Originally Posted by no frills
But there are icky stories of dealers who just stopped responding to emails, didn't take me seriously, didn't treat me well - I didn't need capuccino served up to me every time I visited, I just needed 5 to 10 minutes of their time when I visited. That's not so much, is it? One guy stopped responding to my emails when I was looking for a 3940J because I asked about trade-in options. Strange.
Idiots. That's all I can say about them.
I apparently happen to be blessed with "young" looks. My personal theory is that my (copious) facial fat stretches out all the wrinkles, but anyway the end result is that I still look 5-10 years younger than I actually am to some people. This blessing however, turns into a curse whenever I want to buy a watch, for predictably sad reasons.
Originally Posted by rnguy001
Though we've been at it for years in terms of having passion for watches, it really seems like it's taken off as a whole in the last decade, now capturing the public attention and spotlight (as it should!). I have no experience from overseas, but I wonder how different it is in Asia and Europe. For example I'm frequently told by AD's that discounts in the more affluent areas of Asia are non existent, and there's so much money and desire to own precious time pieces, the whole customer service dynamic is different from here in the U.S., where brick and mortar stores may really need to please every customer they can..?
I can comment on Asia, and to a lesser extent, Europe. Experiences were with AD/boutiques in Sweden, Germany, Vienna, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Hong Kong.All of the following strictly IMO:
My experiences in (northern/western) Europe were nearly uniformly good. The sales staff certainly knew
their watches. Inside out. Reference numbers, no problem. Movement numbers, no problem. Polite. Service is efficient, but low key and never OTT. Maybe there is a cultural reticence that I suspect Americans/Asians may misinterpret as aloofness? Low key and reserved sort of sums it up for me. I have nothing really bad to say about them.
Asia (specifically SE Asia) on the other hand is a really mixed bag. Full disclosure: I grew up in a mixed East/West cultural milieu, so I'd be interested to hear what others think of my opinions.
Compared to what I characterise very broadly as "western culture", the the dominant culture in asia (which is to say usually really east asian culture):
1. more materialistic,
2. less spontaneous,
3. and more hierarchical.
#1 manifests itself as complacence
on the part of the AD/boutiques as their customer flow is essentially guaranteed. Conspicuous consumption is the norm. Locals earning the equivalent of US$1,000/mo will
scrimp and save to buy a Rolex/IWC or a LV bag, then take the crowded public transport to work, and return home to shoebox apartments or government housing. I don't know what proportions of cab drivers or entry level office workers wear Rolexes/IWCs or sport LV bags in the US, but it's almost certainly less than the proportion here.
And because demand is high, pricing follows. A lack of discounts and a MSRP higher than Europe sometimes results.
#2 & #3 work out to impact CS in several ways IMO.
You have frontline floor staff who are paid peanuts (due to their low societal rank) selling $$$ things which they may never be able to understand the wider context of. The whole concept of a culture of luxury is lost on them because it is so far removed from their daily existence. How the hell is the guy who lives in a city of 10 million with open sewers, terrible air pollution, and children begging in the streets going to explain to me (and not appear ironic) Le Sentier's environmental consciousness, or understand that maybe I do expect an extra $400 strap gratis
with my $200,000 watch?
Frontline staff also cannot
take the initiative and make a decision on behalf of the brand - NO way are Asian floor staff going to break out the champagne spontaneously if you're not buying something big
first. All decisions must go stepwise through the hierarchy - floor staff must check with the the floor "manager", who in turn is cautious because he is accountable to some other guy. It kills spontaneity, and I suspect this happened in that HKG AL&S example I mentioned earlier. It's certainly happened to me - I had the floor guy in a boutique check something with his manager, who then checked it again with someone else higher up. All I asked for was a bigger discount if I purchased 2 watches at a time.
Some salespeople, particularly ones representing the "better" brands let it all go to their head and become disdainful
of potential customers - especially ones who are younger (or look younger), or who do not openly display their wealth. The Richard Mille experience in Singapore was hilarious/awful for that reason. It works both ways - serious customers are sometimes openly dismissive/rude to sales staff, who they consider beneath them. I know this probably happens in the US as well, but I can't help but suspect it's more magnified here - I've seen some really really truly terrible behaviour from some customers that would never be tolerated in Australia occur in asia.
As finally as medtech_expat once mentioned and I can confirm, there are some asians who take pride in paying MSRP to impress upon others their superior position in the hierarchy, which is when price elasticity goes out the window.
Originally Posted by DerekS
Stitch and i were talking about this watch yesterday...cant believe i forgot to suggest that. The ingy is an awesome watch. Rugged as hell too. I love the bracelet, but it also looks awesome on a strap..IIRC they did an AMG version on a black kevlar strap that was really sporty looking. Not something i typically like at all but it really looked nice on that.
I think I was openly contemptuous of this watch in the past, and I'll freely admit that I was wrong - it's a great looking watch.