Did someone order Drama?

So if you’ve “Liked” Beyond the Rack (BTR) on Facebook, you’ve most likely have heard that they’re running their first ever luxury sample sale in a physical, brick and mortar setting here in Toronto.

The Capitol Event Theatre just above Yonge and Eglinton to be exact.

Or if you haven’t heard, here you go:

BTREventPage | Geek Life: Augmenting Reality
The idea of the sale was really exciting. Over 1000 facebook users stated they would attend. BTR’s walls were inundated with people asking about prices, quality, stock, etc – lots of people were planning on attending, so the show should have been a success right?

Well, if you look at that event wall now – Beyond the Rack may have lost a number of customers for being mislead today.

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To my utter disappointment, I only found one item that I could currently call affordable; a Calvin Klein wallet for $35, but I doubt much that it was worth more than $50 regular price. Or who knows, I may have found the one and only 85% off item available at the sale.

‘Cause they would have had to legally have at least one item that was 85% off in order to say on their event page, “Up to 85% off”.

The prices were, for me, ridiculous. This sale really only catered to the people who want to be part of the “1%” desperately. You know the type? The ones that can’t afford to shop the same prices as the coined “1%”, but will purchase brand labels at “sales”, even if that means they’re eating Mr. Noodle for a month if only to keep up with their credit card statements. The ones that don’t really care about the product, just as long as it has a certain famous label attached somewhere in hopes that people will believe that they’ve got money and class.

Meaning this sale was so totally not for me.

Because, honestly? Those 50% off sale prices would just barely fly for last year’s bags and accessories. A lot of these items are over five years old – even with the big brand name labels, BTR should have been practically begging us to take these products off their hands. Otherwise these items are just sitting on their warehouse floor, collecting dust.

Okay, well here’s what the event looked liked:

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Couldn’t find the label of this silk scarf… but that tag does say $385 (no, I didn’t misplace a period.)

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Here’s a pair of Jimmy Choo heels that I was coveting:

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And here’s their sale price:

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I’ll admit to not knowing much about how much Jimmy Choo would cost when they’re at a sale price elsewhere. The regular price of these are $1685 according to the label, so at the $796.99 sale price, it would be 50% off.

So I can’t disagree that the sale prices weren’t phenomenal for some items. $800 off an item that I enjoyed looking at, and would have hopefully enjoyed wearing, that’s a bargain.

But that doesn’t mean I can afford the $800 price tag.

Essentially, for the highly touted 85% off, a lot of customers were expecting Jimmy Choo shoes to have price tags of roughly $250 (85% off ticketed price).

I think the biggest problem is that, even though Beyond the Rack has had bags of all kinds on sale on their site with price tags of $9999.00, more often then not, their highly varied stock would be on sale from $5 to $50. And 99% of their fan base was looking forward to purchasing items in that lower price range.

I had dreams of spending $25 or $30 for a nice pair of sunglasses that would fit this season. The cheapest pair was roughly around $145, and the only label available was Prada.

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Owners Are Getting Testy

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Michael Berg, Founder and President of StyleDemocracy, is getting more than a little peeved that people aren’t enjoying his event.

It’s true, people were lined up to cash out items from this sale. I had stood and watched as cash registers would brightly light up with final totals of $786.01 and $526.30 – so there were quite a few suckers to make the event organizers believe they have a huge success on their hands. It’s quite possible that only three Gucci bags would have needed to be sold to pay for the rent of the theatre, and another couple to pay for the staff, so there’s no doubt in my mind that Beyond the Rack made a profit from this event. But, I would have to say that only 1% of the people who attended the event were happy with the luxury sample sale ( … did you catch the pun?)

What could BTR and StyleDemocracy have done to assauge their followers from complaining about the event?

It’s actually pretty simple. If they were more transparent with prices and stock – if they had provided a pre-show lookbook/catalogue before the event – the 1% of buyers who would willingly buy at those prices would have showed up, and the rest of us wouldn’t. Everyone would have been happy.

Instead, people drove into Toronto expecting to leave with bags of great deals, only to be sorely mistaken and empty handed.

And it’s not like StyleDemocracy isn’t unaccustomed to fair pricing on current fashion trends:

greatpricestyledemocracy | Geek Life: Augmenting Reality
So what did BewilderedBug, Dru and myself do when we left empty handed?

We went here, Artka at Yonge and Eglinton Centre:

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And I happened to find a nice pair of sunglasses, a bracelet and a hair clip, ALL for $32!

Oh and the Celine travel totes in the invitation pic? No where to be found in the sale. Not that I would have been able to afford one… :/

Will this stop me from shopping at Beyond the Rack? No. I will still occasionally place an order or two if I find some awesome pair of snow boots, or a jacket or jewellery (all items that I’ve purchased before), but I will think twice before attending a “Live” event by them.