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Page 3 in the conversation "Lot of NAS stuff just marked down even more" by DonnaF
"I just feel duped ... an uninformed and unsophisticated consumer ".
Yes and no. In the past, consumers were assured that of all the retailers, Nordstrom was the store that didn't play games, that you didn't have to cut coupons for or time your purchase just right. They would price adjust to make things right. People shopped there because it seemed they didn't play "the game."
Now, it appears they DO play the game, the same game that has made some of us stop shopping other retailers. For example, while I have never shopped Penny's, friends of mine said it was exhausting to keep track of all the specials and the coupons and other promotions. And if a customer did not have the paper coupon in-hand, they would not honor a price. People rapidly tired of that game and many people stopped shopping Penny's altogether.
So people like me were willing to pay higher prices from the beginning, knowing that Nordstrom didn't engage in deceptive and complicated "strategies." But now it appears they do. So, although I have been duped this time, it won't happen again. I think they're setting themselves up for failure by engaging in the practices that drove customers to them in the first place.
As for them making things right for a customer in-store, that isn't usually possible for me because the closest store is an hour and a half away. And the principle of them valuing an in-store customer over an online customer is disturbing as well. So I have simply boxed everything up and sent it back. I will make do with other retailers in the area. Realistically, there's almost nothing that one retailer has where one cannot find essentially the same item in another store (with the exception of designer items, which I haven't purchased through Nordstrom anyway).
My point is just that it is dangerous to play games with customer service. If a store announces a change in policy, so be it. Then I know going in what the possible risks are. But to change when they have honored price changes in the past is a risky business. They may not notice or care about one consumer, but I cannot possibly be the only one who feels this way.
The market responds to consumer action. If Nordstrom starts to see that more returns (without corresponding reorders) are happening after NAS because of these policies, I imagine the practice won't last.
I'm definitely getting the feeling that these return/price adjustment policies are being inconsistently applied, depending on store/manager, etc.
I would suggest that everyone who is returning sale merch that is now on deeper sale take a moment to write a brief email or leave feedback on their Facebook page, if you are not able to explain your return to a SA or manager in person. When I pointed out the price difference in my two items I "returned/repurchased" in-store, she was quite surprised. I think it's important to let retailers know why they're losing our business.
You make good points, Janet and Echo. I suspect Nordstrom is at a tricky juncture and it will be interesting to see how they handle it.
The historical approach taken by Nordstrom of creating a loyal customer base by providing exceptional customer service is colliding with the equally popular retailing strategy of marketing to a highly price-conscious consumer. The two approaches, which used to be quite distinct, are fast coming together in the emergence of an extremely price-conscious consumer who regards customer service as an inalienable right. Throw in a rapidly changing and volatile retail environment and you've got a major challenge for a company like Nordstrom.
From the perspective of consumer who lives in a different retail environment where price adjustments, free shipping, generous return policies, and ultra low pricing is NOT the norm, I'm in awe of the power wielded by consumers in the States. My own inclination, as a Canadian, is to accept a slightly higher price as the cost I need to incur in order to gain the benefits of better customer service, but I'm thinking I'm definitely in the minority here.
I don't understand the need to discount so soon after a big sale. Perhaps somebody in the know can explain. Are they making way for new merchandise? Do they not restock these 'fresh for the Fall' items?
Elpgal, my suspicion would be these are items brought in specifically for the sale. They never expected them to be sold during the regular season at regular price. They overbought/undersold, and now have to put the items on true sale - just like any other leftovers.
My understanding is that some of the stuff (particularly the Nordstrom brands) is especially made for NAS. So it is fall/winter merchandise, but it is not meant to last really until winter months. I have found for Halogen etc, it is bound to be lowered further before I need it, unless it is sold out. But shoes, better end stuff, lingerie, will not be reduced again until much later, often not at all. This has been true since the first time I shopped NAS five or six years ago, but it did not used to happen before Labor day. Several years ago, Nordstrom started to have sales 6 times a year, and Labor day was one of the sales, that might be the reason why this is happening even earlier. I rarely buy clothes any more at NAS. A few pieces at most. I focus mostly on shoes, and things like bras that really only goes on sales once a year.
My experience in previous years was similar to yours, catseye -- the items that I really needed to jump on were footwear, bras (in my unusual size), and designer jeans (that would sell out in my size before going on sale again). For Halogen items I could wait. But this year, adopting that strategy, I lost out on a few things that I was strongly considering (cashmere cardigan, for one). Oh well. Live and learn.
What I have truly valued and loved from the sale over the years are higher end pieces like boots, a few sweaters, designer jeans, a bag. In the past I was always able to get a price adjustment if the item went on deeper sale later on -- no matter how long after the sale it was. But at the same time, living in Gaylene's retail environment, I never took that for granted and considered it a rare privilege.
Overall, I look at the NAS as an opportunity to consider my fall wardrobe and review my needs for the season well in advance, so I can "hit the ground running" in the fall, without significant needs for basics (undies), foul weather footwear, essentials-for-me, like updated denim, and the odd statement knit. Since September is always an insanely busy month for me and it's also when our summer turns to fall (and sometimes, quite abruptly) I'm happy to pay a little bit extra for that opportunity (and the fun of the chase!)
But I do think it's a bit unfair of them to discount NAS items so soon after the fact. If they put them on sale in mid October or November, so be it. By then, I'd have had a chance to wear them and enjoy them. But before Labour Day? I agree, that diminished the specialness.
Having said that, I just took advantage of this and ordered the EF sweater after all (came back in in my size).
Catseye, I think you're right. I noticed that Ted Baker items, for example, are either sold out or did not go on further sale. But I always get the feeling that stock on those is fairly limited to begin with. Halogen and Caslon items frequently go on further sale after NAS so I've learned that those can be safer bets to wait on.
I don't expect this would make me pass on NAS in the future. I have picked up some favorites at the sale over the years, and ultimately, Nordstrom has come through for me with price adjustments when I've brought the matter to their attention. But it does make me pay attention both during and after the sale!
(I'm late to this thread because I've been away).
I'm nodding along to everything Janet, Suz and Catseye said.
First of all, not everything went back on sale. See my NAS stuff below: Three of the items are not on sale, and two are sold out completely. Only one of the items went back on sale, and it's the same price.
I stand with those who believe that Nordies should NOT have discounted NAS stuff this early. It use to happen in Nov. Then Oct, and sometimes Sept. For it to happen in Aug is cheeky. But like I said up top, only some of the merch has been discounted.
The total difference for the items I'm returning is at least $130 which is significant enough to warrant the return. I agree with others that it's the timing this year that feels wrong. I would think they would expect - and honor- requests for adjustments when sale items go to 40% off in August.
Susie - love that EF velvet top. Somehow I missed it in the sale. That's the type of top that's just right for my holidays - short sleeves, especially if I'm cooking.
I would return and rebuy for that price difference too.
just curious...do people track there Black Friday buys? are you upset that most of the "deals" are stuff made for Black Friday? does it bother you that everything is on sale after Xmas?
Nordstrom's isn't playing games...they are being responsive to the market place....they obviously missed the plans on some items and need to take action on those items to bring in other items that will sell....
and just some retail speak...FYI generally a Markdown is a permanent reduction in price vs. a Sale which is temporary and/or for a limited time
I don't do Black Friday. But even if I did, the sale items are pretty much in-season. Presumably, one could get use out of them immediately after purchase. Also, it is a sale time that extends to all retailers. I don't see BF and NAS in a similar light at all.
I wonder how many people actually track their NAS purchases without the benefit of YLF Finds.
Echo said it far more eloquently than I could. My relationship with Nordstrom has always felt different than with other retailers. More personal and respectful somehow, without game playing. Markdowns on NAS items in August feels like game-playing and a breach in that relationship.
I spent more time than I'd have liked doing the return/purchase cycle this week to get those price reductions. My mood didn't improve when the Veronica Beard moto (a "designer" item according to the packing slip) arrived balled up in a wad and shoved into a 10"x8" box.
Beth, so ironic because a single pair of Hanky Panky underwear were shipped to me in that same 10x8 box!
Beth, I had the same experience as Janet, I frequently get one single small thing in a huge box from Nordstrom. I often feel that they are too wasteful in their packing. I cannot believe they ship you a fancy jacket balled up. I found if it came directly from warehouse, it is typically nicely packaged. If it comes from a store, it is more hit and miss?
I personally don't get riled up with the pricing/sales stuff. Nordstrom is a business and needs to make a profit. They need to constantly experiment with pricing/sales/merchandise to see what works. I don't feel uninformed or duped. I feel very savvy for being in the YLF community and we share important information to save everyone lots of money.
For those items who are still in stock, I think it is silly that they won't adjust the price. Other than that, Nordstrom has free return and unlimited time to do so. All you are out is the time to put your items in a box.
I have done many return and rebuy in years past even when I guess I could have got a price adjustment. I don't like calling customer service. Since I am returning other stuff anyway, it is often easier to bring everything back. It is a hassle for sure, but I don't think this is the kind of thing that prevent me from buying in NAS in the future.
It is still a very good sale with lots of nice stuff.
We all just have to find a way that works for us. Maybe for some it is simply not worth it. I understand that.
One of my purchases is majorly reduced from its NAS price (VB moto, now $150 less). I did have my original one altered, but my size is available at this deeper discount. Does anyone know, is there any reason I can't buy the reduced one and return it with my original receipt, thus taking advantage of the lower sale price?
I would certainly try, Julesegr. I don't see how it would make a difference.
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