rethinking the personal shopper issue

From time to time, I hear good things about personal shoppers. Personally, I've had varying negative degrees of success:

the lady at Tiffany's who told me "All us personal shoppers get some good trainin';" -- uh, ok.

the lady at Macy's who stated Macy's didn't carry leather, and hung up. BTW I made it very clear I was looking for a SUEDE JACKET.

the dear at J.Crew who repeatedly could not find the Jeweled Jardin Jacket (finally bought it off the rack at a B&M I will not name).

and my favorite J.Crew phone PS who doesn't call me any more after I hung up on her - I requested a copy of a Lookbook and she "explained" that they were only for good customers.

But none of my experiences quite match this story:

How have your experiences with personal shoppers been? How do you deal with the "upsell"?


  1. I read that when it came out last year and I positively howled with laughter! But then I realized I would probably think my PS and I were friends too, perhaps that has added to my aversion of the whole PS thing. I find I get myself into enough trouble shopping on my own, I don't need encouragement!

  2. This story was shared on JCA last year, it is funny and believable.

    I rely on my PS a lot and she totally comes through to get me what I want. I actually wrote an email of commendation to Millard Drexler regarding her over-and-above service during the holidays. She is that good.

  3. Wow, I blew right by this story when it was on JCA. My sister called my attention to it a while ago when I was grumbling about Professional Shoppers in general. I actually find it kind of sad. Imagine wearing Courrèges couture in your twenties (someone must have paid for it, right?), and then 40 or 50 years later, the person to whom you're closest is a voice on the phone whose attention you pay for by spending money. On the other hand, Madame still has that money to spend, so I guess she probably doesn't need my sympathy, right?

  4. ...... I enjoyed re-reading. I think my thoughts are still the same as my initial one. Kind of sad for the gal whose friend was someone who was paid to provide said friendship. That said? I work retail, and I run into gals who shop with me all the time, at kids' baseball games, volleyball tourneys, and shopping in other stores! One of my favorite customers turned out to be a make-up freelancer at Nordies! Are they good buddies? no. But do I really like them? Absolutely! And if they want to buy me a cuppa? I would love it!

  5. I missed that on the JCA as well. Enjoyed reading it, but felt sorry for that woman (customer). I do love my personal shopper, and she always comes through for me - finds me items, even on super sale with promo pricing; and she watches for the "popbacks" or re-stocks for me as well so I don't have to get up in the wee hours. We do email family goings-on etc., but I wouldn't take our 'friendship' outside of the J Crew loop. Love your blog, btw, I JUST found it!

  6. Southern Belle Ph.D.March 27, 2011 at 2:57 PM


    Glad to see this post. Although I seem to have a very good PS at Brooks Brothers right now, she does have difficulty remembering to call me at my more permanent residence rather than our beach house (her area code). She is pushy but will find me anything. My JC PS, also near my beach house and not my P. residence, eventually suggested I find one closer to me. Did not. One year later she has contacted me to add me back to her list. I voiced my concerns about JC just as you and others have. Also complained that I no longer receive the "treats." She said I must have fallen off of the list somehow and she would see that I was put back on...interesting. I received the latest Mickey card. Sorry for the long comment but it is something that I have been thinking about a lot recently.

  7. Southern Belle, did the JC PS make house calls? I don't get it.... But I haven't worked retail since college (part-time then), and mostly we were supposed to smile at the friends of our mothers and aunts, and not abuse our discounts. Someone could make a Southern chick-lit novel out of those guidelines plus a good funeral!

  8. Southern Belle Ph.D.March 28, 2011 at 9:48 AM


    She never made house calls but, interestingly enough, this J. Crew At-The-Beach will deliver your puchases to your beach house. I have never had the need to utilize that service but I suppose some do. Will continue to use her if I need a PS as I want to remain "on the list" and that store is nicer than any of the three closer to where we currently reside. And, were I to possess your writing skills, I would definitely write that Southern Chick novel!


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