Being Rude Might Actually Boost Sales In Luxury Retail

Being Rude Might Actually Boost Sales In Luxury Retail

Does it feel like the salespeople in upscale retail stores seem kind of snobby? A recent study suggests rudeness could actually boost their sales.

Photo by TheeErin

The University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business ran the study and determined that consumers that get treated with snobbishness can become more interested in buying expensive goods. Participants in the study imagined or had interactions with sales representatives that either acted rudely or not. As long as the salesperson came across as an authentic representative, and as long as the participant actually had an interest in high-end brands, the participants' desire to own luxury items increased after being treated poorly.

Researchers found this only worked with luxury brands, and after some time passed, participants' interest in the items decreased. So, when you're out shopping, don't get tricked by rude staff into wanting overpriced goods. Professor Darren Dahl, the lead on the study, suggests that you leave the situation and return later if you're being treated rudely, or better yet, avoid the whole ordeal by shopping online.

Snobby Staff Can Boost Luxury Retail Sales [UBC News via Science Daily]


    This works the opposite way for me.
    Every time I follow a friend with much more experience (re: overpriced) tastes into some high end store I always seem to get ignored by the staff.

    I always thought it was because they realized I was not interested in being ripped off because something had a label. Maybe its because they want me to buy and ignore me to make me want to.

    All it makes me want to do is go to a store with nicer more helpful staff and better priced stuff.\
    But I'm not there target customer.

    Frasier, "The Innkeepers" [episode 2.23]:

    Niles: "The Happy Brothers"... Brilliant! It's homey, but just hard enough to pronounce to intimidate the riff-raff!
    Frasier: Yes! We'll make the place very, very exclusive! No sign on the outside, no advertisements and oh, an unlisted number!
    Martin: Hey, well don't stop there! Maybe you could post some guards on the roof who can shoot people as they try to get in.
    [Daphne laughs.]

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