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Are You Happy, Showroomers? Try-On Fees Are a Thing Now

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Image via Tyler Olson, Shutterstock
Footwear News published an article today about how retailers are combatting showrooming—the practice of browsing in store, then purchasing for a cheaper price via mobile. According to the trade paper, "rumors abound" that some stores (shoe stores, in particular) are now charging try-on fees ranging from $5 to $25. The idea is that the retailer will make at least a little bit of money, even off customers who have no intention of buying anything.

No stores want to go on the record admitting that, of course, but Sportie LA co-owner Isack Fadlon conceded that the concept is officially on the table. "We're probably going to come to a point soon where we have enough customers coming in and doing this where we'll have to have a policy [to address it]," he said. "It wouldn't be to challenge [customers] in a stern manner, but it would be to ask them why [they are doing this] and convince them to make the purchase now. If it's a price issue, we may have to match it if we can."

Actually, price-matching would be a game changer if brick-and-mortar stores can swing it. Target is already giving it a stab, having announced back in January that they will now matching Amazon prices in all locations.

As we wrote at the time, with a reported 82% of shoppers engaging in showrooming, an Amazon price-match could potentially reverse that trend. It would be a huge advantage to customers, since they would get the best of all world's: in-store customer service, cheapest price, and, with no wait for shipping, immediate gratification.

We're curious: What do you think? Do you showroom? Would you pay $25 to try on a pair of shoes? Is it fair for stores to charge try-on fees? Speak your mind in the comments.
· Retailers Combat Showrooming [FN]
· Are You Guilty of Showrooming? [Racked]