are you ever more knowledgable than your SA?

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  1. had an interesting experience today. my mom and i went to the mall this afternoon and i went with her over to bloomingdales to see if they had a white spy hobo (they didn't). they did, however, have a regular spy in honey, so i asked to see it because, hey, why not? it was beautiful, of course, and the SA and i started talking about bags and it became QUICKLY apparent than i knew more about the brands and styles than she did.

    my mom wanders over, and on her neverending quest for the perfect black bag (shoulder bag, zip top, outside pockets, not too big, not too small, and other completely aribitrary qualifications) starts talking about a few things that she vaguely remembers seeing or hearing about, with me filling in the blanks (the one she likes the most so far is the MJ blake), and the SA just kind of stared at me and then asked how i learned all of that stuff.

    so what do you do if you know more about the product you're looking at than the person that is supposed to be helping you choose it? i found it kind of akward. i was in a similar situation when i picked out my car. i tend to do a ton of research on things i'm interested in and go in with a good knowledge base, particularly if it's an expensive purchase.

    has this ever happened to you? how do you handle it? i tried to be as gracious and modest about what i knew as possible and not point out directly things that she said that were partially or entirely incorrect. i knew my mom wasn't going to buy anyway (she never will - her perfect black bag does not exist), so i figured it wasn't worth embarassing anyone.
  2. I was the same way with my car. I knew a lot about the Corolla and its features, but didn't want to act like a know-it-all in front of the salesman. Instead I just listened to what he had to say, and if it was something I knew, I said something along the lines of, "Oh yeah, I remember reading something like that in a magazine article" or vaguely referring to another information source. In situations like that, I think it's best to let the salesperson talk and try to phrase my knowledge into questions, like, "I read somewhere that (insert your knowledge here). Is that true?" And see what the SA says. In a way, it's letting them know that you've done your research, but you don't come off as looking like someone trying to outsmart them or prove them wrong.

    Just my opinion :biggrin:
  3. When that happens, I usually just smile and then blush. I get embarrassed easily but hey... at least they give you more respect now. :biggrin:
  4. i think that buying a car is such a contentious situation anyway, particularly when you're female, that it doesn't hurt to come out looking like you're not going to be fooled because they're there to give you the run around so that their commission is higher. i'm perfectly willing to put a car salesman in his place since there is negotiation involved and they need to be clear on the fact that i am not a person to be trifled with. the environment is sexist anyway, i will do whatever i have to in order to take control of the situation.

    i look at buying a bag differently, though. i tried to be very indirect with any knowledge, usually trying to do like you said and asking her to 'confirm' things i read about, etc. let her look like she's the smart one. it was just akward because i felt like i had to play the situation such that i made her feel like she was imparting knowledge on me that i, in fact, already had. you'd really think that bloomies would train folks more thoroughly...she was a sweet girl, though.
  5. I had a very annoying SA try to tell me that the pre-spring colors were the summer colors for B-bags today in the most snooty way.

    If they are nice, I just reaffirm by saying "I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that the blah blah blah blah"

    If they are rude, I flat outright correct them. "No, such and such bag has blah blah blah".

    That happened to me twice today. One was very nice, one was very very rude.

    Wow, Cristina! We pretty much say the same thing. I just read what you wrote now.
  6. I'm met some pretty clueless SAs, either purposefully unhelpful, deceitful or unknowledgeable. I've ahd experiences similiar to BalanciagaLove's.
  7. We def. have the advantage being here.
  8. As an SA, I can honestly tell I've had customers tell me something I didn't know about a product- and I'm never mean about it! I'm just like "really, interesting! I never knew." :-P I think it's better than being snooty and defensive.

    I ALWAYS have problems with Clinique. I know a pretty good deal about make-up and skincare, and I think that the Clinique skincare line is decent- but they tell you a lot of untrue BS about it. I recently was there looking for a new cleanser ( picked up their new liquid facial soap, its nice so far.) and the girl was horrible! They always treat me like dirt, never listen to what I have to say, and have so little knowledge of their product it's sad. From now on I'm sticking to sephora, where the staff is always knowledgable AND friendly! :smile:
  9. I usually know more than jewelry sales is pretty annoying when they try to convince you of what they think, or want you to think, is the truth and you know that it isnt! Sometimes it is just plain old funny and you let them talk and just have to make your choices based on what you've learned through your research. It pays to be an educated consumer!

    That being said...I don't expect people in department stores to be experts and I'm usually a bit more forgiving. If I was at like Gucci and they couldn't answer my questions, or said something I knew was wrong, then I'd be pretty upset and irritated!
  10. This happens to me ALL the time in Sephora. I don't mean to be snooty, but it is irritating when I go in looking for a specific product and they tell me that it doesn't exist. I'm nice about it, but then I have to tell them that I saw it in such and such magazine or read about it in a certain place.

    I generally seem to be more knowledgeable in LV and other handbag stores also. I just bought an agenda yesterday evening, and when I called to see if they had the one I wanted to buy before I drove there, the SA asked me to explain which agenda was the small ring agenda! I had to give her the dimensions, and then she proceeded to measure it! When I went in to purchase it she acted like she'd never seen the agenda refills in her life. I have found the LV SAs to be ineffectual overall.

    Now, I know that not everyone who works in retail loves it. I work at a mainstream clothing store, and I just do it to make money while I'm in school. Yes, I do like this brand of clothes and I wear them, but it's not my dream job. Still, I try to be knowledgeable and helpful. Maybe everyone who works at LV isn't a fanatic like some of us (myself included), but it doesn't seem like the kind of place where you just walk in and apply because you need A job. Don't you work at LV because you wanted THAT job? (And I'd imagine the same goes for Gucci, etc.).
  11. I came across an SA that was very knowledgeable about LV at a Coach store. I thought that was so funny. He actually noticed an item I had an gave me a compliment on it and then said he knew it was a special edition. We actually talked a little bit about LV while I was buying a Coach. It actually made me feel really good.
  12. The Coach SA's always talke to me about other bags too! They must train them better. I did notice on the card for my SA at Neimans that she is a Gucci Specialist. Neimans must use them the way cosmetics companies do. One Assistant/One Line.
  13. I guess because I am a purse freak, I really don't understand SAs - particualrly in high-end stores - who know nothing about the bags they are selling. I don't mean to sound snotty about it, but I find it so odd. While I find the SAs at Nordstrom to be genuinely attentive, quite often they don't know much about the bags themselves. For example, rather than me telling them about the different leathers and styles of the Marc Jacobs quilted bags...they shoud be telling me, the customer, about them in order to help me choose a bag. And when I asked one for the name of the style of a Dolce and Gabbana bag on display, they just referred to it as the "large tote" and had no clue that there are actually style names. (It took me just a couple of minutes to figure it out online when I got home) Related to this subject...when in this situation, do you find it hard to keep quiet when an SA isn't able to answer another customer's question and you can?
  14. :lol: A lot of the time I know the prices etc before my SAs know them by heart. I spend WAYYYY too much time with purses, I should become a purse SA myself :lol:
  15. that happens to me all of the time and while it is great to be so informed it is frustrating to not be able to go to someone who is a real authority or to have someone be able to answer questions that you have.