Handbags occupy a unique place in fashion; they sit at the crossroads of art and commerce, and if brands want to succeed, their livelihoods often bends on how good they are at getting consumers to buy their bags, which have a much wider potential market than designer clothing. As it turns out, one of the best ways for designers to manipulate a customer into doing just that is to snub them in stores, according to some forthcoming consumer research from the University of British Columbia. Maybe that’s why service is so rude.

UBC’s research found that consumers react to snotty service in much the same way that kids often do to the popular group in high school – they resent it, but they also want to be accepted by it. In a retail environment, that often means “buying in” in a very literal way. After all, how can a sales associate assume you’re poor and tacky if you’re buying something fancy while simultaneously providing a little bit of his or her paycheck?

The study has a few caveats. First, snobby sales associates only increase consumer desire for luxury brands; bad treatment at lower price points simply turns consumers off.

Second, it only works at first; unfriendly service seems to motivate new customers to try and join a club that would rather not have them, but there are diminishing returns on future visits and regulars eventually expect courtesy and civility in exchange for their patronage.

Third, the sales associate has to look the part; if the SA isn’t a walking, talking, plebeian-snubbing manifestation of the brand’s aesthetic, customers apparently don’t feel puny enough to justify buying a little bit of acceptance.

That last part would seem to suggest that these tactics are more effective in a focused, branded boutique setting than in a large, less personal department store.

Exhausting mind games like these are likely a significant part of why online luxury retail is an ever-booming business, but for those of you who prefer to shop in-store (or who shop brands that require you to show up in person), it’s something to remember the next time an associate looks you right in the face and then walks in the opposite direction.

P.S. Please consider supporting our small, bag-loving team by clicking our links before shopping or checking out at your favorite online retailers like Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or any of the listed partners on our shop page. We truly appreciate your support!

Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • K

    Oh my god ” it’s something to remember the next time an associate looks you right in the face and then walks in the opposite direction”
    was the reaction I got when I went to LV store in San Francisco. I’m Asian and the SA was also Asian. I was very upset, wrote a letter, got no nothing.
    Now, I understand, and it didn’t even make me feel like wanting to buy more of their products. It turned me off from buying anything from them.
    I shop online so that I don’t have to deal with these SA bulls**t and when I buy something, they encourage me to buy some more a bag with a shoes with a scarf with a watch oh may be you can also buy another $7,000 trunk we have here. They look great on you WTH I just want a wallet -_-!

    • Jess

      It’s interesting LV seems to be consistent in providing bad service globally. The only time I received good service was when the store was due to close in 30mins, or its empty. Tiffany and co was just as bad. I wanted to buy a birthday gift, but was ignored since I was shabbily dressed and they were serving better dressed customers.

      • K

        That’s unacceptable for them to judge you by what you wear, but I experienced it myself when shopping wearing shorts. I also agree with you 100% about their global bad service. I remembered shopping with my friend in Thailand. We went to LV store downtown and it was almost empty. The staffs were so unbelievably nice even though my friend only bought a speedy ban and I didn’t buy anything. I went there alone before leaving Thailand and BAM! rude and unprofessional service as usual. I think most brands under LVMH are implementing this tactic. May be it works for majority and we’re the minority. Give us your money while we look down on you, here’s your stuffs, get out! What a wonderful shopping experience :(

      • FoolNot

        Why dress shabbily? Have you no pride?

      • free

        How is you pride derived from what you’re wearing? Clearly you have LOW self esteem. One should be able to wear what they choose.

      • Audrey Hepburn

        I believe it’s the cultures. Asians or Europeans tend to dress up more when visiting a mall or dining out. Just like when you dress up nice and professionally when you go to work. I believe Americans are a bit under dressed IMHO. There are places where you dress shabbily like in your house, or tending your garden. It has nothing to do esteem or self worth thus it all has to do with respect for yourself and others.

      • free

        Your comment underscores my point. Why would you dress shabbily at your home, in your garden, etc when people who ACTUALLY know you can see, but you have to don your finest garb to impress random strangers in hopes of what? If people are out and about, I’d like to think that they’d be preoccupied with whatever business they are there to tend to…..but hey, maybe they just go out hoping for some validation and respect from randoms….. Not everyone dresses up nice or professionally when they go to work, sorry it’s 2014, not every job demands that. Nowadays, America has made some progress, our POTUS is black, care to join us in the present?
        PS- Using thus doesn’t help your platform at all, and self esteem directly correlates to self respect. Thus, you can’t have one without the other. #FOH

      • Zaria Bush

        Contact their corporate office and voice your opinion. And, communicate how you refuse to spend a dime in their local establishment.

  • Sarah

    The LV store at the holt renfrew I shop at definitely use this tactic. Needless to say I don’t buy any LV…

    • Wendy

      In Toronto? I don’t shop at the LV store at Holt’s anymore because they’re liars. I only go to one SA in the boutique and she’s the best.

      • Sara

        I went to Holt’s at Yorkdale mall and they were horrible. Every luxury shoe boutique snubbed me except for the people at the Christian Louboutin boutique.. they weren’t welcoming but they didn’t completely ignore me. Regardless, I walked out empty handed because everyone was so rude.

  • missarewa

    I can see how this would work for first-time luxury buyer but for me I like to be treated very nicely because there is no shortage of brands I can spend my money on. The Valentino store has been getting all of my money in the past 6 months because when you combine great products with good customer service, it’s a no-brainer!

  • Wendy

    Theoretically, this tactic works on me… I want to buy something even more just to prove a point that they should be nicer to young customers who they don’t think can afford luxury items. But then, I think, these people work on commission and I’m not giving mine to them. =P

    • Zaria Bush

      And that’s why they are snobby to customers. In reality we are not proven a point instead we are keeping them employeed & snobby. They are clearly upset because they cant afford the items in the store with a discount.

  • Rosa Lily

    Very interesting. Now, the next time I walk into LV which seems to have the snobbiest SAs off all, I’ll let them know that I’m aware of the tactic and there is no need to act rude.

  • Sandy

    As a younger person I remember feeling a little intimidated when I went into one of the luxury boutiques. At this point in my life I probably look the part and do not feel passed over or neglected…I think the opposite at times, they are all over you! The idea that these SA’s think that they have the right to behave in any way expect completely professionally and courteous is a little aggravating to me…if that happened to me I would walk out no matter how much I wanted what they had to sell.

  • Blonde_Closet

    I experienced this for the first time in my life this week. Usually I’m turned off by rude behavior and can be an even bigger bitch than the SA if need be, but not this time. I went into Barney’s, dressed the nicest I’ve ever been dressed going in there, I mean Chanel handbag and red bottoms, and was completely snubbed. Made me want to buy a handbag and shoes just to prove something. Instead I went to Starbucks and bought an iced coffee and bitched to my husband about it! I wouldn’t dare give them the satisfaction of a commission from my purchase.

    • Julie Lamberth

      I always envision doing the Pretty Woman thing – “I was in here yesterday and you wouldn’t help me. Huge mistake. HUGE.”

      • Blonde_Closet

        My husband said the exact same thing! LOL

      • free

        Minus the prostitution I hope ;-D

  • Nancy

    I used to be intimidated by SA but, I remember what my mother told me. Don’t let them intimidate you, they are working on a SA salary and you have the money in your purse. They probably can’t even afford the luxury goods they are selling and get their identity from their job. That said, I don’t put up with rude behavior and am happy enough to walk out of a store. There are so many wonderful bags, shoes everywhere.

    • ElainePG

      That’s so interesting, Nancy… my Mom taught me the identical lesson when I was in my early teens, and experienced my first instance of bullying by a SA at Saks. I made it to the parking lot before bursting into tears, and Mom said “Don’t ever let a SA scare you. She’s working for an hourly wage, and you’re the one buying expensive merchandise.”
      With Mothers Day coming up, here’s to BOTH of our smart mothers!

    • Zaria Bush

      Your mom is absolute correct. They work you for as well. And, we keep them employeed. Not the other way around.

      • jennas-side

        as a sales associate for luxury goods and apparel, i know how important customer service is. a good client is different than a customer–a customer is anyone, there is no apparent reason to treat them differently and no ROI for going above and beyond. “buying in” to a luxury brand’s client list means you receive extra attention, support and consideration that comes with a high price point. also, if a customer comes in and treats me like they–and not my company–are my employers, it comes off as rude and disrespectful, and skilled sales associates in booming cities and retail locations for coveted brands do not deserve to be confronted with that. therefore, it’s almost 100% confirmed that customers who act like strangers to luxury retail are treated with a “stranger danger” mentality. insecure customers are usually rude, and rude strangers are welcome to buy the respect they think is for sale by their SA of the moment.

      • H Lady

        You’ll never know the ROI for going “above and beyond” for a customer if you act aloof. How does one get on the client list? osmosis? Every SA I have a relationship with got it by treating me well off the bat.

  • ReneeO

    Wow, that’s messed up. This tactic doesn’t work on me. I don’t have to work and I can afford their bags. I won’t buy LV and this is another reason why I won’t. They increased their prices to be more exclusive. That’s stupid. I buy high quality, high end unique bags with luxurious quality. The kind that make you sigh a little when you use them because the leather is so soft and it is so beautifully made. I only need to please myself. Only people who really recognize nice things may notice. Not those LV customers going for that pedestrian logo. No logos for me. But to each their own. Maybe the logo makes them sigh a little.

    • free

      It gives them a “wow” factor that they’d otherwise be missing. Or so they think. When I see people with logo bags, I instantly wonder if they’re real. it may just be me, but in the world of luxury, it should speak for itself. minus the blaring advertisement. That’s usually on a cheaper lower end bag to begin with.

      • Shaunte Booker

        That type of attitude and mentality is no different than the mentality of the rude and snobby SA’s. You’re judging people based on what you see. It really shouldn’t concern you one way or the other. If you don’t like logos fine but don’t say things like that’s a “cheaper, lower end bag because it has the logo on it. You are no better than the SA and you deserve to be in a pile with all of them! It’s really not that serious! It’s about how you treAt people whether they can afford nice things or not! NOBODY deserves to be treated poorly because of how they look or talk or anything. You may be rich with money but you’re poor in character. At the end of the day that’s really what it’s all about. I could have more money than you and choose to buy a logo bag!

      • free

        Me wondering if something is authentic is not passing judgment on ANYONE. It’s purely speculation based on simple facts. If you had any clue about designer bags, you’d know what I mean when I say the logo covered ones are USUALLY the cheaper ones. LV logo bags are a CHEAPER quality vs their leather goods, they’re pvc and canvas; Coach, everyone has access to Coach and Dooney, same thing, never seen a logo covered Berkin or Philip Lim, so somebody PLEASE get her a #chair. It concerns me because I have a passion for fashion, why does my opinion concern YOU so much? And TBH I think logo covered anything is tacky. Quality speaks for itself, and trust, people who are in the know will recognize a great bag, no blatant advertising needed. AND YOU NEED TO SEE MY COMMENT TO @AUDREY HEPBURN BEFORE YOU EMBARRASS YOURSELF TRYING TO TROLL MY POST. #Checkmate *sips caramel macchiato and smiles*

      • Shaunte Booker

        I think my reply says plenty. No need for me to entertain this. If you didn’t think there was a hint of truth to what I said you wouldn’t have needed to defend your post. I read your reply to @audrey Hepburn and nothing I read made me change my mind about what I replied to you, so no “embarrassment” on my end. Have a great day!

      • free

        It does say plenty: It speaks volumes of your ignorance of luxury bags, and draws attention to the fact that you obviously don’t understand the DEFINITION of judgmental. And trust, I will have a great day, they’re all pretty fabulous around these parts ;)

        I’m still waiting on the hint of truth though……

  • Clementine

    Personally, I refuse to give my money to anyone who is rude to me. The nicer and more thoughtful a sales associate is the more likely I am to buy from them and return to them in the future. Anyone who is rude to me clearly doesn’t want me as a customer and good riddance to them.

    • Ash

      I agree!!!

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        my Aunty Sienna recently got a year old
        Jaguar only from working off a home computer… Recommended Reading F­i­s­c­a­l­P­o­s­t­.­?­o­m

  • Paulina

    Nope. I walked into a LV in SA Texas (LaCantera) store & they were beyond rude, I wrote a letter & got ph call & email response and I now shop at the LV store (Saks) where SA approachable & nice to customer.

  • Nar

    With SAs, it’s a hit and miss type of thing. The SAs at the LV stores here
    in LA have been extremely nice and accommodating. I don’t do anything extra,
    like getting all dressed up or talk about all the other designer stuff I have.
    I just do some research online regarding prices before I go to the store. That
    way, I know what’s in my budget and I don’t have to ask how much things cost.
    It also helps to have a SA you go to each time. For example, the same shoe guy at Neiman’s. It’s not that serious. We’re buying shoes and bags and the SAs need to realize they’re selling tangible items. Not rocket science or the cure to cancer.

  • ValleyO

    In the case of commissioned employees, consider that, until a purchase is made, the SA is effectively working “for free.” People who don’t buy are effectively taking away sales the SA could otherwise be making or at the very least occupying their time without compensation. It doesn’t make for good customer service, but many SAs figure that if you’re not buying anyway, they might as well not bother.
    Once you buy something, the relationship changes: you’re now a customer, not just a shopper. Even if you don’t buy something when you come in, they know you have in the past and likely will in the future.

    • Deborah Jenkines

      Salespeople work on a commission, but usually also have a low per hour salary. Any rude sales person that worked for me got fired. Period.
      Lots of people “test” a store by wearing sloppy clothing and sometimes people need something nice in a short period of time, like when they need to go to a funeral.
      I do not tolerate rude salespeople. If they are over the top rude, I speak to the manager ( AFTER I go home and cool down!)

    • Guest

      This logic is ridiculous. First, they are not working on 100% commission. They are still getting an hourly wage, so they are absolutely NOT working “for free”. Second, being an SA, they are working in the service industry and if they don’t understand or don’t want to provide proper customer service, they need to find another job. Further, the relationship starts when a potential customer walks through the door, not when he or she makes the first purchase. A lot of people like to research a product before they decide to buy, especially paying luxury brand prices, so the SA needs to make every effort to provide good service, so a sale can be secured. The SA is not doing the customer a favor, S/he is doing their job.

  • The Firm

    I’m a lawyer, but whenever I purchase a big ticket item (car, bags, shoes, etc.), I go to the store in workout clothes just to see who will help me. I know it sounds weird, but I love doing it, specifically when I know I am going to purchase something. If I get no assistance, they don’t get the sale/commission. If I get assistance, they get the sale. Sales associates who are snobs are a turnoff. Many of them are struggling to make ends meet, have maxed out credit cards, and don’t have a dime. I hope women are not purchasing handbags from snobbish sales associates for acceptance. We’re worth more than that, and there is always another boutique around the corner. ;-)

    • KC

      glad to know i’m not the only one who does this! i also do not wear nice clothing when i know i’ll be purchasing something big/expensive (esp if SA will get commission). i always want to know which one deserves my business. i guess i want to prove a point that not all who are well dressed and all made up should be the only ones who get special treatment, or great service for that matter.

  • Anbesa

    I’ve been treated rudely more times than I can count and been a sales associate (not for handbags but in New Canaan CT at a higher end place on commission). Personally I treated EVERYONE with respect no matter how they were dressed or what they were driving. One of the people I worked with would ignore anyone not pulling in in a BMW or Mercedes but there are a lot of millionaires who drive Toyotas and Fords…it’s an old money vs new money and probably a “Yankee” thing not to be flashy :-). Anyway, my sales numbers were always the highest and I had people often ask specifically for me. I personally will NEVER shop anywhere that has rude service from Target to Tiffanys -I don’t expect people to “fall over me” but if they cannot be pleasant and polite they won’t get my money period. I have no need to prove anything to anyone.

  • skidrosesays

    I don’t buy the “research”. There are plenty of people out there with money who will pay more to be treated well. This applies to consumers goods, dining, gyms etc. If I am treated poorly, I will walk out of the store, not spend money in it. I would like to know the demographic of their study group. Anyone who actually believes that people want to be treated badly to become part of an exclusive club really doesn’t have much faith in the buying public.

    • NorthCove

      Totally agree with you. Would love to see this so-called study.
      I also won’t tolerate being treated like crap anywhere- high end, or Mcdonalds. That’s just ridiculous.

      The one time I received crappy service at Tiff’s, I called the witch out on it. She apologized profusely and swore up and down she didn’t mean to be rude. Yeah right! Funny thing is, that was the only time I walked out of a Tiffany’s without making a purchase.

  • FoolNot

    You’d have to be a fool to be treated in a condescending manner and then shell out big bucks!

  • sandy

    Heres the thing I can’t stand about the snobby SAs…..YOUR WORKING ON A SA SALARY!!!!! What the bleep you being snobby about?!? >:^(
    It doesn’t make me want to buy the bag, if anything it makes me feel disgusted with myself for coming to that particular store. whether I am at target or at Saks, I expect good customer service.
    I like nice things and I may be even a little materialistic, but I would NEVER treat someone poorly because of the way they are dressed or because of the brand name on their clothes. at the end of the day, its just things and to treat someone in a particular way because of the things they are carrying is just gross and classless.

  • SJN

    I agree with “the Firm” and others of you who refuse to be cowed by arrogant sales staff. Years ago when I was a young research associate in a biochem lab, I had to go out while running an experiment to do some Christmas shopping at Bergdorf Goodman. Of course I was wearing naturally acid worn jeans (what else would you wear in a biochem lab?)! From the second I entered the store, an older sales person began stalking me, asking me, repeatedly and rudely, if she could help me. I savored the look of shock on her face when I walked up to the sales associate in the china department and proceeded to order about $2000 worth of dishes. I work in an office now but I still occasionally “test” sales people in local luxury goods shops (like LV) by shopping in cutoffs and a tanktop…

  • Bipasha

    I am turned off by snobby anybodies let alone,salespersons. I am a salesperson and I am NEVER snobby. The customer should be happy with their experience in my store. I strive to achieve just that. They are always my priority; far and above my sales quota. I mean that sincerely. But FYI the same should apply to those who are influenced to buy to prove a point to snobby sales associates as well as the less populars out there. Pity them for being so small-minded,but don’t let them force you into something you really don’t want to do.

  • iheartyourkiwi

    I have been shopping before when an SA was rude to me and ignored me until I had to go seek them out to get me something I intended to buy. Even when she was helping me it was begrudging. She ended up being distracted and wandered off and left me to go to the check out where another had just started work. The gal asked me who had helped me and I looked around and saw the girl starting to come back over and I replied to the new SA “You have helped me. You’re helping me right now.” And so the new SA rung it up for herself and I didn’t bat an eye when I waked by the rude one and left.

    • free

      Love this! Next time IG a pic of her #shocked face! lmao

  • Minnie

    Absolutely not, if anything it turns me off. I’m wealthy and I’ve grown up with Chanel and Birkins so the thought of a sales associate trying to convince me to purchase a purse that normally they couldn’t afford is hilarious.

    • Chanel Sophia

      Dear Cheap Luxury Brand Bags on sale, lowest price, free shipping on all orders, look at my name ^ ^

  • Ecaterana

    Not much turns me off a purchase more than an unpleasant atmosphere/rude service! However, I have no fear in politely asking for a different SA if I intend to continue frequenting that particular boutique. I have needed to do this twice at my hometown H boutique each time because my regular SA left. I was treated quite rudely both times by the person who was available in the front of the store, despite wearing enough items of that particular brand that it should have been clear I was fairly likely to purchase. Both times it seemed to be far too much trouble for them to even open the cupboard to show me a scarf. Since I am far too determined an Orange addict, shopping elsewhere was not an option, so I mentioned that since they seemed to be ever so busy and unfortunately unable to help me, then perhaps an SA who was unoccupied would prefer to take over. Yet, when in the H boutique in SF when living in CA for a while, I encountered such horrid service that I gave up attempting to find a new SA and just waited until I flew home every few months to make my purchases. Also, despite being a lifelong Neimans girl, NM and I have finally broken up. Unbelievably and consistently rude service abounds in my hometown NM, especially in bags and jewellery. Oddly enough the Union Square SF NM has fabulous service.

  • ifmylove

    I once walked into Van Cleef in Vegas and the male SA was so very nice,let me caress the finest gems,didn’t look disgusted with my loss of breath when I touched things,offered to show me other things all while the other SA tended to a couple.I could not buy anything, but if I could,he would be the guy!..no matter what I’m spending I do not tolerate rude SA and it will become my job to pester the crap out of them.

  • ShoeQueen61

    I try NOT to spend my hard earned money in an establishment where I feel unwelcomed or treated at arms length… with that said I have had some of the best retail experiences at high end stores–with my beloved Bergdorf Goodman & Nordstrom sales associates being la creme de la creme!!!

    However if I think that someone is being a snob simply because they feel I cannot afford the merchandise I am inquiring about (or because of the color of my skin [Sorry! I know this is it NOT about race but I had to include it in my comments, because a few SA’s believe an individual cannot purchase an item because of one’s skin color– just ask Oprah!!!]) then I turn on my heels and ‘exeunt’! There are too many other retailers who are more than willing to give white glove service even if you are “just looking…”

  • Lubi

    Only once in my life was an SA rude to me and it was in LV London. After that i never ever purchased anything from LV again. And never will. Instead im spending my money elsewhere. If you are rude to me, you will not see me ever again. It’s that simple.

    • Alex1956

      With respect, don’t judge the company by a single bad employee who most likely isn’t even there anymore. Years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the LV factory in Paris before Mr. Arneau bought the company and spent the better part of the day there. I even met Mr. Vuitton’s grandson. As an entrepreneur, that one day changed my life in terms of business and how to build a successful brand based on high quality workmanship and vision. Take a second look. That’s my suggestion.

      • Lubi

        I guess u r right:)

  • Alex1956

    As a small business owner, I always treat everyone with respect as people talk. If you consistently provide excellent service with respect, most people will tell 4 friends. If they are treated poorly they tell 10! If you want to be successful, remember that the customer is always right.

  • Rashida

    If I am going to spend thousands of dollars on a handbag, no matter how I am dressed, I expect to be treated with respect. Or I will take my money somewhere else! Never judge a book by its cover!

  • Handbags are most definately classed as a status symbol, for some it will be the only thing from their favourite designer they can afford, indeed, many will have saved for it or maxed out their credit card for it. For them, as us all, shopping should be a pleasant experience whether you are spending one pound or several thousands, being rude, judgemental and obnoxious should never happen. Here in England, a lot of SA’s selling high end designer brands give off the impression that if they think you look rich enough,they then might condesend to speak to you,and if you pass muster in their head, they might, joy of all joys, sell you what you have saved hard to buy. The customer has the buying power, and they dont know what you can or cant afford, and your commission might just let them eat until next pay day!!!!!

  • Lara

    frankly if a SA is rude I will probably be even ruder. this is not how you get customers or how I would enjoy buying. I mostly shop online anyways, so I don’t have this problem :)

  • 1ShldNvrAssume

    During a trip to the Vegas LV store, I experienced the SA snub. If I had my way, I would have left the store empty handed, and GLADLY! However, my Beau at the time wanted to buy me my 1st LV bag (I was just getting into my Bag & Fashion addiction), as a souvenir of our trip together, knowing that when I thought of LV, I would always think of him (yes, he told me that almost verbatim), so he insisted on staying & rounding up someone (*laughs* They may act like Snobs, but He doesn’t take No or Ignore as an answer). Which was sweet of him, as less than two minutes prior, I already had one foot out of the store, and he already had to sweet talk me back inside. I have no qualms about taking my Consumer dollar to a Competitor, an Online Vendor, or simply NOT buying! At $2k-$5k a sale minimum, their Customer Service SHOULD be MUCH BETTER!!..I still buy LV’s but I’ll NEVER buy another through an in-store SA!
    That’s too Funny!..I also “shop down” when making a large purchase. For Example, when buying my last car, I told all the Salesmen 1/2 the amount I was willing to spend & dressed down, to see where they would start the sale process and what type of vehicle they would show me. Let’s just say, at some Car Dealership locations. I was completely ‘written off’, given ultra poor service, or shown a klunker of a vehicle that I wouldn’t buy a teenager as a used 1st car! Eventually, the right Sales Rep (funny enough, an unjaded newbie) earned the commission from my paid in full cash transaction (at a fair price, one closer if not a bit more than, the ‘real’ amount I always knew I was willing to spend), and I’m still Happy & Love driving my Jag!..*winks*
    You should NEVER Pre-Judge a Book by its (possibly intentionally misleading) cover! *smiles*

  • Guest

    I don’t like rude SA’s whether they work in Primark/Pennies or Prada. I was on holiday last year and I had spotted a phone case in the LV store, I decided to have a think about it and return later on if I was going to buy it. I went to the hotel pool and decided to go for it so I pulled on a maxi dress and flip flops and ran down to the store. Not one SA could give me the time of day, I mean NO ONE would help, I walked out. The next day I went back and bought one of their more expensive handbags and I had a great time telling the sales assistant how I was in previously and no one took any notice simply because of what I was wearing, ridiculous. She was very apologetic, but trust me if I didn’t like LV products as much as I do I wouldn’t be caring about going into their store, ever. I’ve had better service on the high street, it can’t be beat, the ‘luxury’ stores should take a lesson from them

  • Monster

    I see a point however I feel more conect and want to spend more money with kind sales person. For instance, I went to Celine at Japan, Fukuoka the sales person was super sweet and kind so I bought 3 bags.
    Of course purses were beautiful but the sales person was so kind she made me relax so I spend more money than I originally planned.

  • Zaria Bush

    I came in contact with a snobby customer service representative from Dior and I will NOT spend any money with Dior again. I was trying to cut corners with spending money and knowingly Chanel is the Company for me.

    If I come in contact with any snobby representative, I will talk crap to her or him immediately and communicate to them they work for me as well so do you duties to satisfy me as a loyal customer. I know it sounds harass, but put them in there place. And, let them know if it wasn’t for you spending your money they would not have a job.

  • Maya

    It actually has the exact opposite effect on me, I could care less about being part of some elite social stratosphere, it’s air as far as I’m concerned, therefore snub me and I will not come back to your store BUT if you’re nice, warm and fuzzy, there’s a high chance I will spend loads of cash!

  • alice

    I was in a LV boutique in Milan and ask to give a look to a bag. The saler told me the price (without me asking for) I was so dissapointed It was so rude from her side! i told her very coldly I did not ask for the price I did not care at all (she blushed) but just for the bag. I wanted to call the man in charge but I avoided just because I did not want that stupid girl lost her job, which she did not so much appreciated…seen as she worked

  • jenkt

    Luckily I haven’t really experienced this- or maybe I just didn’t notice. I received the best customer service in the Chanel flagship store in Paris during my first experience there even though I was dressed in comfortable walking clothes as a tourist. I already knew I was going to be walking out of there with something. Knowing that SAs are purposely rude makes me want to get a side job as one and treat all of you NICELY since I would clean up on sales compared to my counterparts LOL!

  • Audrey Hepburn

    The trick of the business. Most all luxury brands do just that. Even when sales are down, don’t lower the prices but opposite is true. Raise prices, not once, three times a year. Don’t discount your goods. Don’t even think you should have a tab on the website that says sales or back of the store racks for sales. Just burn the goods that don’t sell. We all want what we can’t afford. And when we do saved up to own one, we feel like a million bucks. Eyes on us and then we can act snooty too like those SA in the high-end stores.

  • Dasy

    Absolutely agree with Clementine, just had this experience at one of the Chanel stores. Really wanted to get that reissue bag for my birthday. That person made me loose all desire to buy there

  • Janelle

    Snobby service turns myself, my family, and our money away from the store. It concerns me that this could be a tactic used by an entire brand and not just a particular store; I have been treated differently at different stores of a particular brand, and simply chose to shop at the one where I was welcomed.

  • Alice

    This article is ridiculous. I work in a high end environment, and customers do not appreciate any rudeness or sense of superiority or snooty behaviour. Infact the sales people who do particularly well are friendly, open and efficient. According to surveys done in my high end store contrary to your research, customer and clients say they don’t appreciate intimidation tactics and very often I have found you cannot judge a person based on how they look. Walk in customers have come in to my store, many times wearing pants with paint all over them due to them doing a home renovation and then stopping in, or having just taken kids to school, and dropping off in to a high end environment because its the only 1hr they have in a day to look around, Or even, wearing jogging pants or athletic gear… I think its ridiculous to have to dress up to the nines just to goto a high end retail store. Cant humans just be humans without so much judgement?

    I personally don’t appreciate any sort of games in the context of dynamics, it’s quite simple–treat others with respect in any context, understand techniques on How to sell and how to respond accordingly to prospect potential, don’t feel bad about maximizing on a sale, because at the end of the day, if you believe in what your selling and offer it to a customer, they should have the self control, and capacity to Say NO and to pick and choose what they want.

    Integrity is to treat others with respect and dignity without thinking your self worth has anything to do with another’s response. This works both ways, the clients I tend to do the most work for and hunt for sizes for or call them first when a novelty item is a hot commodity
    are the clients who equally have enough respect to their sales associate too.
    So often customers don’t even realize how rude they are being to associates. They leave merchandise on the floor, inside out upside down in the fitting rooms, they are demanding and treat you like the hired help. What you don’t understand, yes you can take your money elsewhere, but we help tons of high end people in a day who do treat us with respect so you can move your business elsewhere if its not mutual.

    Pay attention to your patience level. Take a moment an assess the situation. If a sales associate is trying their best, and busy assisting others, yet you DEMAND help straight away, don’t complain. Before blaming and judging a salesperson for trying their best to help, watch what they are doing and who they are already engaged with, before you assume they don’t care or are taking too long etc. etc.

    Do you line up at the gas station when it is full? Or do you cut in line and demand to pump gas first? Yes, you have to wait. Just because an associate doesn’t say hello to you, or glances at you for 1 second and doesn’t say something doesn’t mean they are judging you. Also keep in mind that for 8 hours they have been saying Hello and How are you. My question is, if you were in a sales persons shoes, Could You Say Hello how are you, and how many times would you say it, in a day, and WOULD YOU MISS ANYONE? Chances are you would probably not engage with some, not because you don’t want to, but probably because after 8 hours of talking to people, you just get TIRED. Ever thought of that?

    Truth be told, some salespeople are absolutely useless, and are judgemental, I’m not defending any particular stance, just giving perspectives. Some salespeople are unproductive probably on their cell phone, and really don’t care to take any initiative to engage. In which case, you being upset makes sense and its not acceptable. But first and foremost, pay attention for longer than a minute and don’t assume the worst right away. Pick and choose the salespeople you want to assist you by observing..how and if they engage with you, or how they are engaging with other clients around you, as they multitask. .that way you have more control over who you are giving your commission to.

  • Tom Duffy

    I sell home furnishings and……. all I can say we are in a very competitive selling world with the internet as a huge sales force to contend with especially millenials. Everyone wants a good deal and they find it if they try, but….. they can’t find a designer like me that’s willing to come out to their home and help them make their house the dream home they’ve always wanted. A little attitude won’t hurt but being passionate about design and working on a real client designer relationship speaks volumes/

  • L.O.

    Man so much I can say about this as I’m in the luxury business myself. It’s tough because just like customers think we judge them, customers are judging us as he person that said we probably don’t have the money to buy our own products….EAT IT. Most of us do just fine in terms of salary….oh and we pay less for it. The hardest part about our job is getting people to appreciate what it is they are buying, and not just buying because it’s pretty or a celebrity or friend has it. If that’s the case, then more power to you for trying to fit in and always behind in terms of what’s hot and not. When someone comes in and allows us to help them to the max is what we crave even if they don’t buy it’s ok because we at least helped them get the info they needed and wanted to make a decision later on. But when you come in and think you can treat the merchandise like it’s already yours and act brand new to shopping with no respect for others or the items, then that makes it tough. Beside some people don’t even like being helped, some want you to kiss their ass so much you can taste it, I tell you one thing, YOU GOT THE WRONG PERSON. Bottom line, act nice and you’ll get treated nice. Act stank and you’ll get treated well…..nice. Because the true bottom line is…give me that money honey. Everyone thinks there special. So that means so do I and I’ll be damned if your gonna play me for a fool.