Wedding Shoes Drama: How Much is a Fair Discount for Imperfect Merchandise? – Frugal Confessions

Wedding Shoes Drama: How Much is a Fair Discount for Imperfect Merchandise?

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Most of the planning for our wedding occurred ahead of schedule. Our honeymoon is fully booked, I have my gown, our location, caterer, and photographer, our flowers and cake are picked out, and everything seems to be falling into place.

But I found myself four days away from flying up to PA where, among other details, I was going to have my dress altered, and I had yet to purchase my shoes. For those of you unfamiliar with this issue, you need your shoes for a dress alteration so that you can hem the gown to the correct length without tripping you as you walk towards your new life, and without your gown looking like it was made for high waters. In other words, shoes are important.

I was not looking for an over-the-top pair, but rather the simple and delicate ballerina slippers that offer both comfort and a touch of femininity. However, after heading to David’s Bridal three days before I was supposed to get my dress altered and trying on the ballerina slippers, it turned out that I didn’t want what I thought I had wanted all along. Instead I fell in love with a pair of shoes with an two inches with wrapped in a beautiful lacy material. In the front is an open, peep toe that says “grandma with an edge”, and along the inner edge of the shoe the leather has a dip in it so that you can see the arch of my foot. The shoes were perfect. The only problem? I  was holding the display shoe, which happened to be in my size, and also happened to be the only one in the store. After looking for over 30 minutes for the other shoe to the pair, the associate located a moderately discolored (yellowed) shoe (I can only imagine how many feet had passed through).

At first I asked the associate to check neighboring stores to see if they had any in stock. They did not. The woman told me that I could use a soft bristle toothbrush and scrub the discoloration away, something that I was completely willing to do…in exchange for a substantial discount, ofcourse. In my mind, taking the shoe of my choice home and scrubbing it with a soft-bristled toothbrush for half an hour or so was worth about a 40-50% discount.

The associate discussed with her manager, and came back with an offer. They were willing to give me 15% off of the full retail price of $65. There was no way that I was willing to scrub for a measly $8.00 off, and I thought I could find the shoe or a similar version myself on the internet at home. So I declined the offer.

After two hours of searching online that night, and four phone calls made to David’s Bridals in PA and the surrounding area, I found out that not only does another shoe like this one not exist, but that this particular shoe has been discontinued. So I called the original David’s Bridal back and asked to speak with a manager. She had heard of the “issue” from the night before, and I told her that I thought a 15% discount was being unreasonable. Fortunately, this woman helped me to track down the exact shoe, in my size, from a neighboring David’s Bridal (did the associate the night before just not look? Who knows).  When I called the store to purchase them, they gave me a 10% discount because I had bought my gown from them. In other words, I received a 10% discount on a perfect shoe, but was only going to get a 15% discount on a shoe I would have to scrub with a toothbrush.

Does that seem reasonable?

Have you ever had situations where you asked for a discount on a product because it was inferior in some way—dented, or stained, or otherwise—and did you receive a fair discount?

5 comments… add one

  • Aurora

    yeah that 15% certainly seems a little stingy to me! I would have also thought they might be discounted since they were being discontinued. Great find with the shoes, they go so perfectly with your dress!!

    I haven’t asked for a discount too many times, but the few times I have were successful. One was for our couch that we bought at a Raymour & Flannigan outlet. I saw a slightly lighter colored spot on the green cushion (and to be honest, the spot wasn’t all that big of a deal, but I wanted to try my hand at asking for a discount for the first time). So I asked, and the salesman said he needed to check with his manager. I heard him saying on the phone something about “we’ve had this one here for a while” and when I came back he offered us a great discount – I don’t remember exactly what it was now, but I remember being very proud of myself for asking and receiving a discount for the first time. When we got home, we flipped the cushion over… goodbye spot! The other time I can think of, is when we bought our dryer and we noticed that the online price at Best Buy was lower than the in-store price, so we printed the online page and showed it to the salesman who happily adjusted the price for us (actually, we were buying a floor model, so the price was further adjusted with a percentage off).

    I would like to get better at asking for discounts, and feel that my first few attempts have given me more confidence to do so.

  • Aurora: Great job on the couch and your Best Buy item!! I love to hear stories like this. P.S. your couch is very comfy:):).

  • When we first bought our home, it had no appliances. My mother went shopping with me to find a refrigerator, a dishwasher, an oven/stove combo, an above-the-stove microwave, a washer, and a dryer.

    After finding the ones we wanted, Lowe’s offered us a measly 10% off even though we were going to buy everything at once ($3000 worth of stuff…$2700 plus taxes after the discount).

    We went to Conn’s, found the exact same models of everything but the washer and dryer (found better models of them) and asked how much of a discount we could get. The salesman immediately gave us 15% off of everything, the unknown-to-us sale prices of three of the items, and half off the microwave since it had a big dent (in the back where it can’t be seen when it was installed)…

    We ended up with a total price of $2250 including delivery and tax!

    Plus, my mother covered it all as a house-warming gift! Thanks Mom and Dad!


  • Yeah, 15% does seem stingy. I would have expected closer to 50%, closer to wholesale. A stained pair of discontinued shoes does them no good; having someone willing to take them and do the scrubbing is worth having the retail shelf space. That was a mistake on their part, but I’m glad you got the shoes you wanted!

    I wore red Mary Janes at my wedding. I also had bridesmen instead of bridesmaids, so there is a photo of my red-clad shoe with four tux rental shoes on the sides. I love that picture! :)

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