Would You Pay $50 to Use the Dressing Room?


If you plan to try on that designer dress in the store and then go online to buy it at half the price (um, like I do), then you might want to think again. Retailers in Australia are trying to implement try-on fees that are refunded if you decide to purchase, but not if you don't. 

For $50, you can try on a pair of ski boots or a designer dress. If you buy it, it's rolled into the total. If not, you eat it.

It makes sense, of course, but as goes the video store, so too goes the clothing store (and possibly the book store). The fact is, shopping online connects you to thousands and thousands of people selling the same merchandise at much better prices. You would be a fool NOT to buy online instead.

Still, this idea is smart. But it won't work. 

Savvy online shoppers know that returning -- though a colossal pain in the booty -- is totally possible. Other than shopping for sport, which most of us love to do, shopping in person just doesn't offer as much. 

Just the other day, I was shopping in my second favorite store (Free People) and couldn't find a shirt I wanted. When I got home, I went online and there it was. On sale. The store was fun and all, but just couldn't compete.

Now, obviously in that case, Free People got my money either way, so they don't care. But with high-end designer stuff (or expensive ski stuff), there is another story. People sell that stuff for less money, but it's harder and sometimes even impossible to return, so you want to size it right.

Besides, shopping online isn't the only reason people choose not to buy the things they try on. Maybe it doesn't look good. Maybe it didn't fit. Maybe it wasn't as comfortable as it looked. Either way, there are many reasons why we "try before we buy."

The result is a complicated situation. I can see how it could work, of course. Most of us would pay the little bit extra just to make sure things fit, but when you're talking about hundreds of dollars in savings, then it's hard to imagine most of us wanting to eat that.

If I were told I needed to pay to try things on, I would just shop elsewhere.

What about you? Would you pay to try things on?


Image via Amy Guth/Flickr



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sara_... sara_7106

Seems like there would just be more returns. Buy what you like. Try it on at home for free, and then return what you don't like.

PonyC... PonyChaser

Not. a. chance. I would go bankrupt in one shopping trip. I am not a set size. I'm a plus-size, one size on top and a different size on the bottom. One size might fit me in store A, but not in store B. I'm already annoyed by having to request that dressing rooms - visible to the entire store - must be unlocked, and now you want me to pay for the privilege of simply trying on a pair of pants??? No way, jose!!

Of course, "designer" is a foreign word to me, so perhaps us peons down here in Walmart/target-ville will never have to worry about it.

nonmember avatar molly

I'd shop elsewhere. I don't buy things that I haven't tried on. If they're going to punish me for trying on things that don't fit right or are unflattering then they're not getting my business.

Littl... LittleManMama

No way. Haven't you ever needed a dress for a special occasion, loved several on the hanger and hated the way you looked? I can think of shopping trips where I tried on 10 things and hated them all. Same with ski boots. My feet are hard to fit and as an ex-ski racer I need a high performance, stiff boot. I would never committ to buying without trying on.

lilel... lilelvengirl

Having worked in a clothing store, I can see how it would deter some of the manhandling some clothes get being tried on. And in some cases, like swimwear for example, knowing that less people have tried something on would be nice; after all, you never know who's decided to take their underwear off before trying on the same swimsuit you're about to buy.. eww!!! That said, being an odd size myself, I wouldn't pay to try something on. I've found plenty of things that look cute on the hanger and that seem to fit okay, but once they're on, they're just not for me. I see no reason to pay just to see that it wasn't meant for me to wear.

LKRachel LKRachel

I absolutely would not!  There's a shoe store here that does that and I refuse to go there.  

Sara- good call!  Just buy things and return them w no trying on fee :)

jalaz77 jalaz77


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