Tuesday, 18 November 2014

A Dutch Guide to (not) Buying Expensive Items

My husband went to the apotheek last week and came back with yet another story that made me giggle. A woman in front of him asked the apotheeker if she would give her a sample of an expensive brand of face cream. The woman behind the counter handed her a sample.

"Could I have a couple please?" the customer asked.

Why spend it when you don't need to?
Photo Credit: Uros Kotnik
"Mevrouw, that's not really the idea. The idea is to try it and then come back and buy the product," explained the apotheeker.

"Yes, but the face cream is so expensive!" she replied.

Two traits the Dutch are associated with beautifully illustrated in one perfect reply. Gratis? Yes, please. Subtlety? No thanks. 


  1. Once in Paris, I made my rounds to visit the Galeries Lafayette by Blvd Haussmann. I always try to purchase my perfume from there because I am always guaranteed to be granted some free goodies. The sales assistant handed me a teeny sample tube of moisturizer (of a product costing nearly 100 Euros).

    I do have to wonder how French sticker shock feels to the visiting Dutch. :P


  2. But did the question remains, did the woman get her extra freebies by asking? As my husband always reminds me: You already have no, so you may as well ask ;)

  3. When we started buying furniture for our house in Brisbane, I sent the Dutch husband in first. He would always start the conversation the same way "Hi, I'm Dutch and I don't like to pay full price.."

  4. I think maybe this is part of the 'blunt' reputation The Beans - not sure a Dutch person would be impressed!

    No, Nerissa, she got nothing more ;)

    Hahaha Felicity - that is brilliant!!! That would make a great T Shirt slogan :-)

  5. Yes the Dutch are famously stingy - my mother was great at bargaining and negotiating - she never settled for the advertised interest rate in banks but always got more - she never paid sticker for anything. She was brilliant (and charming with it) I try to emulate her when possible. On the other side how bizarre to come across another Nerissa - I have not met many others.