shopping customs

Oct 5th, 2007, 07:31 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,995
shopping customs

I have read that one should not go into a French shop and touch the merchandise, that instead, you should explain to the sales clerk what size, color etc... you are looking for. Is it considered rude to browse on your own in a larger department store as well?
nolefan1 is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 07:42 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
It is in France as anywhere else in the world.

What you have read applies for haute-couture boutiques only (with prices starting at 10,000 Euros).
traveller1959 is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 09:54 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
I disagree - we have found that even in modest shops the staff seems to want to show you things rather than have you rummage through everything yourself.

Don't know how much it has to do with the shops actually having staff - as opposed to just one person behind the payment desk that we often have.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 10:14 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,441
Am I the only one confused here?
nolefan asked if it is rude to touch the stuff instead of asking for help. Traveller said, "is is". Nytraveler says she disagrees, but then sounds like she also says you should ask for help.
What am I missing here? It sounds to me like nytraveler agrees not disagrees with the original poster. Or is nytravler only disagreeing that touching the stuff is only considered rude in very high end stores? If that's the case, what did traveller mean by "it is" which seemed to say "yes it is rude to browse on your own."

I need a a drink.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Oct 5th, 2007, 10:51 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 33,951
I found, to my surprise, when I was in Paris last November, Galerie Lafayett was no different that any other department store. It had been four years since I had been there and what a change. It is like any other department store, people going through all the stuff, handling it what ever. It was NOT like that last time I was there. I found all the department stores to be the same, just like stores here in the U.S. I was a bit shocked. Last time I was in Galerie Lafayette, it was quite obvious that one was to be helped and while I was at the cashier the sales person packed each of my scarves in a beautiful box with tissue and tied the box with a ribbon. Not now...they ring it up and shove it in a bag, just like here. Whether you like it or not, Paris IS changing.

I was more cautious going into small boutique type stores. I would ask permission if I wanted to look at things, like a pile of scarves..things like that. I would ask the sales person if it was OK. I was careful not to mess things up too badly.
crefloors is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 10:55 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 209
It all depends on the size and style of the shop. You would have a lot of trouble finding help in a hypermarché or Monoprix to buy clothes or even in H&M for that matter.
analogue is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 11:28 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,995
Thanks for the input...I think I'll observe first so I don't look like a rube. From what I read the French feel about their place of business is an extension of their home. I guess I would not want a stranger coming to my abode and touching all of my things.
nolefan1 is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 11:29 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,323
Many small shops in Paris used to have an "entrée libre / free entry" sign on the door. That meant quite specifically that you were free to browse without being pestered. Most of those signs have disappeared, which means that it is now customary to be able to browse without being pestered. The remaining exceptions are the high end shops, particularly on avenue Montaigne and rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré.
kerouac is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 11:31 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,323
I should add that browsing does not mean pawing over everything as though you are at a clearance sale at Wal-Mart.
kerouac is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 12:06 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,995
understood...thats the reason I try to avoid Wal Mart
nolefan1 is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 01:07 PM
  #11  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,148
Hi Cref,

>...they ring it up and shove it in a bag, just like here.<

Another example of US cultural imperialism.

c'est fromage.

ira is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 04:53 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 165
Ira, it might be cheese, but cultural imperialism? Hmm.
grapes is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 04:56 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,865
Boy, kerouac, I learn so much from you. I've pondered the meaning of entree libre for several decades, even as instances of it were dwindling. I always got the general gist of it, but never the specific meaning.

Thanks for that!
StCirq is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:21 PM.