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19-04-2011
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Some stores charging $50 in 'try-on' fees to stop shoppers buying same item online
has anyone heard of any other stores doing this?

Would you pay to use a store changing room? Retailers charging up to $50 in 'try-on' fees to stop shoppers buying same item for less online

We've heard about Ryanair threatening to charge to use its in-flight toilets. Now fashion retailers are talking about charging shoppers for use of their changing rooms.
According to an article published today, stores in Australia are demanding shoppers pay as much as $50 to try on garments - a fee which is refundable if they decide to purchase the item.

The move is said to prevent people from trying designer items in-store, then buying them online at a discounted price.




The Australian revealed that the highest fees were being charged at ski stores, where trying on and fitting boots is a cumbersome and time-consuming process for both staff and customers.
Among the stores pioneering the trend is Sydney skiwear shop InSki, which requires customers to buy a $50 'boot-fitting voucher', which is refundable on purchase.
InSki Store manager Dominik Drexel explained: 'We are a very small business trying to survive.

'I would never hold it against someone if they got something online for cheaper, but we can't really work for free.'



Snowsports Industry of Australia chief executive Eric Henry added: 'Their time is valuable. People will wander into a shop and spend an hour or two with the boot fitter, then go out and buy them off the internet.
'The owner of the store wants to ensure that if he doesn't get the sale, at least he pays for their time.'

Delotitte's Katherine Milesi admitted that stores have to work harded to compete with growing online trade.

''E-commerce is growing at an exponential rate,' she told the Sydney Morning Herald.
'Our advice is to create a multi-channel offering where the store, internet and social networking go hand in hand.
'Retailers could encourage customers to go online to browse and then insist they pick up in-store. Or provide an online kiosk inside the store where shoppers can view extended ranges that they can only order online.'
Fashion boutique owners told how they were going above and beyond to boost in-stor footfall.
Robby Ingham, whose designer boutique has been a Sydney fashion destination for the past 28 years said he has changed his approach to marketing.
'We haven't changed our philosophy, we don't sell online, but we have changed the way we market to clients,' he said. 'We have a blog, we email and now we text [customers] the same day new stock arrives.
'We also have designer meet-and-greets and give our VIPs early notice when a new collection arrives and offer pre-selling.'
He added that the in-store experience was unique when it comes to customer service.
'Service has always been at the heart of our business. Going in-store allows you to feel the garment, see the proper colour and fit and bring it back if something goes wrong. We can also do alterations and offer advice on how to maintain pieces.
'The internet is not going away and as long as international sites are not taxed like an Australian business, they will always have a 20 per cent advantage.'



dailymail.co.uk

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19-04-2011
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I'm totally guilty of only going into actual stores to try things on that I will purchase over the internet Designer clothes is often up to twice as expensive here as on the internet. Sometimes things won't even go on sale in stores here while it's marked off 70% in online stores. It's ridiculous. I often find myself thinking I'd love to buy an item in the store when the service is great but since I'm an obsessive bargain hunter I just couldn't do it I once asked an SA if she could sell the item to me for the same or a similar price as the online price but she wouldn't give me a discount at all I've noticed that almost all electronics shops here do that. If you see a product for a cheaper price somewhere else you can print the page with the product and price on it and they will sell it to you for that same price. IMO they should do that with clothes, too.

Charging $50 seems a bit much. It's not like everyone that ends up not buying something they try on will go get it somewhere else. You often try on things that just don't look as nice on you as on the rack, I'd be furious if that happened to me and I actually had to pay for that Plus, it's not like the service is always all that great and I feel like it would put a lot of pressure on the SAs because they would always have to please the customer and always be in a good mood because otherwise everyone who had to pay $50 for nothing would be madly pissed off.

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19-04-2011
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i read recently that online sales account for only 10% of all retail sales...
so...
it's still a long time before the internet starts shutting stores down...

this idea seems rather extreme, imho...

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19-04-2011
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I agree with Psylocke - I'm also guilty of trying on things and then buying them online! I do sometimes feel bad when I go into a shop, try things on, and walk out without buying things, but honestly I couldn't buy something full price when I know I could get a lot of money off online.
I would never personally pay money to try something on, the number of time's I've tried something on and realised the garment itself looks ridiculous on me is probably about 50% of all the tryings on I do... If I had to pay to try it on, I'd just order it online and send it back if it didn't fit... what's a £5 shipping fee compared to a $50 trying on fee!

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19-04-2011
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I've only read the first part so pardon me if my question's been answered in the article but... How would that work? I mean couldnt the customer just buy the item in store, try it on at home and then bring it back so they get all their money back and then buy it online? That way they wouldn't need to pay to try it on in store?

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19-04-2011
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Oy. If all stores did that I'd be very, very broke very, very fast. When I need something, say jeans or running shoes, I usually try on about 100 pairs in 20 shops (no kidding). I'd be rid of 1K for just trying on. Just because I didn't get anything in one store doesn't mean I'll get it online. Especially since I have mostly bad experiences with online shopping (reality vs description/picture on website and sizing/color). People love to shop around and a store is not a museum or whatever place that usually charges for consultation/vising/service. While I understand the brick and mortar stores and their fear about dwindling customer base, it's kinda err... unconventional. Also I rarely encounter customer service that would consider worth $50, but I never purchased any skiing equipment, so maybe there's the problem.

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19-04-2011
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This is just silly. I understand their frustration but while it's intended to deter people who aren't intending to buy instore it could also deter genuine shoppers. Personally I simply would not buy from a store with this policy.

The whole point of trying something on is so that you can see how something looks and fits before you commit to buying. Who wants to waste $50 on something they may not end up buying or feel forced to buy something ill-fitting or unflattering because they've paid to try it on?

What if you try something on and it doesn't fit and they don't have your size? Or if you try it on and it doesn't look how you thought it would on the hanger (hasn't that happened to everyone?)?

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20-04-2011
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I think charging for using a changing room isn't the right solution for this problem. If retailers want to make customers to buy the item in their stores instead of online they must do something that will set them positively apart from online stores.

Charging for changing rooms would do the exact oppisite I think. It seems like they are punishing their clients instead of offering them something online shops can't.

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20-04-2011
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It seems a ridiculously high cost just to try something on that may not fit or suit the customer. I would not be at all happy to have to pay that much, regardless of customer service which is seldom that good. The way clothes are sized these days means you have to go in a lot of shops and try a lot of things on to get a decent fit, and the customer would be penalised by the 'trying on' charge because manufacturers cannot get their act together regarding sizing. Buying online and paying for returns will work out cheaper as a number of online shops offer a free returns service. There has to be better ways for 'real' shops to win back customers - there can't be many worse ones!

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20-04-2011
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The ski stores may ask to keep the customer's charge card on file and then charge later. if so, then the customer can always contact their credit card issuer and deny the charge as their is no signature.

This is also why restaurants that try to hold reservations via credit cards are out of luck. credit card issuers wont uphold "no show" charges as their is no signature.

these ski stores may be in violation of their merchant agreements with these credit card companies.

i predict this "trend" will die out.

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20-04-2011
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It's not going to work. This will end up pushing away new or even returning customers.

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20-04-2011
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What a silly idea....for all the reasons that everyone have listed out so far.
Personally, this "try-on" fee is a more a deterrent to me from buying a store that enforces it.

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20-04-2011
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woah thats scary! Heard thats one of the reasons Bestbuy is headed downwards many people go to the store to make enquiries but never buy the items.

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26-08-2011
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I can see why this is frustrating for ski/snowboard stores in particular. Having worked in one for 6 years, I know that fitting somebody for something highly specialized like ski/snowboard boots, or a snowboard package takes a very long time. Sometimes you can spend up to an hour plus with one client, finding the perfect fit for a pair of boots, for example. But I think charging a fee for that is kind of ridiculous. Brick & mortar stores need to find a better way to get competitive and keep their customers from buying online - I don't think this is the answer.

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