Post # 1
My first experience trying on dresses was at the ONLY boutique back home. I come from a small town, one high school and the most missed day of school is the opening day of hunting season…So it seems like most girls drive a town over to go to this boutique, as did I.
It was a nice experience and I even found a dress that made me a little teary. But I will be the first to admit that I have committment problems when it comes to making a purchase over 100 bucks (ex. we saw our venue like 6 months ago, and this past week I finally caved in). So I wanted some time to think it over on the dress, find pictures of other brides in it, make sure it was the look i wanted- i told the consultant this…I’m just that type of person, so shoot me.
When I asked who made the dress, the consultant (really sweet girl that I’ve met before- hey its a small town) said they take and rename all their dresses so she didn’t know who made it or what the style number was. I know its an Allure dress and I know you know. Their website has the brands they carry listed on it and im super interested in Allure dresses. I know it was an Allure dress!! It just seems so shady to me….and at the end of the appointment when I left I knew I could NOT buy from them-
1. I understand, you don’t want people to go and purchase the dress from someone else or find it cheaper.
2. I want to know the brand so I can know I’m not getting ripped off (which the mark up on the dress was huge now that I know the price!)
3. It’s a way to tke advantage of your customers who don’t have resources to different boutiques AND the area isn’t that wealthy.
It just sits all kinds of wrong with me. It really seems like to me they put protecting their income over providing for the bride to be. I won’t be buying from them!
Post # 3
I didn’t have this experience but I’ve heard of it happening. Write a yelp review so others are warned.
Post # 4
The first store I visited was like this, though in a more subtle way. At the end of the appointment, my consultant told me that they would keep the information on the dress that I liked best on file for me. The other two stores that I visited had tags on the dresses with the designer, style name/number, and price, and the consultants gave me cards with the designer and style information for the dresses that I liked the best at the end of the appointments. I would consider returning to and even purchasing from the first store because they carry designers that I like, but if I found the same dresses at a store that was more upfront, I would prefer to purchase from there.
Post # 5
@TexasPeach: Pulling tags is illegal. If they persist in being shady, report them to the BBB. I know they have to make a living, but deceiving others is a pretty poor way to do it, and if thats what you have to do to stay in business….maybe you shouldn’t be in business!
Post # 6
I’ve heard of this happening. I feel like they’re being sneaky and I would instantly think I’m being ripped off.
Post # 7
@TexasPeach: I’ve heard/read about it happening with boutiques. I’m totally with you and I wouldn’t buy from them either! The markup on my dress was about $300 at the boutique I bought my dress from. They had an alterations package that added another $200 so overall I paid a little extra for my dress than if I would have bought it online. But I get the peace of mind of knowing that I got the real deal as opposed to potentially getting swindled if I bought it online (it may not have been legit from the designer, etc.) plus the alterations package will save me a ton of money in the long run. So I think it was fair, plus it’s a locally-owned business, which is always nice to support.
In your case though, I would not buy a dress from them at all! They’re not being forthright and you deserve to be treated well as the customer, get what you want, and support businesses that put the customer first (and don’t try to swindle them, sheesh)!
Post # 8
Yes, one or two shops I visited tried to do this and also were the strictest about photos. I understand the reasoning behind it, but I honestly think this sort of policy hurts their business more than it helps it, because I’m least likely to purchase a dress that costs so much without being able to think it over with pictures and some research, just like any other purchase that carries a significant price tag. I guess I was lucky I wasn’t overly enamoured of any dresses at these shops, but when they wouldn’t let me take pictures or take down model/brand numbers, I wrote them off immediately.
Post # 9
That’s very shady, I wouldn’t buy from them either. I respect that they need to protect their business, but changing the labels is not the answer. If you’re confident you tried an Allure dress, contact Allure and share this information and your pictures with them. I can’t imagine a dress designer being very happy about a shop misrepresenting their brand.
Post # 10
@TexasPeach: It almost makes me wonder if the buy designer fakes and take off the labels so they can pass them off as designer. In any case it seems really wierd.
Post # 11
@EffieTrinket: I had no idea this was illegal! Good information.
@Summer_Rose: They were also SUPER strict about pictures. Consultant would NOT leave for 5 seconds. except for me to talk with my mom…we should have snapped a picture.
Thanks for all of y’alls input. I’m glad I’m not the only one with this experience. but it’s a shame that this is a business practice. It’s a really nice place, not offers champagne nice BUT i did leave with a speciatly cupcake.
Post # 12
Actually I think you can pull the designer tag as long as you leave the care tag in it. Either that or you can pull the designer tag if you insert your own in its place, for instance one with the store name vs. the designer name.
I worked in a dress boutique for years and we pulled all the designer tags and inserted our own in its place. I know the owner talked to a lawyer before we did it to make everything legal. Unfortunately at that time it was necessary. A couple of much smaller stores in town (if I remember correctly, one even operated out of her home!) would send customers in to our store to try on dresses and then order it for them at an illegal price (the designers require you have a certain markup and if you do not they won’t allow you to carry their brands). We invested a lot of money in carrying a wide variety of dresses by a lot of different designers in a ton of sizes so every girl could find a dress and we had to protect our investment somehow.
Post # 13
@MissTatas: This seems to suggest that the manufacturer’s name still has to be in there, but there may be any number of loopholes.
I do know that dress manufacturers get pretty irate about companies doing this.
Post # 14
@EffieTrinket: At the time our designers were actually all on board because our profits were being drained. Since we were their largest midwest accounts, they wanted us to do well.
I will be honest, I was so relieved when we were finally able to stop private labeling. It was a lot of work sewing in all of the tags, changing the hanger straps, coding all of the style numbers, etc.
It was never with the intention to screw with our customers. It was just protection from other companies that were trying to screw with us!
Post # 15
Yep, this happened to me. I posted about it on here, actually, contacted the dress shop, and had a big to-do with them over it. It was a Venus gown, and they told me outright that Venus allowed this because “no one knows about Venus” and “it’s like when Target brand stuff is made in a factory.” I called bullshit and had it out with the owner, especially because they outright told me that the dress was an “exclusive designer,” which I took to mean “you won’t find this anywhere else.” A while after that, another bee contacted me because the same thing happened to her at the same place and she FLIPPED (I was very nice, but firm, because I felt lied to). The owner of the store finally changed their website to reflect the ACTUAL designer, which I felt was a small victory.
@MissTatas: See, this makes sense to me. My shop’s reasons, however, were bullshit.
Post # 16
This happens a lot in smaller boutiques. They are afraid of you going off and buying elsewhere….but meanwhile….by them being shady most brides do it anyway.
Mine was a similar exerience. It was my first time trying on dresses, and I evn warned her of this. I fell in love with a dress – an allure as well (I only knew because I’ve seen it online) she kept pressuring me and saying we will drop a couple of hundred.