Is it fair for retailers to be charging Fitting Fees?

Consumers are upset about bridal and formal dresses shops charging fitting fees to try on wedding dresses or evening dresses at their stores.

Stores says they are forced to charge fitting fees to discourage shoppers from trying dresses in-store to gauge styles and sizes, then buying on-line.  Some retailers claim that fitting fees are needed so they can afford to pay for fixing rip off beads, hooks&eyes, zips or dry-cleaning fees for removal of make up stains.

Why charging fitting fees is unfair to consumers.

You want to find the most glamorous dress for your special day.  This is understandable as you want to look your best on this very important special event in your life.

But until you try on the dresses, how would you know if it will look good on you?  If all stores charge fitting fees, you will end up paying heaps of fitting fees before you find your dream gown.

Some customers told us that they have paid fitting fees to try dresses at other stores because they really love the styles of dresses these retailers stock.  As the fitting fees will be deducted off the cost of the dresses they buy, they reckon that’s a fair deal.

However, making a decision on a style can be really hard, many had visited quite a few stores or return a few times to the same store before they find the dream dress.  And when they had finally decided on a style to purchase, the customer is then told that the selected style is not available in her size and cannot be backorder in time for her event.

Now she either selects a different style or loses her fitting fee totally.  We think that this is unfair.  If a store cannot supply the chosen style, then the store should refund the fitting fee as the customer is genuine about the purchase and it is not her fault that the store cannot supply the dress.

Why retailers are charging fitting fees.

Please understand that there will always be 2 sides to a story.  As a bridal and formal dress retailer, we don’t charge fitting fees but some days, thanks goodness it’s not that often, we wish we did.

Why?  This is just one of the scenarios we sometimes face as a wedding and evening dress retailer.

A few Saturdays ago, we had a bridal party supposedly coming back to order the wedding dress, evening dress and 3 bridesmaid dresses.

The bride and one of the bridesmaids had already had 2 prior fittings and had the quotes for all the selected dresses i.e. fully beaded lace wedding dress @ $1599+$300 for customisation, $799 for a fully beaded limited edition evening dress and bridesmaid dresses with beadings @ $499 each.

A 45-minutes appointment ended up a 3 hours debacle with everyone in the bridal party helping themselves trying on all our glamorous evening dresses, supposedly because they needed dresses for the engagement party and the bride dragging her feet about placing her order.

As we have to attend to our other appointments, they helped themselves to our beautiful collection of evening dresses.   We had to keep an eye on them all the time, reminding them to lift the hem of the fragile dresses and not run about stomping on it and also not just drop the dresses in a heap on the floor of the fitting room.

The most frustrating part is NONE of them genuinely intended to make any purchase including the bride to be.  They already knew the prices of the dresses they liked, but when it came to actually placing the order, suddenly our prices are WAY above their budget.

The bride says she was only willing to pay $1000 for both dresses plus a veil.  Her sister says they can easily get the wedding dress for less than $300 with a free veil and the evening dress for less than $200.   So what they are offering is already DOUBLE the price they saw on the internet.

To rub salt into injury, 3 of the evening dresses needed fixing as someone has forcefully tried to fit into the dresses and dislodged the hooks & eyes and some beadings near the zip.

Please understand that we pay premium prices for our high quality designers’ gowns, not to mention rental and staff wages to provide you with the lovely experience shopping for your special dresses.

At least have the courtesy not to insult us by requesting us to price match crappy internet websites selling you ONLY beautiful pictures of dresses for there is NO WAY you can get genuine designer dresses at a fraction of the price unless they are rejects.

To be fair about NOT charging fitting fees

Customers who intend to buy online should not go on a fitting spree to rip off retailers.  Yes, rip off stealing whatever way you look at it.

They are not only wasting the time and costing the retailers but also robbing other genuine buyers the attention they deserve as these rip off often have no respect for other peoples’ time or property.

Advice to retailers who do charge fitting fees

Our advice to other wedding and formal dresses retailers, if you charge a fitting fee, please ensure that you provide appropriate PROFFESIONALISM in servicing your customers.   If you are unable to fulfil your customers order, you should REFUND the fitting fee to them.

We DO NOT charge fitting fees

Luckily for us, most of our customers had been great.  They often will check the prices of the dresses they like before actually trying on the dresses.  This way they will not be disappointed if they really love a dress but there’s no way their budget would stretch to purchase it.

As a bonus they love the fact that they know upfront exactly what they are paying for when purchasing from us – great quality, great fit and friendly service.

And no alterations budget blowout as we provide complimentary alterations for most of our gowns or provide an upfront quote of how much it is going to cost them should they require alterations of marked down dresses.

Thank you to all our gorgeous customers who not only purchase dresses from us but also for sending us referrals and liking our facebook posts.