A luxury fashion vlogger has revealed the rules she follows in order to be ‘taken seriously’ by employees in high-end boutiques.
Sophie Shohet, who lives in London, has racked up over 355,000 subscribers on YouTube from sharing her opinion on luxury goods including fashion, cars and home décor.
In her latest video, the lifestyle expert claims making an appointment ahead of time and asking for the full treatment including champagne and coffee can improve the service offered when shopping in brands such as Dior and Louis Vuitton.
She also added that sales associates are more likely to be open to giving their contact details and suggesting a wider range of items if you dress nicely when visiting the boutique as customers are profiled.
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Sophie Shohet, (pictured) who lives in London, revealed her top ten rules to follow for the best service in luxury fashion boutiques
DRESS IN DESIGNER ITEMS
Sophie explained that sales associates have a monthly target and profile customers to avoid wasting their time with people who look unlikely to spend large sums.
She said it ‘pains her’ to advise people to dress up in designer apparel to go shopping because ‘it’s almost like a game,’ but it can make a difference.
‘I’ve spoken to someone about this who works for one of these big brands. They have said by large, if you go in dressed up and you have no history at all with the brand, particularly if you go in and you already are wearing a designer bag.
‘You get profiled in these places. The sales people that work there have to pull in a certain amount per day, per week, per month.
‘If two people walk in and one person looks like they’re going to spend and the other person doesn’t, they are going to use their time on the person that they think is going to spend.
‘The problem with that is sometimes you can get that wrong. Sometimes the person who looks like they are going to spend are actually not the ones and the person who has come in in leggings and a sweater is the person who’s going to spend big.
‘But if you have no history, dressing up and looking smart, if you have a designer bag wearing it will help you. We all do get profiled.
‘I went into a luxury store about three weeks ago, one I don’t have a history in at all. David actually said to me the person serving looked at your bag.
‘I had a Lady Dior that day. David said he looked at your bag then he approached you, so I definitely think there is something in it. The time where you can afford to dress down is when you already know an SA.’
Sophie said making an appointment before you visit can help you to feel confident and asking for the full treatment will give you a better experience
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
‘Call and make an appointment. If you’ve never been to a particular boutique before and you’re a bit nervous, you want to be taken seriously,’ Sophie said.
‘One of the things that can really help is if you know the name of a person, you’re armed with that confidence when you get to a boutique to say ‘is this person available because I have an appointment.’
‘Honestly it can make such a difference to your mindset as well.’
Sophie explained that sharing the name of the sales associate that she asks to see in Dior in Harrods has given many of her subscribers the confidence to go in the boutique and ask for Enrique themselves.
She added: ‘Because I don’t give you the names of everyone I go to, I would say phone up ahead of time and make an appointment with someone.’
ASK FOR THE FULL TREATMENT
‘If you want a coffee, tea or a glass of champagne. If you’ve gone in and you’re buying something and you’re having a good time and want to add to it,’ Sophie said.
‘Sometimes the sales associates aren’t forthcoming with it, only because they’re busy helping you but if that’s what you want to do.
‘Chill out and be like ‘can I get a drink’ and it will give you a better experience.’
Sophie revealed one of her subscribers was given a glass of champagne while shopping at Burberry in Westfield and now has ‘warm feelings’ when looking at the scarf that she bought.
Sophie said it’s possible to feel pressured into buying something, but don’t be shy to ask for different items or to walk away without making a purchase
DON’T BE SHY
Sophie said it’s important to always ask to see the item you’re interested in in different colours and sizes.
‘Maybe you’ve seen the item that you thought you liked but now you don’t really like it that much but you still want to buy something that day.
‘Don’t be afraid to ask that question of ‘I like that bag, what other colours do you have it in’.
‘Sometimes, particularly when it’s your first time in a boutique, you can also feel quite pressured to buy something.
‘If you’ve gone in there with a budget and something particular in mind, even if you see it and think ‘I don’t really like it, now I see it in real life’.
‘Sometimes depending on the kind of person you are or the sales person you’re with, you can feel quite pressured to buy something.
‘You don’t want to buy something that you didn’t really like or want.’
ALWAYS CHECK FOR DEFECTS
Sophie said: ‘This is a really big one, before you buy anything look for flaws in the product.
‘I’ve done this before, where I go in to look at something and I’m so excited about it that I don’t notice the flap isn’t straight or that the zip isn’t sown on straight.
‘Or that the handle is wonky and there’s a scuff in the leather.
‘Then you get home and you notice it and you’re like ‘I wish I saw that’, particular if by the time you notice there is no more in stock.’
Sophie recommends trying your items inside the bag or wallet that you’re thinking about buying to check the fit before purchase
CHECK THE FIT
Sophie revealed that she often takes the items out of her current handbag and tries her stuff for sizes in the bag she’s interested in buying before making a purchase.
‘This is another really big thing that I think so many of us don’t do and overlook, it is making sure that your stuff actually fits the item you are buying.
‘Whether you are buying a wallet or a bag, when you are in the shop and you are looking at it.
‘Before I buy I take everything out of my existing handbag and put it in the new one that I’m thinking about buying to make sure it fits.
‘I have got the mini Lady Dior and my old phone, which was quite big, didn’t fit and the flap didn’t close over the top of it.
‘If I had tried all my stuff in that bag before I bought it, I probably would have still bought it because I love it but I would’ve been aware that this isn’t going to be a practical bag because your stuff doesn’t fit.
‘Make sure when you’re in the shop, even if you want to see how many cards fit in the wallet. Make sure that you’re aware so that you don’t end up buying it and you love it but don’t use it that much because it fits nothing.’
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
Sophie said it’s helpful to roughly know what you want how much you’re willing to spend before going into a shop.
‘Sometimes you go into a boutique and you want to be tempted, you’re not going in there for anything in particular but you have a budget and you want to get something nice.
‘You want them to get all of the items out and tempt you.
‘I find that a lot of the time if you go into boutiques and say ‘I’ve got this much to spend tempt me’. Unless you really know the person that you’re doing that with, I haven’t found that a lot of places are that helpful.
‘It might come down to the point of if you want to spend £10,000 they are more likely to do that than if you go in and want to spent £500.
‘But if you know roughly what you’re looking for and roughly what your budget is, you’ll be able to have a much better experience.’
Sophie said everyone has the right to go inside designer shops but it isn’t uncommon for people to feel unworthy
Sophie explained that isn’t uncommon to feel ‘unworthy’ to go in designer boutiques and she can relate having had her own experience of not feeling good enough the first time she visited Louis Vuitton.
‘I felt awkward. I didn’t actually have the money at the time. There was a bag I wanted and I wanted to see it in real life because I was saving for it and wanted to know if I really want this or not,’ she said.
‘Particularly because I knew I didn’t have the money, I went in and as soon as a sales person tried to help me I was like ‘oh no’ because I’m not a sure thing here and I’m just window shopping. Sometimes it can feel that.
‘One brand that I never have that with and I find them really good to this day is Dior. I remember the first time I ever went into Dior, I went in with that nervous feeling but it went immediately. There is something about the customer service, they are very relaxed.
‘I’ve never had heavy pressure to buy anything. Many a time if I looked at something and walked away from it I’ve not felt awkward at all.
‘Be confident you have as much right go in there as someone else. Even like me, back in the day, if you’re window shopping go in there and do that because one day you will be the customer if you like that item.’
Sophie advised asking for the contact details of sales associates to feel confident next time you visit the shop and to hear about new products
MAKE LASTING CONNECTIONS
‘Ask for contact details, lets say you’re looking at buying something but they don’t have what you want or you’re still saving.
‘If you can, it’s easier to do if you’re buying something or intend but they don’t have the item in stock, ask for the person’s contact details.
‘Sometimes, they’re really forthcoming.
‘If you’ve gone in their dressed to the nines and you’ve got your designer bag, they are probably going to be more open to giving you their details. It’s wrong and shouldn’t be the case but it happens.’
Sophie said having someone’s contact details gives you the confidence to ask for them next time you’re shopping and to hear about new products.
Sophie said she has seen customers being rude to sales associates and it stops them from receiving the best service.
‘If you’re a bit standoffish or aggressive, pushy, you’re not going to get the best service. This is different to accepting bad customer service.
‘I think you know if a sales person is in to you or not within the first five minutes of conversation. You know from their body language.
‘If they’re not I always walk away at that point.’