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Friday, December 9, 2011

I Was Treated Like a Queen in a Store

Now, how did that happen? Usually, I frequent thrift shops, where I am left alone. Every now and then, I do go to a retail establishment and watch the salesperson's eyes flicker to my shoes and my bag--usually I am found wanting. That's OK, since I like to scrounge around and hate retail pressure.

But a few weeks ago, I got a taste of being treated like royalty in the retail arena: at the Encore Shop in New Orleans, a half thrift/half consignment shop that benefits the New Orleans Symphony. I had been perhaps twice in the last 20 years, leaving empty-handed both times.

But for some reason, I felt the urge to check it out. In I walked, my usual scruffy self. Mr. FS said I could have 10 minutes.

I saw a tall blond right out of Town and Country magazine. She was trying on clothes, but rushed to meet me, asked my name, and followed me around. I told her what was on my wish list, but--alas--nothing on my wish list was my size. She made me promise to come back on one of the days she worked, so she could help me. Imagine: I was being helped by a New Orleans society lady! What a thrill.

I even found her picture in the paper, so you can see what I mean.

I didn't see any Coach shoes for $4 (indeed, this place was rather expensive). I did buy a pair of shoes, which looked brand new. They were $22.00, half of which goes to the orchestra.


Shelley said...

Isn't it a hoot that sales people think they can be sniffy to their customers. Like working at an expensive store makes them think they are more important. Never mind. I don't shop in places where the staff want me to feel grateful they could be bothered with me. I rarely bother with department stores at all, but if I do, my first choice is Bainbridges (now called John Lewis). Why? Because it's the first store in Newcastle where the sales lady smiled at me. In spite of the fact that they aren't the cheapest, I'm a fan for life.

Good to know you're helping the orchestra. I'm hoping we'll go hear some orchestral music this year and even better, I see the ballet is coming to Newcastle in February!

Duchesse said...

You were actually treated the way everyone would like to be, and is it not remarkable that this is the exception?

I don't expect consignment shops to be astonishing bargains b/c the goods are usually several cuts above thrift (some even have couture). Am very disposed to buy when part of the price goes to a good cause and those New Orleans ladies probably donate some gorgeous stuff. Hope Mr FS can find a good newspaper or something so you can have more than 10 min. next time, and wish I could go too!

I dress up a bit if I am going to shop b/c have found like to be treated decently- but it sounds like you were not planning a shopping trip that day.

SewingLibrarian said...

A friend of mine used to say, "They don't wear them, they just sell them," referring to the sales assistants at Chanel, Armani, etc. Actually, they do get to wear one outfit. Same friend told me each SA gets to (or has to) purchase one outfit at a discount so she/he can be appropriately attired for work.
Slightly OT, but I wanted to refer you to this post (and part two which follows) on Aesthetic Alterations blog regarding buying Hermes scarves. I saw your comment on VIvienne's blog.
I've recently purchased a couple of scarves on eBay for about $200 each - not cheap, but better than $400 in the boutique. But it's good to be well-prepared before bidding to avoid fakes. I've also bought from It's-All-Goode with good results.
And finally, I'm glad you had such a pleasant experience at the orchestra's consignment shop.

Duchesse said...

Hi, SewingLibrarian: A good tutorial for avoiding fakes, with photos:

I'm wearing my Christmas-themed ones, as casually as possible, with black jeans and a turtleneck sweater.

the Frugal Ecologist said...

Those shoes are adorable - wish we had a shop like that here. Sadly in our town, most of the thrift is junk...

SewingLibrarian said...

Hi, Duchesse! I've read those columns and try to follow the advice every time I bid. I've only erred once, and it was a photo-accurate scarf (Pierres d'Orient and d'Occident). But I could tell the difference in the silk as soon as I took the scarf out of the box. Fortunately, the seller accepted it back. The photo-accurate scarves are really a problem which is why I almost always bid only on sellers I know have a good reputation with the ladies on the Purse Forum. I like the older designs which is helpful UNLESS the scarf has been reissued recently - that was the case with Pierres. FS, sorry to hijack your comments! But you may be interested, too.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Shelley--I've heard great things about John time in England, I will check it out.

@Duchesse--This place was beautifully set up. It even had a rack of St John (100 for bottoms, up to 450 for jackets) and a few couture pieces. Ann tried to get me to buy a fox stole for $450!

@Sewing--Thanks for the tips on Hermes...I'm looking for some advice.

@Duchesse--So far, it is just a Hermes fantasy for me...

@Frugalecologist--If you are in Boston, I'm sure there are many, many fine sources--love your blog also. Great kitchen.

@Sewing--Keep on highjacking! Maybe I should make it a post, in case others are interested.