Do's and Don'ts with an SA

  1. As a few of you know, I'm a Hermes newbie. I'm in that phase where I'm spending hours a day reading threads, thinking of new color/leather/hardware combos for my very first Hermes bag (birkin or kelly?). A person can only do so much reading before venturing out to the boutique. DH and I are going to Hermes SF this weekend to check out the colors/leathers firsthand, and more importantly begin that special relationship with an SA. I bought a scarf there a couple of months ago, but I'm not sure the SA will recognize me.

    Any advice, standards of conduct, things that are NO-NOs, what to do, what not to do with forming this relationship? Do I always have to buy something each time I visit? Can I ask him if there are birkins/kellys to view? Can I ask to see the leatherbook? Can I ask him if it's possible to "request" a bag (SO)? Can I ask him "What's the best way to get a bag?"
  2. All I can say is best of luck to you with the SF store, you will need it. I have yet to see their leatherbook. Even though I have absolutely no problems with seeing the leatherbook from other Hermes stores I have been to. The SO list is closed in SF. I believe even Shopmom couldn’t SO a bag there, unless it has changed. I find that the women SAs there are nicer than the male ones, if that helps any.

    I am sure if you are a super VIP, things might be different. But I am not one and never will be either. I don’t mean to put a damper on things but that’s the reality, at least for me.
  3. I've only been to the SF store a few times (I went by myself to begin with and then REALLY got to know the place with SoCal, Mom of Twins, CB, and The Real Louis for a tPFer meet). So far, I've had nothing but good times at the store. I'm not in the market for a bag yet (and told them so) but, they are happy to show me scarves and bracelets all day (and after I ran off with three of them in a month, they let me play with some bags behind the counter).

    I'd think it would be helpful to go when the store isn't that busy--say the morning--you might find the staff to be more attentive before the afternoon rush of shoppers dulls their senses!

    Have fun!
  4. DON'T give them a chinese burn, or a wedgie.
  5. ....or a Wet Willie! They don't like that.
  6. The Dutch SA's like Tim Tams and the NYC ones like Payard.
  7. don't ask dumb questions like me, do you have an ipod holder?
    which they now make:sweatdrop:
  8. Don't let the first thing that comes out of your mouth be, "Do you have any Birkins or Kellys?" I don't think they like that. If I were you, I would wear the scarf you bought when you go visit, start looking at scarves or bracelets etc. If there is a bag in the cases that interests you, ask to see it and play with it. If you don't love it, say so and maybe say, "I love the color and leather, however I think it's too large for me. Do you have a different style in a smaller size?" You don't have to quote me. What I mean is express interest in their bags in general and eventually bring up the style you're really interested in.

    I personally have never been to the SF store. I was pretty proud of myself when I was able to walk past it last week when I was visiting the city without going in. I don't know what that store generally has in stock but building a relationship with a SA is usually a good way to start out.
  9. I have never "developed" a relationship with a SA intentionally. When I first ordered my Birkin, I just walked in and asked one of the SAs who happened to be super-sweet and sorted out size and leather for me - asked me what colour I would like - showed me the leather book, etc...Then when the order I had made came through I picked up my bag. I never recalled the name of this first SA nor got her card. Since then I have made acquaintances with some of the SAs in RTW and bought a few pieces from them. Only a few mind you. The second time I asked to place an order I did it through a SA who was completely unknown to me and very kind - I even changed my mind when my first order came through and I was unhappy with the leather and I then placed a further order with the help of another again very personable chap.

    Unfortunately, for me I have more SAs ready to assist than I have funds! I have tried out bags from day one and only once met with an unfriendly SA here. So my advice is - just be yourself - that self is polite, treats SA's like equals, dresses appropriately for the brand's image, i.e. not like a tourist, at least this is my view from Paris. Also remember don't act too desperate or fawning, I am sure they can smell desperation from a mile off!

    I have never purchased any scarves or bracelets from Hermes because they aren't my thing, however I have bought flatware and RTW but these purchases were with totally different SAs.

    I imagine that the situation maybe different from country to country
  10. do go in expecting good customer service.
    don't give them your business if you don't get it.
  11. and when you do get it....don't waist people's time. If you know you are not going to get something...don't put it on hold, etc.
  12. don't ask about SOs, wait list, kellys or birkins.
  13. I think it helps going in armed with knowledge and confidence---it also helps to narrow down first what color family you're interested in and what leather. Go in, look around, make contact with your SA, look at any other items in the store including bags in a color/leather combo you like (perhaps you may not like the style, but at least you can see the leather on a bag), and you should feel free to ask to see the leather swatch book. With SF, you can say (in a subtle way) if a Kelly or Birkin ever arrives in a 32cm or 35cm (or whatever size) in this color--and you're open to leather or whichever leather you'd like---that it would be great if the SA would remember you. I think the most important thing is to separate yourself from the masses by not just going in and asking if they have any Birkins--they get that question a thousand times a day and are trained to give the standard pat answer of "no." Good luck! Hopefully they'll have something fun for you to look at when you go! Let us know what happens!
  14. Real quick, and real simple.

    1. Dress nicely, and look your best. It may not get you anywhere, but you'll feel good about yourself, be confident, and will enjoy the experience.

    2. Go in, find someone who looks friendly, and introduce yourself. It's a french brand, so manners first.

    3. After intro, say you'd like to look around. And do it. Slowly, at your own pace. There's no rush!

    4. If the S.A. (or another) re-approaches you, it's ok to say you're still looking.

    5. When you're ready to talk shop, find your S.A. and discuss what you've seen as you walked around. Don't mention bags that aren't on the shelves.

    6. If you're there to ultimately buy a bag on a later trip, but not this one, go over to what you will get today (say, a scarf) and choose.

    7. When you finish up your choice, ask if you can try on a bag or two from the shelves. When you do, mention that bag is lovely, but you'd really rather wait until a KIND, SIZE, COLOUR, HW comes in. Say you've always sort of had your heart set on THAT kind of bag. Then smile, thank her, and give back the bag you're trying on.

    8. If you make it to the cash register and she hasn't offered to show you more bags from the back, SO a bag, etc, it's ok, don't worry. She likely will, but if she doesn't, just repeat this entire process again with her on another visit. I guarantee she eventually will. She wants to sell bags a lot more than scarves, I can assure you.

    NOW GO AND HAVE FUN! Don't sweat it, enjoy yourself!! :love:
  15. This is such a great thread! Thanks for starting it, kim_mac and thanks to everyone else who posted their advice. I will have to print this out one day when I am ready to visit the store.