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Archive for the ‘Tips for Bridal Salons’ Category

Tip of the Day-How to Handle The Bluffing Bride

In Tips for Bridal Salons on April 15, 2009 at 12:25 am

This one is for salon owners who are new to the business. Of course every new business owner expects everything to go smoothly with your customers. If not, you at least hope that your calm demeanor, reliable experience and (sometimes sickly) sweet voice will help you solve any problems that may arise. But often times, no matter how nice you try to explain something, no matter how clear your point may be, no matter how specific your store policies may be, you will always have the bride who cannot be reasoned with. Let’s discuss her background for a moment.

First of all, she’s the bride-which automatically means she knows more than you. She will let you know this. Now as soon as the problem is presented, you will discover that her mom is a seamstress, her father works for a TV station, her sisters are all wedding planners, her brother is a lawyer, and her friends all work in retail.

Over time, you will find out that most, if not all brides, are just bluffing. Her mother is a seamstress only if you count sewing badges on her Girl Scout vest when she was 8. The closest her father comes to working in TV is watching the nightly news. Her sister may have already planned her wedding in the past, thus making her a “wedding planner.” And her brother’s favorite movie may be My Cousin Vinny, but in real life, he’s nowhere near an attorney.

So as soon as I hear a bride (or bridesmaid) use the “Give me what I want or I’ll ruin you” scare tactic, I know that our conversation is almost over. I simply respond “You do what you have to do then.” I guarantee that she’ll either be out of my store (or slam the phone in my ear) within the next 5 minutes. Most of the time, I’ll never hear from her again, except if she decides to write a review about her experience online. But chances are you’ve lost her at that point anyways (and an even better chance that she’s in the wrong, which is why is why you didn’t give in to her in the first place.) But we’ll discuss these evil online reviews and how to fight back against them next week. In the meantime, don’t worry when a bride tells you that you’re going to hear from her lawyer. If you want to have a little fun, ask her what law firms he works for and watch her eyes dart in panic before she avoids the question and stomps out of the store. 🙂

Attn Bridal Salons-Discount Websites to Watch Out For

In Tips for Bridal Salons on March 26, 2009 at 10:43 pm

A bride I’ve been working with called me this morning and told me that she had found the dress she was planning on purchasing from us cheaper on a website that she had come across. She emailed me the website and asked if I could match their price. I went to this website, http://www.topbridaldress.com, and discovered that they make exact replicas of well known designers. What’s disturbing is that their basically selling the dress at our cost prices. And I’ll tell you, from the pictures I saw, it was damn hard to tell the difference between the original and the fake (especially when they take the picture directly from the designer’s website-an act that’s prohibited by the way). And to the average bride, especially the budget conscious, I doubt they’ll be able to notice-or care-for that matter.

Alfred Angelo #1516 Their price: $319.99. MSRP Price: $849.95

Maggie Sottero “Sabelle” Their price: $623.99. MSRP Price $1560

Salons, contact your sales reps immediately and let them know about this website. Times are hard enough as it is-someone should have told these websites not to sh** where they sleep. Websites like these think they can cut out the wholesaler and the retailer and go directly to the source.

Here are some other websites that may be competing against you:

http://www.topbridaldress.com (replicas)

http://www.bestbridalprices.com

http://www.discountbridal.org

http://www.houseofbrides.com

http://www.cheap-wedding-gowns.com

One of our brick and mortar competitors was constantly selling designer gowns for ridiculous prices on her website, despite that the fact they they were violating the strict MSRP policies from that designer about discounting dresses. After some hassling (and lost sales) from our end, we were able to convince our sales rep to talk to the right people, and they ended up pulling the line from that store. We’ve also had the same luck with a few other vendors who didn’t realize what kind of websites were out there until we opened their eyes.

Hopefully websites like these will fade away over time (or head into a nice bankruptcy like Bridesave.com!), but we have no way of telling how much business they’re taking away from us in the meantime. If you know of any other websites I haven’t mentioned, email me and I’ll add them to my list.