Tuesday, January 31, 2006

You Want Me to Shop Where??

A while ago, there was dialogue in the Yated between frustrated consumers who felt they overpay, and store-owners who claim to struggle to pay their rent.

Basically, the store owners were upset about the bad press that they receive, and that people say, "Why buy it there, when you can get it at Loehmann's for $50 less?" thus leaving them with fewer customers.

Besides the prices, did they ever think about their employee's attitudes?

Ya know what? Maybe the girl in BCBG outlet is fake because she's on commission, but she's never nearly as obnoxious as these Jewish store employees. These idiots openly roll their eyes at me, throw attitude in my face, and treat me as if they're doing me a bigger favor than I am them. They're constantly annoyed and impatient (due to idiot customers, I'm sure) and make me feel unwelcome. When I walk in, they shoot me a look like, "you're not gonna buy anything anyway," and don't bother to smile back.

Similarly, there is a Jewish store in the neighborhood that sells MAC cosmetics at an insignificant discount. The girls there are snotty, uninterested, and cold. I always try to be friendly and initiate conversation, but all I get is one word answers. Half the time they're on a personal phone call, and seem annoyed when I walk in. Not like they hang up or anything.

I went to the MAC counter at Macy*s, and sure the girl looked like a freak and a half, but she was nice, friendly, patient, and I ended buying more because I liked her, and she wasn't pushing me to buy anything. But it was so pleasant to deal with her! While we chatted, I asked about other products, like eyeshadow base that I never thought of before.

When I worked in a store, sure there were customers I didn't like, but I was patient with them and made believe that I cared. I'm not paid on commission, but I care about the store and its owners, and I want them to uphold a reputation for friendly employees. They drove me crazy on more than one occasion, but I was nice and patient until they left and I let out a big sigh with a, "GRR OMG!!"

I'm not saying the people in Goyishe stores are always more friendly, but there is a recurring pattern with specific Jewish stores.

Now about the prices. This is plain corporate America, children. I purchased a skirt in BCBG, 1/2 off the reduced price. Later, I saw it in a Jewish store for close to 3 times the price. I am not exaggerating. $10 short of 3 times the price. That's significant. Generally, there are many products that are cheaper in the big stores. Jewish stores are a matter of convenience, and it's easier to sort through less non-Tzniusdik stuff.

I actually learned about the importance of shopping in a Jewish store. I understand it's certainly a preference, and that if you're really getting ripped off, you can pay the difference from your Maaser money. So I don't mean to send all my readers off the MAC counter at Macy*s, but perhaps sending a message to those who hire these rude, inconsiderate employees.

It's also a matter of buying from someone like yourself. When I went to this place that sells Mac, the girl that worked there was around my age, and could have related very well. But chose not to. Last time I was at Macy*s, some cold, unfriendly gay guy helped me-I don't have much in common with him- he definitely could have been nicer, but it's not like being snubbed from one fo your own, which is an even bigger insult and turn-off.

Oh, and FYI, I have seen the conditions these store-owners live under. Nothing to plead poverty over.

20 Comments:

At 1/31/2006 12:57 PM, Anonymous Essie said...

I dislike shopping in a store where I will get attitude. I don't discriminate by religion, I prefer pleasant service. If it happens to be that I get better service and better prices and better return policies in a department store or elsewhere, then that is where I will shop. If a Jewish store was competetively priced and had good customer service I would have no problem shopping there.

 
At 1/31/2006 5:26 PM, Blogger Y.Y. said...

well home depot, lowes, walmart,rite aid, duane reade,employees arent friendly or helpful either

 
At 1/31/2006 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's because they're half-retarded.

 
At 2/01/2006 1:37 AM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

I agree, it has happened that I refused to return to a store because of the way the bad i.e. unfriendly customer service.
Friendly vendors are very important, many people will agree to pay a little more if the service ins good and pleasant.

 
At 2/01/2006 6:42 AM, Blogger scwitt said...

I think the majority of un-friendly store owners/workers are concentrated in the metro-NY area...outside of that area, sure, you have people that have the occassional bad day, or got chewed out by their boss, but you NEVER hear "why should i waste time answering your questions, you're not going to buy anything anyways" its like customer service and treating others with respect have both been thrown by the wayside--whats really sad is when a goy goes into a jewish store and walks out feeling as if he just payed to be treated like dirt-forget what he bought--its a huge chillul hashem and does nothing but draw the bile out of my gut in disgust

 
At 2/01/2006 6:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I prefer to shop at larger non-Jewish owned stores because I hate the ill feeling shown when returning things (if they take it back at all!). You can't buy customer service with ma'aser money.

 
At 2/01/2006 8:45 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

YY-you have a point, but do they ever complain about people not shopping there, and struggling to pay rent?

 
At 2/01/2006 8:45 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2/01/2006 10:37 AM, Blogger Elster said...

Try shopping in a fancy store on Madison Avenue or on the Miracle Mile in Long Island. Everyone treats you like crap. its an epidemic. Shopkeepers should treat people with respect. I never understood it. Intimidating the customers will not get them to buy more...

 
At 2/01/2006 11:32 AM, Blogger debka_notion said...

I just shop mostly at Goodwill and the like- that way I'm giving charity and getting clothes cheaper than I would elsewhere at the same time. You have to sort more, but there's a good deal of humor to be found in some of the rejects, and I can often find more comfortable long skirts there than I can at new clothing stores.

 
At 2/01/2006 8:12 PM, Blogger Lost said...

half-retarded? whoa. chillax. Sensitivity please?

I agree with Scottwit on this topic. I do feel like this phonomena is mainly a metropolitan issue. Outtatowners relish customers and will treat you with a crazy amt of respect. The last time I was on Madison Ave, those pp treated me like gold. Why wouldn't they, you're out to whip out Mommy's cartis, aren't you? Boy were they dissapointed. Truth, I feel like those Jewish snot owners should grow the heck up. You walk in there, you actually decide to buy s/t at their insane prices and you don't even get a thank you. or a g'day. or a smile. they just slam the bag down on the counter and wait for you to leave so they can buzz you out.
Snotnoses
Good point Michelle.

 
At 2/02/2006 7:05 PM, Blogger Josh said...

Not to sound Frei, but you girls should shop at VS. Keep the Kollelim running.

 
At 2/04/2006 10:34 PM, Blogger muscat said...

hey i just found this blog-i havent gotten a chance to read much of it but it sounds like my kind of place (is a blog a place technically?)
i avoid shopping in jewish stores if i can- they make me really uncomfortable-but the truth is, i dont envy their jobs-like you said-lots of customers are really obnoxious too

 
At 2/04/2006 10:35 PM, Blogger muscat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2/05/2006 4:41 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Lost-yeah, that stupid buzzing out thing. Whenever I ask to be buzzed out, they roll their eyes @ me as if to say, "I knew you wouldn't buy anything." Even if i did, they're STILL annoyed.

Josh-pardon my ignorance, but what is VS? The Kollel Store?

Muscat-Welcome! Feel free to leave comments wherever you desire, I get them through email, so I see them all.

Please vote 4 me @ jpost.com-Bes Student Life Blog. Thanks a mil, y'all.

 
At 2/05/2006 4:45 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Lost-yeah, that stupid buzzing out thing. Whenever I ask to be buzzed out, they roll their eyes @ me as if to say, "I knew you wouldn't buy anything." Even if i did, they're STILL annoyed.

Josh-pardon my ignorance, but what is VS? The Kollel Store?

Muscat-Welcome! Feel free to leave comments wherever you desire, I get them through email, so I see them all.

Please vote 4 me @ jpost.com-Bes Student Life Blog. Thanks a mil, y'all.

 
At 2/05/2006 8:44 AM, Blogger Josh said...

M- Victoria's Secret. Not the usual Kollel Store...

 
At 4/26/2006 4:15 AM, Blogger JBL the first said...

Where I currently live people are always complaining about the high prices (gouging) of Jewish stores which I can't deny. BUT recently a non Jewish lady told me that from now on she will always try to shop at Jewish stores (which is a very rare thing here as the natives don't like dealing with anyone not native) and she will tell all her friends to try doing the same. Turns out she bought 2 identical brand name backpacks for both of her daughters at 2 different shops. One of them at a Jewish store. Both tore in the same place after only a few months. She returned both, the Jewish owner took it back and even offered to let her take a different brand (as obviously the first wasn't good). The other shop didn't even want to exchange it.
It just shows what kiddush Has-hem we can make with the reward at the side.

 
At 12/04/2009 3:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post (again). I know that it wasn't the main point of the topic, but I have a question. Where did you find a heter to use maaser money to buy at Jewish stores? As you yourself said the Jewish store owners usually live quite comfortably!?

 
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