For every fashionista feigning to look like their favorite "IT" girls i.e Rhianna and Zoe Kravitz (just to name a few) April 16th was their golden ticket. In a pricing era due to a website glitch, Balenciaga, whose bags like the Cable Shopper (pictured) start around $1500, had bags priced as low as $195. Which may have been a customers dream but a financial and PR nightmare for the company (read the full story but Huff Post here).
Quickly realizing the its error, the verdict was still out on how customers orders would be handled. Would they honor the price? Well the short answer is absolutely not.
Customers orders were quickly cancelled and refunds and gift cards were issued for the inconvenience but that didn't stop the tweets of course. Some angry and others not so much.
While I can understand the frustration of the customers, I want to play devils advocate here for a minute. Customers felt that the price should be honored and as the old adage goes the customer is always right, but that's clearly not the case when it comes to luxury brands.
We all know that with luxury products a lot of the value is connected heavily to perception. You see the hottest bag sported around town by your favorite celebrity (who we all know is technically not a customer as she was probably gifted the bag and hell is probably stuffing it with cash from said company) and we want a taste of the life. We perceive it to be worth whatever they say its worth because Rhi Rhi (no shade to Bad Gal) won't be seen without it.
Not to say that craftsmanship and materials used don't play a role, but lets be completely honest. Theres not much difference in a high end $2000 designer bag and a $300 high quality no name one except the name and the price. And while those who choose to indulge usually have no issue affording these high ticket items ( its safe to assume if you were even browsing the Balenciaga website on that fateful day then you have the means or are saving until you do and go to "visit" your future bag everyday) Im sure they were certainly pleased at the price break, took advantage of it, but were not surprised at the outcome. So those few dollars Balenciaga will miss out on from those customers who've sworn to never give them another dime certainly won't be missed as the others happily apply their gift card and still buy the bag. The stronghold of the luxury life on some people is so deep that they care not one bit that they've been cheated out of their money. But I guess that goes to show that in some cases the customer isn't always right...
So how do you feel about this? Should luxury brands be held to the same standards of smaller businesses where the expectation is the price would be honored? As an entrepreneur, Im curious on your thoughts as a customer or as a fellow entrepreneur! Let me know in the comments or weigh in on my Facebook Page or Instagram!
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