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March 03, 2007


Mary R

I wish someone had told me these things before I first set foot in a Teavana. The shop kids really are rather pushy...unless you catch them at a busy time, in which case they are cold, holier-than-thou brats. :) Sorry, I could have dealt without the attitude.

Thanks for a wonderful post!

Mary Seale

They are rather pushy. When I am passing by the store in the mall-they are out in the hallway trying to get people in the store. The one and only time I was there-they tried to get me to buy a tin, a "perfect tea spoon" and a variety of other tea accessories. I told the sales person forget it and left-they are very sales oriented. I now order over the phone with another tea company who never pushes me to buy more than I am willing to. Teavan has lost a lot of business from me because of their sales tactics.


Perhaps it is just hit or miss, but I have never felt pressured in the Atlanta area stores. (I generally visit the Northpoint Mall store in Alpharetta, GA). I've found them to be helpful and willing to let me smell as many teas as I'd like. They have also often had great suggestions for blends.


The Teavana at Perimeter Mall in Atlanta is the pushiest, BY FAR, I have ever experienced, anywhere. I told the floor manager point blank, "I don't want to hear one more word about what else you can sell me." I really resent being pushed into such unpleasantries as it is not my normal nature.

Usually at Lenox Mall (Atlanta), they are too busy to sell, sell, sell.

Were I not completely addicted to their caramel tea (with real bits of caramel that melt with the hot water...), I wouldn't shop at Teavana at all. Their tactics and "vibe" are so in conflict with the relaxation and peacefulness of tea drinking, IMHO.


I have had some great experiences at Teavana (Chicagoland and suburban area). I love to peruse and take my time looking at all the beautiful teapots and buddha's...I zone out and find it peaceful. Yes, the sales staff are aggressive. Normally, that would turn me off, but I simply say I'm looking, sip some samples, and take time to think. I really think they are VERY VERY knowledgable about their teas, which is very impressive. I LOVE loose tea, and when I can have a tin shaken and opened for me to smell, I am in heaven. They really know their stuff. I guess they may be pushy, but sometimes people need a nudge to help them find the right tea. Besides, get a spine and say you are not interested if they are pushy. I love their teas.


I love teavana!(at willowbrook mall spring Texes)sometimes they can be pushy but they do make THE BEST tea I have ever had.Teavana you have my vote!!(I LOVE THE SAMPLES!)


I just visited a Teavana store for the first time. It was marvelous! They did the customary sales push but I polietly replied I am browsing and they were more than helpful. I do usually order online as I live in a rural area,but the store experience was very nice. I hope to visit it again soon, the next time I am in the Chicago area.


I adore Teavana and have been to 4 different locations- 2 in Texas, 1 each in Chicago and Ohio. While they are definitely big on the upsells and add-ons, I've never felt pushed or looked down on, but every group of staff is different.

If I had a big pocketful of money I'd spend it all at Teavana! :D

Also, German Rock Cane Sugar is the bomb- my husband loves it in his coffee. I love to let my Perfect Cup brewer hang around on the sink with the lid up for a while after I brew- smells so good!- and then grind it up in the garbage disposal- more yummy smellgoods!


Just a side note, the information on discounts here is slightly incorrect. You get 10% off when you buy one pound of tea, and 20% when you get five pounds but you also get 15% off when you buy two pounds of tea. It doesn't have to be one tea, it can be a combination of several.

And, saying "you only get the discount once" isn't true. If you were to buy, say, a pound and a half of tea, you would get 10% off on ALL the tea you purchased. If you were to buy three pounds of tea you would get 15% off ALL the tea. You don't just get the discount on your first pound and pay full price for the rest as this "guide" makes it sound.

Teavana gets a pretty bad rep for pushiness but people really need to remember that in this economy, the only way to keep stores running is focusing on sales. Yes, it makes the job slightly stressful and can irritate some customers, but MOST customers are completely new to the world of loose tea and need to have their hands held through the store whether they realize it or not. I'm not saying it to be mean, but when I first started shopping there I had no clue what I was doing until everything was explained to me. I really wish sometimes people would take a step back and realize that what they see as "pushy" is just us trying to do our jobs and get people out with what they want. A huge example is the sugar. This post mentions splenda, which strips tea of it's health benefits and changes the taste. The german rock cane sugar doesn't do that. The biggest complaint we get is that tea at home doesn't taste like the samples and it's because the customer thought the sugar recommendation was just an upsell attempt. The sugar is $8 a pound. Not exactly a huge price increase. Some people need to stop being SO defensive when entering a store before any interaction with it's employees. We really are just trying to help.

Stephanie Hanson

Thank you for the information about Splenda. I was unaware of that side effect. Do you have research that I could cite for my readers?

Regarding discounts, it's great to see that things are changing. This information is two years old.

The experiences in this article are based on two stores, so it is possible that things are different in other regions or under different managers. If so, I'm glad to hear it. From what I've heard from other customers, they have had just as varied an experience. The comments here illustrate the same.

It sounds like you are just trying to help your customers, and I'm glad to here it. Teavana could use more people like you.


You can google countless articles on it, but I'll give you a link to one I think makes a lot of sense based on my experiences specifically with oolong tea:

Splenda and even regular granulated white sugars are bleached and processed, aka they have chemicals that are not natural in them. Loose tea is non processed, and completely natural therefore adding ANYTHING to it that is not completely natural is only hurting you.

Splenda specifically is calorie free because the body does not recognize it as a carb and is processed through the body quickly and that does not allow the full health benefits of tea to be absorbed by the body. We have many customers who drink oolong for weight loss (hence why I provided that article) and use Splenda because it is calorie free but do not realize that it is almost more beneficial to use a low calorie natural sugar if you MUST sweeten your tea than to use a bleached and processed sugar that makes your tea almost useless.

Yulonda Edwards

I went into the store in Roosevelt Fields. The young ladies there were really helpful with differentiating between the teas and the brewers. I am thankful for their assistance. The price was the shocker but I got what I wanted.
Thanks for the information about Splenda. I tasted the cane sugar in the store and opted not to purchase it. I did discuss with the sales person and they were not pushy at all. Is so I may have purchased the sugar.
thanks Roosevelt Fields sales reps you are great.


I use to buy my tea at the Teavana located in North Park Mall (Dallas). I would agree with the majority of people in this forum. They are extremely pushy and have lost business from my wife and I. Their sales tactics are worse than a used car dealership in the hood.


I highly recommend that you buy your loose teas not from Teavana - they fill their salespeople with a load of misinformation. I have overheard them say that the teas are organic--they are not!! Also they way they are stored in those big tins, will not jeep loose leaf tea fresh--not to mention that they stick the tin under everyone nose, so unsanitary! So many small high quality tea store in all the big cities - support those shops or go online. All the very high quality loose tea companies are online. Everyone I know leaves Teavan feeling ripped off and the main issue is that the tea itself is just not high quality.

Tina Adams

I shopped at Teavana at Water Tower in Chicago. I had a wonderful experience. My mom had sworn she would never drink tea, but she loved all the samples in the store. I purchased tea and a pound of rock sugar. I never felt pushed to buy anything I didn't want. It was a wonderful experience. The staff is very helpful and educated about tea and tea prepartion, but they also let us browse at our own pace. They did not put the tea tins where we could contaminate them. They used the lid to "sweep" the aroma towards us. I can't wait to go back and it is a 4 hour drive.

Stephanie Hanson

Thanks everyone for sharing. It sounds like things really vary from store to store and in different regions. I think it's great to have so many different opinions!


organic /ɔːʳɡ'ænɪk :
Organic methods of farming and gardening use only natural animal and plant products to help the plants or animals grow and be healthy, rather than using chemicals.

The tea gardens from which Teavana aquires its tea use no chemicals and are within the top 5% best in the world.
the whole world. that sounds like high quality to me. and besides, it delicious. AND nutritious.

I dont know where was heard otherwise, but they keep their tea in those stainless steel containers BECAUSE it keeps them fresh. They dont stick them under peoples noses, they set them on the counter and fan the smell to you. ive noticed them get fairly peeved when people stick their face in them.

i do have to agree that their sales people are pretty pushy. thats easily combatted as previous entries have mentioned and also as previous entries have mentioned, im pretty sure the employees like being emlpoyed rather than livin jobless homeless in the street.

in closing, i think teavanas a great informative place to begin your tea journey, but support your local business, theyre better at custom fitting your needs. and it supports the economy.


My daughter and I visited Teavana at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta for the very first time ever and found it to be a very enjoyable experience. They were not pushy at all and above all very helpful. Their teas are very tasty and the shop is magnificent. Maybe a little over priced.


How sad that so many Teavanas are getting a bad rep! I work at the Teavana location in San Diego, CA, and we're not being taught to see our customers as walking dollar signs (like some of the other stores seem to be doing). Yes, we do offer everything in the store to the customers, but we know when "no" means no. If I hadn't been offered anything the first time I walked into the store, I honestly wouldn't have known what the heck loose leaf tea was about, how it worked, etc. Perhaps they're just using bad tactics in the other locations.


My wife and I have been shopping at Teavana for several years and I have never found them to be pushy. I personally can't stand pressure sales of any kind. I just visited the store at International Mall, Tampa and found the staff to be extremely helpful, and knowledgable about the tea. Though we usually buy online as there is not a store for over 50 miles. I look forward to the excursions to their stores when possible.


I 100% agree with the OP about the pushy sales associates- I've been buying from them online for ages, and occasionally go in store to sample/smell new teas. Online is great, though I could do without the shipping costs, I adore the sealed pouches!

I've always had a big problem with them trying to get me to purchase the "most expensive" option (even if it's not the sort of tea I'm looking for). Last month I stopped in to pick up an early Christmas present for a friend who adores fruity, tart flavors, and I decided Raspberry Riot was the perfect choice.

I told the sales associate as much, and he proceeded to show me several expensive white teas with no fruit in them before finally showing me the tea I had asked for. Then he came up with the idea that this tea would be even BETTER with Silver Needle- I had to insist three times that I did not want $18.00/2 oz tea added to the $6.00/2 oz tea (which was exactly the tea I wanted).

He seemed genuinely disappointed by this, and proceeded to double the quantity I requested (possibly hoping I wouldn't notice/be too embarassed to correct his mistake) and had to reweigh/rescoop the tea. While this was going on he kept nagging me about how vital the silver needle tea and its antioxidants would be to my health this winter.

And of course, they tried to sell me everything under the sun when I was there, too- tea canisters, tea spoons, German rock sugar, and the tea maker. And before I paid, he tried to convince me to spend an additional $50 (on an order under $20) so that I could receive a complimentary 2oz of last season's reject tea flavors. No thanks!

I'm from New England and I would say that the three Teavanas I've visited have all had very pushy salespeople, but this one takes the cake! The sales associates talked down to me, ignored what I asked for, and tried to trick me into paying more than I was willing to spend. As one poster put it the "used car salesman" business tactics are enough to make me think about shopping in store again. I'd as soon pay the shipping prices than deal with these people!


The tea is yummy, but overpriced. In addition, the staff (at Mission Viejo, CA Mall) are obviously sales driven...only see customers as an upsell opportunity and not as people. Really horrible customer service. I really tried to like the store/product, but just not worth it. I will never be returning. Many other places to purchase great tea.


Every time I ask them a question they follow me around the store until I buy something. When I wanted something nice they sold me a expensive tea I asked for 2 oz and they sold me 4.5 oz to fill the tin. $38 later I feel a bit ripped off. Or how about when they sold me a cold tea to go for $7.00. I love the tea there but I do not trust there tactics. I will not ask them a question again.


Wow, I had a great experience at Teavana in Illinois. My friend shops there allllll the time, so I went to her favorite location. The salesperson answered my questions, pointed out the different options that might work for me - some expensive, some cheaper - and let me make the decision. He even made two full cups of tea for me to try while I made up my mind and didn't charge me for either of them.


I shop at the Park Meadows store in co. and have only found the sales associates to be very knowledgeable about the teas and the accessories they sell. I never felt pushed into buying anything and enjoyed how enthusiatic they are about what they are selling. All of the suggestions they made seemed to be to ensure I got the best possible experience from my purchases!

Michele Musumeci

Has anyone experienced problems with the teavana containers and certain teas (ex. Tranquil Dream and Jinjaa Citrus Green tea) - specifically the seal expands when closed - it is extremely difficult to open and the getting it closed again is an even bigger challenge. Sometimes I have had the seal split on me as well. I was told with the Tranquil Dream that the contents cause the seal to expand - has anyone found a good storage solution in these cases?


Michele ...use the washi tins they are more pricy but the keep citirus teas better.

anonymous a current employee at Teavana, it is really sad to hear that so many people have had negative experiences at our stores. I will admit that there are a lot of pressures on employees to sell and have very high average tickets (at the Southcenter Mall in Seattle, the expected average ticket per employee is at least $50...), so the only reason why we upsell or ask if you want add-ons is to maximize every sale. Yes it sucks, and yes, it can get annoying, but we are only doing our job, and you can ALWAYS say NO!

When it seems like we are following you around the store, it is only because we are trying to show that we are aware of your presence and we want to remain engaged with you throughout your time in the store. There are many moments where employees will be reprimanded for "ignoring" a customer (i.e. by greeting them, and then letting him or her browse). Also, other employees will proceed to steal customers if he or she appears to be unattended to.

We are merely trying to do our job by educating customers so that they can make the best choice for themselves. When we tell you that you get 10% off when you buy a pound of tea, that is not a directive to get you to buy one pound of tea. It's only to let you know that IF you happen to buy a pound of tea, you can get a discount so that you can save money! And yes, some employees can act shady, but feel free to ask questions - there is nothing wrong about stopping a sales associate and inquiring what he or she is doing. It is your right to know what is going on, and it is your money!!

Anyways, I love tea, and I love my job :). Your post was very entertaining to read.


I have not had a bad experience at Teavana but then I always look online and research what I was to try/buy. I guess some of the posts have a hard time being direct and telling a sales person NO and/or exactly what you are looking for.

I go into the store and shop online at One of my favorite teas, Irish Breakfast is only sold online.


Teavana has lost my business as well with their pushy sales tactics. They are very rude and very pushy and that was enough for me to find business elsewhere. There are many wonderful tea companies, they need not think they are the only tea company in fact there are better!


I must agree with the comments about pushy sales tactics. I went to the Teavana. In the Biltmore Mall at Phoenix. I enjoyed the tea sample, and when I asked what my options are for purchase, the sales woman filled two one pound tins with out asking me if that is what I want. Total for the tea was over $150. And even though I liked the tea and was willing to buy it, I don't like not being consulted on how much I was buying. Additionally, she flat out lied to me and said if I bought the tins I get free refills if I bring it back to any store.

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