Post # 1
I purchased my dress at Sparkle Bridal Couture in Sacramento. I absolutely LOVE it… but the owner did something I was not so happy about. My wedding is October 6th 2012 and I went in to the store and tried on dresses in October. We visited 2 times so that my sister could also see the dress. My mom explained to Sandra the owner that I was dieting and had just started up Pilates and had lost about 25 pounds and was still losing. So she asked if we have 12 months when should we order. Sandra kept insisting to order now even though the dress only takes 6 months to come in. We started to feel a lot of pressure from her and ended up being talked in to it. We left the deposit of 50% with the remaining amount to be paid in the next 30 days. 10 days later Sandra had an event at Sparkle that I attended. On the walls they had signs stating if you made an appointment that night to try on dresses, even if u had been in before and purchased your dress the day of your appointment they would give you 20% off. Well when you are buying a dress that comes to $2800, 20% is a lot!!!! I wrote Sandra an email and explained I thought since my dress purchase was not final yet because the last payment had not been made that I should get the 20% off. And if not on the whole balance AT LEAST on the remaining 50%. She said NO! I really left with a bitter feeling that she had purposely talked us in to purchasing the dress 10 days before the event. A few other things that happened after that gave me a bitter feeling, I emailed Sandra and asked her who made my dress for a bridal scrapbook I was filling out. She replied with your dress is made by “Sparkle Bridal Couture”. ??? I didnt ask the name of her business I asked who made the design for my almost 3k wedding dress. When we were in the store she raved about where the fabrics were made etc so I asked here where exactly is my dress made. She said “As for our dresses, yes we do bring in certain designers dresses and we have SPARKLE gowns. We ensure our gowns are made with high-quality weaves of bridal fabric and unique laces and ornamentation sourced from around the world and then gowns are produced overseas. Did you know that 98% of bridal gowns are produced in foreign countries?” THAT was her response? Still not really answering my question.
I am a business owner and I am in the wedding industry. If this had happened I would have by all means given my customer the 20% off just so that they would feel at ease. Not to mention I could have sent her a lot of business. Typically businesses in the wedding industry will do a lot of trade, and discounts for each other since we send referrals so often. Not the case here at all.
It makes me really sad that even though I love my dress the overall experience was bad. Not really how I want to remember purchasing my wedding gown. This just leaves me with a very uneasy feeling. What do you guys think?
Post # 3
She sounds a bit sneaky and unprofessional.
And yes, it does seem like she was pushing you to avoid the 20% off sale. I would be more polite to someone who was spending 3k at my store.
Post # 4
bump! I need your advice Bees!!!
Post # 5
I know what you mean. I had a similar situation, well not similar but the wedding planner I interviewed gave me a quote and would not tell me how much of it was her fee. All she kept telling me is that her fee was built into the quote to which I kept on asking well how much is that and she would not say.
I didn’t mind paying her for her services, but I wanted to know how much I was paying especially since I wasn’t needing her to do a whole lot. Of the 10k that you are saying I will owe, how much of that 10K will you get. Well now she gets nothing from me because I’m not using her.
Post # 6
It totally sounds like she was trying to avoid losing 20% off the price of the dress because of the upcoming sale, so sorry :/ That really sucks. Do you have any sort of contract that says you have “X” amount of days to return it and get your deposit back? If so, maybe you could go somewhere that you’ll be treated better.
If not, at the very least, I’d have a sit down conversation with her. Tell her how you feel cheated, and you’d like to continue doing business with her (think shoes, veil, accessories etc) but you won’t if you feel like you’re just a dollar sign to her. Also, if she doesn’t back down, never underestimate the power of Yelp!
Post # 7
Man that really sucks 🙁
But honestly, thats the way things work. Once you put down a deposit you are locked in at that price. You may have had time to shop arround but since you’d been in twice I’d say it was a done deal. Definately they should show a tag that indicates who makes the dress. Maybe not always telling what style but still showing the designer. I know a bridal store in Folsom also sells made in China dresses… and I was shocked when they told me.
I would totally yelp post about the made in China and that the owner wouldn’t extend some sort of offer to you. So lame 🙁
Post # 8
That is really un-cool and unprofessional. To be honest, I would go back to that store and refuse to leave until I got some money back. Take your mom with you as back up!
Post # 9
My advice: tell her you loved the experience up until this problem, and that you will calmly explain your story to warn brides all over yelp and other review sites if she does not help you out. Even if you are locked in at that price, bridal stores will want to avoid the bad press they would get that would lead to brides avoiding their store. I know the first thing I did when I picked stores to set appointments at was check them out on yelp and weddingwire.
Post # 10
Honestly – that’s how life works. You’d already put down your deposit and locked inthe order before the sale. Is it frustrating? – sure. But is the shop owner obligated to give you the discount anyway? – absolutely not. There is no point to having a time frame for a sale to take place if you give the sale price to customers who purchase outside that time frame.
And regarding her indicating that your dress is a “Sparkle Bridal Couture” dress – I believe some bridal stores have their own dress lines, in addition to stocking mainstream designers. Maybe that is the case here and the dress you happen to have chosen is a part of their Sparkle Bridal Couture line.
Post # 11
I would definitely leave detailed reviews for her shop, as PP suggested. I’m not sure you have other recourse. If you paid with a credit card, you might be able to cancel the order and challenge the charge, but I’m not sure how successful that will be.
Post # 12
I have to agree that since you already put down your deposit and agreed on the price, she isnt really obligated to give you the sale price that you saw ten days later. In the same way if the prices went up ten days later you wouldnt expect to pay the higher price since you already agreed on your price when you paid the deposit. Its just the chance you take when you buy something and if you hadnt see the new sale price you would have been happy with your purchase
Post # 13
Thank you guys for all the advice! This is a new store they just opened in July and I will def. leave a very detailed review for them when I pick up my dress. My mom already said she is going to come with me since she was the one who paid for the dress. I am sure she will let the owner know how we feel. I just feel like she is being sneeky and that is what leaves me with an uneasy feeling. Thank you all again for the great advice!!! =)
Post # 14
Does the owner have to give you the 20% discount? Absolutely not.
Is it smart for a relatively new bridal boutique to build up customer loyalty and good business by telling you about the 20% discount and perhaps honoring it? Absolutely.
I am really surprised that they won’t honor the discount, just seems like bad form in a way. I know several stores (some bridal and some not) that tell you “hey there is going to be a sale coming up…you might want to wait, come back etc.”
I would leave a detailed Yelp comment as previously suggested. As this is a newer business they need to know where their business is lacking so they can improve.
I visited Sparkle and found their customer service to be amazing but I did not buy a dress (they just weren’t my style). Regarding the ‘Sparkle Bridal Couture’ they have one or two designers that aren’t well known that provide the dresses rather than carrying all the mainstream options we are familiar with….that is probably why they said SBC rather than the actual designer. And to be fair most bridal gowns regardless of the designer are made “overseas” AKA China.
Post # 15
That really stinks. I wonder what would have happened if you acted like a complete bitch initially and said frankly, I’ll come back after I see my other options. I wonder if she would have tried to solidify the sale by telling you about the event coming up.
It goes to show you, sometimes as a consumer, you have to be the assertive and brutal one or people will take advantage of you. Granted it’s hard when the dress of your dreams is within your fingertips, but working in retail, I can say that bending over almost backwards should be par for the course. The owner was really quite dishonest with you, especially since we both know she knew of this event ahead of time. I purchased my gown at Priscilla of Boston about a year ago and at the time they did not know about their closing (at least I would hope). But if they had actually known, I would feel very deceived, indeed.
You are only as good as your latest feedback, and I think Sparkles should learn this the hard way. Word of mouth can be lethal.
Post # 16
I agree that the owner isn’t OBLIGATED to give the 20% discount, but in my opinion, she SHOULD have, especially since she talked you into ordering sooner than you wanted to. She sounds sneaky, and it was a dumb move on her part as the owner of a new business (where reputation is EVERYTHING) to do this to you.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like there is anything you can do about it now – but definitely leave a detailed, negative review of the bridal shop after you pick up your dress.
Just try to remember how much you love your gown! The negative feelings you have about your shopping experience will fade, and you will love wearing your perfect dress.
Also, just wanted to add… I work PT in a bridal boutique, and we advertise our trunk shows/discount events like crazy. If a bride comes in and loves a dress, we tell her right away (without any prodding from her) that we have that designer’s trunk show coming up on [x date]. There is no sneakiness and no pressuring – and we have a great reputation, and almost everyone who makes an appointment with us has been referred by someone else who had a great experience. Shady businesses usually aren’t very successful, so maybe you can take a little comfort in that.