Some of Vera Wang’s customers now have to! The designer’s Shanghai store is charging a fee of 3000 yuan–which equates to almost $500 US–to simply try on bridal gowns. The policy was put into place to deter knock-offs and “protect the copyright of the designer”. The thought behind this is that “serious” customers looking to buy a dress won’t be deterred by the fitting charge as it will function as a deposit and go directly towards the purchase price of a gown. If a customer does not buy a dress after their 90-minute fitting is up, however, they forfeit that money in its entirety.
For most brides, a wedding dress is a major, high-involvement purchase. It can involve a lot of time on Pinterest, the reading of bridal magazines, and watching many episodes of Say Yes to the Dress! When I selected my wedding dress, I tried on 4+ different styles at my first appointment and didn’t immediately purchase any of them! It wasn’t until I went back to the boutique later that week with both of my parents in tow and tried on my favorite gown for both of them before deciding it was “the one” and actually buying it. Since this was done in two trips, would I have had to pay $1000 to try everything on and forfeited half of that money because I didn’t buy during my first appointment? That kind of thing would definitely make me think very hard about buying my dress from that retailer! I absolutely HATE to be rushed, but I would hate even more to be charged for not making up my mind quickly enough. Bridal boutiques are also notorious for attracting “tourists” who have no intention of buying anything. Of course, according to Vera Wang, the try-on fee isn’t for these tourists or for indecisive brides like me, but rather to deter counterfeiting. Wang already bans customers from taking photos or videos in the store–a policy that is commonplace in bridal retailers worldwide. And, according to The Global Times, try-on fees aren’t unheard of in Hong Kong bridal boutiques. Vera Wang, however, hasn’t instituted this particular policy in any of its other outlets–just Shanghai. Is that fair?
What do you all think of Vera Wang Shanghai’s pay-to-try policy? Would you fork over half a grand to try on your dream dress? Leave a comment and let us know! Rest assured, here at Mieux & Mieux you’ll never have to make a payment to spend some time in our fitting room!
For more information about this issue, make sure to check out the original article from Global Times, “Does My Wallet Look Big in This?”
Liza, Editorial Director