View Full Version : Tack shop 'tude

Apr. 28, 2001, 01:58 PM
HI guys. I was wondering if any of you have ever experienced what I have. There are three tack shops in my area all within about 2 or 3 miles of each other. One shop treats everybody great, the second is ok, but is much nicer to "regulars" and the third shop....Well to make my long story longer (hehehe) I went into the third shop on my lunch break from work, wearing jeans and a tee-shirt (clean!), and the moment I stepped foot into the store I got snubbed by the two employees who were sitting behind the counter. One of them actually looked me up and down with a distinct sneer on her face. I was there to look into buying a new helmet (I really want one of those new velvet show helmets with the hidden vents). The two women clerks were actually sniping about customers who come in and don't buy high priced items, or just browse and don't buy anything..LOUD enough for me to hear! They talked about how they can tell if a person has money by the car they drive.

Anyway, i was pretty nauseated by the whole thing. It was the second time I've been in this place and was treated just a badly the other time as well. I thought I could give them another chance. Then as I was getting ready to leave, a women who was obviously a regular walked in in breeches and boots. They treated her like a QUEEN!. They chatted about their horses and other riders, and the weather. The woman in the breeches was standing next to me and mentioned how happy she was to be able to give her horse a bath that day as it was our first warm day. I said to her "Gee I wish I wasn't working today. I would love to give my horse a bath, since he hasn't had one all winter." She smiled at me and nodded but the shop clerk snot looked shot me death rays and said,
"I bathe MY horse year round."

I smiled back and said "Unfortunately we don't have hot water in our barn."

She rolled her eyes at me and said "Well MY barn does."

I just walked out.

Why do these people treat me so badly??? I am an ADULT. The other shop is much nicer so naturally I give them my business, but I don't understand the attitude I've been getting. I do OWN a horse, and God knows it ain't cheap, so I DO actually have money (not a lot hahah, but enough to squeek by each month). He ain't nothin' fancy but how do those people know what kind of horse I have? Oooh..i'm just fed up. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Apr. 28, 2001, 01:58 PM
HI guys. I was wondering if any of you have ever experienced what I have. There are three tack shops in my area all within about 2 or 3 miles of each other. One shop treats everybody great, the second is ok, but is much nicer to "regulars" and the third shop....Well to make my long story longer (hehehe) I went into the third shop on my lunch break from work, wearing jeans and a tee-shirt (clean!), and the moment I stepped foot into the store I got snubbed by the two employees who were sitting behind the counter. One of them actually looked me up and down with a distinct sneer on her face. I was there to look into buying a new helmet (I really want one of those new velvet show helmets with the hidden vents). The two women clerks were actually sniping about customers who come in and don't buy high priced items, or just browse and don't buy anything..LOUD enough for me to hear! They talked about how they can tell if a person has money by the car they drive.

Anyway, i was pretty nauseated by the whole thing. It was the second time I've been in this place and was treated just a badly the other time as well. I thought I could give them another chance. Then as I was getting ready to leave, a women who was obviously a regular walked in in breeches and boots. They treated her like a QUEEN!. They chatted about their horses and other riders, and the weather. The woman in the breeches was standing next to me and mentioned how happy she was to be able to give her horse a bath that day as it was our first warm day. I said to her "Gee I wish I wasn't working today. I would love to give my horse a bath, since he hasn't had one all winter." She smiled at me and nodded but the shop clerk snot looked shot me death rays and said,
"I bathe MY horse year round."

I smiled back and said "Unfortunately we don't have hot water in our barn."

She rolled her eyes at me and said "Well MY barn does."

I just walked out.

Why do these people treat me so badly??? I am an ADULT. The other shop is much nicer so naturally I give them my business, but I don't understand the attitude I've been getting. I do OWN a horse, and God knows it ain't cheap, so I DO actually have money (not a lot hahah, but enough to squeek by each month). He ain't nothin' fancy but how do those people know what kind of horse I have? Oooh..i'm just fed up. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

ottb friend
Apr. 28, 2001, 02:22 PM
I think we live in similar towns. In my area there are tack shops that cater to specific disciplines, so don't even think of going in there if you don't ride XXX. I've gotten the same "different" treatment depending not on how I was dressed, but what I was looking at. They seem to ignore the peons looking at hoof cream, but snap to attention once you glance at a saddle.

Apr. 28, 2001, 03:01 PM
There is a store near me that is somewhat like that, although not quite that bad. Unfortunately, they have by far the best selection of anyone remotely nearby- so I go there a lot. I finally found a way to get great service though...

I'm 18, but I don't look all that old, so when I would go in there alone they used to ignore me unless I asked them a direct question. When my mother would go with me, however, they'd be all over us (my mom has the whole "country club" style going on, whereas I usually am in jeans and a sweater, I guess that may be why.) Anyway, after we went in together one afternoon and bought their best tack trunk and an Edgewood martingale "as an afterthought" (haha-not really, the martingale I had to save up for and the trunk is my graduation present, but I made it seem like both were casual purchases!) they have started treating me like royalty- even when I only need fly-spray. It's nice that now I can get in and out of there fast, but it's so annoying that it's only because they think I'm stinking rich! (If only they knew...)

Apr. 28, 2001, 03:31 PM
Count your blessings to have a tack shop close by. The nearest one to me is three hours away. I pretty much live out of catalogs or get something when i go to a show. I have to pray that if i need tack someone at the barm will have one that I can borrow (and with a bunch of kids on ponies its pretty hard).

Apr. 28, 2001, 04:29 PM
Well your not alone one this one. The shop thats about an hour away from me has just about everything I need, but I hate going to it because the owner of the store is rude. Sorry I'm not spending $3,000 dollars today at your shop but at least you could show my some curtesy right. Away she has treat some of me friends like this also. We kinda decided to not shop there unless we have to.

Apr. 28, 2001, 05:13 PM
I have a strong destation for both of the tack stores in my area. One for personal reasons (owner came very close to blowing the sale of my pony for me) and the other because their service is terrible and unless you know exactly what you want, you'll come out with the exact oposite of what you need. Unless I desperately need something asap, I do the catalog thing. I'd rather pay shiping costs than have to deal with either tack store.

Apr. 28, 2001, 05:29 PM
How totally rude and condescending. If I were you, I would give my business to the other two shops, and never set foot in that one again.

Who needs that kind of snotty attitude??? /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

"Of course, that's only my opinion. I could be wrong." - Dennis Miller

Apr. 28, 2001, 06:19 PM
You must live near Huntington.

Tack store owners lose alot of business that way.Their loss.Cheer up honey.....
class always shows.Common courtesy seems to have gone out of style.

Apr. 28, 2001, 06:50 PM

Don't you just love it!! I happens that I have been going to the same tack shop since I was 8 and now I am 26...So I have had nothing but GREAT times in my tack shop..they repair bridles and blankets for free for me because I am in great standing with them....And they've seen me grow up...so moving to Long Island...not knowing anyone will be hard...but I sure know one place I won't go!!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Barb /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Apr. 28, 2001, 06:59 PM
We have a similar situation here...

Tack shop A has horrible customer service to some, great to others. They figure out when you walk in by the way you talk about stuff whether you know alot about horses or a little. If you know alot (for example, more than them!) then they will treat you like dirt. If you know a little (like a beginer) then they will kiss the ground you walk on while holding expensive items that you "must" have in their arms.

Tack shop B just opened and it is great. There is only one worker now, the owner, and she is really really nice. You can talk to her about anything, fashion, barns, whatever you want. She gives you free stuff sometimes (magazines, treats, etc.)if you are nice to her /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Apr. 28, 2001, 07:19 PM
We have many tack shops where I live and even a State Line!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
They are all nice except for one, they also do mailorder which is the only reason they stay open I am certain.
I purchased some riding clothes for my daughter at this tack shop because they were so nice to her.
I told them her birthday was in a few weeks, and wanted to make certain that the items I purchased would fit. The owner said the clothes would fit because she had measured her before I went in.
I had the measurements on a business card for them.
Of course nothing fit and when I returned them back the owners were so rude, like they had never seen us... I was quite angry.
The owner accused me of purchasing them someplace else and trying to get them to take the items back, boots, shirt, breeches.
I showed them the copy of my cheque and told them to add it up it would be the same, no go.
I also noted that I did not want my money back I just needed the correct sizes, still rude, and then they said well you have to return things within ten days!!!
They knew when I purchased the items that the birthday was a good three weeks off.
Finally they exchanged the clothes after I fussed in front of several customers, I refused to leave until I got my way.
I have to say I tried them twice more, both with rude customer service.
I will no longer go to this shop or recommend it to other horse people. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I have seen other people have complained about this shop on other BB's!!
These unsatisfied customers have done mail order with them.
Their website show this huge building with all these cars in front.
It is actually a photo of some distribution center and the actual tack shop is tiny and out of the way. hahaha /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Apr. 28, 2001, 07:42 PM
That's really bad, Bumpkin. In the Seattle area there are few enough shops anyhow. The one I liked was down in Auburn, and they moved to a much smaller place in Puyallup.

I went to buy Ariats recently (not a cheap purchase, at least for me), and the place I went didn't have my size. They looked on the computer, decided that they had what I wanted, but didn't feel like going into the back to get it for me. They told me to go home, and they would call me when they found the boots. /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif So, I drove an hour home, and decided not to go back.

Mail-order for me!

Apr. 28, 2001, 07:50 PM
I've been treated like this several times, and I dont mind at all! In fact, treat me like an ass and see where it gets you! One of the most favorite things i've ever done was in a tack shop. I kept getting snubbed at this tack store and I picked up a saddle, pricey bridle, a leather shank and a halter and marched to the counter where these two biddy's were ringing me up. I looked at both of them and leaned in, and said in my most serious tone..."Tell me, How much an hour do you get paid to be a bitch?"
And left.
Obviously they thought I was insane, but I chuckled and left without all that stuff...
Now is the time to have FUN my friends!


Apr. 28, 2001, 08:34 PM
I still can't get over how ironic it is that they totally snub the people they think are poor, and act like they're so much better than you, when THEY are the ones working at a tack store, probably at minimum wage /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif Not that there's anything wrong with that (I'm waitressing my way through school) but to treat people like that, it's just awful, I always have an urge to say to those type of people "Yeah, who are you? Working at a tack store when you're like 40 and clearly not enjoying it, what a good life you must have." I'd love to work at a tack store, those people don't deserve the job, your business or your respect (ie. don't be polite!)

I've dealt with my fair share of rude, snobby horse people (in tack shops and not) and I find it's best to just forget about them, they don't even deserve to be hatefully remembered!

Apr. 28, 2001, 09:03 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>You must live near Huntington. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

ROTF! I wonder if you and Jennasis are bothing referring to the shop I had in mind when I read Jennasis' post! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I thought of this particular shop because I hear similar complaints from lots of people about it all the time. It happens to be the only tack shop on LI I go to, and I've never had any problems...mind you, I rarely go there, maybe 3-4 times a year, mostly during sales, yet the owner and the employees are always very nice to me, you'd think I'm there several times a week...they even remember my name, and I've only purchased "minor" tack stuff there, such as brushes, bell boots, or horse treats. Go figure! /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

Apr. 28, 2001, 09:10 PM
"Oh, shop girl!" is how I usually start my conversations and I get great service! /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Actually, I know exactly what you mean, Jennasis. I have decided to refuse to allow anyone to treat me with such rudeness. I usually just pepper them with questions and insist they assist me. If there is anything I want, I buy it (in duplicate if it makes sense) and then thank them profusely for their patience and professionalism. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Apr. 28, 2001, 09:29 PM
Right on, Tosca, regarding who is working for what wages! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I realize that a lot of gals/guys work in tack shops just for the store discount, not as a career. But why oh why do so many have a chip on their shoulder?

When I had no choice but to buy my Pessoa saddle from the tack store that was the one regional distributor, I was on the verge of telling off the sales girl, but dang, I wanted that saddle! /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif You can always expect trouble when they look you up and down and then ask, "So, who do you ride with?" Like, what the heck has that got to do with the price of potatoes?Do you want to sell me a saddle or not?

Yes, another reason why I, too, enjoy catalogs. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Apr. 29, 2001, 09:22 AM
Yes, the shop is in Huntington....I won't post the name though. If you REALLY want to know, you can e-mail me for it..

I must admit though, we on Long Island are very fortunate to have so many tack shops to choose from. My favorite one is in Middle Island.

I just find it amusing, because almost ALL the horse people I know of practically live in jeans and tee-shirts when at the barn. I could very well be from one of the high price "Gold Coast" style, north shore stables (though I'm not, and I don't think they are necessarily better than any other particular stable just because of the high $$$ zip code). They DID manage to lose a sale...I was totally prepared to shell out cash for a new helmet as well as a bunch of other stuff I need for the approaching show season.

Their loss is the other shops gain.

Apr. 29, 2001, 09:51 AM
The same thing happened to me a couple of months ago here in Toronto...it's funny because there are two tack shops withing walking distance of each other, and the atmoshperes in them (IMO) are as different as night and day. Tack shop A didn't even look at me when I came in, while tack shop B was really friendly.

*sigh* I guess I don't have the rich hunter princess look... /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I work in retail, and when I get poor (or non-existant) service from ANYONE it really pis*ses me off. As I was leaving tack shop A, I said, "you have a great day, now!" in a really snide way. Man, it still makes me mad, months later!

I think that the attitude one gets in certain tack shops epitomizes what is wrong with the sport...some people really need to get over themselves! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Black Market Radio
Apr. 29, 2001, 11:56 AM
I am SO glad that there is a tack store near me and that I am really good friends with the owners. But, they are really nice to everyone, all the time. The other two stores near me are wonderful too, although one is closed right now waiting to be sold. Hope none of those snippy people buy it!

I have had people treat me rudly before though, and I have walked right up to them, and with a HUGE smile said, "You know, I WAS going to buy that (insert high priced item here), but I decided I would rather order it from a catalogue and pay twice as much because of YOUR attitude. Have a WONDERFUL day!" The clerk just stood there jaw dropped right open!

And when my dad was buying his Ford truck, someone called and I didn't get to the phone in time. I *69'd and this lady from the dealership answered and I asked if someone had called from there. EXTREMELY rudely, she says: "No one from HERE called, you are wrong." I said, "But I just *69'd and this is the number it called back!" She replied: "Well, it's wrong NO ONE from here called you." I said, "Well, my father, (and I said his name and it was a small dealership and they KNEW who he was), you know, the guy special ordering the Ford Dielsel, well, I am going to tell him about your rude attitude, and he will take his business elswhere." And he did. They also lost out when he bought his Ford bucket truck, and they knew it.

Queen Marine

[This message was edited by devildog20 on Apr. 29, 2001 at 02:03 PM.]

Apr. 29, 2001, 04:24 PM
... The incredibly rude woman who owned a tack shop near me went out of business after three slow years. Her nasty comments about the customers finally did her in -- and boy, was I happy to get her final sale flier.

Likewise, the trainer who took over my former trainer's (very successful) operation watched the whole thing fall apart in less than a year, as clients fled to any barn that had room. I'll never forget my first conversation with her:

Myself: "How lucky we are to have an indoor arena in this weather, huh?"

K: "Lucky! This footing is awful. And [the stable owners] promised me new footing before I arrived. Obviously that's not their plan. I wonder what other surprises they have for me."

Word about K's attitude, and that of the tack shop owner, got around fast. In the end it all works out. Just be patient and watch the fireworks.

Apr. 29, 2001, 05:13 PM
You don't have to tell me the name. I
KNOW the name and it will cheer you to
know it's on the market for sale. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Let's hope the new owners are nicer.

Apr. 29, 2001, 05:31 PM
I guess I've been lucky. I've never been treated badly at a tack shop and, trust me, I am the blue jeans and tee shirt queen. (Sometimes they're even clean.)I'm fascinated to think that sales people would judge, based on appearance, who has money and who doesn't. Kind of a dicey maneuver, if you ask me.

It reminds me of an old joke. Three older ladies sitting on the porch of a nice hotel in Palm Beach. One has diamond bracelets all the way up her arm. The second has four or five diamond bracelets. The third, just one.

The first lady says, "when my diamonds get dirty I have the driver take them in the Rolls down to Cartier to be cleaned." The second lady nods, impressed. She says, "when my diamonds get dirty I get in the Bentley and drive them over to Tiffany." They both look at the third lady, expecting her to feel out done. She just shrugs and says, "when mine get dirty, I just throw them out and buy new ones."

Sorry, couldn't resist! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Apr. 29, 2001, 08:00 PM
Let me guess ... the rude shop is a very bad Habit but the friendly shop gets alot of Repeat business?

I've been to both and heartily agree with you. So do many others I know. I wonder if these places realize how much business they lose this way...

Apr. 30, 2001, 08:06 AM
and I send clients to either depending on what they are buying (one is better for rider clothes, one for hats one for horse clothing, repairs, etc.)...we used to have only ONE choice. Then one of the local riders opened up her own business...her reason for opening a brand new business? "They were mean to me, and I got fed up!" Now we get MUCH better customer service...better from store #1 so they don't lose any more business because of bad vibes, and better from #2 because that is her basis for being in business in the first place...#1 is still stingey about returns, special circumstances, but still much better than it used to be...#2 will send someone to your house overnight to bring some desperately needed item for a show the next day, even if you call after hours...this is the free enterprise/capitalist system at its best! (Who said all that stuff we learned in HS economics was useless?)

Apr. 30, 2001, 08:34 AM
Why do you allow your employees to treat people this way?

I very rarely go to the local tack stores because the closest one is 25 miles away on a side of town I'm never in unless I make a special trip. I order most things and pick up common supplies at the village feed store because I'm there anyway.

But on the few occasions I have ventured into one shop, I have been either ignored completely or improperly served. I finally tracked down a clerk to ask if they had something and was told no, they didn't. End of conversation. Instead of asking what my need was and trying to fill that need with something else, she walked off. These people need a course in Salesmanship 101. (Can you tell I've been in direct marketing for awhile?) And I will tell you that I had come straight from church that day and had on a suit, heels and a fur coat. But I wasn't driving a dually or wearing freshly pressed jeans and shined paddocks so I guess I didn't fit their demographic. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Apparently this problem is pandemic, so tack store owners, what gives?

Apr. 30, 2001, 08:39 AM
How about this test for customer service:

Walk in to toney store to purchase boots for self with Christmas money. Have in attendance, your well behaved 4 year old daughter. Stand in front of the Ariat boot display, handle boots, place Ariat sole to sole to your own foot wear. Wait. Wait some more. Listen to daughter ask why no one will help you. Watch store owner and clerks assist every customer but you. Sniff self. Remember you did take a bath that morning.

This was the treatment we received at a nearby "big city" tack shop, I heard later they won't help parents who bring their young children. That little fact has been filed away in my memory for the past 5 years. Now that daughter is riding and clearly in need of clothes, tack, boots every other week, I still won't buy from that store.

Note to tack store owners, if you want repeat customers treat them all like they're the next Georgina Bloomberg.

Apr. 30, 2001, 09:32 AM
NGM, I know exactly what you mean. (BTW, this is the PHS grad from the "other" board.) I went into the "rude" shop. I do not have the "hunter princess" look either. I was, however, there to order semi custom field boots. The girl acted as if she wanted me measured and on my way, pronto. My friend went in and ordered her boots the previous day. Her mother left an expensive pair of leather gloves there. When she phoned to ask if they would mail them to her, they said no!! After she had spent a small fortune in their store (she bought boots, a jacket and a helmet). I picked them up when I went to get measured. Love my boots, but won't ever go back!

Apr. 30, 2001, 10:10 AM
Yep, you guys are right! I had to grab a coffee after I was in there because I was so frosted...

I guess there are plenty of people who are willing and able (i.e. $$$$) to shop there, or they would be long gone. It just goes to show you how they REALLY operate.

Oh well. I'm much happier to take my business down the street or to Mississauga. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

(BTW--> GW...did you make it to Brynmor yesterday?)

Apr. 30, 2001, 10:26 AM
Fortunately we do not get this type of service at Steinberg's, but I have seen it on several occasions at other So Cal tack shops. Actually, I'm going to forward this thread to Steinberg's owner so she'll get a good shock horror at how rude some other stores can be.

Reminds me of the time when a car salesman was being utterly patronizing to my mother because she was a woman. She told him where to get off and that she was going elsewhere, and he blew her off like it was no big deal. So, a few hours later, imagine his surprise when she drove back in her bright red convertible and told the owner of the first place that she would have happily bought her car from their place but Mr Salesman was such an ass to women that she went elsewhere.

Apr. 30, 2001, 10:52 AM
I worked at a large VA tack shop all through school. We gave good customer service to whomever came in. However-we would see the "regulars"-the ones who came in, looked, asked questions and never bought. So, yes after a while they would get ignored. Plus-some ritzy, ditzy folks tended to look down on some of the clerks-again-next time-they got ignored. Right? no-but human nature.

My biggest pet peeve after awhile was that the people you knew-the horse world as we all know is small-would never ask "How are you?" but "How is your horse?"

Apr. 30, 2001, 11:26 AM
give the offending sales clerk a quick up and down glance and sweetly say "Dahling, I don't punch a time clock for a living, how a about a little bit of help and less attitude"

Even our "hunter princesses" don't hack around in boots and breeches, we run around in jeans and our fancy paddock boots.

Life's too short to put up with crap from snotty clerks.

Apr. 30, 2001, 11:42 AM
How do you know those 'lookers' weren't going to turn into purchasers eventually. That is before you ran them off by ignoring them. I am notorious for having to look at major purchases forever (i.e., several times) and compare before deciding what I want.

Note to self: Really need to order horse trailer this week. It's been 6 weeks since you decided which one, for crying out loud.

And some days I just not in the mood to buy. Other days I may drop a wad. Or I may come in with the intention of dropping a wad and just leaving because you were rude. I have also gone 'looking' at vendors at horse shows with the intention of buying nothing and walked away with a huge purchase because someone was nice/chatty.

This is a service industry and if you are in a fixed location, as opposed to a tack van, and customers have to come to you, you would be advised to be nice to them when they make the effort.

I am still waiting to hear from tack store owners as to why this behavior is tolerated.

Lavender Menace
Apr. 30, 2001, 11:59 AM
I think there are definitely two sides to this issue... one being the fact that tack stores are apparently notorious for their snotty clerks. While it does seem (to the non-horse-y type) that riding is a sport only for the filthy rich, really there are horse people operating at all income levels, as we know. I'm sure tack shops would benefit from realizing that consumers who are coming every week to buy fly spray and lead lines are just as important as the people who come in to buy shiny new tack more often than the rest of us buy underwear. The other issue is that customers at stores like tack shops are often rude, crude and fearsome to behold. Retail clerks should be helpful, considerate, friendly, etc. etc., but "shop girls" are not servants and in my opinion should not be considered subservient or whathaveyou simply because they are selling and you are buying. I work in a pricey art-supply store, and I frequently deal with customers who expect me to run around the store with their list of items, ring it up, and then hand it through the car door to them! I am happy to help, but I don't think I should be treated as a second-class citizen because I work in a store. Working in retail really wakes you up to the unacceptable behavior people show off every day.

Now, time for work...

"Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug; sometimes it all comes together baby, sometimes you're a fool in love..."

Apr. 30, 2001, 12:04 PM
Being "ignored" is different than being rude. Instead of jumping up and down trying to sell them something-a simple hello-How are you? is given. If they want help-they'll get it.

You learn to read your repeat customers. Some don't like being approached every time they come in-others do.

For the most part-every tack shop I've been in-I've been asked if I need help-and I'm a jeans type of girl so it wasn't how I looked.

For those of you that are having a customer service issue-why don't you say something to the manager?

Apr. 30, 2001, 12:39 PM
I probably should have said something to the manage...except I think the one being mean to me WAS the manager. Maybe I should write a letter? Or maybe at this point, since ljo pointed out that the store is being sold, i should just let "the temple fall down around their ears".

I used to work in retail. My first job was a s acashier in a Kmart when I was 16. I hated it, the customers were rude as all heck. they'd nit-pick with me if an item rang up $0.02 higher than it bwas marked...as if it was MY fault. Then i became a manager at the store, worked at the service desk and realized that no matter what, the customer was always right. I'd give the customers ANYTHING they wanted. If they said an itme was $2 instead of $10, they got it for $2. It made ALL of us happier. I had customers who would wait in line just to deal with me instead of the other miserable manager.

Now I'm MUCH older, and no longer work in retail, but have a HUGE amount of respect for retail people. I shop in clothes stores and find myslef refolding entire displays of shirts/pants/etc that have been destroyed by careless customers. I am always polite, and make sure I choose items that have tags/prices clearly marked (nothing worse than waiting for the dreaded "price check").

If you work in retail you have an OBLIGATION to treat EVERY customer with respect. Otherwise get a job where you don't have to deal with people.

Apr. 30, 2001, 12:56 PM
Good customer service is dissappearing. I've worked in retail and the food industry. Now I work in Human Resources which as far as I'm concerned is still Customer Service.

Biggest pet peeve is the sales rep. telling me how tired she is and is ready to go home.

Apr. 30, 2001, 01:22 PM
I know the 2 stores you are talking about...the "rude" one is unbearable....I too went to get semi-custom field boots. I seemed to inconvenience them greatly with this request! So they measured me and when my boots came in they were not at all right...the foot was at least a size too big and they were not nearly tall enough...when I pointed out the problem with the height the sales woman said "well are you showing Trillium or "A"?? " God I was sooo mad. What difference does it make for heavens sake?? As it happened I was showing local schooling shows that year, but that doesn't mean I wont be showing A shows the year after!!! I lied and told ehr i was showing A, so of course yes she agreed that height would be a problem. I mean really! Are people that don't show A not worthy of properly fitting boots? Especially considering I am the one PAYING FOR THEM!! TO this day I am so mad I didn't speak my mind!!!! What an idiotic woman she was. Oh and she is still there, and I will never darken their doorstep again. Oh yes and the boots still don't fit.

Apr. 30, 2001, 01:38 PM
I have found Gift Horse, Kelly's, Olsen's and State Line to all be very helpful and polite.
No matter why I was shopping.
Or what I am wearing or driving.
I don't subscribe to several of the magazines just because I love going into the Gift Horse and chatting for a few mins while picking up the latest magazines.
I think Sleepy is correct, sometimes I go looking for a certain item and don't buy anything.
The next time I may be stopping to say hello and walk out with a new pair of Ariats /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Apr. 30, 2001, 02:03 PM
Some things I'll buy at my local tack store, and some things I won't. They treat me well enough since I spent 700 in there last week (new show clothes) and I used to ride with the girl who ius working there, but NEVER buy used tack!! I got a great deal on my pessoa, an A/o for $750, but my friend got the SAME saddle and paid $1300 and hers doesn't even fit her right, mine fits like a dream. Both used, and IMHO mine looks better (tho it may be older). The best places to go for saddles is a saddlery not tack store JMHO

JC & Quin

Apr. 30, 2001, 02:22 PM
To bad Bevels only has 2 stores I live close by to the NJ store and they are some of nicest people and very helpful. Most of the time I just go to look cause I cant afford to buy most of the stuff in the store but they are just as nice to the browsers. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

B.G.M. heidi
Apr. 30, 2001, 02:31 PM
Bad service is a pet peeve of mine - it drives me absolutely crazy.

When we have a large purchase to make, I prefer to dress down when venturing into a store, whether it be a car, furniture, a new suit, or tack. If I'm ignored, I make it a point to be heard and have been known to stand in the store asking, rather loudly, 'so, who wants to earn a commission today?', much to Hans' mortification. If I'm further ignored, I go in search of a manager.

Success in retail isn't exactly rocket science - treat people with respect and courtesy and they typically return.

Apr. 30, 2001, 03:53 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> If I'm ignored, I make it a point to be heard and have been known to stand in the store asking, rather loudly, 'so, who wants to earn a commission today?', <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You and I could be sisters! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I pulled that last week when I went car shopping and was confronted by salespeople who seemed to prefer chatting with each other to showing me their rather pricey cars. I've been married a long time. My husband doesn't even wince anymore. He knows it's coming. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Reading this thread, however, I find myself thinking that perhaps everyone has different standards for what constitutes good service. When I enter my local tack store I don't expect someone to come right over and offer to help (though they often do.)

I'm happy just to putter around myself until I find something I need help with. Then I go off in search of a salesperson. I ask my questions, and I've never had any problems getting answers.

To those of you who feel ignored, do you want a sales person to approach you? shop with you? find things for you? What isn't being done up to your expectations?

Apr. 30, 2001, 04:51 PM
Lousy service is a big pet peeve of mine, too, and I can't believe some of these stories!!! But as a former tack shop employee, I have to add that sometimes you have to deal with customers who are incredibly rude, demanding, and completely obnoxious. And it's hard to remain overly solicitous and friendly when you have customers that come in weekly, paw through and mess up EVERY display in the store, want to try on eighty different pairs of breeches, and never make a purchase. Not saying that any of you act like that, but you would be amazed at what some people do. Then there are the real winners that walk around with a catalog, comparing prices. Hello, if you like having a local tack shop for the service and convenience, sometimes you gotta pay a little more. Sorry, just had to vent a little.

Apr. 30, 2001, 05:09 PM
"To those of you who feel ignored, do you want a sales person to approach you? shop with you? find things for you? What isn't being done up to your expectations?"

It's not just the ignoring, it's the whole attitude of the salespeople, as they look you up and down and determine if you're worthy of their attention. If there's one thing I've learned whilst working in retail, it's that you have to greet EVERY customer with a smile and a "hi." From there you determine by body language if they need help...i.e. if they're obviously lost in the store, you ask if they need help.

What you don't do is hold an in-depth conversation with your cohorts, ignoring every soul who drifts by you. I for one feel guilty if I'm having a conversation with someone when there are customers around. If I'm there, I should be working...not as an automoton, but as someone who is responsive to customers' needs, whether they wnat something specific, or want to know where the bathroom is.

The tack shop I referred to was not polite or helpful, in fact, they weren't even interested in me. If you're not going to look at me when I come in, I'm going to be out of there right quick. Maybe I should have wiped my boots before I walked in and diminished the value of their superior real estate. If I ever go in there again (unlikely), and they treat me the same way, then I'll certainly be telling THEM what to wipe.

Sorry for the 'sermon from the mount (or is it mound?)' but bad customer service really burns me. Can you tell I want to go into H.R? /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Apr. 30, 2001, 05:30 PM
Hm. What do I expect from a tack shop salesperson? Definitely NOT getting into a huge argument over whether the Stubben stirrup leathers and girth I bought the day before were mismarked. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

The alleged 50-inch girths (one of which I bought) measured the same length as SOME of the girths marked 46-inch ... but many of those, when compared to each other, were various other lengths. The salesperson -- who, I admit, found me sitting on the floor, surrounded by girths and measuring each one with a tape measure so I could find a REAL 50-inch girth and accosted me for doing so -- tried to tell me that Stubben measures its products in centimeters, so that accounted for the difference. HUH?? How can supposed 50-inch girths be the same length as ones marked 46-inch girths ... which are then not all the same length? /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif And the stirrup leathers ... oh, don't even get me started! /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

It should be noted that I went well out of my way to say that, hey, it was OK to have to come back (even though it was a 60-some mile round trip /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif said only to myself) because a huge sale was going on and I could always find more things to buy. But the salesperson would not be placated and started YELLING at me that I obviously did not understand how Stubben does business. Oh ... and I suppose my butt hasn't been sitting in a Stubben for years and that my three Stubben bridles and two Stubben halters and the rest of it don't count for "understanding" Stubben? Sigh.

I eventually found a 50-inch girth -- marked as a 56-inch. And I unearthed the right-length leathers -- after measuring them against my old Stubbens I brought with me. I did go to the manager. I did complain ... not only about the salesperson but about the mismarked tack. Apologies for the mismarking, they'd look into it. The excuse for the salesperson's behavior? It had been a long, busy sale. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

[This message was edited by Beezer, Royal Princess to Queen Merry on Apr. 30, 2001 at 07:35 PM.]

Apr. 30, 2001, 06:10 PM
I had a neighborhood tack store that was wonderful when I was in L.A. The owner was usually working in it, and would chat with you as you looked around (it was pretty small). When I was saddle shopping, she said to let her know what I wanted and she would order it for me and beat everyone's price. She beat it by about $50! She would order anything you wanted. Unfortunately she moved away and sold the store. After the new owner took over, I bought a mane thinner (looks like a pocket knife). When I went to use it, it wouldn't cut the hair because the blade wasn't sharpened. I had to jump up and down to get her to do anything about the defective product. Finally she took it and had it sharpened, but that was the last time I shopped there! She was out of business within a year.

As to what constitutes good service to me? Just a simple "hello" as you come in, or "is there anything I can help you find?" works great for me. The salesperson doesn't have to drop everything the second I walk in, but it is nice to have your presence in the store acknowledged.

Now I have to shop mostly from catalogs because we don't have any tack stores nearby. The nearest to me is 50 miles each way. One is a State Line, but if you're not there before 4:00 there is no one that knows anything about horses. The other is a bit pricey and limited on their stock. I usually just check out the sale rack, but I'm always a bargain hunter!

Apr. 30, 2001, 06:12 PM
Beezer, at times like that I always like to stare down my beak and say "Do you want to keep this job?"

J. Turner
Apr. 30, 2001, 07:09 PM
My husband is in the restaurant business and will walk out of place due to bad service. He can even understand something happening with a meal (under/overcooked, wrong, etc.) as long as it's handled with effeciency and care. Even a spilt drink -- it could happen to the best server -- as long as management offers to take care of the dry cleaning (instead of being threatened). It's all about "My pleasure." He works for the Ritz where all employees MUST respond to guests in that manner, although sometimes I do feel like responding, "No, no, it'smy pleasure!" Just to see how they react.

Apr. 30, 2001, 07:14 PM
Unfortunetly, there ARE people like that in our world, yet we innocent people have to put up with them /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif . The tack shops near me are not nearly that bad, yet I can relate to going places where I was treated like pond scum. At last years WEF, I expected to be ignored as I wandered through the tack shops, but suprisingly enough, the clerks attracted to me as soon as I set foot in their stores, asking me if I ould like to try this new helmet or the new bevals that they had just had shipped in. I guess you just have to find the right place!

~*Megan Black*~ /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Apr. 30, 2001, 08:00 PM
Beezer, that is amazing. How can they tell you a 50 inch girth is measured in centimeters? Did they think it was a 50 centimeter girth? That would be like, less than 20 inches!!!

What do I expect from a tack store? Like Splash, if they're not overwhelmingly busy, I'd like a simple "hello, can I help you w/ anything?" If I need help, I expect to get it w/ a pleasant and professional attitude. I'd like the same level of service whether I'm buying a $2000 saddle or a $2.00 dandy brush. I'd like to be able to return merchandise, unused, w/o a hassle. ...and OF COURSE, the tack should be properly marked. I understand that occassionally the store may be swamped, things get mislabeled, etc. But that should be the exception.

Luckily, we have some great tack stores around me. I don't have to worry about avoiding any. Quite the opposite... I have to struggle to keep myself and my checkbook OUT of the tack stores!

Apr. 30, 2001, 09:20 PM
I can't help but wonder where joliemom and sleepy are shopping since NC is my old stomping ground and being a former buyer for 2 different shops (one in NC, the other in SC) I am well acquainted with the shops and the problems with customer service. And Lara, I can only pity you if the tack shop in which you worked is in GSO - that store has a horrible reputation for making customers want to run away as fast as they can (I don't mean any offense to you personally - just that I worked for a lady there and hated the disrespectful way she treated the very people who were keeping her store open by making purchases).

Bad customer service in tack shops is simply a reflection of the hrose show world at large. If you ride a million dollar horse and train/show with particular trainers, shop owners know this and treat these people differently because they see them as $$$. If you don't fit that mold, the shop owners don't see you as anything other than someone to take up their time. The screwy thing is, so many of these people (those who are on the circuits) purchase a lot of equipment from various places and not just one store. The owners should be wining and dining the everyday customer, IMO. That's the bread and butter - repeat sales from repeat customers. If you are nice to a customer and do your best to help them with their needs they will remember that and shop with you - many times even if you are a little higher than the next guy.

The horse world is a small one and in these "horsey towns" if the tack shop staff don't recognize you they treat you like a criminal and follow you around the store hanging over your shoulder. About a year ago, I accompanied a friend of mine to pick up her new horse and we stopped at the local tack shop where we'd both been on several occassions. We were treated rudely upon entering but the transformation of the staff was amazing. I asked for a particular bit - which was very expensive ($180) and they didn't have it in stock and didn't offer to order it even if I paid in advance. When they asked my friend if she needed any help, we blew them off and said I don't think you CAN help us. We began to amass an enormous pile of Beval's strap goods, shearling saddle pads, grooming equipment, wraps, 3 different Irish Horsewear rugs - everything and more than the new horse would ever need. I would recommend a particular brand of something to my friend and she would choose that after I explained the benefits of english & germanleather, the number of stitches per inch, etc (she can more than afford it). Anyway, the staff started to warm up the bigger the pile got. They had treated us like crap when we first came into the store dressed in jeans, sweaters, and paddock boots - imagine their surprise when my friend whips out her BLACK AmEx card to pay for her $2500 worth of stuff. This woman buys cars on her credit cards for the free airline tickets. Ever since then if either of us walks into that shop they fall all over themselves to help us even though we have never bought anything else there simply for the principle of it.

As far as the tire kickers go who show up every week and dig through stuff - usually only the consignment stuff and sale stuff....well, that's retail. It's part of the game. You never know when that person may come in and drop a wad of cash. And the gossiping shop owners need to get a clue....when customers hear you gossiping about someone, they can only assume you gossip about everyone. There is one shop in NC where you can walk in at any given time and find the owner sitting behind the counter on the phone with her friend trashing any one of the many riders who actually buy stuff and keep her shop afloat.

One shopowner recently commented to another friend of mine "How can you expect me to keep this shop open if you don't buy stuff from me instead of the catalogs? This store is here as a convenience to YOU!" This comment after my friend's request for a certain piece of fairly common equipment was met with, "Oh, I don't have that. I'll order it but you'll have to pay for it in full and it'll be 2 weeks before it's here." To which my friend replied that she could get it overnighted from Dovers.

On a happier note, when Mary Rice owned her shop in So. Pines, NC - she was ALWAYS a pleasure to do business with and on many occassions went above and beyond the call of duty to satisfy customers. Boy do I miss her.

Apr. 30, 2001, 11:04 PM
omg I know how that goes. The manager at one place used to be so rotten it was unreal. And her help was dumber then a door knob (not kidding) I went in to get a WATERFORD and when they didn't have one she said "Your horse needs a slow twist, it does the same thing as a waterford" I was SO MAD I was like "ok my TRAINER sent me to get a waterford I have a slow twist, thanks anyways." Another time with the same person we had just bought an edgewood brestplate and standing martingale attachment, and we wanted a clip for the attachment. Well she couldn't figure out how to get it on and replied with, "its broken, we are gonna have to send it back to edgewood." I flat out told her "just because you do not know what you are doing does not mean its broken"

Since then we stopped going there for like 8 months, we walked in there about a month ago and the manager kissed butt big time, guess what we got my mom a western reining saddle (that was not cheap at all) she got two pairs of boots (she is a speratic rider but she LOVES to groom and walk them around) I forgot what else I got but it totaled to be a large sum. Now we go in weekly it seems to pick up stuff, and the manager now ALWAYS rushes to help us. I like when she helps because she knows her tack, and will order me anything and have it there in a few days. I asked if they would carry sheepskin halters- the next time I was there they had them. The manager also knows we are horse shopping and always asks how that is going, how our yearling is ect ect. Before she wouldn't talk to us...

As sad as it is people change when they know you are gonna being blowing alot of money, or when you just did. (Going to that tack store is NEVER cheap lol I swear we always see something)I can now bluntly tell the manager I don't like that or thats ugly, or be bluntly honest to sum it up, and she still kisses butt.

Its all about what they think you have - I think anyways. (sorry to ramble I am hyper)

[This message was edited by Jess on May. 01, 2001 at 01:16 AM.]

Black Market Radio
Apr. 30, 2001, 11:12 PM
I don't expevt them to jump when I enter the store, but a nice smile and "Hi, how are you? If you need anything just ask!!" Would suffice. Not the evil eye and the snobbish attitude!

Queen Marine

May. 1, 2001, 07:39 AM
Even though I'm on a budget, customer service is SO important to me that I'll pay a little more (not a whole lot more!) for something from a retailer with great customer service and thorough product knowledge. I love to establish a good relationship with a company that demonstrates these qualities, and not have to put the time and effort into "shopping around," because I know that the company is giving me a good deal and backing up their product.

May. 1, 2001, 07:42 AM
Apparently, there is only one staff member at that store who is even competent (that does not include friendly!!). My coach told me before I went to make sure I asked for a particular woman to measure me for my boots. She is the only one who knows how to do it right. NGM, unfortunately I didn't make it to the show, I had a bridal shower to go to /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

May. 1, 2001, 10:43 AM
We receive excellent customer service from tack store employees/owners in the Seattle area. We're pretty casual out here and salespeople know you can't judge a book by its cover. The woman buying a new brush, dressed in cut-offs and Birkenstocks (with socks) may be Melinda Gates. So, imagine my shock went I was back East several months ago and had an opportunity to visit Dovers. The customer service, quite frankly, sucked. I could have had a heart attack and dropped to the floor, and no one would have noticed. Problem solved though -- when I went to the counter with my purchases, I was treated rudely. I simply dropped everything on the counter, looked the clerk straight in the eye, and said, "you know sweetie, I don't have to put up with your attitude. You just lost a sale." And I walked out the door.

May. 1, 2001, 11:01 AM
I was so lucky when I went to Holland again last year. Went to every tack store I could find and everyone was very friendly and helpful. The best one was Hyporama in Rotterdam. Every Easter weekend they have "Tentenkamp," which is their tent sale. Next year I'm going again in the spring, and will make sure I'm there over Easter weekend so that I can be laying on their doorstep the second it opens.

May. 1, 2001, 04:32 PM
You're a credit to your race! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

May. 1, 2001, 08:36 PM
I was with Maya at WEF and the people come out when you walk in! I walked in and a second later store clerks were offering me ten different things at one time! I was really suprised at what i was treated like! I was expected to be ignored like alot of other non famous horse people there for their first time but NO! Yes Maya I think that some of the tack shops are okay in G-Ville but some (no names) suck!!!!! not to menchine how overly priced they are!LOL /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Love all ya BB'rs


May. 1, 2001, 08:48 PM
I'm with Heidi on this one and have been to known to shop for major purchases in what Mother calls my "homeless clothes". I hate shopping and thus want to be comfortable doing so, I say in my defense. None the less, I frequent shops that have treated me well regardless of whether I'm wearing a business suit of my favorite cut off shorts with giant holes in unmentionable places. For all you dirty Canadians, no- I don't wear said shorts with a thong. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

I recommend Beval's for tack shops. I get the same service no matter what I wear or what I need with them.

May. 2, 2001, 03:50 PM
Having worked at a tack shop for many years, I want to wade in on a few things.

First Stubbens, they do run smaller then most when it comes to girths. The reason you all notice the difference is because all manufacturers measure them differently. Stubben measures the total length, which is different then the girthed length. Others measure from the start of the buckle after the leather, while others still measure from the middle of the buckle where you would girth. Not to mention that the girth you are using has stretched, so it isn't true to size anymore. The trick is to measure the length of the girth you know fits and then measure the girth at the store the same way you measured the one at home.

Yes there are the people that walk in and think you fell off the turnip truck, and don't know what you are talking about. I had a women swear up and down that she could show in an three ring elevator for upper level dressage. After showing here the rule book (we had them on file) she realized her mistake.

The people that think everything is too expensive, the people that think you should walk around with them like they are the only people in the store- and hold there stuff. Not to mention the people that think you aren't good enough to even rate a hello. Yes, all these people are out there.

I have stated these things because, I felt that shop clerks and owners were getting a bad rap. Don't even get me started on places like Dover and State Line. Small buisness owners have a very difficult time competing. I had many people comment that they can get wormers cheaper in State Line, well they buy thousands and store it, so they get a huge price break. A small owner to bring in items like that they can't compete. The best way is to price them a couple of dollars above the cataloge price and call it a wash, because people will have to pay for shipping.

As for the lowly wage shop workers make, don't be so sure. I was paid very well. Shop owners realize the value of knowledgeable people.

The best thing to do, is say hi to people that walk in and let them know you are there to help.
Everything else is up to the customer, a good clerk will try to read the customer.

May. 3, 2001, 07:36 PM
I spent a year working at a coffee shop, and now the customers know me well and my manager always gets compliment about how POLITE and RESPECTFUL I am. I just don't argue. I will do what you want, just say please and treat me nicely and I won't feel inclined to tell the guy working with me to see to it that next time someone does something not so nice to their drink (jk of course)

The best one however, was when I was on shift and an ACTRESS came in. She announced herself quite clearly and butted into a conversation I was having with a professor and my coworker. The professor put down her rude ideas and promptly left, my coworker made an excuse, and I got stuck listening to 45 minutes of her views on gay rights and civil rights.
Then she invited me out for coffee, followed up by "and don't worry, I'll pay, because I have more money then you."

Those exact words. Here's where self-control comes in -- I smiled sweetly and said "No, thank you, I don't even let dates pay for me, so I'll be glad to pay for myself."
And she ranted about how dates should never pay, and FINALLY my coworker stepped in and said "you know, I think she's smart enough to base her judgement on the guy and not on how much money he has and whether or not he's willing to spend it on her."
Fortunately, she then left, promising to call (which she didn't).

I was four seconds away from telling her that I reserved the right to refuse service to anyone, or just smiling sweetly and saying "No thanks, I'm living off my trust fund -- this is just a way to get back in with the people."

some people... *shakes her head*

May. 8, 2001, 11:28 PM
Stubben - explains their measurement system with an offhand "our elastic never stretches out so the measurement we use is accurate". Right. Getting the right size Stubben girth is such a hassle that unless my customer is a total Stubbenaholic, I will sell them something else. Stirrup leather? "Our leathers are guaranteed not to stretch." RIGHT "If a customer adds holes to the leathers, it voids the warranty and we cannot replace leathers damaged by having extra holes put in." They added holes, Duh, BECAUSE THE LEATHERS STRETCHED.

I can't speak for every tack shop, but I worked/work for 2 popular VA Tack Shops. At the first, customer service at my branch was excellent and we had great customers. At the other branches the managers couldn't've cared less how the staff treated the customers. Where I work now we PRIDE ourselves on our customer service! To the person who keeps asking for tack store owners to chime in, the reason for poor customer service starts at the TOP!

Why do my customers love me? Because I make friends NOT sales. If I make friends w/ my customers, they'll make MORE SALES.

Finally, being rude back to the sales staff. It might make you feel better, but it just justifies the sales person's poor opinion of you. In fact you've lowered yourself to their lowly level.

Only twice in 3 years have I had a customer say something they were unhappy with me. In both instances, the (male) customers did not appreciate me repeatedly teasing them about something. Both men spoke to me politely and most importantly - privately and I could not apologise fast enough. I had just missed their cues that they did not find it funny. Both men have continued to be customers, and I am careful to "listen" closer with all of my customers.

Customers are always right, even though they're wrong. The customer who insists on Stubben leathers just like their other ones. Who insists you order her another pair just like them. Which Stubben doesn't and hasn't ever made. And who won't accept EXACTLY WHAT SHE WANTS from another company because IT IT ISN'T STUBBEN.

Sometimes just *knowing* you're right in your heart has to be enough.

"Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo"

May. 14, 2001, 09:47 PM
I am preety lucky to have friends that work at about all the tack stores I go to. The only one that gives me the willies is one in Burbank. I usually don't get intimidated but that one sort of does. They have been very nice to me, I don't know what my problem is. Maybe the guy behind the counter is more feminine than me.

Blue Devil
May. 14, 2001, 10:05 PM
I was trying to come up with some great tack shop stories...but then I remembered, we DON'T HAVE an English tack shop in our state...ooh..

About those who complained regarding tack shop workers who seem to only care for you if you seem rich and ready to buy things?! Discrimination comes in all forms guys!

I volunteer at our local Homeless Shelter by cooking and serving food there. While waiting outside the building for a van of Girl-Scout provided food (another organization I am involved with and coordinated this program with, but that is another story) a church van arrived at the shelter to deliver a check to the head of the program from their sixth grade Sunday school class. I approached a group of the students to inquire if I could help them, because there are inumerable doors to Stewpot and it can be confusing. Meanwhile a crowd of people were slowly gathering waiting to be led inside and served. After I asked if they needed help, a woman with the group snapped back that they didn't have any food or money for me, and she told her class to move over closer to the van. I was stunned. But I didn't say anything. I remembered I was wearing my old t-shirt (emblazened with COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, an Ivy no less) and jeans because I was painting with some of the kids from the shelter that afternoon. But still..shocked...and I realized what it felt like for the homeless or those less fortunate.

I got the greatest satisfaction later on when Jim, who is the director of the homeless shelter, called me over as I was cleaning the kitchen to meet "some youngsters who have raised money for us." I couldn't wait to see the look on their leaders' faces of embarrassment as he explained I was a big volunteer there and that I was a junior in high school. It turns out I attend the same private school as some of the kids in the Sunday school class...

Just a story to remind everyone of life for those who truly aren't as fortunate...and put things in perspective.

p.s. those nasty tack shop employees really can be aweful though!


**~~Emily~~** proud member of the junior clique!

May. 15, 2001, 06:01 AM
Kreswyn, you hit the nail on the head. Make friends not sales. The horse world is so small, that a tack shop can not afford to be unfriendly.

Everyone that comes in has to be treated with kindness and respect regardless of what they are wearing. Lets face it, we all don't go to the barn wearing Ralph Lauren do we? OK so some of us do but by the time you get to a tack shop you are kind of dirty.

My point is that everyone should be treated nicely. Even the mean ones that come in. Generally if you pay attention to the customer then you can read the kind of mood they are in and get them talking about there animals, people love that. Everyone loves to boast about there animals, it is a great thing to open with. "So how is your horse(s) today?" " Are you going to or comming from the barn?". These types of sayings, make the customer feel that you (1) Care about what they are doing (2) You remember them,(3)and they feel special because of it.

With Dover, and State Line places and the boom of the internet, Tack shops can't afford not to give great customer service. If they don't it is a death wish. Say hello to Mr. Chapter 11.

May. 15, 2001, 04:37 PM
I was having similar feelings about the service at my big local tack shop - I'm not one of their rich, stay-at-home, dressage queens! I think at least one of the people working there changed her mind after seeing me at a local H/J 'A' circuit show. Our horses were competing in the same division, and my young WB won both the o/f classes that day :-) Now they know that I have some serious horse flesh, even if I didn't pay as much as most of their customers, LOL.

Nov. 24, 2001, 10:01 AM
You are not alone, Jennasis!

The area that I lived at in Pa has the same situation. There are probably 3 or 4 decent tack stores, all which treat customers VERY differently.

And the thing that gets me is that the 2 stores that are only polite to the "regulars" have almost NO buisness! And by no buisness I mean the 1 tack store was going to have to go bankrupt because they thought a PetSmart was opening up nearby with a Stateline Tack store in it. This same store is the rudest, by far. When you walk in, all the employees are back in their little break room. If you are lucky, one will come out and make busy-work and they might say hello. So then when you approach the front counter, usually this one older woman will be sitting at her desk, doing that oh-so-important busy work and maybe, if you are lucky, she will get up and ring your items up with out you having to get her attention to do so. I mean, COME ONE. "I'm sorry, was I disrupting????", well too bad. I am the customer and for these employees to just sit around and make it seem like it is a pain for them to serve you?

When I walk into a tack store, I don't want a saleperson following me around and commenting on "this is new, this is the latest, etc." However I would like a simple, friendly, "hello", with eye contact being made. My pet peeve is when a sale person says hello to you without even attempting to make contact with your face! How rude! And I love it when sales items are pointed out- but they don't have to follow you around to help you with every decision you might make.

<sigh> /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

"The man who makes no mistakes lacks boldness and the spirit of adventure. He is the one who never tries anything. His is the brake on the wheel of progress. And yet it cannot be truly said he makes no mistakes, because his biggest mistake is the very fact that he tries nothing, does nothing, except criticize those who do things." David S.

J. Turner
Nov. 24, 2001, 10:11 AM
Hey, at least some of you HAVE tack shops where you live!!!!!

can't re-
Nov. 24, 2001, 12:13 PM
I have had my fair share of tack shop rudeness in popular VA shops. I have also spent good money in them and only went when I was buying something. It was always a blood pressure elevating experience which I dreaded.

My older brother was on a mission for a barn warming present. He wanted to buy me 6 engraved name plates for my horses. He is not a horse person and lives on LI near a "college" town (hint, hint). Well my brother is a mild mannered, kind soul. He was absolutely outraged by the lack of service and rudeness he encountered at a certain shop. He stood at the counter and waited literally 10 minutes for a clerk to finish a conversation with a friend. The clerk was not apologetic and very snippy.

Good grief.....I am so glad I found a tack shop in Ocala. It's the first one I've been to where there is NO attitude.
I've got a story for everytime I've ever been in a tack shop up North.....I think I have post tramatic tack shop syndrom!!!
Still having the nightmares........

As is our confidence, so is our capacity.
~W. Hazlitt

Nov. 24, 2001, 05:54 PM
Before I discovered WONDERFUL Trumbull Mtn tack shop, I went to a supposedly good English shop in Mpls. Got lost getting there becuse they changed location TWO months ago and never bothered to update their directory listing,then they were rude when I called them and told them I was lost. I asked for the correct address number so I wouldnt drive past it, she DID NOT know her street adress!
Finally find the place, start saddle browsing and am followed all over the shop,looking over my shoulder. I was also asked the "who do you ride with"? When I said I was just a novice,out came the condecending attitude. She made me feel like an idiot, She tried to talk me out of a wool flocked saddle because" you have to get them adjusted" WELL DUH! Thats why I want one.
She then proceeded to put down all the saddles I had in mind(Albion, COunty ect..) as they werent the "in" thing for "real" hunters,(whatever that means)
They also have a no return policy, she would not let me have ANY saddles checked by a fitter before purchase. Needless to say I left in five minutes after driving over an hour and a half to find the darned place!
Well too bad for her as I had two grand to spend on a new saddle,she lost a sale that day.
I found a great store a thousand miles away that has been so wonderful, answered all my stupid questions with patience, and have been totally accomodating to my needs. THey now have another customer to sing their praises, which is better than any sale flyer.

Nov. 24, 2001, 08:49 PM
I am really sorry you got a bad time from those people. Why do people have to be that way. If people are not friendly or selective, they need not be in retail, that's for sure. We have 2 nice shops in our area. One that can be alittle upitty and the other totally friendly. They would even take a bit back if it didn't work out. They are eventing people. All though
i don't event, thet always seem to be the friendliest of all disciplines.

If you can't beat 'em, try harder. And God Bless America my home sweet home!

Nov. 24, 2001, 09:30 PM
I ordered a new bridle for myself (Merry xmas to me) from my local saddlery, now mind you I could've ordered it directly from Beval but decided to be nice and give them the business. So I tell them I would like it dipped if possible. I was told "oh yeah sure Beval does that for us all the time - but it'll be an extra $30". I shell out the money, come back two weeks later, and have to wait by an empty cash register for thirty-five minutes until someone would stop organizing merchandise and take my money!

I get home and the bridle is clearly not dipped, it still have that waxy white stuff on it. So I call them up and am told by the tack-ordering man "well I don't know who would be stupid enough to pay to have something they could do themselves done". I replied that I'd just like my money back, I don't want the bridle anymore. So today I drove up (down?) to Beval's in Gladstone and bought my bridle there!

While I was talking with the woman who helped me (who btw was so very nice and extremely helpful with all my annoying questions) she informed me that Beval will oil all tack sold for free the first time and that they do not dip tack being sold by a second party, let alone charge $30 extra. Luckily by the time I drove past said saddlery I had cooled down. Instead of screaming I just went in loudly telling my friend what a good time I had at Beval's that morning and how nice the shop was - and then I got my money back.

So from now on unless it's urgent I know where I'll shop /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Why do these people not understand who works for whom? It's as though they think they're the only place that sells ariats, or helmets, or whatever - and it drives me nuts! <rant off> Thanks everyone!


Nov. 25, 2001, 04:12 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JRG:
Don't even get me started on places like Dover and State Line. Small buisness owners have a very difficult time competing.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just for the record all you tack shop owners out there, I shop at Dover and State Line not because of price but because of their selection. The price is nice too /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif but more important is being able to find what I want/need. If I know I can buy it locally, I will, because I appreciate the convenience of a nice local shop.

(And I'm still looking for somewhere in Greater LA that has more than two kinds of approved velvet helmets.)

Nov. 25, 2001, 07:38 PM
Me too! But I live in NYC and there's no such thing within range of public transport... hence Dovers. And SaddleUpTack.com. And Dressage Extensions. And even SLT.

(Notice I didn't mention Miller's -- ooops! I will grant there's one person there free from 'tude, who has actually assisted even poor little me, but do I really want to pay the extra 20 percent, plus tax, for the convenience?)

"People... they're so
complicated. I suppose
that's why I prefer

Nov. 25, 2001, 07:42 PM
at my local tack shop. We have two local tack shops, about 45 min away from each other. I went to one of the closer ones. I showed up in dirty, dusty, muddy jeans and a pair of really bad looking barn boots.

At first I was totally ignored, even though the two managers where right there. I was w/ my mother, and I started looking at saddles a bit closer, still nothing. Well then I got to trying on breeches, still nothing. I had time to spare so I busted out the white full seats, black dressage coat etc... walked out of the dressing room and I was prompty helped. Every last desire was filled.

People disgust me /infopop/emoticons/icon_redface.gif

Whoever said money can't buy happiness didn't know where to buy a horse.

Nov. 29, 2001, 11:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by poltroon:
Quote: "Originally posted by JRG:
Don't even get me started on places like Dover and State Line. Small buisness owners have a very difficult time competing."

Just for the record all you tack shop owners out there, I shop at Dover and State Line not because of price but because of their selection. The price is nice too /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif but more important is being able to find what I want/need. If I know I can buy it locally, I will, because I appreciate the convenience of a nice local shop.

You do realise of course, that by supporting State Line, you are supporting PETA. /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Also, PetsMart, the parent company of State Line has an unwritten mission statement...to put the little guys out of business. /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

Then there is the problem of outdated stuff. When product expires at State Line/Petsmart (such as feed, wormers, supplements, etc.) it is supposed to be pulled from the shelves and processed as an RTV and disposed of. The only problem is, these write-offs come off the bottom line of the store's earnings, which negatively affects whether or not a store makes budget...and whether or not the store manager gets a big fat bonus. So, again (not a "written" policy) out of date product is mixed in with current product in hopes that no one will notice. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif.

Finally, most of the stuff State Line sells is crap. Don't buy their leathergoods unless it has a known brand name on it, and not theirs.

But, if you want to make some money, PetsMart has a "Double the Difference Back" on any item you find priced lower within a 5 mile radius of their store. PetsMart sells Oster A-5's for like $170; State Line (located in the same building, under the same roof sells them for like $130. Buy the clipper out of PetsMart, then take it back the next day and say you want double the difference back and show them the price in State Line for the identical item. Their policy is double the difference back on identical items. Hold them to it. You'll make $80.00. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Can you tell that I'm NOT a fan of SLT???? /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

What I do, I do for my horse, and thus I do for myself~me

Nov. 14, 2002, 03:56 PM
The SLT by me has downsized and squished itself back behind the cat section....you have to weave a lot to get there anymore.
The tack shop with the bad attitude is gone now....

"Proud Member Of The I Loff Starman Babies Clique"

Crazy horse
Nov. 14, 2002, 05:41 PM
Nogreatmischief-Could you please Email me?I want to know something about the 2 tack shops that you mentioned.

Nov. 15, 2002, 06:00 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by FairWeather:
I've been treated like this several times, and I dont mind at all! In fact, treat me like an ass and see where it gets you! One of the most favorite things i've ever done was in a tack shop. I kept getting snubbed at this tack store and I picked up a saddle, pricey bridle, a leather shank and a halter and marched to the counter where these two biddy's were ringing me up. I looked at both of them and leaned in, and said in my most serious tone..."Tell me, How much an hour do you get paid to be a bitch?"
And left.
Obviously they thought I was insane, but I chuckled and left without all that stuff...
Now is the time to have FUN my friends!

I know this is an old thread, but when I saw this I chuckled. The nearest tack store to me with a decent selection was always horribly rude to me. The first time I went with some friends from school to buy gloves for a show and some other little things. We stood in line for 20 minutes. Then, when it was our turn to get rung up, the THREE ladies behind the counter gestured at the woman BEHIND us who had brought in a broken blanket, then proceed to ALL look at the blanket for another 20 minutes to decide where and how to fix/adjust it.

Every other time I went, NO ONE bothered to ask if I needed any help, or anything, just shot me evil looks. Finally I needed to get a used saddle. Picked one up that was marked "$450 negotiable" But when I got to the counter the lady said, oh no, that should be $550 non-negotiable. What about consumer protection laws, you know, price as marked is the price, too bad if you mark it wrong? "no, that doesn't count here" I test rode, and was lucky enough that when I told the other lady who worked when I came back about the price tag, she gave it to me for $400.

Then I was looking for a new helmet, back when I wanted an unapproved one. Couldn't find one in the store. Again, nobody helped me. Finally grabbed someone and asked, and she gave me a snotty look like I was the dumbest person on earth and said "juniors can't ride in those, so you can't buy one." Didn't bother to ask my age (I was 2 weeks from turning 23), just gave me a snide comment and moved on.

Of course they just LOVE me now that they know I ride for someone with a big charge account at the store. ugh. It's like the scene in "Pretty Woman"- they didn't know me and I wasn't dressed right, so they snubbed me, but now they know I have money so they kiss my butt. I hate it.

I go there because it's close, but I try to save my big purchases for when I go home to CT, so I can go to The Equestrian Centre- they're fabulous. And nice to everyone, even if you're not a rich "regular" or big show person. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

**and people say gov't employees are useless... HA!**

Nov. 15, 2002, 06:18 AM
Dover's gets gold stars from me for service!!
As far as good customer service is concerned, one person definitely deserves mention. "Lydia" from Mary's Tack Shop in Del Mar California deserves a medal!! I don't know if she's still with them, but she was fantastic!! Knew her merchandise, great phone manners, excellent rapport with customer--me--and I never met her, this was all over the phone!! the mail order dept at Mary's is exemplary and definitely deserves KUDOS!! She even went beyond the call to look and see what sizes and colors were left during the huge sale that was going on!! most people would just say they were too busy to check for me (not at Mary's!)
Customer service is my specialty!! I worked in retail (diamonds, not tack) for many years, and you just DO NOT JUDGE a potential customer. The ones that other associates picked never bought, but I waited on everyone, no matter how "poor" they looked and either sold an item or put their item on lay-a-way.
to err is human, to whinny, Equine

[This message was edited by everyequine on Nov. 17, 2002 at 03:08 PM.]

Nov. 15, 2002, 07:06 AM
goldentoes, I totally agree with you about the Equestrian Centre. It is such a pleasure to shop there. We don't exactly have the big bucks but have always received great service, whether purchasing a pair of gloves or a saddle. I have never felt ignored or put down because the BNT in front of me bought tons of stuff and I only had a set of wraps. Recently, I was so impressed that they knocked themselves out to fit me with a $100 pair of paddock boots for my swollen feet{due to a kidney transplant} Not a huge purchase for some but it really was a big deal to me. Never a "tude" at this place and it seems to rub off on the customers, as I have picked up more then my share of barn gossip, while waiting in line, from BNTs that normally wouldn't give me the time of day.

"I hope you realize this is where you belong."
Kirk McLeod 7N

Nov. 15, 2002, 07:19 AM
Amen! they are fantastic /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif and I even got a hug the last time I went back (I was looking a little lost, they changed the store a lot, LOL). I also used to take care of little robin's horse (he boarded at my barn), so we're always friendly. I miss that store so much! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif And they have everything!

Can't WAIT to go look at saddles there this christmas. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif (I think they have better prices there, too, surprisingly enough, than a lot of the places down here).

Anyway, 7 nations rocks, saw them in DC at an Irish music festival a couple years back /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

**and people say gov't employees are useless... HA!**

cheryl ann
Nov. 15, 2002, 07:43 AM
Wow -

All these 'horror stories'. I live 5 minutes/miles away from (if I do say so myself) the greatest all-around tack store I have ever been in. Family run. I'm there all the time. I started shopping there when they were selling hard candy & ice cream, and the only saddles they had were on two or three saddle racks. Now today- well, you just have to go there.

The best all-around service and selection. Used, top-end and midline for English, Western, Trail. Softlines to hardware. Big book dept. All the supps.
At least 10 different types of helmets. Casual to show riding clothes, full dept. of work clothes, hunting clothes. Huge boot supply (western, English, work, motorcycle, hiking, casual, all the 'names') Gift dept & jewelry. Even toys for the kids. Breyers. Barn supplies. Farrier tools, fencing, stall mats, clipper things. I know I'm leaving things out. What they don't have (not much), they get.

They host a full slate of shows, penning & barrel racing all season, down back, right behind the store. They go on the road to Equine Affaire and Congress, etc. They've hosted horse handling, training clinics, trail rides, Myler bitting clinics, etc.

I've known these people 20+ years. Know their kids. Know their grandkids. Know their horses. All the employees are great, some have been there since 'back in the day'. I even worked in the store briefly. ALL my friends shop there, even non-horsey ones.

The store is known for it's selection, customer service and prices. The owners are great business people, and really down to earth (a tough combo to find). No uppitiness there, no pushiness, they are the best in the business. Yes, they sell tack, but they would be successful in any other type of business they were in. They are the standard I judge all the other tack stores by.

Cheryl in Western New York

Silly Mommy
Nov. 15, 2002, 08:09 AM
I was thinking about JR in "Pretty Woman", and then I got to Fairweather's reply... Priceless!!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Proud member of the Sunnieflax Clique
"Poster formerly known as Silly Mommy"

Nov. 15, 2002, 10:26 AM
don't tell me PETA owns SLT!!!! Can anyone confirm or deny?? or tell me how to find out?? I haven't bought much from SLT in recent years since Dover's customer service is so much better. However, if I find out that PETA has tenticles reaching in there- I will NOT buy from them again. /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Nov. 15, 2002, 10:27 AM
Wow... if SLT and PETA are related, how on earth did SLT get away with selling in PetSmart? PETA **HATES** petsmart and petco (bad treatment of birds, rodents, and fish, for the most part).

**and people say gov't employees are useless... HA!**

Ben and Me
Nov. 15, 2002, 12:54 PM
Have many of you ever worked in a tackshop before? It is HARD work! I loved almost every minute of it, but there were occaisions when I was ready to kill a customer!

How about the customer who comes in at 6:59, 1 minute before the store closes, and then spends nearly 45 minutes debating between brown and black boots? Most of us have been there, on our feet, all day. Please don't make us stay open later than necessary.

Please don't get mad at ME if we don't have your particular boot in your particular size. It is impossible for us to carry 3 pairs of every style of paddock boot (lace/zipper, black/brown, full and half size) just so that you can buy it. Chances are that we had it 3 weeks ago when the shipment first came in. However, who can predict how fast 7.5 brown zip boots will sell out? We are usually more than happy to order it for you.

Many of us like to keep the store NEAT because it means less work for us in the long run. Most of the time, we want to help you find something. Don't make it harder for us by destroying the picture-perfect wall of shirts, breeches, jackets.

Yes, I might be younger than you, but most of the time I know what I am talking about. Please don't ignore me because I am only 16-I may have spent more time around horses than you have! I may not know everything about every type of dressage bit in the store-but thats only because I ride hunters. Please don't think I'm stupid just because I don't know everything about every product-this is almost impossible for part time employees in a large retail store. I am more than happy to go find some one more qualified than myself to answer your questions. Just because I don't know anything about dressage bits doesn't mean that I can't help you find a perfect saddle pad.

If you have a dirty blanket to be laundered, DON'T bring it into the store! YUCK! I wouldn't bring my dirty blanket into your house and set it in your front hall!

Please don't yell at me if we don't have what you need. Chances are that we used to, and it is on order. We can't help the fact that some companies have products on backorder, etc.

Retail is hard work! I am sorry that some of yall had such poor experiences, but I think it is silly to lump all tackstores together. Please give your local tackstore another chance! The store I worked at had a fairly quick employee turnover rate with employees that weren't friendly or knowledgeable. The employees that are great have been there for years!

In my experience, people are much harder on tack shop employees than on employees at other stores. Why!? /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif I am sorry that some of yall had such bad experiences, but had this happened at the Gap, I doubt you would be complaining about it so much.

"Well it's a marvelous night for a moondance" ~Van Morrison

Nov. 15, 2002, 01:39 PM
I would be just as upset about crappy service where ever I might happen to shop.

And yes, I have worked retail. And the places I choose to give my business to are the ones who treat me like they want my business. I have been known to destroy displays in all sorts of stores to find what I want. I am much more likely to do that if there is no employee to help me. In a specialty business like tack shops, it is all about building relationships. At that point the sales will come and people will refer others to you.

I have been known to shop places with less selection and higher prices just because of the service. Boy, do I miss Lyons Grocery in WF. *sigh*

Nov. 15, 2002, 02:24 PM
I own a company that teaches customer service (I am the trainer). Truthfully, it's not that difficult! JUST BE NICE! The customer PAYS your salary not the company. Rude customers....etc, are not pleasant. I totally understand the frustration with that. Just remember though that if you make someone mad...that person will tell at least 25 people (how many people have viewed these posts??) Therefore, for all of you that work in a tack shop, try to understand that although you might not be able to choose the job you have at the time....you can always choose your attitude. For those of you who experience bad service...don't accept it, kindly tell the manager or owner about it...You will be doing them a huge favor. If it the owner that is rude...don't worry, they will be out of business within 5 years. Or refer them to me...I can straighten them out LOL! Sorry for the rant...but this stuff gets me going /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

Don't just appear in life, STAR in it!

Nov. 15, 2002, 02:37 PM
One is incredibly RUDE no matter who you are or who the sales staff are! I have left big money (to me) purchases on their counter a couple of times and walked out cause of the 'tude! Bitchy! Not blasé...but just plain rude!
The other is next door, extremely polite and helpful staff, will gladly special order, etc. (I chose this one to work in P/T a while ago).
Funny how many people would come into the "nice" store and comment on the "rude" store, swear never to go back, yet they would...prices are a tad lower there! Guess you don't have to pay up for rudeness!

***My horse bucked off your honor student!***

~~ Founder: LOFL (lawn ornaments for life) clique~~

Ben and Me
Nov. 15, 2002, 03:28 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Absolutely wrong, Ben & me

I would be just as upset about crappy service where ever I might happen to shop.

And yes, I have worked retail. And the places I choose to give my business to are the ones who treat me like they want my business. I have been known to destroy displays in all sorts of stores to find what I want. I am much more likely to do that if there is no employee to help me. In a specialty business like tack shops, it is all about building relationships. At that point the sales will come and people will refer others to you.

I have been known to shop places with less selection and higher prices just because of the service. Boy, do I miss Lyons Grocery in WF. *sigh* <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't know if you took from my post that I was constantly rude to customers, but that is simply not true. I have never been rude to a customer, even when an angry man was yelling at me and brought me to tears because HE was shopping for his daughter's Christmas present on Christmas Eve and we didn't have it in stock. If you knew me at all, you would know that this is a fact.

Sorry for trying to be a little empathetic to the people who work in tack stores...Guess it is my fault that you have had bad experiences, even if they were in a store that I used to work in, which I am assuming that you are referring to. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

I also used to think that the particular tack store was rude until I began working there, and that simply is not the case. I, and the other employees, always went out of our way to be nice to customers. I certainly was never biased against someone if they were not dressed to the nines. If the store was crowded, as it often was, we could not always give the most personal attention, but we did try. I would have to assume that this is the case with most stores. I really do not think that it is fair to judge anything by one bad experience, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

"Well it's a marvelous night for a moondance" ~Van Morrison

Nov. 15, 2002, 04:00 PM
I spent five years working in a retail clothing store so I know how it feels to be slightly irritated when a customer comes in just before closing or when a customer messes up your folding. However, customer service is always the bottom line.

Customers are what keeps a store running. If a customer comes in five minutes before closing and wants to spend two hours picking out black pants, then so be it. A salesperson should bite their lip and give the customer the best service they can. It's part of the business-- the customer is ALWAYS right.

If a salesperson can't "grin and bear it" then maybe they shouldn't be in retail.

p.s. Rude customers are a whole different story!

Ben and Me
Nov. 15, 2002, 04:13 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>the customer is ALWAYS right <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

In the words of the tack shop owner: "The customer is always right, until he begins to hurt/upset/insult one of my employees".

In other words, he expected us to provide good service-which we did-but also expected the customers to play their part. If they were rude to us, the owner came out and personally dealt with them. I personally thought it was a good system-but maybe why this is why this tack store has its "reputation". I don't see why any one person should be treated better than another. It is rude of a customer to come in and expect the store to stay open past its hours, just like it is rude for an employee to purposely bias against a customer.

If it made me a bad salesperson to expect respect from the customers, then I am a bad salesperson. I still expect to be treated with a certain respect, despite my age, sex, or knowledge-and this was also the owner's policy.

If a customer cannot respect an employee, then perhaps they shouldn't expect respect in return. Yes, in an idea situation, they should be able to, but this is the real world, and people are generally much more generous and kind when they are treated generously and kindly.

"Treat others as you would be treated".

"Well it's a marvelous night for a moondance" ~Van Morrison

Nov. 15, 2002, 05:35 PM
Every horse-loving kid in the world would be welcome.

I would have an old saddle on a saddle stand for the kids to play on while Mom/Dad shop.

I would have a big bulletin board of "my customers/friends" - no show pictures allowed.

I would make sure that every child had a good helmet and that parents knew why it was important.

I wouldn't assume that I knew more about horses/tack/life/love than my customer and I would expect the staff to do the same.

I would have a used riding clothes in every child size for an "emergency" I would loan them free of charge once to any kid who needs suitable clothes "this weekend". I might even do the same for adults - but I'd charge a reasonable fee.

I would praise my staff for remembering the names of customers (human and equine). I would encourage them to ask friendly horse-related questions and to care about the answers. If I found out that a customer horse is sick - I would send a card. If a horse has passed away - a card and a call.

I wouldn't gossip, nor would the employees. I would treat all customers well - regardless of their economic status.

I would love to have a tack shop........

I can remember being about 8 years old and having a $20.00 gift certificate to a local tack shop owned by the most wonderful people. It must have taken me two hours to decide how to spend my money - I remember buying a fuzzy bareback pad /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Nov. 15, 2002, 05:53 PM
do it! It's sounds perfect. I'd shop there!

to err is human, to whinny, Equine

Nov. 15, 2002, 05:53 PM
I spent 10 years as an administrator at a private University where parents were paying $30,000 per year in tuition and fees. I supervised a large staff who fielded calls from parents and students about financial issues. The work was very stressful and the circumstances often brought out the worst manners and behavior in people (I'm sure you are shocked to hear this /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif). Our staff was constantly berated and verbally abused - but they were very well trained and never (almost) responded in kind. All the bad attitudes were sent to me to handle. In all that time I never responded to rudeness with rudeness because it was my "job" to resolve problems - not retrain badly behaving humans. Or you could say I used the "ignore the bad, reward the good" training method. I think that "retail" is no different from my experience. Employees have a vested interest in ensuring that all customers are treated well, regardless of their behavior and it's somewhat delusional to think that if you will change the customer's behavior by being just as rude.

Ben and Me
Nov. 15, 2002, 06:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>it's somewhat delusional to think that if you will change the customer's behavior by being just as rude <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you will read through my posts, you will see that I stated time and time again that I have never been rude to a customer, no matter how frustrated I may have been.

However, in times of extreme frustration, we, the staff, were expected to tell the owner, and he would come and personally deal with the rude customer. The owner was also never rude. He was, however, on a clean slate with the customer, and was obviously not as frustrated as we were. Therefore, he was able to treat the customer with a much less biased attitude than the exasperated staff. He was doing nothing more than you were in your own respective situation.

I was never out to change the customer's behavior. However, I have replied to this topic numerous times in hopes of allowing everyone here to see BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY. Apparently no one understands that everyone here is human and therefor #1, allowed to have occaisional bad moments and lapses of judgement (who knows, you may have seen them on a horrible day! No, that does not excuse their behavior, but it does provide an explanation that keeps them from being classified as rude) and #2, allowed the same respect as the customer.

Salespeople are human too-All of you holier than thou fellow retail workers-don't ever tell me that you haven't been frustrated with a customer. Yes, some of these tackshop workers did not handle it in the most eloquent manner, but it is silly to assume that every employee in that tack shop acts the same way. I certainly DID NOT. I have also been treated poorly by retail workers all over, mostly due to my age. Yes, it frustrates me, but I try to understand where they might be coming from.

All I am asking is for you to do the same. Is that really too much to ask? Apparently so!

"Well it's a marvelous night for a moondance" ~Van Morrison

Nov. 15, 2002, 08:13 PM
...where I live. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif They are the only game in town and they know it. While some of the employees who've been in and out of there (FAST turnover) were nice to me, the majority ignored me OR were plain rude to me.

Worst of all is the owner/manager. SHE is a piece of work. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif Many, many years ago, while I was in high school and working on the weekends at a local dressage/CT barn, my mother took me to the store for something. The store manager heard me say I wanted to be doing something other than mucking stalls. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif So, she basically OFFERED me a job working there. I thought, cool! When I told the weird barn owner I was leaving, she BLEW UP, called the tack shop, and told them if they hired me, she and her clients would NEVER shop there again. Store manager called me and said, "I'm sorry, but we can't hire you now because we can't lose their business." /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

I was SO PISSED I swore I'd never set foot in there again. Well, time passed and I cooled down, and I went back. The manager treated me like the plague. SIX YEARS LATER, she still does. Why do I still go there on occasion? Like I said, they're the only game in town. And every time I've been away long enough to forget what an a$$hole she is, I go back...and she proves it to me all over again. Recently I was pricing saddles. I asked the employees to help me, and they (knowing nothing about saddles /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif ) got the manager. She acted as though I was wasting her time on something I couldn't afford. When I made her look to see if the size I wanted was available, she did some more of the "roll-the-eyes and sigh" routine. Needless to say, I spent my $995 elsewhere.

Did I mention the time her idiot employees talked me into a pair of $180 Ariats, on the promise that the price of my defective Heritage zips would be refunded by the company? Well, not only did that NOT happen, and not only were the $180 boots ALSO defective, but the whole "boot saga," as I called it, took SIX WEEKS. I finally bought a cheaper pair out of desperation while waiting for the replacement $180's to come in. And then, when Ariat sent the Heritages back, the store called me and STILL made me come pay the $95 difference to get them back. Did I mention that all of this came to a head when my horse died?

I won't deal with the people there. Won't EVER order anything. In a pinch, I will go in and buy something off the shelf (known quantity) when I know it will cost more for me to pay shipping if I order from a catalog, but I NEVER ask for help. I get what I want, I pay, and I get the hell out. And I bargain shop. I am probably their only customer who, upon entering the door, makes a beeline for the consignment and closeout section. And I take a good look at everything I buy. I am their worst nightmare. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

So, yup...been there, done that. Some tack shop people just plain suck.

~Sara /infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif
*Charter member of the GHM Fan Club*
*Member of the Dirt Divers 78th Airborne Unit, ATH Squadron*

Nov. 15, 2002, 09:12 PM
Having been on both side of the counter, the customer is NOT always right. Hate to break it to you "consumer advocate types". /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

A customer does NOT have the right to come in and verbally assault another human being because they're having a "bad day" or because they think the store policies do not apply to them.

A customer does NOT have the right to steal, deliberately write a document with the intent to defraud a business (cheques written on non-existent accounts), or try to return perfectly good merchandise for a FULL REFUND after you've used it for a year and decide you don't like anymore. But they do it every single day.

Stores implement policies to minimize how badly they get screwed by a customer. The classic one is that if you pay for your purchase by cheque, you have to wait 10 days for a refund, and often you only receive store credit. Why? Because the biggest scam is to write a bad cheque for a $200 item and try to return it the next day for cash. "Oh, but I shop here all the time." Maybe so, but if I make an exception for you, I have to make an exception for everyone, or else it can be considered discrimination. Yes, people sue stores all the time for that nonsense.

From the customer's point of view, you should always be treated with courtesy. If there is a warranty situation, the store should handle it as promptly as possible. If a store offers to order something for me, I expect to have it in a reasonable time frame. While I don't like being followed and asked every 30 seconds if I've "found everything" or being chatted up by the help, when I do ask for help, I should receive it ASAP. I shouldn't have to stand at the counter while the help chat with each other, or while they talk on the phone. The customer in the store should have priority over a customer on the phone. Finally, if you tell me something is in stock and you'll hold it for me, it better well be there when I get there. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

~&lt;&gt;~ Remember, the Ark was built by a rank amateur; the Titanic was built by a team of experts~&lt;&gt;~

Nov. 15, 2002, 09:17 PM
Well, I have to say that I always get a laugh when some a$$hole comes into the store, is loud, obnoxious, and rude, and is demeaning towards the employees for no reason whatsoever, and threatens "never to shop here again". I smile sweetly and say, "Thank you!" or better yet, "Can I get that in writing?"

Like I really want YOU as a customer! /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif You don't spend enough for me to put up with that at ANY price.

[This message was edited by Lady Cottington on Nov. 15, 2002 at 11:33 PM.]

Nov. 15, 2002, 09:27 PM
All I can say is that the present day level of customer service is making my business go through the roof.

My only other thought on the state of service is that stores train on policy but not consideration. If they did than I would be out of business.

Don't just appear in life, STAR in it!

Nov. 15, 2002, 10:25 PM
I love it that my local PetsMart (5 minutes away from me) has added row upon row of StateLine horse products. /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

I love it because it is the only place remotely close to me that carries horse supplies. I can pick up a month's supply of Next Level for $10 less than I can buy it out of a catalog and $20 less than at the closest tack store, which is 30 minutes (minimum) out of my way. I can buy hordes of disposal $4.99 bell boots, bags of horse treats for $1.99, winter gloves for $3.99, fly traps, fly spray, cute T-shirts and my dogs' premium food all in one stop.

Sure, if I need to make a mega, high-dollar purchase, I'm gonna head to a "real" tack store. And if it's closer to go to said tack store (for instance, last weekend at a show, I was five minutes from Megastore Mary's, so I went there) or if I know I can get what I want only at a tack store, I'll make the drive.

As for the idea that PetsMart could be giving money to PETA, well .... at the risk of inciting further ire, I guess I'm a little ambivalent. All sorts of stores/corporations I shop at support causes I might not necessarily agree with. I assuage my conscience by making direct contributions only to those groups I do agree with (and, yes, I do realize that some of my money I spend at certain stores probably does still wind up with causes I don't endorse, but at least it's only pennies).

I can appreciate that some people loath to shop at PetsMart. I feel that way about WalMart. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif But sometimes WalMart is the best place to get whatever it is that I'm looking for.

Proud member of the "Huh. I thought I'd fixed that" phase of baby green hunter ownership.

Nov. 16, 2002, 03:25 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Beezer:
.....last weekend at a show, I was five minutes from Megastore Mary's, so I went there)..... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Or is she hiding that? haha /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

"Proud Member Of The I Loff Starman Babies Clique"

Nov. 16, 2002, 03:54 PM
well at least your tack shop didn't take money for ordered items and ran away with the money. I'm talking about CUSTOM Vogels, saddles (crosbys), helmets, ariats! Screwed a lot of peeps on ebay. Then in all desperation, she doesn't pay me for a whole month (400 bucks GONE) that I will never see and then packs up the store in the middle of the night and puts her stuff in a storage place. THEN doesn't pay the people who helped her move.

Look, she looks like Pam Anderson with the same amount of brains.

Only in Montgomery, Al.

Look up your TB's bloodlines

Nov. 16, 2002, 04:40 PM
I have worked at a tack store...for 3 years. The pay was actually decent, and there were several 'career' sales associates there. What's funny about my situation is the attitudes of 'us associates'. The store I worked at is the biggest cowboy boot retailer in the state of GA, but they also carry a huge supply of english and western tack. The clothes asssociates all would act snobby and superior to the customers, but us tack people were always nice and friendly (those of us who actually knew what we were selling; all of us have since quit). We even heard thru the grapevine that the 'middle people' were rude and snobbish, but the 'tack people' were nice and helpful.

The 2 large english only tack stores located in the nearby 'monied district' are just like the one you described. All of the employess act as though they're the Rockafellers and you're the pwt not good enough to set foot in their store. Oh well, catalogs are the best, anyway!

"The daughter who won't lift a finger in the house is the same child who cycles madly off in the pouring rain to spend all morning mucking out a stable." (Samantha Armstrong)

Nov. 16, 2002, 04:43 PM

I'm a little concerned at your defensiveness- though a lot of people here are complaining about individual experiences, I don't think anyone here has blanketed EVERY tack with the "they suck" paint brush. In fact several people have highly recommended the best tack shops they know of for customer service.

You can't argue with experience- when I first went into that one tack shop and waited in line for 40 minutes to buy gloves while THREE workers fawned over another customer's blanket (who was behind us in line), you have to admit that is piss-poor customer service, right? We certainly hadn't done anything wrong to deserve that sort of treatment.

The fact that I reported the experience hardly means that I think all employees of all tack stores are evil.

That you and your coworkers put up with a lot and still treat people well is great, and I commend you- but you're acting like all our bad experiences are directed at you, when they're not. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


**and people say gov't employees are useless... HA!**

Ben and Me
Nov. 17, 2002, 08:31 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Ben&me...

I'm a little concerned at your defensiveness- though a lot of people here are complaining about individual experiences, I don't think anyone here has blanketed EVERY tack with the "they suck" paint brush. In fact several people have highly recommended the best tack shops they know of for customer service. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I am sorry that I came across as defensive; after re-reading through my posts, I can see how that may have come across. If you will notice, I started off my posts with a list of what CUSTOMERS can do to help EMPLOYEES, and to ensure that they receive fair treatment.

Then, numerous posters jumped on my back for trying to defend tack store workers. That was when I got defensive. This tends to happen to me when I take an unpopular stand in a thread, and everybody seems to be against me.

I probably would be right in here with some of yall bashing on tack stores had I not spent one summer working in one. Now, I have a different perspective. I was just trying to point out that perspective to the other posters who may not have had that experience.

I did notice the many recommendations, but, I guess like most people, the poor reviews stuck foremost in my mind-especially the reviews that appeared to be about the tack shop where I used to work.

Sorry to concern you.

"Well it's a marvelous night for a moondance" ~Van Morrison

Nov. 17, 2002, 03:28 PM
Oh the not so local tack shop that I occaisionally shop in, LOVES me now that I ordered $1000 Vogel's and volunteered at one of their "Schooling" shows. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

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"We learn from history that we do not learn from history." ~ George Bernard Shaw