Post # 1
Have any of you been bothered by a weird negative vibe among dress store owners?
For instance, there is a discount shop here that gets last season designer dresses. I felt the prices weren’t all THAT great considering, and most of the dresses had some minor flaws (stains or pulls). In any case, the owner of this store was asking a lot of questions about how many stores I had been to, the names of the stores, and if I found any other dresses that I liked.
All of these questions were sort of okay, except that I didn’t get that great positive vibe along with the questions. There was also a sign up in the dressing room with all of the rules of the store (like, “we only accept deposits on dresses over xx$$$, and then you have to give a 50% deposit that is nonrefundable” not “we will be happy to hold the dress you select for a 50% deposit; deposits are not refundable.).
Then on top of all this she wouldn’t let me take any photos. That is her perogative as it is her store, but she wouldn’t even allow me to take a few photos and then delete them in front of her. The only reason I wanted to take photos was to see which dress pops better on film, and ideally to ask for your opinions on my favorites.
I don’t know, but I just got a negative vibe with all of these rules. And on top of it, I felt a little bit offended about how strict she was about the photos. I was surprised at how distrustful the whole experience felt, as if I was going to run out and hire a dressmaker to copy one of these past season dresses! She had nice styles, but they weren’t SO amazing and they WERE last season. Is protecting her store so important that it’s worth making the bride feel like a criminal?
Anyway, I am just wondering if any of you had similar experiences and if it sort of took any enjoyment from your process of shopping for your dream gown. I will add that I’ve worked with some LOVELY owners who make you feel really special and support you through the selection process. I was just surprised by how many took the opposite approach.
Post # 3
I really don’t understand dress shops not allowing you to take pictures of their dresses. I went into one and they told me I couldn’t take a picture of the dress I was wearing. I looked at her and just simply said “Then I guess I can’t get a good enough feel for these dresses to buy one. I would like to take this off and leave now.” She was very rude about be wanting to take a picture so I felt no need to be nice about not wanting to buy from her. It just doesn’t make sense to me.
Post # 4
The store near my house has a strange owner. They make you pay a $20 ‘registration fee’ just to try on dresses. They have ZERO customer service and don’t take appointments, so I’m not sure what the $20 is for. She always has this sour look on her face and you can’t take photos and most of the dresses have the labels taken out so you can’t see who the designer is. It’s obvious they are having a hard time competing with other bridal salons, but being shady is not the way to do it.
Post # 5
Yep, they don’t want photos taken because they’re afraid you’ll go out and find the dress cheaper somewhere else and/or go out and get it made. They claim it’s “protecting the designer” from copycats…riiight.
I wouldn’t buy from a shop if it made me feel as uncomfortable as you felt!
Post # 6
i went to a store with a similar experience, except they were not only selling last years dresses. if it weren’t for that, i would have thought we went to the same store!
as soon as i walked in and was looking at their magazines to choose dresses, she was asking me where else i had been, have i tried on other dresses etc. she told me she thought David’s Bridal was like shopping at K-Mart!
Also, she had a VERY strict no picture rule (I had read many reviews on this store beforehand so i knew what to expect), so i can proudly say i got her to break that rule. i did it by promising i would buy a dress from her but i really needed to see the pics to decide if i still like it. i felt guilty for a couple of days, but then got over it and ordered my dress from the store that gave me the best service.
also, i told one dress i had really liked and tried on elsewhere and i wanted to try it on again if she had so i could compare. she said i shouldn’t try on a dress again if i already have tried it on (um, why not?!!). and when i asked again if she had it, she just said she sold it….not sure if she was being entirely truthful there so it just left a bad taste in my mouth.
Post # 7
@kfricke89: The one shop that didn’t allow me to take pictures I whined a little saying I can’t decide on a dress unless I see a picture of it cause they blur together and I forget what I liked and they were like okay for you we will make an exception. I really feel pictures are necessary to make a confident decision.
Post # 8
@Sassy5412: I had a similar experience! I walked into a shop in Chicago and they handed me a binder full of pics and bookmarks to pick out dresses I’d like to try on. How weird!
This place didn’t allow pics either. I ended up finding a gown I really liked there, but something seemed fishy. Plus, I couldn’t feel confident buying it w/o seeing pics. Luckily, my Fiance snuck a couple of cell phone pics for me… bad, I know… but it was the best thing he could have done!
It turns out, something was fishy! This place didn’t have any tags in these dresses and refused to tell me anything about them (which I understand is not uncommon). BUT, I became suspicious when I realized that the dress store owner’s mom owned a DRESS MAKING shop in the same location!
I stayed up till 3 am that next morning comparing the photos my Fiance took of the dress I liked to ones online and I found the real dress! Once I tracked it down in person, it became very clear that the one they were trying to sell me was a COPY. It was almost identicle, but juuuuust different enough to tell. Plus, the fabric of the real dress felt like higher quality (It’s Blue by Enzoani, known for their quality). I mean, I’m no snob, I could stand to wear a knock off, but they were pricing it like a designer dress. I got the real thing for much cheaper than what they were charging for the copy.
So the bad experience ended up being worth it. It led me to my dream dress but it’s definitely someplace I tell my engaged friends NOT to bother with! (I don’t want to drop shop names here, but if any of you are from Chicago and want to know which place to avoid going, feel free to send me a message).
Post # 9
This is something that really bothered me after I bought my dress. I found “the one” at the first store I went to. The sales girl wouldn’t let me take pics. This was before I discovered Weddingbee so I didn’t know this was out of the ordinary.
She also told me that my dress was 50% off of $1500 but when I went back to buy it the next day she said claimed to have said it was $790 not $750. I know for a fact she said 50% off and I could’ve sworn she said $750. I asked if she could give me a $40 discount since she had said 50% off. She “checked with her manager” who said no. I pointed out that I was bringing 9 girls to them to buy their dresses but the store didn’t budge. Needless to say, I didn’t send my girls there. Arg! I kinda wish I hadn’t bought my dress there. I think I could have found another dress that I liked, maybe more, but maybe not, oh well.
Post # 10
Chicago brides, come north to WI! My daughter tried on dresses in Cedarburg and in Burlington. Both encouraged me to take pictures! I would never buy from someone who made me feel like they made you feel.
Post # 11
We had a very bad experience with a shop too. They were super rude to us. The owner basically treated us like we were a nuisance. She was very uppity about everything. They were one of those shops that didnt allow pictures and cut the designer labels out of their samples. The best part was, we found a dress I was kind of digging and she tried to muscle us into buying it! She told us that we had to purchase it that day because “tomorrow, the price it going up.” Um, excuse me? Hell no. I basically told her where to shove her dress and walked out. No way was I purchasing from a store that treated me like that.
Post # 12
@FutureMrsBondo: thats nuts! i forgot to add on to my experience with this store was that i had went in with a list style numbers from Maggie Sottero and wanted to know if she had anything on my list to try on….she wouldn’t look at the list, instead handed me a Maggie book and told me to point out which ones i like. the book didn’t have style numbers so i had to in the moment try to remember which ones i liked. THEN she gets me a dress of similar style to what i wanted, but (i believe purposely) by a different designer!! i must say she picked out a very nice dress. of course there was no tag so i had no idea of the designer. she asked me my budget and i said $1000. she told me this dress was $1300 but would sell it to me for $1000. well after i managed to get the picture, i posted it on here, someones identified for me as Mori Lee and another store told me it was usually sold for $800 – $900! that solidified me NOT going back to this store!!
Post # 13
I called this shop and asked if I could come in that day. They said yes in half an hour. So I go and look around and they tell me to look online at the designers and write down the style numbers and they will have the dresses ready next time I come in for my appt. The owner said that most his dresses were in boxes or storages or at another store but he had a toooooon of dresses and they would have any style I wanted to try on.
So I send them a list of 20 style numbers, my top 10 and second 10. When i come in the next week to try on the dresses the owner said the had NONE of the dresses I wanted. To make it worst they wouldnt even let me try on the dresses that were in the store bc someone else had an appoitment at the same time and there was only one dressing room. I begged them to let me try on 2 dresses I really wanted and he said I had to hurry No one even helped me get in and out of the dresses or zipthem up or clip the dress or anything. What a waste of time.
Post # 14
I went into a store near us to make an appointment and see get an idea of what dresses they had. I was literally the ONLY customer in the store, and no one said anything to me for at least 5 mins. I just kind of walked around the store by myself! Then one of the ladies noticed me and wrote me down for an appointment, didn’t ask me what my price point was, or what kind of dress I was looking for, she didn’t show me what designers they had. She didn’t even give me their card! I mean I guess because I was there alone and obviously not trying anything on that day I wasn’t worth their time?
I went to another store and she literally dropped everything she was doing to show me all of the collections, and make sure the dress I really wanted to try on would be in the store that day. She showed me cataloges, tuxes, bridesmaid dresses, MOB just anything! she was so helpful and so very nice! So I’m going to the first store just to try on dresses, get an idea of what I really like and really don’t…but I will not buy from them because their customer service was terrible.