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Try on in a store: but buy on E-Bay?

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
A very nice person posted the following admission on another thread:  he tries on clothes at a brick-and-mortar store, and then buys them on E-Bay. I'm wondering if this is a standard practice with the members here.   I find it improper to use a store's service that way, when one has no intention of purchasing from it (but maybe I'm missing something).
post #2 of 43
To me, it depends partly on the store you're "using." For example, Filene's Basement has a pretty good selection of suits, and the level of service is virtually non-existent. So you can try on suits from different makers to get an understanding of the different fits and sizing without taking the attention and time of a salesperson. I don't see using that information to make a good purchase on e-bay as a problem. On the other hand, I wouldn't go to a high-end, high service men's wear store expressly to try on different labels.
post #3 of 43
Agree on all counts there. The fact that the place merely exists does not count as "service." That's called overhead. If I go into the store and get no help, I see no problem with trying on to get a sense of size, at least so long as I neatly put the garments back on the rack.
post #4 of 43
High-end stores can use you there even if you aren't buying. The fact that they are often empty is not a plus for them. Having many buyers visible and trying things on helps attract other buyers and functions as marketing. However, it may be wasting the time of one individual seller if you already know you aren't going to buy something, and prevent him from helping other more serious buyers. But, if you are tall and handsome enough, having you in the store walking around in the clothing will be a plus for the store as well.
post #5 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
For example, Filene's Basement has a pretty good selection of suits, and the level of service is virtually non-existent.
That's a good point; if you're really not using the store's resources, I guess it's less of an issue; although the sheer overhead costs of a brick and mortar place will be more than with an e-bay seller, so there's still a value-added that's not being covered.
post #6 of 43
I think it's ok as long as you don't leave piles of clothes in the fitting rooms for the salespeople to sort and put back on the salesfloor.
post #7 of 43
Overhead won't change if you go into the store. It's not like they'd have to provide a bigger space, or higher more employees, just because you are there trying on things with no help (this doesn't seem to be an epidemic). Overhead is built into the retail price of the goods -- only those who buy the goods should have to compensate the store for the overhead. I suppose stores could slash prices and charge an admission fee to the store.
post #8 of 43
I do this all the time and see no issues with it, if I really like a product, perhaps I will end up buying it, but if I'm not interested at the current price, I see no problem with trying it on to see if I may like it at the same store when it is on sale, or from another source. You are still purchasing something of that brand, and doing the manufacturer (and indirectly, the retailer) a favor by helping to establish a secondary market for their products.
post #9 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Overhead won't change if you go into the store.  It's not like they'd have to provide a bigger space, or higher more employees, just because you are there trying on things with no help (this doesn't seem to be an epidemic).   Overhead is built into the retail price of the goods -- only those who buy the goods should have to compensate the store for the overhead.  I suppose stores could slash prices and charge an admission fee to the store.
In the unlikely situation where you make absolutely no impact on the store, I guess I see your point.   But for the store that offers a clean environment (costs money to clean the floors from the rain/snow you brought in); trained sales staff (they're helping you while being unable to assist other buyers); plus the other overhead costs just to keep the doors open; it seems like they're entitled to a customer who is dealing in good faith. With regard to your first point, a store that has lots of floor traffic has higher costs than one that doesn't. A local store I know solves this by requiring visitors to register before entering.  Fewer customers, more sales.
post #10 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
do this all the time and see no issues with it, if I really like a product, perhaps I will end up buying it, but if I'm not interested at the current price, I see no problem with trying it on to see if I may like it at the same store when it is on sale, or from another source. You are still purchasing something of that brand, and doing the manufacturer (and indirectly, the retailer) a favor by helping to establish a secondary market for their products.
As long as you leave open the chance of buying it from them, I think that's fine, if that's really what you're doing. You do the retailer no favors (unless it's a company store, and probably not even then) if you buy off the internet.
post #11 of 43
[quote]
Quote:
A local store I know solves this by requiring visitors to register before entering.  Fewer customers, more sales.
That's the first time I've heard of such a practice. There're some stores where you need to be buzzed in but registering? Do they need to see your photo ID? How about finger prints? DNA samples? Can you disclose the name of the store?
post #12 of 43
Thread Starter 
It's in metro Detroit, and the name is escaping me... maybe Baron's or something like that. Not only that, you had to be referred there by a current person on the list. The last time I went was about 3 years ago, but I think it's still the practice. FWIW, I think it works out great for everyone.
post #13 of 43
I find nothing wrong with trying things on in a store and then buying on E-bay. I don't think the store is a moral entity (used in the philosophical sense) and therefore I don't think I have to act morally towards the store. If they don't feel bad about charging you $200 for something that costs $10 to produce, then I don't feel bad for using their store to try something on that I can buy for cheaper somewhere else. Perhaps if this practice becomes rampant enough then the brick stores will lower their prices as well and consumers will benefit. As for the individual person that comes to help you, you can just tell them that you don't need any help, that you are just trying things on. I wouldn't really be right to take up their time all day with no intention of buying. Many of them make most of their money through commissions, so... As for the added overhead (heat, clean floors, the person that has to put something back on the rack)...collateral damage.
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Agree on all counts there. The fact that the place merely exists does not count as "service." That's called overhead. If I go into the store and get no help, I see no problem with trying on to get a sense of size, at least so long as I neatly put the garments back on the rack.
I agree with Johnnynorman. I would have not compunction against using a discounter with non-existent customer service as a "trying on" station, but I think that going into a store with customer service, especially and independent store, you should go in in good faith. You can of course, inform the salesperson upfront that you don't really have the funds to buy at the retail prices. A good retailer is not going to bustle you out of the store. His key interest at that point maybe to develop a good relationship with you. At least, the reputation of the store will benefit (word of mouth is a great form of advertisement), and at most, you will end up seeing something unique and interesting that just can't be found on Ebay. Just trying getting a Baltazar or Engineered Garments, or even Paul Smith belt or John Varvatos or Jack Spade bag (and not those crappy ones that end up on Bluefly) on Ebay, and you'll see that they just won't be found there.
post #15 of 43
I forget when and for what, but I have done this without thought, other than for fulfilling my need to know my proper size. I have spent enough - plenty - money at, say, RL, Gucci and Loro Piana (to name a few I remember trying stuff on at) to be concerned much about using the salespeoples' help in determining my size.
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