Master March 2014

Charging a fee just to try on gowns

Jen, on March 25, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Posted in Wedding Attire 31

I went to one store here in NYC that charged me $25 just to try on gowns. I didn't like the idea, but since it was a nominal fee, I did it anyway. But this I just saw on Yahoo, and OMG...

I went to one store here in NYC that charged me $25 just to try on gowns. I didn't like the idea, but since it was a nominal fee, I did it anyway.

But this I just saw on Yahoo, and OMG...



  • Jamie
    Super May 2013
    Jamie ·

    I actually think the charge is a good idea...being in retail I would hate to have my time wasted especially if I worked on commission. And $500 is like a drop in the bucket in China...good for Vera..the counterfeits are horrendous!

  • Nay-Nay
    VIP January 2020
    Nay-Nay ·

    Yeah I can see why some places would stated before some people just like to try on wedding dresses for fun. 500 is a lot but 25 isn't too bad.

  • Mrs. S™
    Master October 2011
    Mrs. S™ ·

    Then why wouldn't they charge for people to test drive cars? If nothing else, you are using their gas, they have to pay insurance, and cars are typically more expensive than dresses.

    I understand people try dresses for fun, and that's a waste of time for the consultants and the store. But that's the part of being in retail. I never tried on dresses for fun, it was always with the intention to buy, but there wasn't any guarantee that I was going to find what I was looking for. Then they should also post the price of dresses, so that you know what you're getting into.

  • Just Reenski
    Master December 2012
    Just Reenski ·

    Like Amy said, I think charging to test drive a Lambo or a Maserati would be okay, because my H doesn't need to waste their time or gas. So for Kleinfeld, Amsale or Vera Wang to charge a fee (not $500, that is really a Shanghai thing) wouldn't be out of line.

    But just as I don't expect Hyundai to charge for test drives, I don't expect David's to charge either.

    When we still had S2000's, sales did try to make it difficult for the ricers that came in wanting to test drive it. Says she considering getting another one for her husband. Le sigh.

    Oh, also, yes, totally agree with more honesty about the prices of dresses -- don't encourage people to come to your store by telling them you're in their budget if you aren't.

  • Mrs. S™
    Master October 2011
    Mrs. S™ ·

    You can test drive all sorts of expensive cars without a credit check and a fee. I'm not sure about Lambo specifically, but you can do it with other pretty expensive cars.

  • Mrs. S™
    Master October 2011
    Mrs. S™ ·

    Sure, and again, I understand they want to prevent people from doing it for fun. But what would make sense to me is that a) you know the prices going in (you know the approximate price of a Lambo), and b) making sure there's something for me to try on.

  • Just Reenski
    Master December 2012
    Just Reenski ·

    Well, the example in the article is certainly an extreme one, but I can understand in that case being more about protecting the work than the keeping out time wasters.

    Agreed that in making an appointment it should be clear of what a bride's budget is, if the shop can cater to that in any way, general sizing and ideas of what you want to make sure you have it. Perhaps we can add to that the booking of an appointment, not allowing teens to walk in after school to try on Bella's gown.

    If the budget and price points don't meet, you only wasted a phone call. If they do meet and all is well, I don't think simply holding a CC to show you are seriously shopping is too much, charged only for no-shows. If you need to cancel, call and cancel, no problem, but don't just not show up.

    I think that's one of the big problems AA faced with the Bella dress -- people just walked in to try it on.

  • ashlee
    Master January 2012
    ashlee ·

    I purchased my gown at vera wang on madison ave in nyc (the flagship store) and i can assure that nothing like this happened -- and that i had an incredible experience with them. i can only assume that their policy is in place for good reason - and it is unfortunate that it is even necessary.

    living in nyc you burn out on humanity pretty quickly, so it does not surprise me that some places would charge or hold a deposit for an appointment. time is money and if they are setting aside time for you (and turning away someone else) they are losing money. i cant imagine that people would go try wedding dresses on 'for fun' but to each his own.

  • Just Reenski
    Master December 2012
    Just Reenski ·

    I also think the where is important -- I think a fee in NYC makes more sense than one in, say, Fort Myers, FL. You gotta know your market, where this would make sense if you have problems or where it wouldn't.

    Similarly, a lot would be helped (since we keep bringing up the AA example) by shops having a 18+ only type policy -- some shops don't allow small children, so why allow children at all? Legally, 17 is still a kid.

  • Mrs. Kommeren
    Master December 2013
    Mrs. Kommeren ·

    You know what I say to that...

  • PurpleSun
    Master September 2013
    PurpleSun ·

    Maybe for cleaning? I would never pay to try on though

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