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Ignorant Sales People

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I was at Harry Rosen in Fairview today and did some browsing. I found a shirt with th label "Harry Rosen Sartorial." It had three tags cut off right below the label. I asked the saleslady what made this shirt worth $330. She said it was probably made out of cotton and came from Italy. ????? Oh, that explains it. I said was it a 130, 150 or ??? She didn;t understand the question.

I then found a light jacket and upon examining it I looked at the fabric and it said 90 % co and 10 % ws. I said to her I know the co is cotton, what is the other part. No clue. She did say it would go well with jeans. She didn't mention the surgeon cuffs, the half lining and etc. Why would I buy a jacket for $900 and still have unanswered questions about it.
post #2 of 32
It's like that in most stores now, and it is not the fault of the sales people. The stores are not bothering to train their sales people and the sales people have little to no way to find out the answers to questions like the one you asked. If a sales person shows even the slightest bit of knowledge about such things they are quickly promoted off the floor or they move on to better stores.
post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lino
It's like that in most stores now, and it is not the fault of the sales people. The stores are not bothering to train their sales people and the sales people have little to no way to find out the answers to questions like the one you asked. If a sales person shows even the slightest bit of knowledge about such things they are quickly promoted off the floor or they move on to better stores.

But why, they sell Canali, AE, etc.. at this store, the suits go up to and pass $2k why not have them know their product, it can only help them to sell. Even car salesman typically know what the buttons on the cars do.
post #4 of 32
To be fair, I think the Fairview store is the smallest Rosen and probably with the least knowledgeable staff - not that it's a valid excuse. The sad fact is that after spending a few days on AAAC and SF, you will know more than the vast majority of the staff at these stores. I would also suggest that most people who buy those $900 coats and $2K suits also don't know that much.

p.s. WS = Cashmere
post #5 of 32
Hey man-

sometimes you just have to go with the flow

don't get so angry in my opinion.
post #6 of 32
Walked into Nordstorms, yes just to kill a bit of time. But a salesmen latched on anyway. Asked him if they carried any Canali or Oxxford. "Oh no, we only carry quality brands, here I can show you some Hugo Boss and Joseph Abboud."

Sure I'm fairly ignorant as well... but I don't work in a Men's wear department. It also pains me when carsalesmen show the same lack of knowledge about their product.
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lino
It's like that in most stores now, and it is not the fault of the sales people. The stores are not bothering to train their sales people and the sales people have little to no way to find out the answers to questions like the one you asked. If a sales person shows even the slightest bit of knowledge about such things they are quickly promoted off the floor or they move on to better stores.

Agreed. Management has the duty to hire qualified people, or train them if they are green. The salesperson is probably making no more than a clerk at JC Penny, so why expect more from them?

You should never trust the salesperson anyway, and should always know the products at least as well as they do--especially with expensive suits or cars at $40,000 a pop.
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelerray
Agreed. Management has the duty to hire qualified people, or train them if they are green. The salesperson is probably making no more than a clerk at JC Penny, so why expect more from them?

You should never trust the salesperson anyway, and should always know the products at least as well as they do--especially with expensive suits or cars at $40,000 a pop.

The Salesperson gets a commission, even if they are only responsible for ringing you up. So yes, they get paid quite a bit more.
post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EL72
To be fair, I think the Fairview store is the smallest Rosen and probably with the least knowledgeable staff - not that it's a valid excuse. The sad fact is that after spending a few days on AAAC and SF, you will know more than the vast majority of the staff at these stores. I would also suggest that most people who buy those $900 coats and $2K suits also don't know that much.

p.s. WS = Cashmere

ws is cashmere? Is it translated or abbreviated?
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aureus
The Salesperson gets a commission, even if they are only responsible for ringing you up. So yes, they get paid quite a bit more.

Not necessarily. I've been told at several luxury retailers that sale associates often aren't paid a base salary. They are paid only their commission (usually between 4-8%). This would require an associate to sell $1000 a day to make between $40 and $80 for that day, before taxes. From personal experience I know this is not as easy as it may seem when one considers returns, sales floor competition, etc. (especially for newer associates; those without 'regular clients'). An associate at a larger retailer (ie, JC Penny) will get a base salary plus a smaller commission ($7-$9, plus 2-4%). This probably explains why new, young sales associates at some stores are very aggressive (often to the point of annoyance). They don't want to lose that potential 'sale' to a fellow associate.

This doesn't excuse being uninformed of the product one is selling though. In fact one would think this would serve as motivation to become more knowledgeable of the products offered.

If you have the time I highly recommend spending 30 minutes or so watching the 'action' on a sales floor during a busy Saturday afternoon during a sale period. Then compare it to the action, or lack there of, on a slow weekday. Its amazing what you can learn about (perhaps it would be better to say interpret) how a company views its staff, its customers, and the product it sells. You will also quickly learn which associates care primarily about the sale and which care primarily about the customer.
post #11 of 32
Part of me thinks that many stores are probably more annoyed than pleased to have applicants coming in with a good deal of product knowledge, in the sense that having detailed knowledge of quality levels, construction techniques, etc. makes it easier to question what is taught to the salesmen by the stores or the brand marketers. For example, someone who knew about Brioni and Kiton probably would have a hard time working at a mid-level store trying to sell brands like Hugo Boss that he knows are inferior and overpriced.

Raw salesmanship seems to be the most desired trait in potential salesmen, with lack of product knowledge often being handled by marketing videos that go unquestioned and can provide enough basics to cover the job to 99% of customers, who don't have the interest or time to know better.
post #12 of 32
Maybe things are oversimplified but I really think aybojs has a point. I know many people would not be able to deal with the cognitive dissonance required to extoll the virtues of something they know is inferior. The ones that are good become politicians -
or lawyers! *runs away and hides to avoid being lobbed any Lobbs on the noggin*
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by yellman
ws is cashmere? Is it translated or abbreviated?

Yes, it's cashmere. It's an internationally recognized abbreviation.

Here is a list:

post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by EL72
Yes, it's cashmere. It's an internationally recognized abbreviation.

Here is a list:


Interesting. I've never seen that before. Just curious, but does anyone know the difference between flax and linen? I noticed RL has started marking some items as 'Flax' and others as 'Linen'. I was always under the impression that they were one and the same.
post #15 of 32
So you can actually buy a "hair shirt"? I always thought it was just a figure of speech.
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