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  1. #91
    Dependent heperd's Avatar
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    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word by A Sales Associate

    Quote Originally Posted by dougczar View Post
    Ah, ok.

    Anyway, I almost NEVER want or ask for help - not just with fragrances, but for anything I happen to go into a store for. By the time I walk into a store, I already know what I want. I do my own research and decide for myself which is best for me rather than rely on the sales people who may or may not know what they are talking about, may or may not work on commission, or may or may not care about me or their job, etc.

    However, last fall I went into a Neiman Marcus to get some help. I went in on the million to one chance they still had a bottle of Creed Royal English Leather. Sadly, they did not. However, the sales associate I asked actually went through the trouble of going to the back and looking, then placing about 5 phone calls to other NM stores she knew of that might have it. After all that came up empty, she took my phone number and said she could call around some more and would get in touch with me if she did find a bottle. I didn't really think there was much hope, but about 5 days later, she called me and said she found a store that had 1 bottle.

    So, while I normally do not want any help while I shop, on the rare occasion I do have a question or could use some assistance, I have found some SAs to be very helpful. I have also been hooked up with dozens of by Kilian samples from a few SAs at Saks Fifth Ave also. So, my experiences with SAs is quite positive when I do need help.
    This sums up my experiences also.
    Want to trade - Chanel Platinum Egoiste for Dior Eau Sauvage...
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/394...82#post3308582

  2. #92
    Super Member PEARL's Avatar
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    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    In my own experience fragrance SA's tend to fall into one of three categories based on their own relationship with fragrances, their ability to provide customer service and how they view customers.

    The bad-a bad fragrance SA are those that just happen to work at the fragrance counter. They don't have a relationship with fragrances, and worse, they suck at customer service in general. They tend to look at customers as either immediate buyers or time wasters. These are the ones that will push frags, and when you ask for a second or third frag to try they become frustrated that you aren't buying and loose interest in you as a customer. They behave as if you asked them for a squirt or sample out of their own personal bottle. 85%. These are the ones that I attempt to avoid, even when I do decide to purchase something I go find someone else who can provide better customer service attitude and purchase the frag right in front of them, no matter how small the commish may be, I refuse to give this type my business.

    The good-these are those SA's that may or may not have a relationship with frags, and honestly they don't need to as they have excellent customer service skills. They understand that some people are just shopping, and not necessarily buying, but at any rate they do all they can do to provide good customer service. 10%. These are the type that usually are able to learn from knowledgeable customers and become even better at their craft.

    The great- theses are those fragrance SA's that enjoy fragrances, those that are able to ask questions about your preference in notes, types and what frags you may have. These are those that not only understand when you say to them "let me walk around with the scent on for a bit, to see how it develops", they may actually suggest it. They are the ones that, IME, offer samples, will take and exchange contact info, will call to let you know when new stuff is in, etc.. These are the ones like the girls at the Guerlain counter at my local NM. Whenever I go to NM to do fragrance testing/buying I go get one of them regardless of what counter I want to patronize, because I know that they will provide an excellent experience.

  3. #93

    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    Why not listen to a sales person's advice? Listen and act on what you feel like. Barneys downstairs in NYC has a guy I know for over 10 years and I always buy on his advice, just giving him notes I want - he gives me choices - some of the best buys I made....and yes I get 12-15 samples with my purchases )

  4. #94

    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    I love my SA Neiman Marcus. Dont care much not being very knowledgeable about fragrances. All that matters is I'm a valued customer and a good patron to their store. I just call on a whim and I'm mailed whatever samples I want. If you find a good SA keep in contact with them.

  5. #95

    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    Quote Originally Posted by DanielPlainview View Post
    I believe SAs exist for a reason: selling the largest amount of perfume in the shortest period of time. They will do anything to sell. They don't really care what they are selling, as long as they make you buy it.
    Agree with you majorly, though there are a few exceptions to this, just like there are exceptions to every aspect in life.

  6. #96

    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    Quote Originally Posted by fraghead93 View Post
    Agree with you majorly, though there are a few exceptions to this, just like there are exceptions to every aspect in life.
    When I say "French people speak french", it doesn´t mean that EVERY french person actually speaks french. Some french people only speak other languages. But the vast majority of french people does speak french. So my affirmation is correct. Even the theory of relativity is being disputed now (the speed of light varies in the vacuum). We don´t live by absolutes. But we CAN and we SHOULD make inferences about the world.

  7. #97

    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word by A Sales Associate

    Quote Originally Posted by Primrose View Post
    In my experience, it varies from store to store and from person to person.

    Some SAs are wonderful; some are horrible.

    Generalisation is a logical fallacy.
    Close thread......

  8. #98
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    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word by A Sales Associate

    Quote Originally Posted by frostyicy View Post
    Close thread......
    If only we were so lucky...

  9. #99

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    I like to talk to cute sa about perfume. Where I live, small Midwestern town, I doubt there are many male customers who know about perfumes.

    The ones I've talked to have been very nice and not pushy in selling me things at all. And I'm someone who feels slightly self conscience about window shopping but let's face it, I'm not paying retail price for fragrances when there is amazon prime.

  10. #100
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    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    I really don't think DanielPlainview is out of line. You people are acting as if there is something wrong with asking an SA to get you something. That's what they are there for. Just because he is direct and to the point with his requests does not mean he is being inhumane or rude to the SAs'. This is just the way he chooses to shop. Ppl are waaay to sensitive nowadays. It's not like he's smacking the SA around and screaming at them, he's JUST SHOPPING! I got yer back DanielPlainview.

  11. #101

    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    Thanks Timmy! Some people here at the board are very aggressive.

  12. #102
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    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    I only deal with SA's when I need a sample or will buy a fragrance at a discount. Otherwise I buy my samples and frags online.

    I respect that 95% of all SA's at a frag store are NOT into frags, they are just there to collect a paycheck. Therefore it's my choice to avoid them as much as possible, unless it's a very nice looking woman of course

    We have a few special stores with niche stuff and at those I know and expect the SA will know a little bit more in depth about the few frags they sell. If they act like they know, I might return to buy there. If not, I'm not returning.
    Regards
    Claus The Danish Viking

  13. #103
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    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    I'm sure that there are plenty of knowledgeable and helpful SAs out there, but the last couple of times I went out with my sister to look for a new perfume for her it was like pulling teeth and in the end I found a new fragrance for her from my knowledge of her likes, leaving her with a short list to test, from which she bought and happily used two.

    It really isn't appropriate for a sales assistant, when talking about scent with a customer to talk to them condescendingly and in that 'I know you're a deaf old lady so I'll talk to you loudly and clearly' way, but that's what we got from several SAs on the same trip. This also included one who asked what my sister chose as her scent to date (Miss Dior and Balmain de Balmain) and said, 'Right, so the sort of perfume that you like is clearly very strong perfume. You need to buy Chanel No 5 or this CK One.'

    Now, not only do neither Chanel No5 or CK One bear any resemblance to either of the scents that she does like, but they bear no resemblance to each other in make up, strenth, price or longevity either, so it really makes me wonder why someone with that complete lack of knowledge should be put in a position of selling perfume she really has no skill at. Surely anybody who had even the slightest bit of knowledge about perfumes would at least use the notes in the scent that the customer already liked to pick up on type of scent and recommend similar types, even if off a cheat sheet? The two scents that you have said you already like have lots of green notes, so we'll recommend something else to test that has plenty of green notes too?

    BTW all it took to find her a new scent was to take the bottle of No5 away and replace it with a No19.
    'I suggest we learn to love ourselves before it's made illegal.'
    Currently wearing: Piper Leather by Illuminum

  14. #104
    Dependent L'Homme Blanc Individuel's Avatar
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    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    Quote Originally Posted by timmy-j View Post
    I really don't think DanielPlainview is out of line. You people are acting as if there is something wrong with asking an SA to get you something. That's what they are there for. Just because he is direct and to the point with his requests does not mean he is being inhumane or rude to the SAs'.
    Perhaps you missed the fact that he treats them as if they're HIS employees, which they're not. Or maybe the fact that he's never listened to a single word one of them has to say. That's rude.
    "Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam

  15. #105

    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    Quote Originally Posted by L'Homme Blanc Individuel View Post
    Perhaps you missed the fact that he treats them as if they're HIS employees, which they're not. Or maybe the fact that he's never listened to a single word one of them has to say. That's rude.
    I've never listened to a single word because they never had the chance to utter a single word. I simply said I wanted to try out this and that and this and that and they understood that I did not want any direct suggestion from them. I was merely trying out the perfumes that were on my list.

    If people ask me something, I will certainly reply in a polite manner, as long as the question is polite. But the SAs I dealt with did not make questions to me.

    I treat them as my employees, which means I treat them really well. My employee (a cleaning woman, the only employee I have) loves me and treats me like a personal friend.

    You presume too much. You want me to be a bastard, which I am not.

  16. #106
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    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    By far the best SA assitance I had was in Urban Retreat, Roja Haute Perfumerie
    The staff are so well educated and pefume oriented.
    The worst is that I got from Paris Gallery (a beauty and cosmetics chain). They always
    Try to push me to buy, i just hate it but in the other hand, this is my favorite store
    so I can not avoid going there.

  17. #107
    Dependent L'Homme Blanc Individuel's Avatar
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    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    My best SA experience - of which I've had many - was at a Sephora. This was before I joined basenotes, so I had no clue what I was doing or what I was looking for. I made sure I went there when they'd be the least busy. I was friendly. The SA was a lovely woman in (I'm guessing) her mid 20s. She pointed out a few best sellers, but it became clear that wasn't the way to go, so she took a different approach, introducing me to different kinds of scents in order to figure out what style I liked. I ended up sampling a lot, and she sent me home with around 4 or 5 samples.

    As we were wrapping it up, I asked her if there was anything that doesn't really sell well but should. In other words, was there a hidden gem that she couldn't believe more guys weren't buying. She said something like "Oh, yeah. Hang on." She fetched a bottle of Gucci Pour Homme II and said "If I smelled THIS on a guy? ...wow."

    Sales assistants are people. Treat them with respect and good things can happen. Even now that I know what I'm doing and I tend to only go to a fragrance counter when I know what I want, I still like getting opinions from the SAs if they're friendly. There's a guy who works at the Sephora near me who has impeccable taste. He's a younger guy, really friendly. If he's around, I like getting his opinions.

    I've had lots of great experiences with SAs. The people at the Bond counter at Nordstrom have been awesome. My favorite experience there was when the SA working there that day was new and had no experience with Bond at all. It was actually great. It was in the evening on a week night and the store was dead. We easily killed a half hour - maybe even an hour - sniffing our way across the line. She made me a sample of Andy Warhol and Brooklyn.

    We all want to be treated with kindness and respect, right? The easiest way to make that happen is to TREAT OTHER PEOPLE WITH KINDNESS AND RESPECT. SAs are people too. They're working retail to pay the bills, and they're often not particularly well paid. Be respectful and treat them kindly.
    "Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam

  18. #108

    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    I've had good to very good experiences with the SAs at Neiman Marcus NorthPark and the now-departed Barney's in Dallas. They've been uniformly helpful and supportive. They keep track of what I like and buy and offer new alternatives based upon my likes and prior purchases. They're always generous with samples, even to the point of making new ones for me (recently some Clive Christians for example, which I hadn't even asked for--she just remembered that I had bought the X for Men some months before). They also have done a nice job of letting me know of new releases and sending samples of them.

    I am grateful for my SAs; they have been very helpful over the years on many levels.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by PEARL View Post
    In my own experience fragrance SA's tend to fall into one of three categories based on their own relationship with fragrances, their ability to provide customer service and how they view customers.

    The bad-a bad fragrance SA are those that just happen to work at the fragrance counter. They don't have a relationship with fragrances, and worse, they suck at customer service in general. They tend to look at customers as either immediate buyers or time wasters. These are the ones that will push frags, and when you ask for a second or third frag to try they become frustrated that you aren't buying and loose interest in you as a customer. They behave as if you asked them for a squirt or sample out of their own personal bottle. 85%. These are the ones that I attempt to avoid, even when I do decide to purchase something I go find someone else who can provide better customer service attitude and purchase the frag right in front of them, no matter how small the commish may be, I refuse to give this type my business.

    The good-these are those SA's that may or may not have a relationship with frags, and honestly they don't need to as they have excellent customer service skills. They understand that some people are just shopping, and not necessarily buying, but at any rate they do all they can do to provide good customer service. 10%. These are the type that usually are able to learn from knowledgeable customers and become even better at their craft.

    The great- theses are those fragrance SA's that enjoy fragrances, those that are able to ask questions about your preference in notes, types and what frags you may have. These are those that not only understand when you say to them "let me walk around with the scent on for a bit, to see how it develops", they may actually suggest it. They are the ones that, IME, offer samples, will take and exchange contact info, will call to let you know when new stuff is in, etc.. These are the ones like the girls at the Guerlain counter at my local NM. Whenever I go to NM to do fragrance testing/buying I go get one of them regardless of what counter I want to patronize, because I know that they will provide an excellent experience.
    PEARL has articulated it well; the great and good ones are out there, and the good ones have potential to become great ones. Don't ever dismiss an SA simply because he or she works in that position.

  19. #109
    Renato's Avatar
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    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    I might not be married if not for the wise advice of a female SA (her recommendation -Kiton Men).

    That same SA also explained LAYERING to me, which later turned out to be exactly what Grant had written in the FAQ section - and that explanation has nothing to do with the way the term is frequently misused around here.

    Ignore SAs at the peril of one's long term happiness.
    Cheers,
    Renato

  20. #110

    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    The argument is pretty cut and dry to me. Salespeople in fragrance shops = knowledgeable. Salespeople in shops with more than just fragrances = somewhat knowledgeable. For me, I depend on my own research, but I love gauging a salesperson's excitement or descriptions over what they have in stock, especially new items, because often the salesperson will be completely different from you and have a completely different POV. Personally I love salespeople who are not knowledgeable because i love seeing what little bits they do know stick out for them. This is especially helpful when considering new arrivals.
    "Whiff Guy" Argent
    http://whiffguy.blogspot.com

  21. #111

    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    For a unkown reason SA's always want to sell me the releases. I believe the releases gives more money gain than a classic scent. Always when i ask for a old scent, even if they have it, they ask me: "do you already know the new..."
    Last edited by voidvader; 27th April 2013 at 08:38 AM.

  22. #112

    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    Like most others in this thread, I've gotta say that I've had my fair share of both fantastic and awful SAs, and in the end it really has just come down to finding the right person at the right time. When I first started out, I would nonchalantly walk about the fragrance counters at the Macy's in my city's mall, and it was there that I had my first real experience talking with an SA about fragrances and which direction I should take. It was a pleasant experience in retrospect, but she wasn't really that knowledgeable when it came down to picking out notes or even distinguishing perfumes. Upon walking into the store during that particular visit, I smelled a familiar scent, Polo Black (I knew because my statistics professor wore it), and another lady came in inquiring about the scent at the doorway. I told her that I believed it to be PB - the SA, however, disagreed, even when I sprayed the Polo for all three of us to decide (the other customer agreed with me instantly). So, while she was pleasant, she wasn't really at the top of her game.

    A few months later, I visited the Neiman Marcus in Tampa, and was thrilled to finally get to test some of the Creeds and Tom Ford Private Blend line. To say that the SA there was insightful would be an understatement. I stayed in the store for no less than 45 minutes just discussing and testing different fragrances. She introduced me to several lines I had yet to test or even hear of, and just walked around the displays admiring some of the less common perfumes in retail locations. She encouraged testing perfumes on my skin, picked out various notes for me, and was overall a joy to converse with.

    Overall, I've had both good and bad experiences. In my seemingly endless quest for the right vetiver fragrance, I've even had to explain what vetiver was to some of the younger SAs in places like Sephora, and at times have had SAs advise me upon which notes to take caution with when looking for natural ingredients. You win some, you lose some, but to say that all SAs are practically worthless is rather unfair to those who take pride in what they do for a living.

  23. #113
    Dependent rbaker's Avatar
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    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    I am wary of their motives, that is to sell, but some can be knowledgeable.

  24. #114
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    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    In the UK, unless you are fortunate enough to have a Harvey Nichols or Selfridges etc nearby, you are either limited to purchasing online (what I tend to do) or buying from places such as Boots (chemist/pharmacy) or somewhere like The Perfume Shop. At the latter two, I have never found the SAs to be especially knowledgeable but am fortunate that they generally will ask if you need any help and if the answer is "No, thank you" they will go back to what they were doing. As a general rule, I like to go to such establishments already knowing what I want to buy, or at least try. I too disagree with the OP's initial sentiment, which he seems to have retracted gradually as the thread progressed. Essentially, I always try to treat others as I would like to be treated myself.

  25. #115

    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word by A Sales Associate

    Quote Originally Posted by DanielPlainview View Post
    Some sales women are dragon ladies!

    Scary, very scary.
    Ah. Got it.

    You have issues with your own masculinity. Bless.

  26. #116

    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    I'm not a big fan of SA's myself, but the OP is being a little extreme...
    Are you not entertained??? Is this not why you are here??

  27. #117
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    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    Can't believe I've missed out on another Daniel Plainview thread.
    I should be more attentive...
    For what it's worth "I've never listened to a single word by a sales associate" sounds pretty reasonable to me.

  28. #118
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    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    Funny, relevant to this thread, I happened into a major department store and began perusing the fragrance section. SA was helping another customer, but saw me sampling the Eau de Cartier Concentree and, after she was finished, came over to offer a paper tester sprayed with Luna Rossa by Prada. Now, I didn't find it much to write home about, but it was at least in the same realm as the Eau de Cartier, so I had to give her props for that. After, she was super helpful seeing if they had the original Eau de Cartier in the store and tracking down a bottle to allow me a sample. +1 for the SAs.

    Next, I ventured into a Saks Fifth Avenue, where the SA was pretty distant and not particularly knowledgeable - had a hard time understanding what I meant when I said I wanted to know if they had the Hermes Eau de Pamplemousse Rose, not the Concentre. (Maybe she could sense the fact that I don't make anywhere near enough money to shop at Saks Still, it didn't ruin the experience for me. I tried to make some small talk with her while I sampled, and politely thanked her for her help when I left. Didn't leave me with a bad taste in my mouth, because I still accomplished what I'd set out to do - sample some scents I hadn't smelled before. Don't understand, therefore, why SAs would be such a bother to people. If you get a pushy one, which does happen from time to time, a polite but firm, "No, thank you, I'm really just looking around at the moment," usually does it, and I've just always been of the mindset that it's a little austere of me to begrudge an SA for trying to make a sell - it is their job, after all.

  29. #119

    Default Re: I've Never Listened To A Single Word From A Sales Associate

    I think it depends where you buy your fragrances ? Where I live there is 2 stores that have a both designer and niche fragrances the most upmarket store the sales assistants are rude spoken and practically pounce on every customer not giving you time to look round. And the other I always get warm and friendly service.

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