ buying elsewhere), you're a customer. Unless you're dominating a lot of the salesperson's time - making them explain things, dig out samples, blah blah blah, for a non-trivial period of time - there's no reason to feel guilty. For that matter, if you're "dominating" their time because the testers are all out of reach and they have to get them out, then there's no reason to feel guilty either - when they made that decision, they chose to increase their labor costs.

    I used to do a moderate amount of sampling at a Sephora, but all of the perfumes of interest were ones that were heavily discounted online. So I did make a point of making an occasional full-price purchase.

  32. #32

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Like a few others over here, I am also quite picky with fragrances. After all, smell is something I value.

    Unfortunately, Australian shops tend to stock only the more commercial perfumes - it is very hard to find the gourmand smells which I like. You find lots of the florals/musky smells here and, of course, the 'celeberity stuff'. Not my cup of tea.

    So, every now and again, I go to a department store, try quite a few of perfumes (and usually the SA will have no idea of what gourmand perfumes are anyway), mostly with no success. Unfortunately I do feel guilty, but I don't required assistance - I know what I like and what I'm after, so I am happy to 'browse' by myself.

    Besides, you cannot predict how a certain fragrance will smell on your skin or how it will develop after an hour or two.

  33. #33

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    I just make sure I bite the bullet and spend some money at my favorite local spots every once in a while. Enough that they understand that I am willing to spend money and am not just looking for freebies. I do alot of my purchases from discounters, but paying full price from the higher-end places pays off in the long run. THe SA's will love you and hook you up with samples/freebies/ etc.

  34. #34

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    I do not feel guilty for trying fragrances and not buying. The testers are provided for FREE by the fashion houses. It costs the store nothing. Secondly, the juice is cheap. They are spending pennies per person. How much does advertising cost in other forms? Third, I will buy later. Maybe not that fragrances, but I will be back to make a purchase. I'm not a guy who just test and tests and never buys. The sales people will earn a comission from me.

    Now to flip this thread. I will not buy from stores that do not offer samples. I have never made a purchase from macys. These stores I ignore.

  35. #35

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Quote Originally Posted by smellgood4u View Post
    Now to flip this thread. I will not buy from stores that do not offer samples. I have never made a purchase from macys. These stores I ignore.
    Interesting. I guess it's kind of a "you scratch my back I'll scratch yours." Let me sample and I'll buy from time to time. I try to make sure I pay full price from time to time. I do a lot of buying from discounters, but dropping a little extra at the place that give me sample is very important.

  36. #36

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Quote Originally Posted by jbthorpe View Post
    Interesting. I guess it's kind of a "you scratch my back I'll scratch yours." Let me sample and I'll buy from time to time. I try to make sure I pay full price from time to time. I do a lot of buying from discounters, but dropping a little extra at the place that give me sample is very important.
    There is one fragrance I buy for $100 in store rather than $80 on-line. I pay the $20 extra for good customer service. The extra $20 spent is worth it to me. The sales associate knows her fragrances, she will save bottles for me if they run low so it's not sold to someone else, she is willing to make samples, and if a bottle is bad she will take it back.

    If we buy on-line, soon there will be no places to get samples. Then we will have to pay $5-$8 for samples on-line. If you sample 5-10+ before you pick one to buy, you are spending more than you are saving, and you have to wait a week to get your samples. If it's an unknown seller, the juice could be fake. It happened to me buying Body Kouros. Discount stores don't stand behind their products, don't give samples for free, and typically only care about the current sale and not about good customer serivce that brings people back.

  37. #37

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    If you only go there to sample, and you know that you'll be purchasing your frags elsewhere, then yes, you should feel guilty because you're being a dick. But if you buy from them and just like to sample a wide array before you decide to get something, then no, you shouldn't feel guilty because you're just being a selective consumer.

    But I would only apply this to the mom n pop shops. You would owe nothing to Macy's or Sephora.

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Quote Originally Posted by teardrop View Post
    Yes, & it's ok to try on shoes, isn't it? Why not perfumes, too?
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  39. #39
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    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Yes, yes, I confess! I feel terribly guilty for sampling perfumes and not buying there. It's always at Macy's or Dillards that I sample perfumes and I feel so dishonest. The sales associates are always so sweet and give me tons of samples.. I give them hugs and then leave. I'm a horrible person..
    Last edited by Beach Girl; 9th February 2013 at 02:26 AM.

  40. #40

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cosgrove View Post
    There's a place near me which I frequent for testing fragrances, but I very rarely buy. Today was particularly noteworthy, as a couple of the staff gave me a rather disparaging look on my way out. I now feel incredibly guilty, and not particularly about going back in other than to buy.

    My question to you, BNers, is do you ever feel guilty after testing in a shop and not buying?
    I'm betting we only feel guilty because of the staff (putting a face on a faceless 'corporation' tends to do that). I hate to waste people's time, so I think the most stress-free experience I had testing fragrances was at Tom Ford's in NYC. The store has a separate room for all their fragrances and when I entered it no one gave me a second look nor came in to see if I needed help. I was basically alone in there testing out as many fragrances as I wanted. Didn't feel guilty as there was no one there to make me feel guilty.

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    not at all

  42. #42
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    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    I don't. I don't take samples without some intention of buying something at some point. I feel better about that than I would about buying something I'm not sure about only to return it when I find it doesn't work for me. I also try to space out my sampling (no more than 3 or so at a time in a given store). And I do most of my sampling at stores where I regularly purchase stuff besides fragrance (Sephora, Nordstrom), so they're getting my business even if I don't end up buying many of the scents I sample.
    "Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it."
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  43. #43
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    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    Yes, definately. In my case when I make my rounds through the stores, Neiman's, Saks, Barney's I know ahead of time I'm not buying and I'm just looking to sample certain things I've already mapped out. When SAs approach me I usually let them know from the get go where I stand by saying, "I'm just killing a few minutes", or "I'm just browsing". If I were actually looking to buy something it would be different. Despite my efforts to inform the SAs I'm not a paying customer I still manage to get pulled in by certain SAs who will then spend quite a bit of time with me presumably trying to make a sale. This happens most often at Neiman's where some of the more mature women who work at the fragrance counters are very friendly and very knowlegeable. While I'm standing there feeling guilty I'm thinking to myself, "Dear, if you only knew how jaded I am." So yes I always walk out feeling very pampered and very guilty. Because of that I try to limit my walk throughs to twice a year and try very hard not to become involved.
    Very much like my romantic life.

  44. #44

    Default Re: Do you feel guilty after testing and not buying in shops?

    I feel real bad, I go in their knowing Im not buying a thing and the sales lady be trying her hardest. I go in just to compare my homemade blends against the real thing. i also go and discover new fragrances I have not been introduced to yet.

    I did have one lady that i talked to for over a hour about fragrances we had a great time, I still didnt buy anything.

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  2. Any male or unisex scent by L'Erbolario worth testing/buying/owning?
    By Ken_Russell in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
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