Eager Salespeople

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Cath

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I was very casually shopping for a leather jacket today and was having a lot of trouble fending off Argentine salespeople. Clearly they are just doing their job, but coming for the land of enormous department stores in which you can browse peacefully and probably couldn't even find a store employee if you wanted to, I feel very uncomfortable in Argentine stores. Of course, I make good use of the phrase "estoy solo mirando" but this doesn't always do the trick, especially when they see me attempting to try on a jacket or other item. In all honestly, I probably can't afford a leather jacket, but if given the time and space to browse and find something I really like I might be convinced. As it is, I am very reluctant to even enter a store in fear of feeling pressured to buy something I don't want. The most awkward moment comes when the store attendant has spent half an hour, voluntarily, running all over the store obtaining items for me and telling me they look wonderful, but in the end I don't want to buy any of these items. After all that effort, it feels very awkward and insufficient to just say "Ok, I'll come back later" or "I'm going to keep looking, thanks." Does anyone have any advice as to how to deal more effectively with these situations, or just commentary about the comparatively anonymous shopping experience in the US and some other countries compared to the very interactive and involved shopping experience in South America?
 

Elpanada

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I remember this one little store it can't have been bigger than I don't know an average living room but damn within like 4 minutes I was approached by at least 5 employees asking me if they could somehow help me, I'm not sure if I bought anything or not but I was really surprised.
 

tangobob

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I did think of having tee shirts printed for my wife and I
No Somos Turistas:D
I don't know if it would help, but it would make us feel better.
 

sergio

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There is no browsing in most shops in Argentina. The economy is small, merchants have limited stock and have to be very careful about avoiding shoplifting and keeping what they have in good condition. In addition there is a very poor attitude toward return business. Most shops don't care if you come back or not. They just want the cash up front. They may reluctantly exchange a product but will never refund your money. Consumers do not have the extensive rights they have in the US. For various economic and cultural reasons, shopping is different in Argentina. I seldom enter shops unless I am seriously planning to buy. When I am looking for something like furniture I try to take an Argentine friend who will get a real price, not a foreigner price. Since prices are seldom ever stated on items, merchants are free to charge as they wish – based on how much money they feel you can pay. Argentines are AMAZED when they go to the US and see the huge stock available in malls and department stores. They can’t believe how easy it is to shop, how no one bothers them and how inexpensive everything is. They’re also amazed at the generous return policies. The elitist and provincial shopping culture in BA reflects a society with a limited economy that serves a small percentage of the country.
 

Elpanada

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sergio said:
There is no browsing in most shops in Argentina. The economy is small, merchants have limited stock and have to be very careful about avoiding shoplifting and keeping what they have in good condition. In addition there is a very poor attitude toward return business. Most shops don't care if you come back or not. They just want the cash up front. They may reluctantly exchange a product but will never refund your money. Consumers do not have the extensive rights they have in the US. For various economic and cultural reasons, shopping is different in Argentina. I seldom enter shops unless I am seriously planning to buy. When I am looking for something like furniture I try to take an Argentine friend who will get a real price, not a foreigner price. Since prices are seldom ever stated on items, merchants are free to charge as they wish – based on how much money they feel you can pay. Argentines are AMAZED when they go to the US and see the huge stock available in malls and department stores. They can’t believe how easy it is to shop, how no one bothers them and how inexpensive everything is. They’re also amazed at the generous return policies. The elitist and provincial shopping culture in BA reflects a society with a limited economy that serves a small percentage of the country.
I remember Sergio and his simple BS, in post #2 in this thread right here: http://baexpats.org/newcomers-forum/1556-child-abuse-argentina.html from January 2006 I described his simple recipe of posting and he's following it here to perfection. The recipe is as follows: Everything he writes goes something like this "This in Argentina is so bad but it's better in the USA or Europe."

And here we have him talking about a poor attitude towards return business in Argentina, shops in Argentina not caring if you come back or not implying that they just want to use you and lose you, extensive consumer rights in the US and generous return policies there, as if anything had anything to do with generosity.

3 years and he's still going at it, would it change anything if we all gave a reply saying "WOW the USA and Europe are Great! compared to shitty Argentina"? Would that finally put an end to this lame negativity?
 

Celia

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On the plus side, in the 2 years I've been here, I've only bought essentials and cut down on my consumerism because it's so unpleasant shopping here. I use mercadolibre wherever possible. Actually I have lost too much weight due to living in a barrio with no decent supermarkets or verdulerias, but that's another story...
 

bigbadwolf

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Cath said:
I was very casually shopping for a leather jacket today and was having a lot of trouble fending off Argentine salespeople. Clearly they are just doing their job ...
The shops are over-manned -- there can often be several sales assistants in a shop the size of a drawing room. Don't quite understand the economic logic of hiring so many people.
 

Moxon

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I think most of what Sergio has to say rings true.

I also think a search of his previous posts as you recommend in the post you link to Elpanada, followed by a review of your posts would be a most illuminating exercise.
 

RandallBass

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guess what everyone, i've only been here a day (though ive done extensive research on the country and city) and YEAH! The good ole' US of A is Better in many regards! who knew we had a such a great country, oh wait, you ALL did. take it all with a grain of salt. there is no other country that allows so much freedom and that's just the truth.
that being said, AR is great, you just have to try harder for some things, some of those things being necessities. i think that's where the frustrations come in
 

tangobob

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Again the same old story, you have one bad experience and the whole place is mierda.
I have used hundreds of taxis, one day one of them cheated me now every taxi driver is a thief.
I buy vegetables round the corner and get good sevrvice, but the chinese woman down the road sold me a bag of rotten oranges, I will never buy oranges again in BsAs.
All the good service I have had in restaurants goes out of the window when the one on corrientes cheats me on my bill.
Truth is it is no different here than anywhere else: there are people who give good service and there are those who give bad, and if you are seen as tourists you are fair game.
Try new York with a british accent or the north coast of spain, Paris, Amsterdam anywhere.
 
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