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Odd experience at Tourneau (and did I do the right thing?)

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Sorry this is long:

So after not having worn a watch for the past two years, I finally decided I needed one today and went down to Tourneau. I've been eyeing the Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic, like this.

I didn't see it in the case so I asked the salesman if they had one. He goes away and presumbaly checks the computer but says they don't have any in any stores in Manhattan. So I left, but thought I'd check the window on the way out and sure enough there's the watch. So I go back in and ask to see it. I hem and haw a bit as I'm on a really tight budget right now. The retail is 545, but I mentioned I've seen them online from 380, so could they do any better. She says no, it's 545. So I say ok, I'll pass. She stops me and runs over to get her manager (who was actually not a manager I found out later) and he starts selling me on the watch etc. He says "I can do 430, so with tax about 460." "430?" I say. "Yep," he says. I think it over and say I'll take it. He takes me downstairs, takes my card and disappears and comes back with the watch and a CC slip that says 470 (500ish with tax). I say "didn't we agree on 430?" He says: "I misspoke if I said that, the best I can do is 470." I say fine, i don't want the watch anymore, please reverse the charge.

He is clearly flustered and disturbed and says it will take a while to get his manager to reverse the charge etc. I say fine. He's very nervous. Growing more flustered, he leaves and goes behind the wall across the room, comes back about 5 minutes later with the watch and a slip with the 430 price. "Here I got you 430" I say no thanks, I said I didn't want the watch, I want a credit. He says "I was under the impression you still wanted it". I said I feel like I'm being taken advantage of, I don't want it anymore. He's annoyed now and goes back, flustered that he has to explain to his manager what's going on. Finally, 10 mins later he comes back with a void slip. I apologize for not being more clear (even though I was very clear) and he doesn't even say anything, just walks away.

I left the store without the watch, but the way I see it, if you're going to try and tack on an extra 40 bucks in a sleazy way, you don't deserve the sale/commission.

I'm curious though:

A) Did I do the right thing? Should I just have bought it anyway instead of dealing with the internet sites?

B) is this a common practice at places like Tourneau? (i've never bought anything there) is it just because i'm young and not buying a 20K watch so he thinks I'm stupid and/not going to pay attention?
post #2 of 37
Good for you. I think you did exactly the right thing.
post #3 of 37
You did the right thing because you should not spend that much money if you are uncomfortable. You were being taken advantage of because you gave some tells that you don't know much about watch shopping. 1> Many internet watches are gray market. That means they're genuine, but not coming from authorized dealers, and therefore come with a dealer rather than manufacturer warranty. If you trust the dealer, that's okay, as long as it comes with box and papers. 2> Authorized retailers are not allowed to publish prices below a value assigned by the manufacturer. You should ask them for the "cash price" (you can usually still pay credit) and expect a discount of 20-25% on stainless and 25-40% on gold watches. If they can't do that, you should probably go somewhere that will.
post #4 of 37
yes you did the right thing and yes that is a very common practice at tourneau stores.

shoot on over to the timezone forums and do a search for Tourneau. You'll see what i mean. they have a reputation.
post #5 of 37
I was going to say you were actually pretty polite about it. I would have asked to speak to the manager, explain exactly what happened, opined as to what I thought was going on, i.e. he intentionally tried to rip me off, and inform them I would write corporate about their practices and possibly report them to the better business bureau. Depending on fuming I was after having cooled down, I would follow up on the letter to corporate, and perhaps the bureau as well (but I'm a lazy bastard, so I probably wouldn't go that far). I would make sure I got all of their names.

I would be worry about buying the watch online. A lot of gray market out there (generally speaking, I don't know about Hamilton). From what I gather, watch sellers always have the leeway of marking down the retail price. To me, that's a starting point for negotiation. So the online price is something you can actually get it for. Just do research and make sure the online watch store is reputable and doesn't scratch off serial numbers and the like and offers the full manufacturer's warranty (assuming you care about those things).
post #6 of 37
All watches, including grey, ulitmately come from authorized dealers. Some are sold by them directly, some are sold through the backdoor to the grey market retailers in order to increase the AD's purchase volumes. Some of these grey dealers will get you a warranty stamp from the original AD but some won't
post #7 of 37

good job
post #8 of 37
If I wanted the watch at 430, I would have bought it the second time they offered it. But you did nothing wrong in saying "never mind" and having the transfer void.

And this is just one reason why I absolutely hate Tourneau. They pull this kind of shit all the time. They give me an attitude every time I stop in, which is less and less. I got a Rolex as a gift (please, no bashing), and will one day be upgrading. There is no chance I will give them any of my business when I'm in the market.
post #9 of 37
Very typical Torneau experience. You will be hard pressed to find another high-end retail establishment with a comparable collection of sleezballs. Whenever I visited Torneaus in NYC, Las Vegas or San Francisco I never failed to find salespeople who manage to exhibit ignorance of their product line, contempt for their customers and propensity for deceitfull hard-sell tactics all at once.

Nice choice of watch by the way. Hamiltons are sold in dozens of retail location around the city and discounts of at least 25% should be easy to find.
post #10 of 37
Wow. That's really bad. The old switcheroo is no way to do business especially for a company that not only has its corporate headquarters in Manhattan but also has its flagship there as well. Not to mention that they carry some very high-end lines. Their business should reflect that of the high-end, not the low end.

When I worked in the jewelry store, during the holiday season, we would purchase some inexpensive watches that people could buy as presents, and we showed the same level of thought and quality service whether a person was buying an $85 watch or a $85,000 Patek.

post #11 of 37
Tourneau sucks B.D.C.

I wouldn't piss on the salespeople there if they were on fire.
post #12 of 37
Tourneau is the worst. Everyone should treat them as what they are: a showroom not a store. I go there, fondle watches, try them on, and never ever buy anything there, not even a buckle or a strap. Obviously they hate me. That's OK - I hate them more
post #13 of 37
Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post
Tourneau is the worst. Everyone should treat them as what they are: a showroom not a store. I go there, fondle watches, try them on, and never ever buy anything there, not even a buckle or a strap. Obviously they hate me. That's OK - I hate them more

You really channeled Ari in that response.
post #14 of 37
I get my Hamis from this place:


(I'm not affiliated with them in any way)..

They list MSRP on the website, but give you the real price when you call (don't list the real price because as an authorized dealer they are not allowed to).

Btw, I have that Jazzmaster Viewmatic you wanted and it's a helluva watch.
post #15 of 37
Do yourself a favor and go to timezone.com. Click on the "sales corner" link (under the community section)

You find tons of great watches for sale, usually at about 1/2 retail. If you're set on the Hammy, you can post a "WTB" (want to buy) and see what happens. I would offer a few caveats -

1. Buy only from someone offering the watch complete with box & papers
2. Be very careful - getting addicted to watches is much, much more expensive than a similar shoe / clothing addiction
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