Chinese customers

Locut0s

Lifer
Nov 28, 2001
22,281
43
91
Don't know how many people here have experience with serving Chinese customers in a retail environment but for those who do I'm sure you have had similar experiences. Most of the customers I have served are extremely understanding and accommodating. However there is a tradition of strong arming the salesmen in many countries. Now this is something of a stereotype and really mainly applies to those of the previous generation or those who recently emigrated from mainland China. I am speaking of course about the habit of haggling every sale down to the lowest possible limit. This isn't to say that you don't see this in people of other cultures, is actually a stereotype common to many and one that is somewhat unfairly applied. But I've certainly have come across my fair share of older Chinese customers like this.

Every sale has to have some great deal, some extra freebie, knock this off knock the price off that etc etc... Customer today for example bought a laptop, a wireless mouse and a notebook cooler. They claimed that a guy at one of our other stores said they could have it for $X which was very close to cost. I said I could see what I could do and price matched it down to something like $20 above X. They didn't like that too much so I went to the manager and he OKed it at X. But then they wanted more off because they were also purchasing the mouse and notebook cooler which I had also price matched down close to cost. They wanted to see if they could get a free notebook bag for example. This I could not do of course. They did threaten to take the sale back to the other store but in the end they were happy with the deal and left satisfied enough. They really weren't rude or anything, though fairly forceful. Another thing they did was they wanted to set up the laptop there and test out a bunch of things on it so that they could be sure it all worked before leaving the store. I happily complied though this did take up 40+mins of time and isn't something most people do, most people unbox and set up at home (again I didn't say anything and was more than happy to help).

This mentality of haggling for everything and asking for extras, freebies and more is something that is quite common in China and other developing countries. There the price that is quoted to you is rarely the price that you have to pay. Also china is a very lawless country when it comes to retail and it's VERY much buyer be ware so people build up defences and insecurities when it comes to purchasing products. Make sure you try it out in store for example to make sure they haven't duped you into buying shoddy merchandise because forget about trying to return it! Often stores have insanely low costs there and hike up the price to whatever they feel like they can get away with, think Monster cables for everything. So it's not uncommon in China for people to argue and bargain stuff down to 1/3 of it's original price or less. Most people who come over here know it doesn't work quite that way here but many still bring that mentality over here. Guess it works even here though as he did manage to shave a fair amount off the price :p

Edit: To be fair these are stereotypes and shouldn't be applied too widely. I do not get angry at any of these people (though I do feel like pulling my hair out under the surface ;) ) and I know where they are coming from, this is NOT a racist thing. The grain of truth in there mainly applies to the older generation of people from a variety of cultures and stems largely from living in countries where life is hard and it's every man for himself.

<--- 1/2 Chinese
 
Last edited:

buzzsaw13

Diamond Member
Apr 30, 2004
3,814
0
76
I used to work in retail and Indian people used to be the worst offenders. Flat out lying that someone quoted them $X amount for a repair or a purchase. I remember I was the only one working that day and this guy tried to tell me he called beforehand and said a technician okayed a repair for a certain price, when I was the only tech that was there that day. I asked him if his name was Danny and they said "yes that is who I spoke to on the phone." I love the look on their face when I tell them I'm Danny and that I won't give them a discount.
 

Locut0s

Lifer
Nov 28, 2001
22,281
43
91
I used to work in retail and Indian people used to be the worst offenders. Flat out lying that someone quoted them $X amount for a repair or a purchase. I remember I was the only one working that day and this guy tried to tell me he called beforehand and said a technician okayed a repair for a certain price, when I was the only tech that was there that day. I asked him if his name was Danny and they said "yes that is who I spoke to on the phone." I love the look on their face when I tell them I'm Danny and that I won't give them a discount.

Yeah China is far from the only culture where customer service works this way. Any country where life has been traditionally hard and where it's every man for himself tends to develop this kind of strong arm customer centric service. Chinese, Indians, Iranians, and some Eastern Europeans come to mind.
 

coxmaster

Diamond Member
Dec 14, 2007
3,017
3
81
I used to work in retail and Indian people used to be the worst offenders. Flat out lying that someone quoted them $X amount for a repair or a purchase. I remember I was the only one working that day and this guy tried to tell me he called beforehand and said a technician okayed a repair for a certain price, when I was the only tech that was there that day. I asked him if his name was Danny and they said "yes that is who I spoke to on the phone." I love the look on their face when I tell them I'm Danny and that I won't give them a discount.

Thats EXACLTY how it was when i was working retail.
 

Crono

Lifer
Aug 8, 2001
23,720
1,501
136
I don't have retail experience, but a Russell Peters bit comes to mind.

And Indians are probably second place when it comes to this.
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
20,372
3,451
126
I used to work in retail and Indian people used to be the worst offenders. Flat out lying that someone quoted them $X amount for a repair or a purchase. I remember I was the only one working that day and this guy tried to tell me he called beforehand and said a technician okayed a repair for a certain price, when I was the only tech that was there that day. I asked him if his name was Danny and they said "yes that is who I spoke to on the phone." I love the look on their face when I tell them I'm Danny and that I won't give them a discount.

We have a big Muslim population here and, IMO they were the worst. They would come in, put their arm around you and say 'Come on my friend - we are friends now. See what you can do for me.' They would keep saying we were friends and then get progressively meaner when we didn't haggle with them. They were the two cases I actually had to go to court over

The Indians tended to be brusque but straight to the point (If a bit rude at times)

The Chinese always wanted a deal if they bought more than 1 item. 'But I am buying this $15 bag. Surely you can take $35 off the price'

Black People tended to loudly demand the lowest price. The more they got agitated the bigger of a scene they tried to create to get us to cave

White people were the second worst. They would, as a general rule, be the most likely to use profanity and physically threaten

Welcome to retail - you will shortly hate everyone (with good reason) :D
 
Last edited:

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
57,423
7,605
126
I saw a Mid Eastern type(don't know exactly what) trying to haggle over the price at a KFC. He had a "handler" with him translating with the counter girl, but she wasn't budging on the price :^D
 

Crono

Lifer
Aug 8, 2001
23,720
1,501
136
We have a big Muslim population here and, IMO they were the worst. They would come in, put their arm around you and say 'Come on my friend - we are friends now. See what you can do for me.' They would keep saying we were friends and then get progressively meaner when we didn't haggle with them. They were the two cases I actually had to go to court over

The Indians tended to be brusque but straight to the point (If a bit rude at times)

The Chinese always wanted a deal if they bought more than 1 item. 'But I am buying this $15 bag. Surely you can take $35 off the price'

Black People tended to be loudly demanding the lowest price.

White people were the second worst. They would, as a general rule, be the most likely to use profanity and physically threaten

Welcome to retail - you will shortly hate everyone (with good reason) :D

Lol, nice summary and conclusion. :thumbsup:
 

Crono

Lifer
Aug 8, 2001
23,720
1,501
136
I saw a Mid Eastern type(don't know exactly what) trying to haggle over the price at a KFC. He had a "handler" with him translating with the counter girl, but she wasn't budging on the price :^D

Any country where open air markets are more common for everything will have more hagglers than western countries.

I doubt you can haggle at any fast food joint anywhere in the world, though. We've exported a fixed pricing system along with our fast food joints.
 

Locut0s

Lifer
Nov 28, 2001
22,281
43
91
We have a big Muslim population here and, IMO they were the worst. They would come in, put their arm around you and say 'Come on my friend - we are friends now. See what you can do for me.' They would keep saying we were friends and then get progressively meaner when we didn't haggle with them. They were the two cases I actually had to go to court over

The Indians tended to be brusque but straight to the point (If a bit rude at times)

The Chinese always wanted a deal if they bought more than 1 item. 'But I am buying this $15 bag. Surely you can take $35 off the price'

Black People tended to be loudly demanding the lowest price.

White people were the second worst. They would, as a general rule, be the most likely to use profanity and physically threaten

Welcome to retail - you will shortly hate everyone (with good reason) :D

lol been in retail for several years now I know it. :awe: Funny thing about the white people thing you mention. I've never had anyone physically threaten me but you are right when you get into an argument with a Caucasian person about something in retail is actually feels a lot more nasty sometimes despite the fact that the Chinese and Indian guys might be by far the more pushy. Somehow with people of other races it's usually confined to just haggling and complaining, at worst they will leave in a huff. But the odd white guy tends to get REALLY pissed! :p There are exceptions to every rule of course.
 

Locut0s

Lifer
Nov 28, 2001
22,281
43
91
Any country where open air markets are more common for everything will have more hagglers than western countries.

I doubt you can haggle at any fast food joint anywhere in the world, though. We've exported a fixed pricing system along with our fast food joints.

BINGO.

And in many such countries the open air market concept also applies to small retail outlets, anything with a roughly 20ft by 20ft floor space. You won't find people even in China and India on average haggling in a large fancy mall for example, at least not by and large.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
57,423
7,605
126
Any country where open air markets are more common for everything will have more hagglers than western countries.

I doubt you can haggle at any fast food joint anywhere in the world, though. We've exported a fixed pricing system along with our fast food joints.

It was hilarious to watch. He'd take a few steps away from the counter, consider his position, then re-engage with a counter offer, only to be rebuffed again. I watched for 10 minutes before I had to leave, and he was still trying to get a deal on the chicken :^D
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
20,372
3,451
126
lol been in retail for several years now I know it. :awe:

Where did you work before? I did several years retail in other jobs before getting one in electronics. Non-electronics retail could not even compete on the same level as electronics retail when it came to asshat customers. Something about TVs and computers just seemed to bring out the worst in people. I don't miss that part at all (I do miss the deals I got though)

Best of luck to you! May you not become as bitter towards the average person as I!
 

drebo

Diamond Member
Feb 24, 2006
7,035
1
81
For the couple years I worked retail at a local custom computer shop, the absolute worst people I had to deal with were Asyrians, the old people, and "the browsers". The old people because they didn't know what the hell they wanted, yet wouldn't take the recommendation of just going to Costco or Dell. The Asyrians were bad because they would have you quote everything out for them and then proceed to go buy it at Fry's, and then have the gall to call you and ask for free technical support when they couldn't figure it out.

The worst, by far, though, were the "browsers". These people would step through the door, and I would know instantly they could barely afford lunch that afternoon and dinner that evening and had absolutely no chance of being able to afford a computer. They would proceed to have me quote the absolute most expensive system for them and then have me explain everything about it. I knew they would never, could never, buy even one part of what they were asking for. I had one on 4th of July weekend...we'd had a barbecue and I was locking the place up...guy drove up as I was getting into my car, knocked on my car window, and asked if we had any U320 300gb 15K SCSI drives...guy looked like he couldn't put gas in his car, yet he wants to buy a $500 hard drive...JUST SAY NO!

Thankfully, I'm in more product development now, so I don't deal with the retail crowd except on a I'm-the-third-backup-if-no-one-is-at-the-front-counter basis.

A couple of years in retail taught me three things: PEOPLE ARE FUCKING STUPID, the customer is usually WRONG, and I HATE, HATE, HATE CUSTOMERS.

Retail is not something I want to do ever again.
 

Locut0s

Lifer
Nov 28, 2001
22,281
43
91
Where did you work before? I did several years retail in other jobs before getting one in electronics. Non-electronics retail could not even compete on the same level as electronics retail when it came to asshat customers. Something about TVs and computers just seemed to bring out the worst in people. I don't miss that part at all (I do miss the deals I got though)

Best of luck to you! May you not become as bitter towards the average person as I!

Yeah I worked in 7-11 for 4 years. So yeah I didn't deal with that type of customer much (though I still saw some) but I did have to deal with a whole different batch of asshats. I'm not staying in retail for the long run (only making about 10 bucks/hr now anyway) so I don't mind dealing with the odd crazy customer. I intend on going back to school in a year or so to finish my degree. If it was a permanent job I would probably get tired of it faster. Also helps being somewhat younger (28) and understanding the cultures where this comes from (lived in China for 4 years as a young child). I imagine it would wear on you if you were in your 40s and still dealing with the same stuff.
 

Locut0s

Lifer
Nov 28, 2001
22,281
43
91
For the couple years I worked retail at a local custom computer shop, the absolute worst people I had to deal with were Asyrians, the old people, and "the browsers". The old people because they didn't know what the hell they wanted, yet wouldn't take the recommendation of just going to Costco or Dell. The Asyrians were bad because they would have you quote everything out for them and then proceed to go buy it at Fry's, and then have the gall to call you and ask for free technical support when they couldn't figure it out.

The worst, by far, though, were the "browsers". These people would step through the door, and I would know instantly they could barely afford lunch that afternoon and dinner that evening and had absolutely no chance of being able to afford a computer. They would proceed to have me quote the absolute most expensive system for them and then have me explain everything about it. I knew they would never, could never, buy even one part of what they were asking for. I had one on 4th of July weekend...we'd had a barbecue and I was locking the place up...guy drove up as I was getting into my car, knocked on my car window, and asked if we had any U320 300gb 15K SCSI drives...guy looked like he couldn't put gas in his car, yet he wants to buy a $500 hard drive...JUST SAY NO!

Thankfully, I'm in more product development now, so I don't deal with the retail crowd except on a I'm-the-third-backup-if-no-one-is-at-the-front-counter basis.

A couple of years in retail taught me three things: PEOPLE ARE FUCKING STUPID, the customer is usually WRONG, and I HATE, HATE, HATE CUSTOMERS.

Retail is not something I want to do ever again.

lol. Also Murphy's Law says that if you are on commission and you get the above customer who spends 40 mins asking about said hard drive, your coworker will get the $10,000 ultimate gaming rig sale where the guy doesn't even blink at the cost. :D
 

RPD

Diamond Member
Jul 22, 2009
4,998
510
126
On topic; everyone once in their life time (see teenagers) should have to work as a cashier or customer service.

After working in these positions you learn to be SO much more patient and appreciative of those currently working those jobs.

You think when you hear of these stories (like in this thread) can only be pure fabrication.. then you work one of these jobs and you'll get a story of your own.

I worked as a cashier for a Shell station for two summers, closing for them. Lets say you get some STRANGE mofo's coming in. Sob stories about needing free gas, one lady actually tried to trade me her white trash turquoise jewlery for gas, she wasted like 15min of my life after coming back in and offering different crap.
 

RPD

Diamond Member
Jul 22, 2009
4,998
510
126
Btw I'm half Chinese :)

I do remember my mom doing stuff like this, but nothing this intrusive. She'd buy say an expensive ass TV, offer to pay in full, cash and if doing so if they would knock anything off. 9 out of 10 times she got them to drop. Or combine two big ticket items etc.

When you are spending a lot you can usually do that anywhere say a new washer drier combo and a new fridge, they'd rather move more volume at less mark up then visa versa.
 

Locut0s

Lifer
Nov 28, 2001
22,281
43
91
On topic; everyone once in their life time (see teenagers) should have to work as a cashier or customer service.

After working in these positions you learn to be SO much more patient and appreciative of those currently working those jobs.

You think when you hear of these stories (like in this thread) can only be pure fabrication.. then you work one of these jobs and you'll get a story of your own.

I worked as a cashier for a Shell station for two summers, closing for them. Lets say you get some STRANGE mofo's coming in. Sob stories about needing free gas, one lady actually tried to trade me her white trash turquoise jewlery for gas, she wasted like 15min of my life after coming back in and offering different crap.

Should have asked here if she would sleep with you :p Though I'm guess she wasn't the type you would want to.

Yeah got some interesting stores from my 4 years at 7-11, though actually nothing too strange. Guess us Canadians are tame :p Off the top of my head the only things that come to mind were countless drunk ass street people stealing stuff, angry customer yelling their heads off at me for something that was 100% their fault, a woman who flashed me :awe:, strange stuff on party nights (drunk people in costumes etc), and a guy who insisted on paying me in postage stamps because he had no cash.
 

Locut0s

Lifer
Nov 28, 2001
22,281
43
91
Btw I'm half Chinese :)

I do remember my mom doing stuff like this, but nothing this intrusive. She'd buy say an expensive ass TV, offer to pay in full, cash and if doing so if they would knock anything off. 9 out of 10 times she got them to drop. Or combine two big ticket items etc.

When you are spending a lot you can usually do that anywhere say a new washer drier combo and a new fridge, they'd rather move more volume at less mark up then visa versa.

Yeah I've had some people ask be if we offer a discount for cash which we don't. In fact although we can handle cash it's more awkward as all cash has to be handled at a central register but we can put through debit and credit at our own terminals.

For credit transactions over 500 bucks we do a pre authorization (makes sure the address matches etc etc..) and for stuff over 2K we do a credit check.