Jun 2, 2009

Nordstrom Price Matching

I have a little story to tell, but before I begin, here is a little background:

If you are a longtime reader, (or if you have perused my archives) you will know that I love designer shoes. They are the one thing that I always splurge on. My closet is full of designer shoes and the place that I buy most of them are from Nordstrom. I work and live only a few blocks from the flagship Nordstrom, I am there all the time. I basically grew up at Nordstrom as my mom has always loved shopping there too so you can say that I've been a customer of theirs for more than 20 years. I have a shoe sales associate that I am very loyal to and buy most of my shoes from him. They know that I'm a loyal customer as I get sent thank you notes all the time, I get calls from sales associates about upcoming sales, about pre-sales, about special events. I have been a Nordstrom card holder since I was 19! So as you can see, I'm very loyal to them as well.

So onto the story...

About a week and a half ago, I went to Nordstrom to go shopping for the pre-sale designer shoes. I didn't end up buying any sale shoes but I found a beautiful pair of Dior's that were regular price. They were spendy, but like I said, I tend to splurge on designer shoes and I loved them so I purchased them. I haven't worn them yet because with all the designer sales going on at Barney's and Saks, I wanted to see if maybe I could find a pair of shoes that I loved and were on sale to save me a bit of cash. Just this weekend, I was perusing online and found that both Bluefly and Saks had the same exact Dior's on sale. Saks had them for 40% off and Bluefly had them for 20% off. I was excited! Yay! I could save at least $200 on these shoes that I loved! I then remembered recently reading about this post/video on Clutch 22 where she went to do a price match at Nordstrom on a code that she found from shoes.com. Basically shoes.com carried the same shoe as Nordstrom but if she ordered from them she would get 20% off so she went to see if Nordstrom would give her the 20% off as well. In the end she succeeded and even attempted a second time to see if they would do a price adjustment after she found a 25% off coupon code and it worked as well. I also remembered seeing signs around Nordstrom that said "We won't be undersold" or something like that and said that if you found a price cheaper somewhere else, they would match it.

So, with that in mind and receipt in my hand I called up Nordstrom. (I couldn't get there at the time but wanted to call and see if they would do it and then bring the shoes in later if they needed me to.) My sales associate wasn't working at the time so I ended up talking to the manager of Salon Shoes. I told him the same story, as to how I was just there and purchased these shoes but then saw that Bluefly had them for 20% less and if they would price match. (If you are wondering, I told them about Bluefly first because they had my size in stock.) He then told me that since they are a retail store, they do not do any price matching of online stores. He said it had to be a retail store like Macy's (which Macy's does not carry Dior or any designer shoes, at least the one in Seattle doesn't) so I then told him that I actually found the same shoes on Saks for 40% off. He responded that Saks was closing their doors and that's why they were marked down and that he wouldn't price match those either. I then asked why it appeared that so many stores had these same shoes on sale but Nordstrom didn't. He told me that they might possibly go on sale in the next few weeks and to check back. I told him Thank you and that I would check back and then hung up. To be clear, it wasn't a bad conversation, he was polite about it and I didn't argue with him or anything.

Bluefly-Dior
(Bluefly price)

At first I wasn't bothered about it because I knew that they had to have certain policies. But the more I thought about it, it bothered me because Jordana (of Clutch 22) did not have any problems price matching for coupon codes that they were both for online stores. I was confused about the Saks comment because I didn't know that Saks was closing their doors (did you?) but then I think does it matter if they are? Because if they are selling the exact same product, at the exact same time with a cheaper price, then why wouldn't Nordstrom match it? I could just order it online from Saks and return my Nordstrom pair so Nordstrom would lose the sale after all.

Saks - Dior
(Saks price)

I am not telling this story to complain about my situation, it's just that with posts like the one from Clutch 22 it appears that Nordstrom WILL price match any or similar situations but with my story, it shows that it's not true. I think it's awesome that Jordana did her research and got Nordstrom to make the price match and I think it's great that Nordstrom was willing to do it. But it bothered me that my situation was similar but I didn't even get a "Let me see if I can do that." it was just a straight "No we don't do that." Now, I don't know if it made a difference that her shoes were $100 and mine were $600 but I just think that they need to be consistent with their policies. Also, if they are posting signs in their stores claiming that they won't be undersold, you'd think they'd have clear policies regarding price matching. I want to be clear that I do not think that I deserve the price difference. I totally understand that Nordstrom is a company and that companies need to have policies and do what they need to do to earn a profit. I don't expect Nordstrom to just hand me the shoes at any discount I find. All I am saying is that if they have policies, it needs to be consistent so that all customers get the same treatment.

Don't get me wrong, this is not a big enough deal where I will stop shopping there. I still love shopping at Nordstrom and the shoe section is still one of my favorites. I just know that I will do a lot more research online before I purchase from Nordstrom because saving $200 is a huge chunk of change that I would take over my loyalty to them. I know that this experience changed my shopping habits a lot in that I was so used to being able to get the same prices everywhere (for designer items mainly) but I think now with all the competition and sales out there, you can always find a better price somewhere else. So make sure to look and don't overpay like I did! :)

UPDATE: I found this on their website:

Price Matching (never pay more)
At Nordstrom, we are committed to offering you the best possible prices. If you ever find one of our items priced lower somewhere else, please call 1-888-282-6060 and we will gladly meet that price.



After everything that has happened (I have had several calls with several people to no end) At this point, I just don't care enough to get the price match. I have decided to return those shoes and buy from another retailer. If this posts helps a few readers learn about the price matching policy than I am happy, so I will be leaving this post up.

NEWEST UPDATE: My most fabulous sales associate (Derek at Bellevue Square) heard about the fuss and called me to tell me that he is making the price adjustment! Nordstrom came through after all! Thank you all for your support, really really appreciate it!

40 comments:

  1. Maybe I am wrong, but I heard from a friend that each department has a quota to meet every month. Maybe he hasn't me his yet and is hoping that you will not return the full priced shoes (which are divine btw). For a big store like them and a loyal customer like you, I would think that customer satisfaction is one of their key corporate values. =)

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  2. TIFFANY! don't give up! call the 1800 #. i had a friend that did this exactly and she got the discount after making serveral phone calls! she was buying one of those buggy stroller things. Each sales associate is different. The first time she tried it the person said no, like your situation retail and online differ, she then called again and another associate said well they had to have same style, color, blah blah...finally she was curious called back a third time and got an associate that just did it with no problem.

    I am glad you posted this because i know people that have gone through it before and they did get their discount!

    regardless you deserve the discount - i mean i am to talk i love my designer stuff and i know that some stores mark them up like 400% so they have the wiggle room. Saks has gotten a lot of heat for putting things on a deeper sale (no confirmation if they're closing) then everyone else. In the end - just call back again you never know the next person could do it with no hassles! Please let me know if that works for you!

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  3. def agree on doing research, I've never been a royal customer of any big coporate shops, customer service is inmportant but i'm not willing to pay $$$ more just for good customer service,

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  4. I agree with Kelly, sometimes these stores leave it up to a SA's discretion in order to make a sale, especially if those SA's make commission. Don't lose heart, if at first you don't succeed, try try again!

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  5. thanks guys, I've actually already called again. And for this instance, it was the Manager that I talked to, not my sales associate so it's not like it was up to my SA to make the decision (which I think if I called back and talked to my SA he would do it for me.) I had originally talked to an SA who said that he had to get the manager so I think that any situation like this, they have to go through the manager. If you watch Jordana's video, her SA had to talk to the manager as well.

    I might just take them to the actual store and just talk to them about it. It doesn't seem worth it to do it over the phone as it seems to go nowhere.

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  6. one more thing. if it really requires a customer to call 4-5 times just to get a price adjustment, it's a bit ridiculous. This is why I mean they need to have clear policies. Nordstrom is not a small little boutique, they should know how to serve their customers better.

    Trust me, I'm not one to give up easily as I haven't made it this far in life by giving up on everything that I've failed at. But there are certain things that aren't that important to me and truthfully I can take my business elsewhere than Nordstrom. Barney's and Saks gets plenty of my business too :)

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  7. Tiffany, I make it a point to hire new employees that have Nordstrom's on their resume...and this is why: When they are face to face with a customer, they are told to do "whatever it takes" to make them happy. Over the phone is not going to work but sure as heck if you go in there, you will get what you want, no doubt about it.
    There is a famous story that the girls I've worked with told me, it's about a guy that brought a tire into Nordstrom's because where the Nordstrom's was built, used to be a Sears, where he purchased a faulty tire some years ago...etc. etc. Well, Nordstrom's took the tire back, since he brought it in to return it. You get the point.
    Good luck :) This post is great advice, especially to all of us that die for fashion and are on a serious budget.
    much love xx

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  8. First of all, those shoes are gorgeous!

    As I just mentioned to you on twitter, I noticed in the last catalog that they do in fact price match. I will look at the fine print when I get home and come back to let you know what it says. I do a large chunk of my shopping at Nordstrom too, primarily due to the awesome return policy (though I hardly ever return) and the Nordstrom Notes and special events, etc....

    Good luck and I will be back later to let you know what it says...I think that I still have it.

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  9. Nordstroms DOES pricematch online retailers. That particular SA you spoke to just sucks. Good luck talking to them in person (and those shoes are hot)!

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  10. I second what everyone is saying about trying again. Definitely go into the store in person, and bring the shoes with you. Get a bit pouty if you have to, no matter how polite don't take the first no. I don't work for Nordstrom's, but I know as a retail SA that it's basically our job to keep people happy. (But in my case, my company clearly spells out our price match policy, so I can explain that to people.)

    You ought to have success, since they really can't afford to lose customers. (Something you can bring up.) Cutting profit margins is always better to retain a loyal customer.

    Best of luck!

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  11. Keep us posted, don't lose that $200! Or else you will send bad energy to those shoes every time you wore them :) You def don't want to have angry feelings towards those amazing shoes!

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  12. I just got a price match last week. I took in print-outs of the online pages that showed the item and the sale price. They did have to get manager approval but they went ahead and did it. For sure Nordstrom has gotten a lot more restrictive when it comes to price-matching than they used to be. (Not sure if it matters but my shoes were Jeffrey Campbell so different price range).

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  13. I had no idea you could do that! I will have to try this.

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  14. nordstrom does do price matching for online stores. don't give up! it's worth trying a couple more times. maybe the manager wasn't familiar w/the exact details. he is human. i would try to speak w/ur SA or try calling the 800# like kelly said. or just order the shoes from bluefly or saks and return the shoes to nordstrom.

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  15. wow. i'm surprised. i've exchanged worn shoes there back in my college days...i thought they were all about the service..the tire story. maybe the economy? i'm sure if you go in the store, they'll do the price match. its always hard to turn down a customer in person. didn't know saks was closing down either...

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  16. That's odd. When my step-mom bought her last Coach purse there, she mentioned that it was cheaper at another store, and they gave her the cheaper price. Maybe it makes a difference if you let them know at the time of purchase??

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  17. awwww sorry to hear about the hassle you ended up going through.. i usually find that nordstroms marks down their designer shoes first too.. so very strange

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  18. Tiffany! Don't give up! If there's one thing that I have learned in life it is to be relentless in getting what you WANT and DESERVE! And of course you should complain AND get your money back! You are a longterm and very loyal customer and even if you weren't, they have to give you the better price bc that is what their policy is! I actually rarely go to Nordstrom bc I feel that they always overprice their stock. I have a friend who is a buyer at a major NYC-based boutique and she says that stores like Saks sort of screw the other ones (like Nordstrom) bc they carry the same items but mark them down further but that's just the way business goes. As for Bluefly...I love them. I have been a Bluefly shopper for years and they are wonderful.
    As for Saks...I had NO IDEA they were going out of business. I don't even know if that's true and that salesperson is totally unprofessional to tell that to a customer. I'm going to ask my sister bc she has a personal shopper at the one in Manhattan and we practically LIVE at that store. I have to get to the bottom of that and get back to you. If Saks goes under there will be some serious tears in my family.

    In the meantime, you shouldn't feel bad...you should get your money...
    :)
    xx

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  19. Hey Tiff,
    First, HOT shoes...but you have fab taste, so obviously.

    Nordstrom was one of my first jobs like ten years ago, and ever since I shop there whenever I can. They have the best customer service, as you know! I hate to repeat what everyone is saying...but try again! Whoever you spoke to was WRONG WRONG WRONG.

    As for Saks, because I work in the industry (not at Saks haha) I have heard they are going out of business as well, or at least closing the majority of their doors nationwide.

    I'm sorry you had such a bummer experience. But thank you for posting this, such great info as always.
    I hope you're having a fabulous day my darling! XO

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  20. what an absolutely exhausting experience. I completely understand your decision to return them and go with the better priced ones. I really cannot believe that silly man wouldn't price match. A lot of times, I just move over from one unhelpful SA to the next one . . . basically until I find someone who will be willing to do it. That said, it's a lot of work and I completely get your frustration with not wanting to go through that hassle! Either way, FABULOUS shoes!!!

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  21. I'm so upset by this that I want to take it out of your hands and make sure you're taken care of. Sounds like I am too late, but it's good to share this perspective. It shows that there is obviously a disconnect somewhere within...I'm sure overall, Nordstrom will be disappointed to hear about this.

    Thanks for sharing your story! You're totally right - the actual price shouldn't matter!

    Also, what's up with Saks????

    P.S. Where have you been all my life? So happy to "meet" another fashion blogger from Seattle.

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  22. Oh wow! I've been a very loyal Nordstrom shopper as well but never ever I thought they would do something like this. This is AWESOME!
    I miss being close to Nordys, its really sad that the closest is about an hour from me now.

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  23. I didn't know about the price matching!! That's awesome!! Sorry about that guy that told you no though, but at least now you know.

    liliesandgrapes.blogspot.com

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  24. Thanks for the informative post! I didn't know about Nordstrom's price matching policy - this should come in handy as I love nice shoes too.

    I'm sorry that they didn't end up price matching for you, but hopefully you got the shoes you wanted for a lot less!

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  25. I can't believe the run around they gave you over there. I am a loyal Nordstrom shoe customer as well. They have the most unbelievable return policy and have taken back shoes that were over four years old, (long story) and replaced them with brand new ones.

    I have found, with many other department stores as well, that it truly is who you deal with at the store. You can get a complete moron (who you must have spoken to on the phone the first time) or you can get someone who genuinely puts the customers' needs first and will go out on a limb for you. I know you must be fed up with the whole situation, but since their policy is written and published, they need to stand by it.

    ....or else you can always start a class action suit and perhaps in five years from now get a really large settlement and buy out the entire contents of their shoe department.... : )

    Sorry to hear you had to go through all that only to no real solution. Sometimes Saks and Bloomies run online sales, but they do not run the same ones in their stores. I heard a nasty rumour last fall that Saks was eventually going out, but I chose not to believe it, and ignored it. They're still here and I haven't heard anything else, but will definitely let you know if I do!

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  26. WOW okay. First, I interned at Nordstrom back in college and know without a doubt that their policy is exactly what their website states - they will match any price. And even though he wasn't rude or anything, I would definitely call the Nordstrom store manager and let him/her know about that guy's response. Nordstrom's company culture revolves around excellent customer service, and I know they'd want to know if one of their employees, let alone one of their managers, is giving out false information.

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  27. I had no idea about Saks!!!!

    I like Nordstrom too, but if they make a claim that they price match, but don't then it's their own fault for losing customers! Gotta go where you get the best deals!

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  28. oh how aggravating! they totally owe you $200, but sometimes it is just a big fat pain to keep arguing. i think i would return them and buy elsewhere, just as you plan. or if you want to try one last time, print out that disclaimer and bring shoes and receipts back before you ask for a refund. if they grant you the discount, fine, if not, you will buy elsewhere.

    i check a zillion sites before purchasing, but that is a pain. ugh. trying to get the best deal is a LOT of work!

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  29. Hmmm...maybe it helped that Jordana had a video camera and was in person? I feel like that alone was intimidating. Nobody wants to be caught on camera being the downer & not giving the price match! ;)

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  30. Amazing shoes! This is a great post--I worked retail while in college and was always fascinated about other stores' cust serv policies. I think you'd be a great authority this sort of thing--like a field guide for the rest of us/how to shop etiquette? I think you handled the situation perfectly and I'm sure your SA will adjust your price. Good luck!

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  31. Hi Tiffany - I was wondering - after all of this, has anyone from Nordstrom contacted you? I ask because of your italicized follow-up that said you were "leaving this post up". I've lived in Seattle for ever and a day and even when I moved to the east coast for a while, I religiously saved major shopping expeditions for when I returned home (this was pre-nationwide expansion). That said, I too find it a bit amateur hour that companies have such lax attitudes towards consistent application of THEIR OWN policies. I'm a stickler for the "do what you say" policy - whether it's in your personal life, or in another arena. CERTAINLY, it should be put to practice if you've put it into print and your BOTTOM LINE DEPENDS ON IT. At this point, customer service has gone out the window. Now, it's a matter of INTEGRITY. BTW, I’m JenB’s sister. She turned me on to your blog. Love it to bits!

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  32. hi. i use to work at nordstrom and they are suppose to match the price.. doesnt matter if its another retail store or what not. we always matched the price. and then had to lower everything cus other places sold it cheaper. the sale associate was wrong. could get in a lot of trouble for talking to you like that. nordstrom has no return policy which means you can return anything and everything. i had to even take some fake returns and even abercrombie jeans... they said the hugest mistake you can make as an employee is not making the customer happy. but yeah =)

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  33. I wrote a post about a problem I had at Rite Aid and then an employee that works in the Customer Service at Headquarters left a comment for me and said that they would like to help me and to call them. Maybe Nordy will find you!!

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  34. Michelle- thank you for stopping by and leaving the comment. I completely agree with you about the "do what you say" I've been loyal to Nordstrom for their customer service and return policies and such so this really turned me off only because I have been shopping with them for so long.

    I have updated my post but my SA has contacted me to let me know that he will make the price adjustment.

    my intial "leaving this post up" was because I was hesitant to keep this on the blog because I didn't want to generate anything negative (I hate negativity) but I think in the end, it shows more positive than negative.

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  35. Just wanted to thank everyone that weighed in on their thoughts and opinions about the price matching policy and about Nordstrom in general. It is good to feel like a part of a community that will help each other out even through silly things like this!

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  36. Thank goodness he came through for you. But how annoying up until then! I agree. They should have set standards that they ALL follow otherwise it's bogus!

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  37. glad your sales came through for you. those babies look savvy. my friend had nordstrom price match a $1000 stroller and she saved 300$ as result.

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  38. I'm really disappointed to hear about your initial experience at Nordstrom, with a MANAGER no less... that is not true Nordstrom culture. He was completely out of line for saying SAKs is going under (have I missed this memo?) and clearly wasn't made aware of how to deal with these situations.

    I do, however, understand where he is coming from... the online luxury market has been infiltrated with knock-offs left and right, so it does get very sticky price matching with an online source... HOWEVER, it's still very possible... especially when comparing to Saks.

    So glad that Derek was able to come through - we need more SAs in the world like him!!

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  39. I saw a Marc Jacobs bag at Neiman Marcus one night (online) but wanted to see it in person. It was 358$ and on sale for 161$. I saw that Nordys had it and since we don't have a Neiman close by I decided to go there the next morning, check it out and if I liked it order it I would order it online from Neiman. So the next afternoon when I saw it and loved it I went online to order it. Unfortunately it was out of stock already. A couple days later I was depressed and on my phone and the bag still appeared but said "out of stock". For the hell of it I called Nordys customer service number and even though the lady could no find the listing online she still gave me the bag for 161!!!

    I don't think going on store will help, most of the workers don't know anything anyways. I think its better to call from phone.

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  40. I guess everyone has little different experience. I bought a show from Nordstrom for about $200 and that shoe has been now marked down now 4 times and everytime I called Nordstrom for price adjustment, they were extremely accomodating and have refunded me the difference. On a similar thing at Bloomies, tey refused me a price adjustment because it was more than 14 days and were perfectly fine for me returning the older shoe and buying a new one at reduced price! and they were paying shipping becasue the shoe was for $200 and above their "free shipping" threshold. Amazing how we can different experiences at these stores. I think a lot depends on the sales person you get. So far at least I have had extremely good experience with Nordy. Another tip on anyone who shops at Nordstrom - I found this website Yairoo.com which alerts me whenever price drops on a Nordstrom item I bought and I call to get my adjustment. Saved a ton of money in last couple of months using them combined with Nordstrom's liberal price adjustment policies. Strongly recommend anyone shoping online on Nordstrom to use this service.

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