Post # 1
My sisters arranged a wonderful day of wedding dress shopping for me back in December. To my surprise booked me in to this beautiful boutique that I had seen online but thought was out of my price range. My sister called ahead and made sure they had many dresses and accessories within my budget and said we should go for the ‘princess’ experience of the beautiful store.
It really was a princess experience and I ended up actually UPPING my dress budget to splurge for ‘THE ONE’. I was totally in love with my dress and the sales lady was so helpful and sweet. She even cried when my mom cried at me in my dress!
I bought my dress on that first day of shopping. The sales lady offered 15% off if I committed to it there and then. I figured that was a better discount than at a trunk show and I loved the dress so I went for it.
My dad came back with me a couple days later so I could show him the dress and he surprised me by buying me the Sara Gabriel Phoebe veil to go with it.
It was VERRRRY expensive. I couldnt justify the cost to be honest but my dad told me that it looked beautiful and THAT dress deserved THAT veil. I was so excited and elated and just blissful. It was a sweet moment between father and daughter and I’m sure it made my dad very proud.
Cut to 4 months later and I have found out that the sales lady over charged us for the veil by a VERY SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT!!!! (We’re talking doubling the price!). I just stumbled across it on another site at 50% of what I paid. (Not even looking to check the price… because I naively took the sales lady’s word for it!). I have since found it for sale at SEVERAL different locations for 50% of what we paid.
Now maybe this is my fault for not being more ‘clued in’ to prices of different designers but I am actually from the UK and was shopping in USA so I did not recognise any of the designers.
I feel so saddened by this and feel completely used and ripped off. I feel so upset for my dad who was being such a sweet man by treating me so generously.
What do I do about this? I have paid a deposit for the dress but still owe the remaining 50% on receipt. Unfortunately the entirety of the veil is paid (because my dad is THAT wonderful!).
Do I have any ground to stand on at all by telling her that I know she ripped me off? I appreciate that most boutiques up prices to varying degrees but surely this is just ridiculous?
It literally brings me to tears that she obviously thought I was easy to take advantage of. It puts a horrible negativity to the whole experience
Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
Post # 3
- Wedding: September 2011 - Bent Creek Winery (Livermore, California); Reception: Family Residence (San Ramon, California)
Is it possible the price for the veil has dropped? You did buy it four months ago, and prices do change. It may not be as popular now, and maybe it’s on sale. Just a thought. But I don’t think I’d immediately jump to concluding I had been ripped off, especially since you’re comparing prices across a significant period of time.
Post # 4
I don’t know – I have seen many instances where I could find a product (including wedding apparel) for 50% or less of what was being charged in a store. It doesn’t always mean you were deliberately ripped off. Now if I could find SEVERAL places with the item at a far lessor price THEN there would be an issue. I would then print out advertisements/web pages of the veil at the lessor price and go to the manager and say “See? Stores X, Y, and Z, ALL have this veil for less – now what are you going to do about it?’. If that didn’t work, I would SLAM the shop with every ratings/review site known to humankind.
Post # 5
@J-Bride: Are you looking at online prices or prices at bridal stores? Online prices are always going to be cheaper and may be replicas.
Post # 6
It’s very possible the price dropped when the fashion season switched. New collections are usually more than previous ones (even in the same year because its spring/fall lines). Veil prices are also already so out of comprehension that it may very well be that your salon simply upcharges whereas other places are discounting. Oddly, with a lot of these things, if you see the price online it may also be regarding selling the sample which would be a lot less too.
Post # 7
If you were willing to pay it when you bought it, then try not to feel ripped off. Prices can always drop, for items like this it could always be cheaper elsewhere or not, its just the way things go. I dont think you have any ground to stand on to tell her she over charged you. You wanted the veil, you willingly bought it at the price she told you. It sucks to find it for less, but I’m not sure there much that can be done about it.
Post # 8
You’re saying on sale, could they be at a 50% sale price vs the full price you were charged? Also as pp’s said online prices are usually much lower and prices drop over time. This is just to say they might not be intentionally trying to swindle you but I think it’s worth a shot to see if they’ll lower the price a bit.
P.S. Personally I find almost all veil prices are waaaaayyyyyyy too high, some may have detailed hand beading and lace so labour hours might justify some of the cost but I will be making my own unless I find one for cheap.
Post # 9
@Treeline: This as well.
You rarely see the prices posted online because they don’t want you to comparison shop. So when I see prices posted online I usually start wondering if it is replica/resale/damaged/sample. Especially for veils over a certain price point.
Post # 10
@Treeline: I did initially think that the prices I had seen were for replicas or knock-offs. However, I have since contacted several bridal salons in the same area and all have quoted me this MUCH lower price.
I dont think that it is now on sale. It is a very classic cathedral length veil and I think its unlikely to drop to 50% of the original price in 4 months.
Post # 11
@pinkshoes: Yes I did try to make myself feel better by thinking this. My dad agreed to pay it at the price she quoted because he wanted to get it for me. He did actually scoff at the price at first I will admit.
I am happy with the veil and my dad was happy to buy it for me so i should probably just let it go . I think if I bought it for myself this would be easier. I just feel bad for my dad. I get a gut feeling that she just upped the price because she thought she could. I agree there’s probably nothing I can do about it but it just taints the experience a bit.
Post # 12
@J-Bride: At this point there isn’t much you can do then. You can bring in some print outs of online prices (but you’re better off proving a brick-and-mortar store was selling at the lower price so the store can’t claim overhead costs as justification) and seeing if they can cut you a break or throw in a free accessory or cut alterations costs. But after that, your best bet is really to try to just love the veil. It sucks to see you overpaid but you weren’t truly ripped off because they didn’t lie or anything illegal, so it’s probably better for you to try to make peace with it and be happy you love the veil
Post # 13
The Princess Experience is not free! The higher prices cover overhead, extras (glass of champagne while you shop?), even totally legit things like better-trained sales people. I don’t think there’s anything you can do but chalk it up to experience. And don’t tell your dad. He doesn’t need to know – it would just diminish the moment for him.
Post # 14
Really the only one you can be mad at in this situation is yourself, for not doing some research and comparison shopping before agreeing to the pricing on the veil. Which is not meant to make you feel worse than you already do, so please don’t take it the wrong way, but just showing that the bridal shop didn’t do anything “wrong” by setting their price where they did. Prices will vary among the brick-and-mortar stores and not just online. A shop in downtown NYC or LA will charge more than a shop in suburban Florida because it costs a lot more to do business there. And if a store sets a price unreasonably high for an item, the consumer always has the chance to not buy at that price.
If the price was not disclosed before you and your father agreed to pay, you might be able to negotiate, but seeing as how you agreed to their price, all you can do now is try to take it as a lesson for other large purchases in the future.
Post # 15
@fishbone: Thank you for your input. I do agree with many of your points and did think them myself before I sought the wisdom of the Bees.
The stores that I called for comparison are all in the same city in the same area. As I said above I completely understand that different stores vary their mark-ups and completely expect prices to vary to a degree. However, this is a very significant price difference.
I appreciate it is my own fault for not knowing better and it does make me feel naive for trusting this woman to be reasonable. I do believe that marking up this item by 100% is unreasonable.
I dd not do ‘research’ because I was completely not expecting to buy a dress that day, I was planning on looking at styles to start with. I was also not expecting my dad to be so kind and pay for my veil then and there.
Again, I’m aware it is my own fault but it does sadden me that this store either sells their accessories at double their worth, OR that this lady took one look at me all excited and my dad all proud and just saw $$$$.
I’m sure there’s no solution, it just sucks.
Post # 16
It wouldn’t hurt to ask them about it. I mean, the worse they can say is “I’m sorry. You bought the veil at that price so you’re stuck with it.” And if they do say that it will be okay because you got a beautiful veil as a special gift from your dad (I’m totally going to invite my dad to my next fitting now).
If it were me, I would print off everything you found with the lower price online and, especially get the quotes from the other local bridal shops as they’re probably the store’s biggest competitors. Take it all to the store manger or owner and say something like this:
“I found this price online and I started to do some research and found out that you overcharged and I paid entirely too much for this. It really hurt because it made me feel like you thought I was naïve but my father was believed that as the correct price because I TRUSTED YOU. It makes me feel like giving a negative online review of your store (which would say that they overprice their items by a lot) but I would really hate to do that because I had such a wonderful experience here with everything else. Is there any there anything you could do to help me out such as giving me a partial discount on my alternations / shoes /whatever…”
But make sure you do your research first to double check that they really did over charge you.