Author Topic: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag  (Read 13050 times)

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Sharnita

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #60 on: August 16, 2013, 08:15:28 PM »
If you know she is Oprah Winfrey and know who is then gou would be correct. I would not abree that every other human on the face of the earth is obliged to know those things. None of us was there to hear exactly how either woman expressed herxelf. We do know they each had their own language limitations.

veronaz

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #61 on: August 16, 2013, 08:27:11 PM »
It's just an amazing coincidence that many are talking about this right as her new movie is coming out.

No, actually it's not a coincidence at all, and certainly not amazing.  She was talking about the movie Lee Daniels' The Butler (which is not "her" movie; she is one of many famous people in it - such as Jane Fonda) and during the course of the interview Nancy O'Dell of "Entertainment Tonight" asked Oprah to give an example of an incident where she felt discriminated against.  The movie does address discrimination, among other things such as the civil rights movement.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 08:32:44 PM by veronaz »

hyzenthlay

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #62 on: August 16, 2013, 08:40:31 PM »
If a language barrier is preventing your clerk from selling handbags to rich Americans, you have a serious business problem.   Where does the clerk imagine most of the wealth in the world is concentrated?

I'd guess that, in Zurich, rich Americans are only a small percentage of the ludicrously expensive purse market. My parents live in Santa Fe and there are any number of nationalities that vacation there and are ready to spend large amounts of money on artwork. (Europe at large is about as wealthy as the US, and touring Arabs, Asians, and Indians to name a few obvious groups tend to be very wealthy.)

Showing a single item only as requested is poor salesmanship, and it's not the way you effectively push luxury items. Showing several objects (especially if people tend to look at the glassed in one and say 'no thanks') is good salesmanship.


DottyG

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #63 on: August 17, 2013, 12:00:54 AM »
It's just an amazing coincidence that many are talking about this right as her new movie is coming out.

Yeah, I was struck by the timely convenience of the sudden publicity, too. ;)


Yarnspinner

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #64 on: August 17, 2013, 12:59:52 AM »
Have seen a couple of articles which claim the bag was intended as an accessory for her outfit for Tina Turner's wedding--where the owner of the Zurich shop was also a guest.  If that article was to be believed, the clerk is a five year employee of the store, speaks Italian as her native language and DID in fact get the bag down for Oprah with the comment that she could show her other bags that were less expensive. 

Since Oprah DID in fact indicate that Hermes of Paris would not allow her in after closing time because of her race and since, in 1994 she stated that the Texas ranchers took her to court (which really was a ludicrous move on their part) because of her race (and not because she was someone who had impugned their product) I am seriously wondering if she IS one of those folks who sees bias everywhere and decided to see it in Switzerland as well. 

For the record, I am a hefty white woman who doesn't always dress up to shop and I have been followed through high end botiques, too, where I absolutely would have bought something if the clerk wasn't watching me like a hawk.  I have been on buses where older women snatched their purses away and eyed me suspiciously.  Never occured to me to make a case of it.



Calypso

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #65 on: August 17, 2013, 01:52:25 AM »
Sorry for the sidetrack, but having seen pix of the bag (and noticing that it wasn't made of solid emerald  8) ), what could possibly excuse charging that much for a nice but not incredible purse?

For example, it would be worth it, for me, if, say, it had been hand-stitched by Leonardo da Vinci.....

PastryGoddess

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #66 on: August 17, 2013, 03:30:03 AM »
That is the question and that might be where the language barrier comes in on both sides.  There are probably ways to indicate that you are a serious buyer and to weed out lookie-lous.  It sounds like the store needs to train better but it also seems possible that because of the language barrier there was some nuance that was missed on Oprah's part as well.  (Of course if she is now saying she wouldn't buy a purse that expensive maybe she was giving those indications in the first place?)

If a language barrier is preventing your clerk from selling handbags to rich Americans, you have a serious business problem.   Where does the clerk imagine most of the wealth in the world is concentrated?

Collectively Asia actually has the highest concentration of millionaires in the world.  I believe the US has the most of any one country

LeveeWoman

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #67 on: August 17, 2013, 06:06:02 AM »
Sorry for the sidetrack, but having seen pix of the bag (and noticing that it wasn't made of solid emerald  8) ), what could possibly excuse charging that much for a nice but not incredible purse?

For example, it would be worth it, for me, if, say, it had been hand-stitched by Leonardo da Vinci.....

I think it's made of crocodile.

demarco

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #68 on: August 17, 2013, 07:12:35 PM »
It's just an amazing coincidence that many are talking about this right as her new movie is coming out.

Yeah, I was struck by the timely convenience of the sudden publicity, too. ;)

Yeah.  I think it's all about garnering a big opening weekend at the box office.  The Zurich story has all the elements designed to get and keep attention, the Pretty Woman aspect, the race angle, and the five figure handbag.  Something for everybody. 

Winterlight

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #69 on: August 18, 2013, 04:06:31 PM »
As the store's owner, I would be beyond livid that my employee blew a chance to sell a $38,000 purse.

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gramma dishes

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #70 on: August 18, 2013, 06:50:38 PM »
Sorry for the sidetrack, but having seen pix of the bag (and noticing that it wasn't made of solid emerald  8) ), what could possibly excuse charging that much for a nice but not incredible purse?

For example, it would be worth it, for me, if, say, it had been hand-stitched by Leonardo da Vinci.....

...  and autographed.   ;D

Slartibartfast

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #71 on: August 19, 2013, 01:37:25 AM »
Pod lowspark.

I can't really see any logical reason for the salesperson to redirect the a shopper's attention to a less expensive bag except a judgement that the shopper can't afford it. An exclusive shop where they actively try to steer all their customers to less expensive items? I don't think so.

It's a sales strategy - and it works for some people.

You: Can I see that expensive [purse/car/necklace/whatever]?

Salesperson: Oh, no, that's only for special customers!  We don't want just anyone buying it, you know!  Wouldn't you rather see something . . . less exclusive?

You:  Hey, I'm special!  I'm exclusive!  Here's my eleventy-billion dollars; I must have that purse/car/necklace/whatever!

Lots of "boutique" clothing stores do this - they don't sell anything in plus sizes (so "ugly people" won't wear their clothes), they harass shoppers who don't fit their target demographic (young/pretty/thin/rich), they purposely price things much higher than their operating costs would dictate, etc.  And by doing this, they give their clothes an extra cachet.  There is a segment of the population who will buy them because they want that identity - if only young/pretty/thin/rich people wear Brand X, then if you wear Brand X, people will know you're one of the cool kids!  You're young enough/pretty enough/thin enough/rich enough to hang with the exclusive crowd!

It's annoying as heck when you're on the outside looking in, of course - how dare they say I'm too old/plain/overweight/poor to represent their brand? - but those brands don't particularly care about annoying me  ::)

DottyG

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #72 on: August 20, 2013, 02:43:06 PM »
Sorry for the sidetrack, but having seen pix of the bag (and noticing that it wasn't made of solid emerald  8) ), what could possibly excuse charging that much for a nice but not incredible purse?

For example, it would be worth it, for me, if, say, it had been hand-stitched by Leonardo da Vinci.....

Basic economics - supply and demand.


miranova

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #73 on: August 25, 2013, 09:16:50 PM »
I really don't think that businesses that sell extremely expensive products have ANY obligation whatsoever to let anyone who asks handle them.  If they did, they'd be spending their entire day showing purses and cars to people who have no ability or intention to actually purchase them.  I think it IS good business to make sure someone is really serious before allowing them to handle very expensive merchandise, and I think people who are used to making these kinds of purchases know that and are prepared to prove that they are serious buyers.

ydpubs

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #74 on: August 25, 2013, 09:52:12 PM »
I really don't think that businesses that sell extremely expensive products have ANY obligation whatsoever to let anyone who asks handle them.  If they did, they'd be spending their entire day showing purses and cars to people who have no ability or intention to actually purchase them.  I think it IS good business to make sure someone is really serious before allowing them to handle very expensive merchandise, and I think people who are used to making these kinds of purchases know that and are prepared to prove that they are serious buyers.

This. I agree 100%.
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