Bad Crabtree & Evelyn Experience...

Discussion in 'General Shaving Discussion' started by Taysauce, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. Well, I went to Crabtree & Evelyn today for the first time, and lets just say I was not happy. First off, all the mens stuff was hidden behind another wall. Huh? Great place for that stuff... Anyways, I smelled the nomad, sandalwood, and sienna, and none of em did anything for me. The nomad smelled like smoke to me, the sienna was ok but a little earthy, and the sandalwood IMHO is just awful. Maybe you guys like them, but IMO I don't like em. Then the brushes. The PBB was $35 and very small, the BBB was medium sized yet $65 :confused:, and the SBB was $90. I asked the saleswoman if they had any BBB's for $35, and she said no they are only $65. Yet, the website shows it for $35. Cool. They are soft, and nice, but I just think I'll look elsewhere. Im glad I went to find out what I do and don't like, but its just not for me. Thanks for everyones help and opinions though!

  2. Sales person could have confused the small BBB with the medium...

    The cynic in me though doesn't expect much out of sales people in large chain mall-type stores. Heck, even Dunkin Donuts F's up my black coffee at least once a week.
  3. dpm802

    dpm802 Contributor

    +1 on your opinions of their Nomad / Sienna / Sandalwood ... although they shave great, I don't care for the smell. Even with their (discontinued) Sweet Almond Oil Shaving Cream, it doesn't smell that great, even though it consistently gives me the best shaves of any product I've tried. The only C&E smell that I like is their Naturals line, which is unscented.

    As for the Best Badger Brush by Edwin Jagger ... next time you deal with C&E, either in-person or by phone or by internet, make sure you speak the same language they do to avoid confusion.

    What we here call the "BBB," they refer to it as "Item: 130291."

    And don't pay $35 for it. It goes on sale about every 6 ~ 8 weeks for 20% off. Its a great brush, worth every penny, and will make a fine addition to anybody's shave den ... even if you just keep it around as a spare or travel brush.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  4. Yeah I also went into Peresian to check out some colognes, and the sales people are wierd...They stalk you by about 2 feet, but don't say anything. I know they are just doing their job, but give me my breathing room for crying out loud. I'll ask if I need help.
  5. The first lathering agent I ever bought after the canned goo was C&E Sandalwood. I used to love it when it was all I knew. Then someone on here said it smelled like an ashtray. Now, when I stick my nose in it, all I can smell is an ashtray! :frown: I have tried other stuff now and I'm not a huge fan. I paid $25 for that tub of sandalwood but for 5 bucks more, I can get a tub of T&H. C&E is okay; I just think their stuff is overpriced.
  6. Similar experience with the service at C&E. The BBB is a great brush, and I have to admit--I have Nomad soap and balm. I think they perform great, and I like the scent. It is kind of spicy and exotic, IMO. But hey, it's all subjective. I haven't ever smelled any of the other products because they never have any at my local store.

    You are right on about the knowledge of the clerks :mad:.
  7. I too have had similar experiences. The black and nickel BBB is the $65 item, and no less than three separate locations in 2 cities said this was the only BBB they sell. I ended up purchasing it from their website. I would have gladly taken my business elsewhere if it were not for the brush's great renown. It really is fantastic for the price.
  8. Everyone has a C&E story, usually about zombified help and ridiculously inaccurate information.

    One of my favorite moments here in the early days was a similar thread which came to an abrupt halt when a 20-something Master of Self-Righteousness from C&E or some similar retail train wreck lectured us all at great (and embarrassing) length about how knowledgable they all were, and how hard they all try and about how unfair we all were for criticizing them.

    If you listen intently on a still night you can still hear some of us laughing.
  9. Honestly, I have had nothing but good experiences at 3 stores so far. Only one, younger/inexperienced salesman made a mistake. However, he was calling around to other stores looking for the BBB for me. His manager called me back 15 minutes later and said they did have it in their store and she held it for me.

    Sienna was my first balm and scent is VERY subjective. I love the scent, as does my wife, and it's part of what hooked me on the whole DE thing. Sandalwood wasn't too bad, but not for me. NOMAD smells like orangutan dong In My Opinion. Also, I believe Sienna has witch hazel and sicne I don't have oily skin, I can forgo Thayer's on a regualr basis.

    I caught a nice sale and bought 2 Sienna soap jars and one Sienna balm, for $18 each out the door. I forgot to use my C&E card and they simply asked me to call the 800# and they transferred the sales credit to my card.

    I do agree with you that the men's section could be more prominent, but my guess is that there are a small percentage of men who DE shave and we are an even much smaller precentage of their sales. $$$$ talk in retail space.
  10. I love the Nomad Soap. They've always been very nice in the Cleveland store. Got some samples of the shave creams too. Bought some foot lotion for the wife. I've never considered the placement of products in the store to be a positive or negative. It is what it is.

    Look at it this way. Now you know you don't like the store so you don't have to waste time going back. Sounds like a positive to me.
  11. As far as C&E goes, I like some of their men's scents, and not just 'cause they carry a Royal Warrant from Prince Charles.

    Sienna is very soft and lovely, yet masculine.

    Nomad is mysterious and Victorian.

    Sandlewood smells like something The Duke Of Edinburg would wear to a card game.

    I recommend trying their scents for a while. Apply them and let them dry down on you. Wear them for a day and see what you think. I got a couple of them a few years ago and initially I was not blown away by them. I did like Sienna quite a lot. But when I wore Nomad I got so many compliments from women. This kind of got me hooked on it.

    As for their other products --

    Great bar soaps that carry the scent nice and have excellent moisturizing properties.

    Solid shave soap (by no means the best but well above average)

    Excellent aftershave balms that, unlike some other balms, contain zero alcohol and do not sting at all. What's the point of a balm if it contains alcohol and stings your face?

    Shaving creams.. well, this is the one area where I have found C&E to be mediocre. Their creams are decent but overpriced. Get yourself some Taylors which is about 30-40% less in price but at least twice as good.
  12. On the scents, what were you smelling? They usually have the wrong wood soap bowl caps on the different soaps. I would always look underneth if you are not familar with the scents.

    Personally I think the Nomad is awful and the Sandalwood is nice (and shave well). The Sienna smells amazing, but the cream and soap burn my face.

    As far as brushes, were you looking at the ebony/nickel versions? Those are the prices of the ebony/nickel Best ($65) and Super ($95). The faux ivory BBB is $35, while the faux ivory Super is $85.
  13. I'm going to sound like an old fart (I am), and this is OT, but C&E is way different than it used to be. (Yeah, I know ... just don't go there...) Anyone remember when C&E had foodstuffs? They had something called Yorkshire Sauce ... it was like Worcestersire sauce, but the base was white-ish, not brown, and was the most incredible savoury sauce in a bottle I've ever had. Sadly, long gone.

    The only time I've been in a C&E lately I sniffed all the mens stuff scents and didn't like a single one. I didn't even ask about a brush.
  14. I've always had very good service from C&E, but I'm not overly thrilled with the product line. Nor do I care for the high price of their products. The only thing I have left is a tub of sandalwood soap and once it's gone, it will not be replaced.
  15. Funny thing is, Nomad is my least favorite of their men's scents. I like sienana the best. And their Limes are nice too. I just couldn't ignore the multitude of positive comments on Nomad
  16. I just picked up their BBB (in ivory, the $35 one) and WOW, what a great brush, and a great value (thanks B&B members for recommending it) I used their website to determine the part number First, then called and asked for that specific item number and had them put it aside with my name on it. Very good service. Ecstatic with the product. Even put my name on a list to be called when the SBB goes on sale. (I won't hold my breath, and will check the website for the sale from time to time, but who knows?)

    In retail, the single controllable expense is payroll. Remember that whenever you walk into a place and find apparent understaffing. They can't make a deal to lower the rent when sales are low, they can't bargain with the electric co. for a discount etc.. All they can do is reduce payroll. The reduction can also be met with undereducated (in reference to knowledge of product and training, not the general education of the individual) and inexperienced individuals.

    Looking at it from the salespersons point of view, IF they earn a commission, or even if they don't, they are best served by learning their product. A store like Crabtree and Evelyn carries what? maybe 1% of their product selection for men? and most of the money involved will come from a durable purchase (like a shave brush) whereas the majority of the female orientated items are consumables (creams, lotions, etc.) sure we (men) may purchase a consumable like a soap or shave cream, but then jump on the internet and order some other soaps and shave creams to find our favorite ones, and even if we do like the soap they offer, we still try out others and really, when you think about it, just how much soap will we purchase compared to the amount of money women will spend on beauty products, lotions, creams, etc.? And how many customers will they (the salesperson) deal with in a day, a week or even a month that are knowledgeable individuals in purchasing that brush?

    A rule of thumb in sales, "the best product is the ONE IN STOCK" if they were out of the $35 brush, then the $65 one they had was the "BEST badger brush"

    I don't want to sit here and defend Crabtree and Evelyn, or for that matter the particular store you folks had your bad experiences in, you all had your experiences, they indeed were bad. But in mass market retail outlets this is the kind of thinking you are going to run into. We as a group (Badger and Blade members) are spoiled by dealing with INDIVIDUALS at places like the guy that runs Shavemac, the fellow member that runs West Coast Shaving, etc. heck, I don't think that there is a member of this board that could name all the great folks we deal with on a regular basis, but that very service and experience skews our expectations of just what to expect from a merchant that carries something WE may use as a sideline.

    Taysauce, if you take a moment to check with your local store with product number in hand, you will surely get the brush you want, and if they don't have it in stock I am sure that they can get it transfered from a different location that does indeed have it. You will be well served by the brush. By all means, if you can wait it out, then wait for the sale, but even at the full $35 price you will still be getting a great brush for a great price and save the holdout for the "bargain" on a more expensive product that will pay off that much more in relation to doing without.

    I guess I should shut up now.

  17. That small brush that you looked at may have been the correct brush in it's "unbloomed" stage. Once you take the brush home and actually use it it will kind of puff up and become more full looking. All badger brushes tend to do this.
  18. I've had very good experiences with my local C&E. The staff is always friendly and helpful. As a matter in fact, they swapped out a Super badger brush for me tonight. I got it a month ago and noticed that the tips of the hairs were starting to "curl". It was the kind of defect that was not noticable unless you looked very closely, as in a microscope would have helped. Anyway, the lady who helped me was very pleasant and didn't badger me (pun intended) one bit.

    I try to buy local as much as possible. It just stinks that they may be dropping certain lines or all men's products all together.
  19. Bob,

    I got my SBB for 20% off in store. This was during one of the 20% on-line sales, but they weren't running the 20% in the stores themselves. I asked the sales lady about the sale, and told her that I prefer to keep my business local. She honored the 20% (on my entire purchase), and I got it for $65. It's worth every penny :wink:

    And I need to give my plug for Sienna. Love the earthy / cedar smell, whips up a luxurious lather, and is very easy to work with. I bought one of the last jars a few weeks ago from my local C&E.
  20. I have the $35 the Super Badger brush at the Rockefeller Concurse her in NYC. I picked up several brushes and found one that had no price and asked a saleperson who immediately said "35". Seemed pretty knowledgeable to me. I asked for stand along with it. I don't know about the other products though since I'm a newbie to wet shaving and to the B&B forums. I picked up the brush on recommendation here.

    I did pick an unscented after shave balm which was on sale for 50%. Don't know if it's really good. Also have the Nivea senstive ASB (per rave reviews from people here).

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