Annoyed[ Edited ]
I love Sephora, and makeup and I don't mean to rant but this is annoying! Although I am only 16 I have spent over $650 at Sephora in the past year or so! And I find it intolerable when workers are rude or judgmental based on my age! I have been followed around the store and completely watched for my age to completely ignored for it! I have been given great service at Sephora, but recently it has become worse and I honestly don't know what I should do about it!
I feel your pain too! I remember that kind of thing happening to me at your age. Once when I was about 19 I was in Macy's and was trying on some very expensive clothing. The SA's were watching me like a hawk, in and out of the dressing room. Of course once I went and paid a large sum for this clothing, they were all over me in the opposite way. LOL.
Nowadays I get ignored at Sephora often and it seems that since I usually have a toddler in a stroller with me, I am not welcome. It's not everyone, but it happens a lot. There's always a reason why people do this sort of thing, you could be too young, too old, have kids, etc. etc. It's not personal but it usually feels that way. It's true that retail theft is a serious problem but employees should be taught to keep watch in less obvious and insulting ways.
One of the reasons why I love online shopping is that I can avoid this nonsense. But let's face it, we still want to get a closer look at things sometimes.
Unfortunately, this sounds like a case of one bad apple ruining the bushel. You all are probably responsible, serious makeup lovers, with the full intent on spending lots of money. However, there are also many irresponsible teenagers that spend hours in the store in groups, steal the sample products, and spend no money, which gives every teenager a bad name.
I don't work at Sephora, so I'm just conjecturing here, but I would assume that when the sales associates have seen this a thousand times, they're automatically suspicious.
It sucks, but all the advice given has been excellent! Assert yourself, ask for help, show that you have intent on purchasing.
I feel you hon! I'm a black woman who rocked locs for almost a decade. I am in my 40s but I look much younger (good genes and sunscreen) I have a ton of makeup and I buy whatever catches my eye (most times). This is what I do...I ASK for help after being ignored. I look at the products touch and feel them do whatever I like. Then I thank the SA for THEIR time after they have wasted my time and I let them know I'll buy the product elsewhere or online. Then I skip my happy **bleep** off to finish my shopping. It makes me feel better and let's them know I peeped their game of being arseholes.
I will not diminish your experience, it sucks and can wreck your day. It happens too many times and I refuse to be silent. I have written letters to management of companies after I calm down. You can do that as well. Give dates, times, and names of SA if you recall them. Be concise and to the point.
Man, I hear stories like this and it reminds me of my bad shopping experiences. Anybody else ever want to leave the offending store, come back the next day with huge bags from their competitors, and pull a full-on, Julia-Roberts-in-Pretty-Woman on these people?
Don't worry, when you get older you get straight up ignored. If you want good customer service you have to go to a department store. The whole reason for shopping at Sephora is because you already know what you want and you don't want to be hassled by sales associates working on commission like you do at department stores. Being followed because you're young like you're going to steal something *is* really annoying. Just hang in there -- eventually you'll be too old for them to follow.
Re: Annoyed[ Edited ]
At a department store they're not worried you're going to steal anything because everything is behind glass. You can get a hard sell at a department which is bad in its own way. For example, when I'm dropping $100 on moisturizer at Chanel I don't appreciate the sales associate telling me my skin is all **** up and I need this $200 face cream. But if I'm going to get a foundation it's much easier to get someone to match you, and then do a little more at a department store than at a Sephora.
They're two totally different beasts: the department stores rely on the hard sell and the customer service is through the roof -- although it can be suffocating; while Sephora is a serve-yourself kind of place. Unless they happen to think you look like a shoplifter and follow you around like stalkers.
Re: Annoyed[ Edited ]
I've had it where I was completely ignored at Department Stores when I was standing there right at the case, looking at stuff. A lot of them think that if you look like you don't have the money, your not worth their time. I made a complaint at Macys in the purse department to the store manager because I got no help what so ever. A customer should never have to go and find help in another department because someone refused to help me because I looked as though I "couldn't afford a purse".
All stores do this, some are worse than others.
Re: Annoyed[ Edited ]
I was ignored at Neiman Marcus last week. There were two employees helping this one man find a fragrance from Tom Ford. I circled the Tom Ford counter like 5 times to see if one of them could help me. Apparently not. They both looked at me and continued helping that guy. I wanted a sample of the new Tom Ford foundation too. Even after they were done helping him, I didn't get helped. It annoyed me so much. I even saw a lady dressed in work out clothes get help. Some other lady got acknowledged and she wasn't even looking at makeup/skincare.
I think most employees in fancy department stores just ignore anyone who doesn't have a Chanel bag or LV bag or Prada shoes.
Jeez. That really sucks. My elder daughter's have had similar experiences in the US department stores though (less so in Bloomingdales for some reason?) Since we moved to the UK, my kids love it because finally they get taken seriously at beauty counters. Even my eight year old was helped pick out a lipgloss when she went to Selfridges with one of her elder siblings. The counters there are absolutely surrounded by teenagers and those in their early twenties. It is so different to my Boston Neiman Marcus.
I've only had bad experiences at sephora sadly when it comes to customer service. I went to tom ford counters in neimans and bloomies when I visited them in NY and California...and even though I kinda looked like a chola they were all very nice and we really connected. Jaclyn just started and she was 18! Turns out we had mutual friends in Hawaii (what a small world). I'm sorry that happened to you. It's their loss anyways. You should contact that Neimans and complain!
That's frustrating, I feel bad, one time when I was on the employee end of it, we had a regular customer, he always spent lot of time in the back reading where we couldn't see, I thought he was pocketing books He totally wasn't and was an awesome young man, I promise I left him alone after that (sorry, Graham, buddy!).
Anywho, definitely assert yourself to the employees, ask them about their day, usually they'll either get helpful or leave you alone I just hope they have aren't being rude about it after that. At that point if they haven't become helpful or apologized, I speak to the manager. No bad service at those locations since!
Re: Annoyed[ Edited ]
Assert yourself. Usually when I feel I'm getting more than the required attention. I make it a point to very forceful about getting the name of the associate. Like @volta said, if I'm being followed I will stop dead in my tracks, look the associate straight in the eyes and say "What is your name!?". As they are responding and I get the gist of their name, I slightly cut them off and I follow up with a "Thank you! [fake exaggerated smile] I'm emmohh! I will be sure to come you to directly when I need help otherwise I am fine for now! Thankksss!" As someone who also used to work in retail that's pretty much like saying "kindly screw off, you are following the wrong person and it's extremely annoying". Plus a true thief is unlikely to divulge personal information about themselves or make any type of meaningful connection with the associates by asking for names or making extended eye contact where they could be identified.
You'd be surprised what the most common image of a thief or threat to retail business looks like, I'm not sure if it's just in Canada but it's not the teenager or the visible minority everyone would think it would be.
I can relate. I'm 15 and the same thing has happened in my mall's stand alone Sephora. Also, as a previous poster mentioned, I do feel as if the staff treat you better if you wear nicer clothes. Our mall has a JCP Sephora with nicer staff, but the product range is much more limited than the stand alone's.
I guess I'll just buy online for now. :/
One thing to keep in mind is that employees get bonuses on their checks based on surveys. If they have a reached a certain percentage in metrics, they get a bonus, if not, then no bonus.
I always do a survey. I have done about half positive and half negative. I will always let stores know how my experience was. I too experience judgement and profiling based on the way I dress; I can feel the eyes following me all over the store but I know in my mind I know right from wrong and I respect the property that does not belong to me. I always have a grin because while most people follow me, I know someone in the store is most likely getting away with pocketing whatever they want. Anybody who has ever worked retail know that the people who are most likely to steal are those who do not bring a lot of attention to themselves, such as more "normal" dressing people. I'm not knocking anybody at all, but that's more true than someone like me who dresses in all black, leather, dramatic hair/makeup, etc. But that all changes when I flash my rouge card because they realize that I actually have the money to buy things and I'm not a thief.
Other stores, employees have the nerve to ask me what I bought and think that they're cleverly striking up a conversation because they just want to look in my shopping bag--and it's only me--I notice they never ask anybody else! This is alongside how they keep following me. However, they don't realize that I "cleverly" introduce myself, ask for their name in return and then complain about them. One thing I also know about working in retail in the past--nothing hurts more than getting in trouble due to a bad comment.
I have this hsppen to me often. Im not sure if its just me, the way i dress (i dress down after i get out of work to relax) or the horrible service/:
I shop often at my local sephora and im pretty sure they know who i am yet only a few employees are nice and helpful. Some ladies just watch me or are not very friendly/: makes me not want to spend money at sephora at all. But i try to go back with a smile on my face and quickly make a purchase and get out.
Mac cosmetic SA are worse. I had a SA start a convo up right next to me like i didnt exist, i felt so hurt after all the money i spend at Mac. And i totally understand why it was my fault. I broke a lipstick and i was trying to be so carful! I never ruined a product before and i already felt horrible for doing so. I didnt ask for the SA's help in cleaning the lipstick because they act like im bugging them so i tried to clean the lippie myself then that happen. I was going to purchase 2 lipsticks anyways and maybe a third because i felt bad about what i did.. but the SA started a convo up with a shopper about the broken lipstick like i didnt exist. I just left. I have now made my purchases for mac online only or not at all.
OMG yes, what is it with MAC? I really don't want to generalize because many have been great, but I have definitely had my fair share of rude, unfriendly MAC employees. I order most MAC online, as there are always so many swatches of the latest collections online and I already know my color (NC15), I never have to go to the counter anymore.
I totally agree with you i try not to generalize either.
i just started looking up swatches online as well because i never want to go back..haha.
i went for my foundation at a counter next to Mac and literally ducked when i seen the rude sales ladies and rushed to pick up my foundation.
I'm middle aged, but I find that I'm treated better when I'm dressed nicer and not in my jeans and tshirt. It annoys me that I get more attention if I look like I have money to spend. My local SIJCP has lost out on sales a couple times over this. (Now they know my face and I get treated the same.)