Snobby Shop Ladies

Snobby Shop Ladies

It happens again and again: I’ll be shopping with a friend and want to go into some high-end place like Chanel or the couture floor at Barneys. But the person I’m with refuses to go in.

I’ll demand to know what the sales people in there did to them that would make then uncomfortable about going back, and more often than not the person’s never even been in the store, to have any kind of experience. They’re just intimidated.

This really upsets me! Why would any friend of mine not feel good enough to go into a store, ANY store?!

I know that movies like to portray sales people of expensive stuff as snotty assholes but in all my browsing experiences I’ve found I’m 95% more likely to get attitude from the staff at stores like Urban Outfitters and Macy’s than at places like Chanel.

Keep in mind that good service is one of the reasons a store can ask for high prices. And high end shoppers are more often made than born. If someone admires an expensive piece but can’t buy it right away, if that person is treated well they’ll often comes back when they can afford it. Any sales person who doesn’t know this or who doesn’t encourage potential customers most likely won’t last too long at a fancier store.

As a clothing geek, I see high end boutiques as art galleries. So I browse a lot. I go to look at the cloth that’s been used and the way the pieces have been sewn or cut. Every time I’ve talked to sales people about the garments in this way, they’ve turned out to be as big a clothing geek as I am.

You should always expect any store staff to treat you well. If they don’t, then notify their manager. Trust me, the manager will want to know.

But, remember: if you act like a jerk to the staff then you deserve to be treated like one right back.

the author

Babe Scanlon is a writer living and working in San Francisco. She's worked as an archaeologist, computer game designer, agent at Agent Provocateur and hypnotherapist. She is controlling your mind at this very moment.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!
  • The staff at Agent Provocateur in downtown SF are a great example of this. They knew I wasn’t looking to buy, only looking to look and admire, and yet they treated me with the same respect and congeniality they would bestow on any other customer. And if I AM ever in the market for a $1,100 teddy, I will most certainly remember my experience there.

  • The staff at Agent Provocateur in downtown SF are a great example of this. They knew I wasn’t looking to buy, only looking to look and admire, and yet they treated me with the same respect and congeniality they would bestow on any other customer. And if I AM ever in the market for a $1,100 teddy, I will most certainly remember my experience there.

  • squeeg

    Douchebag salespeople are everywhere. I was referred to as “old skool,” by a saleswoman at Macy’s for asking if they had polyester (hate cotton) crew socks. She said, “Why do you want CREW socks?” I responded, “To wear with long pants.” She said, “Oooh, you old skool.” Needless to say, she didn’t get that commission. Who in the hell wears no-shows with jeans (other than skinny jeans – those guys don’t count)?

  • squeeg

    Douchebag salespeople are everywhere. I was referred to as “old skool,” by a saleswoman at Macy’s for asking if they had polyester (hate cotton) crew socks. She said, “Why do you want CREW socks?” I responded, “To wear with long pants.” She said, “Oooh, you old skool.” Needless to say, she didn’t get that commission. Who in the hell wears no-shows with jeans (other than skinny jeans – those guys don’t count)?

  • Liz Rood

    I do not understand being intimidated by entering a place of business. It is unlikely I will ever be able to afford things at Hermes, but that will never stop me from going in to admire.

  • Liz Rood

    I do not understand being intimidated by entering a place of business. It is unlikely I will ever be able to afford things at Hermes, but that will never stop me from going in to admire.

  • elusis

    Try going in when you’re a fat woman. (Or even, average-sized.)

  • elusis

    Try going in when you’re a fat woman. (Or even, average-sized.)