Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday This and That

This week, you will be deluged with special offers from both Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. Somehow, they managed to schedule their beauty events to start on the same date: Thursday, February 21. That has been discussed as disastrous in both stores, particularly by people who must sell beauty products and meet crazy-high goals.

Aside from anti-trust considerations, I really have no idea how the two beauty powerhouses have managed to avoid conflicting dates in the past. This year, both Saks and Neiman Marcus will be competing for your dollars at the same time.

The totes at Neiman Marcus, free with a $125 purchase in the beauty department, aren't going to cause a stampede. I saw them about a week ago and hit the snooze button. By now you all know that the packet samples in the totes are rather boring. The gifts with purchase that count are "earned" by spending money - usually a lot of money - on one brand. Sometimes, the spends to receive a little bag of samples, exceed $300. While those thresholds are set to entice women to spend a lot of money, I've begun to think they discourage purchases. What if I wanted $200 worth of products from a certain brand? I'd receive no gift unless I throw in another $150 worth of products I didn't plan to buy.

After many years of this, I've learned to buy what I want or need and forgo the GWP. If I were to purchase enough to receive all the GWPs I'd like to have, I'd have to drop a paycheck.

I tried to get you a list of all the GWPs at Neiman Marcus, but no one on the selling floor had access to it. Why the secrecy? Surely a list would allow women to plan in advance!  Anyhow, get ready to power shop, starting Thursday. It will be a good time to stock up on products you use regularly.

Update: A sweet reader, Rebecca, sent me the list, which was shared at her Neiman Marcus. The files didn't want to cooperate with me. If you would like to know the GWP for a specific brand, please ask in the comments, and I will look it up for you. In the meantime, I will try to figure out how to convert the format so I can publish the list here.

Update 2/18: Rebecca tried again with .JPGs, but the type is faint (thanks!). In the meantime, Neiman Marcus finally put the special offers on their Web site. You can find them at this link.

Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus


LuckyLisa said...

Sing it Sister!! These ridiculously high minimums have finally pushed me to just ignore most GWP crap. Not to mention, I have boxes and bags full of more samples than I could ever use or even give away. A good SA will sample me on what I need when I need it.
Of course, as I say this, I am waiting to see what the lMdB GWP might be since I want that palette and their GWP are usually full-sized (or adorably mini) color cosmetics items I do actually get use out of!
I feel for the SA's at Saks and NM, though. This has got to be awful for them.
Let us know if you find out if there are *any* good GWP going on!! :)

Running with Scissors said...

I used to get so excited by the GWP's that we - very sporadically - have. But not I don't bother. If I do recieve one, I mostly give the items away!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi LuckyLisa,

I agree totally. My SAs will get me anything I need. They know how much I spend with them.

Did you mean LMdB? It's a liquid eyeliner in Bark. Only Michael at NM Mazza will have step-up gifts, or so I hear.

I just got the list from a reader. I'm about to put it up.

Charlestongirl said...

Christy, most of them turn out to be useless to me.

Eileen said...

I gave up on GWP's a long time ago. If I already have a purchase in mind and there is a nice gift attached, that's great, but I never make a purchase or add an item simply to get the gift. As Lucky Lisa said, a good SA will give generous samples of the items in which I am truly interested.

After seeing pictures of both stores' bags and the list of samples, I must say I wasn't particularly impressed. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, because the idea of gifting customers is very nice, it's just that it isn't going to influence where I make my purchases. All considered, Ebates, free shipping, and how many points I earn have more impact on where I shop.

Jamie said...

Oh but we still need to knowwwww

AZ said...

I think that's how everyone feels about GWP bags lately... Barneys bag used to be amazing but the past two times they've been pretty awful as well. I went this week to grab some Tatcha products and they were sold out on the first day. The SA said they'll have a shipment in the day after so I believed her. Offfff courseee they were not in.

Is there a Burberry step up gift at Saks by any chance?

Charlestongirl said...

Ditto, Eileen!

Charlestongirl said...

Jamie, I need to get my hands on the original and convert it to a JPG to read it into the blog. I'll try tomorrow.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi AZ, I don't have the Saks list. Rebecca sent me the NM list.

Walls said...

I agree with your fellow readers and you regarding the lack of appeal GWPs can have. Rarely do I ever bother with them, even when offered by brands that I buy from, because the products won't be of use to me. When it comes to my buying habits, if merchandise draws me in, I will buy it without hesitation. A GWP isn't going to change my mind or pique my interest, at least not very likely. That said, of all the beauty offerings this season, Barney's looks to be the best, but I am probably not going to part with $200 just to get the extra samples.

And, yes, all the best SAs whom I've worked with are extremely generous and thoughtful regarding samples, and surprise me by tucking them in with my purchases. It would be nice if department stores could conceive of a way to spice things up when it comes to gifts with purchase. I know I said this in a previous comment post some months ago, but I would rather have 10% off once or twice a year (or 20% like Sephora and other online retailers!) than a slew of GWPs.

Evelyn said...

I'm with Eileen, I'm not really influenced by GWP. It's nice if it's included with something I already have in mind. Besides, when there is a beauty event, I may spend quite a bit on items but I like to sample different brands so I may not meet a brand's GWP either. It's ok, I want to buy what I'd like to try.

I think I was looking at Saks' GWP? Seems it was mostly perfume samples. I was not impressed at all. If you want me to shop, give me an interesting sample to try at least.

teadivamuse said...

I hope the cosmetics executives are tuned in to this exchange and come up with better enticements and rewards for loyal customers, especially the luxury priced lines. I wish more companies would put out samples of all their products like Paula's Choice does. I"m happy to pay for the samples. I'd rather pay for those than get a full sized item that doesn't work. For foundation this is just crucial. It's ok to try it on at the store but nothing beats using a product for several days in the comfort of your own home and evaluating the shades in the lighting you are used to.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you all.
But I am lucky, my Guerlain SA gives me GWP even without meeting minimum ( 250 usually for Guerlain), even if there is not an event. If she has any gifts left i think she just gives them out to her customers. Great SA, such a sweetheart.