What was your experience like shopping at high end designer shops for the first time and what tips d

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  1. I've been wanting a Van Cleef Alhambra and a Cartier Love bracelet for years. I don't have any designer pieces but I do want to start building my collection. I read that salespeople can be quite snooty so I just want your opinion and your first time was shopping at high end stores like Hermes, Chanel, Barneys, Saks, etc. What did you like about your experience and what didn't you like about it?
  2. I went to the Van Cleef studio at the San Francisco Neiman Marcus about seven years ago - was interested in Alhambra pieces. The SA was wonderful - I think for anybody looking to learn about a brand a good SA should be able to educate the customer and help them feel comfortable.
  3. Just be yourself
  4. Agree with the above. Just walk in there like you would any other store and don't assume anything negative.
    Pmrbfay likes this.
  5. I guess that certain retailers try to create a mystique around the shopping experience, but personally, I don't feel any different walking into Saks than I do walking into Old Navy. I see retail stores as places that offer things for sale; I come in to look at things and, if I choose to, buy things. They're public places, you know? They're not invitation-only. The idea of a salesperson making me feel unwelcome in a store is almost laughable to me, because without people walking into stores and buying things, the stores have no reason to exist. So . . . I just don't have it in me to feel intimidated. Maybe at the White House or something, but at the mall? No. The only difference between Saks and Old Navy is that the price points are higher. In either store, I'm the one with the buying power and decision-making authority; the sales associate is not doing me any favors by selling me things and making money off my presence there.

    I say all this not to come off with an attitude, but just because I guess this viewpoint informs my experience shopping in high-end stores. You see, ultimately, I'm not really looking for an "experience" of any kind. I'm just looking to acquire a product. Same as in Old Navy. Same as in the grocery store. I don't really like to chit-chat with SAs, as I find it distracting when I'm trying to look at things and make decisions. I don't need a relationship; I just need a baseline level of courtesy and service that lets me choose something in peace, hand over my money, and leave. That's just me, though. I know that for other people, the boutique experience is enjoyable and important to them. I'd rather just get my bag and get the hell out of there. LOL.

    I can't even remember the first time I shopped (or, more accurately, window-shopped) in a high-end store, because it was certainly way before I could afford to actually buy anything in one. I guess I've just always felt perfectly entitled to walk into any store that's open to the public and browse and ask questions, because, after all, that's why they're there. Ultimately, browsing in the Chanel boutique years ago, touching the leathers, handling the bags, etc. created an affection for and familiarity with the brand that would lead to a purchase when it became financially feasible.

    Whether it's your first time in a hoity-toity store or your 100th time, you have every right to be there, whether you buy something or not. I know that's not *exactly* what you were asking, but it's where my mind goes when I think about someone contemplating their first "fancy store" purchase and having any kind of concerns about what the experience may be like. For me, the important thing is that you're happy with your purchase. Being in the store is just the means to the end. Your mileage may vary. Either way, enjoy your lovely jewelry! :heart:
  6. My first few experiences they were snooty when I would go in and try stuff on then decide. That let me find the right SA though, one that would be patient with me during a very big purchase.

    So if they're snooty, move on to another store or another SA. This is your money, your purchase, you have to be happy with it.

    Typically a bad purchase gives me bad impressions of the item so I won't love it as much as I should and then I won't buy.

    My first purchase at Chanel, I had found the best SA, who told me "you must be happy, this isn't a cheap bag" and she brought out every flap she could to help me decide. She was patient, she gave input when needed, she gave me the best sales treatment I've ever gotten in US Chanel. All the other snooty SAs who showed me bags before I didn't buy from, because I didn't want the bad experience tied with the bag and I'm glad I waited.

    My first Hermes purchase was just costume jewelry, and I waited patiently for assistance. When no one would help, I caught the eye of the manager, and she helped me. I happily work with her now as she is patient and will find me my item. She isn't snooty at all either.

    I never shop at Saks because I have yet to find a not snooty SA. Oh well, I can always find the item elsewhere.
    luvlux64 likes this.
  7. I think the first time is probably the most nerve wracking. When I went to Harrods in my early twenties I kept thinking this is where Arab princes and celebs shop, will I even be allowed in. It was just like any other shop except there was just so much empty floor space. That's probably more intimidating than snooty staff although I've never encountered any yet. If I did I would exit and spend my money elsewhere. After giving them the runaround first if I was in the humour
  8. It really depends on the SA. Some are better than others. As long as you have one who is genuinely helpful you will be fine.
    BleuSaphir likes this.
  9. #9 Jun 26, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016
    I found it intimidating at first time. But the experience tend to be you and the sales associate. I never had good service at Hermes. So any potential purchase from them-I'm going straight online! I will not patronize Hermes boutiques in Las Vegas. Haven't been in Beverly Hills location, but if I receive rude service-will not patronize it either.

    Tip: Be friendly and open. Don't expect to be asked if you need help right away. So if your waiting 20 minutes standing their doing nothing and be expecting one of them to ask you if you need help. Don't bother waiting for them. You make it know that you are interested in something. :smile:
  10. My first in store experience was totally nervy and I was not even sure what to get (my bad), but thankfully at the store I went to there are patient SAs who appear as though they really enjoy what they are doing, and not just there to catch the big 'fish' and fatten their own pockets with commission, I try to suss them out and maintain a connection so that future purchases become a familiar experience and less clueless for myself. The good ones also take time to make purchase recommendations to you, inform you in advance of shipment of items you mentioned an interest in, etc, I think a good SA just betters the shopping experience and make it a smooth one. They are also grateful if the clients don't behave in a snooty way, goes both ways I guess.
  11. Do it several times, a hundred times, and it will become exactly like...shopping. You're out for a good time, so try to have a good time. Always remember: you're the one with the purchasing power in this transaction, and they are there to assist you.

    There are great SA's out there who will make your experience pleasant.
  12. You have to have your own experience. If you are friendly & engaging chances are the SA's will respond to you
    in a positive manner.

    Good luck & enjoy your time in VCA & Cartier looking for your
    dream piece of jewelry"
  13. Looks like you are in NYC? The VCA store at Bergdorf's is lovely. The SAs are very sweet and will happily show you things. The Cartier boutique in Saks is also very nice. If you have a Saks SA, they can pave the way for you. My SA arranged for my love bracelet purchase there. Enjoy your shopping.
  14. I just had my first time a couple of weeks ago in the Balenciaga flagship store and the original Chanel store (the one where Coco Chanel lived just above it). In my mind, because 1) they are in Paris with all the brand history behind them, 2) I'm not someone who can spend oodles and oodles of money, and 3) it was fashion week, I expected to be treated either snootily, poorly, or at best, just with strained tolerance/forbearance.

    I was pleasantly surprised to receive all the courtesies as a customer (maybe they took pity on me because of my deer in the headlights expression - lol!). The SAs were very nice, helpful and patient :smile: in Chanel, they exuded patience and were very accommodating even if there was a line-up in their store. This experience taught me not to have any negative expectations of high-end luxury stores simply because I'm not used to shopping there :P haha!
    Materielgrrl likes this.
  15. I still to this day feel like I do not belong in most of the high end shops. For some reason I feel much better in Macy's then in one of the designer shops. But I can't walk past them . I have to see what is new that I have not seen before.