We are one week away from the most expected period after Winter Holiday: Winter Sales 2017!
If last year I’ve told you about the Best places to go shopping for the Sales period in Paris, this time I’ll tell you about the deception under the so called label “Les Soldes”. But first, you need to understand the impact of the late events on Luxury Shopping.
In 2016, Europe registered a decline of 2.1 percent in international bookings, compared with 2015, according to ForwardKeys.
International bookings by air to France have declined by 11 percent, while in Belgium they have declined by 23 percent, noted Business of Fashion.
The aftershock of terrorism took a downturn in sales over the past year, forcing many top brands into a re-think. Prada reported in 2016 its first major decline in opening-half sales since 2011, citing terrorism as one of the main reason. Hermes and Louis Vuitton have also reported weakening sales in the past year, although I see tourists only with Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Christian Louboutin bags.
Although Europe has shown an economic downfall and under performance on the whole, countries such as Spain and Ireland have shown an increase in tourism and spending. In times of turmoil, this can remain as a beacon of hope, marked Observer.com.
While the American and Russian tourists have reported that their Embassies slightly suggests them to avoid Paris and Bruxelles for travel in this period, as for the local customers, they have changed their buying strategy. Fifty-two percent of the French people have declared that they no longer buy things over a ” coup de coeur “. The locals are searching only for good deals now, and less than 50% doesn’t interest them any longer.
E.g.: I had one local client one day who came in the store to buy a pair of shoes. We had a similar model, different prices. At the beginning, she preferred the pair less expensive. But, the most expensive one was discounted at 50% while the second one, less expensive, discounted only at 30%. After the discount, for the pair discounted at 50%, the client would have payed more than for the pair discounted at 30%. Guess which pair the client took? That’s right. The more expensive pair, at 50% discount. There was a difference of 130 €, but psychologically, she made a better deal buying at 50% discount.
The ugly truth behind the sales!
It’s that time of the year when we spend all our budget doing Shopping. It’s the Sales period, when we can find a lot of good deals. I hate to spoil it to you, but there is a BIG deception under this so called label ” Les Soldes “.
While you think you’ve found yourself a good deal, the ugly truth is that you may have found yourself in one of the following situations:
Pumping up the prices.
A lot of retailers pump up the initial price of the article, to be able to give a bigger discount, to attract more customers, especially the french customer, eager for ” des bonnes affaires “. Be very vigilant when you look at the label, to see if there has been a previous price, hidden. If you want a particular article, be sure to know the price practiced before. Another trick, you could do a Window Shopping (just looking, without buying) two weeks before the Sales, to make an idea of what you want and to see the prices.
Obsolete articles put back in the shelves as current collection.
Now, you have to be a true Fashionista, to follow the Trend and to know the latest collections of your favorite Brands. Otherwise you could end up in this situation very easily. This situation is known to be practiced by re-sellers that are left with previous collections and they need to get rid of the old stock. Having a stock means more costs with storing and maintaining its inventory over a certain period of time. For retailers or wholesalers, as well as for most eCommerces, inventory is usually the largest asset, as well as the largest expense item. Assessing inventory costs is therefore essential and has repercussions on the finances of the company as well as on its management. It helps companies determine how much profit can be made on the inventory, how costs can be reduced, where changes can be made, which suppliers or items must be chosen and how capital must be allocated.
Here, you have to be very vigilant. A lot of websites are born overnight, especially during the Sales period, offering HUGE discounts. In fact, these are Robot Websites that reproduce actual websites, but in fact all it’s a scam. How you can you spot such a robot website? Well, usually, the text in the website is full of misspelling errors or has no meaning what so ever. Why? Because a Robot Website uses a Algorithm to reproduce a website, and compiles words to create content, that in the end have no meaning. These kind of websites are live on the web only for two or three weeks, so be very vigilant.
Below, you can find some trusted website where you can check the credibility of a online retailer. They are using several algorithms to establish if a website is trusted or not, but they also rely on the feed-back given by other users that have been scammed:
Contrefacon.fr – Gives Internet users an estimation of the incurred risk even when the site is unknown.
Trustpilot.com – Read reviews. Write reviews. Shop smarter.
Fia-net.com – E-commerces rated by real buyers.
Familiar-looking pieces at a lower cost and inferior quality designed for Sales.
Last but not least, we will talk about the biggest scam in the Fashion Industry, which became a Trend now. Between the Sales, major department stores are filled with familiar-looking pieces at a lower cost, often indicating inferior quality. So, we have a Brand that creates a Autumn/Winter collection for their Stores. In the same time, they will produce 2 lines: The first one, for the store at a higher quality, and the second one, for the Sales, at a inferior quality. The latest, look exactly like the line they have in store, but there might be a different fabric or buttons or the finishing touches might be different, less expensive. These murky tactics are well known by the Outsourced party that creates the collection, especially in Portugal, on the Porto region, where they admitted that they are familiar with this kind of practice.
The less qualitative line is usually intended for the Outlet Stores and for the E-Commerce. So, if you really desire an article for several weeks now, and you think you’ll find it at a lower price online, think twice, because you could get burnt.
So, be vigilant before jumping on a so called “good deal”!
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