Post # 1
Hello Fellow Weddingbees! I would REALLY like to get your input on this situation. I recently tried to purchase a pair of shoes from a fairly large discount online retailer. Since this on line retailer offers no returns, exchanges only and all shipping costs are charged to me, I had told them that I would try these same shoes on at a local store and get back to them. This was there response:
Please don’t think this rude, but it isn’t the right thing to try shoes on at a bridal salon, then purchase them online. Stores make their living by helping customers that come into their store and purchase goods from them. If you wish to buy from the bridal salon, we are absolutely fine with you purchasing through them. We exist only to move out merchandise that doesn’t meet the high quality standards of [private label] Co. for “salon first quality” and also we sell discontinued, “gently worn”, dyed or sample shoes, at discount and by doing so. It is harmful to all designers when customers try on merchandise in a salon, then order it through an online discounter. We will not be a party to this. We were willing to make the exchange as discussed, but if you’re going to a bridal salon, you need to buy from them at full price. If you want to make the exchange with us, I’ll go ahead and issue the Paypal invoice for the difference and give you till end of day.
Would love your thoughts on this situation!!!
Post # 3
whatever. I try on clothes all the time and decide not to buy them. I see no difference here just because you do plan to buy the shoes eventually. The salon could always offer you a discount or something else that would entice you to buy their shoes there.
That seems a little ridiculous, imo – but I’m a thrifty shopper. So if there’s something I want to buy online, but want to see it in person first, I’d have no qualms about going to a brick & mortar to try it on, then order online.
Post # 4
I see nothing wrong with trying something on and then finding it cheaper online. I think it’s ridiculous to call it unethical. That’s just smart bargain-shopping, IMO.
Now, if we’re talking that you try on a pair of Louboutins and then order knock-offs from some shady online seller… I’d be more willing to call that unethical.
Post # 5
umm…WHAT?! How does it affect the designer’s bottom line for you to go try the shoe on at a bridal salon and then buy them online cheaper? That was very rude and strange to say the least.
Post # 6
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
I think it is unethical when you have that purpose in mind. You are taking advantage of the services offered at the instore retailer. The question is rather how unethical… is it unethical enough to stop you? It’s not like we’re clubbing baby seals.
Post # 7
That’s ridiculous. Do these people want your business or not?
They admit they’re selling an inferior product for less money, I don’t see how it hurts the designer for you to go into a bridal salon and try on a sample shoe that dozens of other brides have already tried on, then go buy one online that “doesn’t meet the high quality standards” of the label for cheaper.
“It is harmful to all designers when customers try on merchandise in a salon, then order it through an online discounter.”
If you think it’s so bad, then WHY ARE YOU IN BUSINESS GIVING PEOPLE THIS OPTION?
What a double standard.
Post # 8
honestly, I don’t think it’s any less ethical than window shopping/trying things on at stores I know I can’t afford. If the store treats me well, though, I usually pay it forward by talking them up to friends who are less frugal than I am & prefer to shop boutique:) I think that’s fair.
Post # 9
Oh please. It’s not for this online store to tell you how to spend your money. Sure, I see their point, and I do try to buy things from brick-and-mortar stores when I’ve benfitted from their assistance, but come on. Tell them to go buy full-priced wedding shoes at a bridal salon and see how they like it!
Post # 10
LOL they are kidding themselves. I would laugh at them. Seriously.
Post # 11
They need to calm down, waaaay down.
Post # 12
@ahepburn: Support local businesses!!!! But the designers….they’re doing juuuust fine!
Post # 13
Ugh. How how and mighty are they?
Honestly, after a message like that I wouldn’t give them my money. I’d pay full price from the designer because those people are assholes. It’s none of their business where you shopped around before buying! There are a lot of times I go to stores to try on stuff to figure out sizing and then order online because there’s a bigger selection.
Post # 14
I actually agree with them, stores have much more overhead, if everyone did this the salons would go out of business. I think it’s to their credit they told you this and risked losing a sale.
Post # 15
Actually I like the fact that they were willing to risk making money by standing up for someone else. You mentioned doing something that didn’t sit right with them and instead of them just thinking “hail to the almighty dollar!” they stood by their beliefs. That’s actually an ADMIRABLE trait that we need to see more often.
Whether you or i actually consider your actions unethical is beside the point. I think the thing most people are missing is that someone risked a sale for their beliefs and we don’t see that kind of integrity in business often. So I applaud them.
*but I say buy the shoes wherever the hell you like. I’m for sure getting a china knockoff wedding dress *shrug*.
Post # 15
@Over the Moon: then why are they even in business? What if the OP can’t afford to spend $x on shoes from the salon?
I get your point, but the online retailer is being incredibly hypocritical, IMO. And it’s really not their business to ‘scold’ a potential customer.