Thursday, April 29, 2010

Neiman Marcus price matching grumble

Just a disclaimer: this post is about me voicing my malcontent with Neiman Marcus. No more, no less.

As I posted a couple of days ago, I took advantage of NM's double giftcard promotion. I got a Hanro bra and a pair of classic platform Louboutins which are $695. For Louboutins, this was the best deal by far in terms of 'discount', so I jumped on it. However, I am also a SaksFIRST cardholder, and I noticed that on the Saks page, they carry an eerily similar shoe for $625. (Unfortunately Barney's and Net-A-Porter aren't carrying this style online for comparison)

So, I get on NM Live Chat to ask about it, and she confirms it is indeed the same shoe. So my next logical question was: well, the NM pair is $70 more than the Saks pair. If it's the same, will you price match? Their response: No, we do not price match with Saks. Now I know that in years past Saks has gone a little hog-wild with their discounting, so not wanting to match Saks' 70% off designer handbags makes sense. However, this is a full-retail shoe that is commonly carried by major department stores. WTF? Turns out the NM price-matching policy is only for SALE merchandise, not full-retail.

This is totally ridiculous to me on so many levels. First, there's the aspect that this is a full-retail item that all department stores pay the same stock price for. Why would NM refuse to reduce their margins to the as another respected, high-end department store? I'm not asking them to match Bluefly or Filene's Basement. Second, as a matter of customer service, why not allow people to request price matching? Would you rather lose business and customers? Fine, don't make it policy, but if someone asks, and it is CLEAR the item is the same, why would you want to put someone in my situation: wondering if I should cancel my NM order and place it with Saks?

I suppose in this situation NM wouldn't care because I'd forfeit the $200 in giftcards (and I'm still getting $130 of free value), but on a regular basis, shouldn't they? I understand the desire to maintain this snooty 'people-who-shop-here-don't-care-about-price' attitude, but in this economy I'd think they were a little more liberal. Obviously $625 doesn't equate to $130 in Saks points, but I'm still considering pulling the plug.

What would you do?


  1. Anonymous4/29/2010

    it's a tough decision! do you want to try again by calling their customer service? maybe you will run into a nicer person?

  2. Anonymous4/29/2010

    I'd print each page off each website and I'd write to NM to show them the price gouging (giving them the chance to fix it). I'd leave the order as is, with the gift card, with the intent to return everything if they don't credit you the difference (put that in the letter too). And if they don't, I'd return everything and write to CL to show the price gouging. May not do much to a big company like NM, but it would make me sleep better at night for doing "the right" thing. You may want to order it off Saks to secure a second (with the intent to return if NM fixes the problem) if you really love the shoes. (They are gorgeous, btw.)

  3. Anonymous4/29/2010

    i would buy the shoes from NM, get the gift cards, then return them, and get them at saks. i would then have BOTH the $130 of something or other, as well as the better priced shoes.
    thats how it's done.

  4. Anonymous4/30/2010

    I would cancel and buy the Saks shoes. The $200 gift card from Neiman is just for you to buy something additional, its not really savings per se. The difference between $695 and $625 is a real tangible savings.

  5. Anonymous4/30/2010

    Oh and to add to what I just wrote, you have to return the gift card with the shoes, or else you get charged for the gift card.

  6. The shoes are going back! And NOT for the reason I expected! In true Louboutin form, the shoes do not fit! I am a pretty consistent 36.5 - Prada, Manolo, etc., and I know that Louboutins can have small toeboxes so I ordered a 37. It's still too small!! I don't know what kind of gargantuanly long toes I have, but I definitely need a 37.5. UGH!


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