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#1
Old 12-21-2010, 03:39 PM
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Anyone here work at Hermes or Louis Vuitton?

Some dude on the internet complained saying that he was given the run around at an Hermes store for not buying enough despite making a custom order request.

Someone in response wrote,

Quote:
Hermes does seem to give some people a hard time. It's like they size you up when you walk in the store and determine what kind of treatment you will get. My wife has a good relationship with the Palm Beach and Miami stores and she's gotten impeccable treatment there. But when we went to the Paris flagship they were decidedly cool to her. The people at the Georges V store were much better and she eventually bought a purse and belt there instead.

If you feel like playing their game have your wife come in with an Hermes purse if she has one, and have some conspicuous piece on you like a nice watch. It sounds shitty, to be sure, but that's the way it's played
So, anyone here work as a sales associate for Hermes, or maybe some of the other luxury boutiques like Louis Vuitton? Do you size people up? Are lots of poor people going into Hermes and wasting time? I didn't know people without money to spend even knew what Hermes is.

Please dish some dirt on snob associates and slob poor customers.
#2
Old 12-21-2010, 04:11 PM
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Remember the scene in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts goes in to a high end store and they basically kick her out? (when she has on her hooker clothes) I can see that happening. Of course later she goes back with Richard Gere and they know him so they are falling all over her.
#3
Old 12-21-2010, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassyfras View Post
So, anyone here work as a sales associate for Hermes, or maybe some of the other luxury boutiques like Louis Vuitton? Do you size people up? Are lots of poor people going into Hermes and wasting time? I didn't know people without money to spend even knew what Hermes is.
I don't know about a lot of poor people going into Hermes, but I can definitely see tourists, most of whom probably can't afford to drop $900 on a scarf, going into those stores just to check them out. My wife and I, when we've traveled to places like New York, have been guilty of that and we're definitely not anywhere near what you'd call wealthy.

Last edited by joebuck20; 12-21-2010 at 04:41 PM.
#4
Old 12-21-2010, 04:39 PM
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Hermes (bad) publicity to the masses: There was the incident several years ago with Oprah being unable to shop after hours at Hermes Paris even though others were shopping inside. She made public statements to the effect that she thought it was because of her race; the management insists it was a private PR event going on and apologized for the security guard being so strict about admission.

(Side note: Louis Vuitton has so many knockoff bags going around that I automatically assume any of their logo'd bags that I see is a fake.)
#5
Old 12-21-2010, 05:52 PM
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You don't need to go into Louis Vuitton or Hermes to get shitty service from glorified cashiers who don't think you can afford their product! Any high-end retail shop will do (hell, American Apparel will do if you just want to be ignored). Ironically, putting on a baseball cap and hoodie might be a better approach than an Hermes scarf. It's the 'I'm a celebrity in disguise' look.
#6
Old 12-21-2010, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Fight View Post
You don't need to go into Louis Vuitton or Hermes to get shitty service from glorified cashiers who don't think you can afford their product! Any high-end retail shop will do (hell, American Apparel will do if you just want to be ignored). Ironically, putting on a baseball cap and hoodie might be a better approach than an Hermes scarf. It's the 'I'm a celebrity in disguise' look.
Condoleezza Rice of all people ran into a department store jewlery clerk in NYC that insisted on showing her costume jewlery instead of the real stuff. This was when she was either National Security Advisor or Secretary of State.
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#7
Old 12-21-2010, 11:17 PM
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I bought a Louis Vuitton handbag last June at the Houton Galleria and the service was impeccable. I was wearing jeans, a T-shirt, and a scarf. Sorry, no snob story.

Last edited by ZPG Zealot; 12-21-2010 at 11:18 PM.
#8
Old 12-21-2010, 11:34 PM
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Every time I go to Manhattan, I go into the Gucci and Prada stores and such. I can't afford anything in there, of course.

I am a large black woman, decidedly ghetto. The workers are always trim, neat, non-ghetto looking petite men and women. They always, without fail, treat me very well and make a show out of helping me. I am always very honest and say right out front that "I'm just browsing, if that's ok" and I always still get that hanging back out of the way, but ready to help vibe from them.

I am thoroughly convinced that they are making fun of me when I leave, or something. But I can't say that they ever let me see any such thing.
#9
Old 12-21-2010, 11:35 PM
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In a similar vein a friend of mine got a job as a mechanic at a Mercedes Benz dealership and said he noticed a real difference between the customers there and the ones at his old job (Peugeot dealership). The people bringing in the cars to be repaired expected to be treated like royalty and had an air of entitlement about them. Obviously not a blanket rule but the difference was marked enough that he noticed it straight away.
#10
Old 12-22-2010, 10:20 AM
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I've always wondered if the people who work at these stores can even afford to shop there.
Snobby sales clerks making $25K/year shooing out people who make $50K/year because they don't make $100K/year.
#11
Old 12-22-2010, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hampshire View Post
I've always wondered if the people who work at these stores can even afford to shop there.
Snobby sales clerks making $25K/year shooing out people who make $50K/year because they don't make $100K/year.
Somestimes yes and sometimes no, I have known several rich women that would work at high end stores for the discount. This is expecially popular in situations were their fathers or husbands give them a set dress allowance (an amount which may be more than most people earn in a year, but not enough for them to spend as freely as they wish on luxury items)
#12
Old 12-22-2010, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hampshire View Post
I've always wondered if the people who work at these stores can even afford to shop there.
Snobby sales clerks making $25K/year shooing out people who make $50K/year because they don't make $100K/year.
In those stores, the employees generally get an enormous (40-60%) discount. Not to mention the employees get a heads up on sales, etc. I presume the reason is that the stores want the employees to be able to personally suggest stuff.

That said, while the employees working in Hermes or LV aren't millionaires or anything, I do believe they get commission (which, on $10k+ Birkins, that isn't so bad). Plus, they also get tips from customers. So, my point is: I doubt they are doing as badly as you think.

Last edited by DiosaBellissima; 12-22-2010 at 12:23 PM.
#13
Old 12-22-2010, 02:44 PM
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If you want good service anywhere you go, carry a clipboard.
#14
Old 12-22-2010, 05:22 PM
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There was a time in my life, some years back, when I had to wear a suit and tie to work every day. I remember getting the same treatment at Brooks Brothers in New York when I went in there on a weekend, wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I was ready to spend a couple of thousand dollars. Really annoying. I ended up spending the money somewhere else.

Fortunately, I don't have to dress like that for work anymore. Although I still like to get shirts at BB, because they last forever and they carry my somewhat odd size.
#15
Old 12-23-2010, 01:29 AM
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I read somewhere that shoe sales people in Nordstrom's can make over $100,000 a year with commission. That's really hustling and working all kinds of crazy hours, but it pays if you're good and lucky.
#16
Old 12-23-2010, 04:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
Hermes (bad) publicity to the masses: There was the incident several years ago with Oprah being unable to shop after hours at Hermes Paris even though others were shopping inside. She made public statements to the effect that she thought it was because of her race; the management insists it was a private PR event going on and apologized for the security guard being so strict about admission.
It wasn't bad publicity in Europe, where it made the news due to happening during a slow news period. The comments I heard had two parts: "so who's that?" (A big name in American TV) "Ok, and why does she think she should be able to go into the store when other people can't? " If anything, it was bad publicity for Oprah, not that I imagine she gives a shit what people over this side of the pond thinnk of her. Same with VickyBecky getting kicked out of a similar-range store in Spain after demanding service and screaming into the face of their Head of PR (who happens to be minor royalty), people's reactions were along the lines of "serves her right, she's so dumb she probably didn't get the message though".

There's a difference between someone trying to barge in and someone trying to buy normally, though.

I've had or heard of being dismissed on the basis of the clothing you wear in many young-woman oriented boutiques ("[totally supercilious]oh I am SO sorry, we do not happen to carry your size" "oh wow, I didn't know scarves had sizes, I stand corrected [leaves]") and in posh stores. One of my dorm-mates, whose family have been industrialists since about the time Catalonia started exporting industrial goods, got what we called the O!M!G! treatment at one of those stores when she was dressed for biology lab; next Saturday, she pimped herself up, went back and made that specific bitch spend two hours bringing clothes out, bought nothing. Several of my well-off college classmates would do similar things (always targetting specific saleswomen who'd O!M!G!ed someone, often themselves) as a way to burn stress during exam periods: grab your latest, most expensive this-year's-fashion's clothes, Mum's Moschino belt, the hand-tooled boots, borrow a friend's LV, and go watch the same bitch who "didn't have your size" two weeks ago turn into a slavering puddle and have no problem bringing out things in that same size.

Then again, the same thing happens in profesional/social situations: go to a rockabilly concert in your officewear, people will treat you like there is a hole in the air; surprise your officemates when the "wake me up CD" contains, not the Alejandro Sanz they were expecting based on your gender, perceived age and officewear, but Rammstein, Metallica, Siniestro and Nightwish...

Last edited by Nava; 12-23-2010 at 05:01 AM.
#17
Old 12-23-2010, 06:53 AM
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This is for Hermes only but I know a girl who buys small things in order to establish a relationship with the Hermes sales ppl at our mall. I wondered if you could walk in a buy a Birkin and I don't think you can . I believe there is a waiting list for the bags. So the above blurb sounds accurate to me. At LV they treat everyone well/ same everytime I've went in.
#18
Old 12-23-2010, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FordTaurusSHO94 View Post
I read somewhere that shoe sales people in Nordstrom's can make over $100,000 a year with commission. That's really hustling and working all kinds of crazy hours, but it pays if you're good and lucky.
My BIL's cousin used to sell high-end purses in a department store and made crazy money; she'd get trips to Paris and similar prizes for being top salesperson. So, yeah, you can definitely make money selling this stuff.

Next time I see her I'll ask her if she made evaluations of customers based on their appearance.
#19
Old 12-23-2010, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
It wasn't bad publicity in Europe, where it made the news due to happening during a slow news period. The comments I heard had two parts: "so who's that?" (A big name in American TV) \
I kind of wondered about that when I heard this story. Would the average European even know who Oprah Winfrey is? Does her show air over there?
#20
Old 12-23-2010, 10:52 AM
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It does not; she sometimes gets mentioned in shows when they're aired in English or when the translators didn't perform a substitution. Starting with Fresh Prince of Bel-Air the trend in Spain has been to substitute, when posible: in any episode of Fresh Prince where Oprah got mentioned, she was turned into Marķa Teresa Campos (who had a very succesful program with a similar format).
#21
Old 12-23-2010, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joebuck20 View Post
I kind of wondered about that when I heard this story. Would the average European even know who Oprah Winfrey is? Does her show air over there?
Yeah, there was some commentary about that at the time, that just because she's OMG-level famous here in the US, it doesn't mean people know who she is elsewhere. I suspect that being treated like you're The Embodiment of Women's Happiness and Fulfillment in the US will screw with your sense of reality. I guess it's possible that some level there was some racism present, but I think Oprah's fans might just accept that outright.
#22
Old 12-23-2010, 11:42 AM
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In 1997/98 I went into the Tiffany's in Palo Alto (Stanford shopping center) looking "regular", i.e,. jeans and tshirt, basically your typical internet start-up gear. Ok, possibly a little more ragged than that, but not homeless or anything Anyhow, I looked around a bit, got some icy looks, waited for someone to talk to me -- the place was basically empty. Nothing. Look around some more, this is *right in front* of the salespeople... nothing! Finally I made eye contact and the guy asked if he could help me. I said I was kind of interested in rings (I was, engagement rings) and he said something along the lines of "I don't know if we'll have anything in your price range". As if this prick has any idea what I can afford... which was certainly not "anything in the store", it was probably most of their engagement rings. I walked out, and vowed to never give Tiffany's a cent after that. And I've spent a lot of coin on jewelry since then, so their loss.

When I worked at Radio Shack, I always tried to give great service to the "bummy" looking folks. It definitely paid off; plenty of folks who can't dress worth a damn have money to spend on a/v equipment etc. I was happy to pick up the commissions for those folks when other salespeople in my store would just ignore them.

Good on the folks upthread who "make them pay" by wasting salesdroids' time after being abused
#23
Old 12-23-2010, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripopgome View Post
In 1997/98 I went into the Tiffany's in Palo Alto (Stanford shopping center) looking "regular", i.e,. jeans and tshirt, basically your typical internet start-up gear. ... I said I was kind of interested in rings (I was, engagement rings) and he said something along the lines of "I don't know if we'll have anything in your price range". As if this prick has any idea what I can afford...
Suggested classic reading: "The £1,000,000 Bank-Note", by Mark Twain.

Unfortunately in this age of credit cards it's much harder to perpetrate a similar effect.
#24
Old 12-23-2010, 07:28 PM
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And ripopgome's experience is a good example of why not to ignore the sloppily dressed. It's definitely true in Silicon Valley (and perhaps true elsewhere as well), that there are plenty of guys in t-shirts and jeans who could afford anything in the Tiffany store.

Take Mark Zuckerberg, for instance. I think he's in the process of being made over to look more "adult", but he's been nine-figures wealthy for a while but still dressed like a broke undergrad. (And he's actually famous. There are plenty of others in the Bay Area who are anonymous, but have hit it big at one company or another.) As these guys acquire wealth, they're going to be going from shopping at The Gap to shopping at Wilkes Bashford or another high-end retailer.
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