Today, I found a side table from West Elm and two pillows from Urban Barn that I wanted to purchase. Because I knew these brands, I looked up both products online and discovered that Of Things Past listed the first "mark-down" price at a higher price than what West Elm and Urban Barn were charging for these items - brand-new.
The West Elm side table - new - cost $279. Of Things Past had listed it at $307.
The Urban barn pillows - new - cost $99. Of Things Past had each listed at $106.
So what is happening here, is that Of Things Past marks-up the original value so that when they show the discounted prices, it appears like you are getting a bargain, when in fact, you are paying more than the original value of the item as if it were brand new.
I paid Of Things Past $269 because my purchase was in the second month so the table had been marked down from $307. (By the way, the table did have scratches and imperfections, and shows that it had been used.)
Unfortunately, I price-checked after purchasing these items from Of Things Past.
When I discovered that Of Things Past base-price for the table was more than the brand-new price, I felt I had been duped by this under-handed "pricing strategy" and wanted to return the items
I phoned Of Things Past to explain the situation and was advised that this has happened "only once before", yet they didn't seem surprised nor did they offer to rectify the pricing. For me, a satisfactory customer service response would have been to apologize and offer to adjust the pricing accordingly based on pricing information that can be verified both online and by phoning the respective stores.
What under-handed marketing and pricing. BUYER BEWARE.
Of Things Past did offer that I could return the item even though it's not their policy.
- Company Response
We're sorry that you had a poor experience. We have thousands of items in the showroom, and while we do try to investigate pricing and ensure that we are below retail pricing, we are not infallible. Some stores will price - brand new items - higher than other stores. We can't control pricing from other stores, nor can we control when they decide to lower their prices.
It is unfortunate that you think that we are trying to 'dupe' customers and the general public, with our pricing strategy, but this is simply not the case.
We wouldn't 'rectify' the pricing, because if we've already agreed to a price with the consignor, then we are obligated to sell it at the price that it was agreed to. Those are the terms in our agreement.
We did offer for a full refund of your purchase, which you've stated. The offer still stands,however we prefer that you do it within the next few days, or at least let us know that you will attempt to come in to do so.