Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Temptalia Asks You


How do you feel about “high-end” brands being discounted? Do you find that brands that are often found at discount retailers or etailers stop you from buying the brand at full price–even if you like the products? Do you think it cheapens the brand?

Temptalia's AnswerI love a good sale, and if something’s discounted, that’s just more money in my pocket for something else, but if a brand is often available at 30-50% off their regular price, then I definitely don’t bother paying full price. It’s like an upcoming sale; if you know it’s going on sale, you wait a week until it does to buy it! I think it cheapens the brand in the customer’s perspective; it’s almost like saying your products aren’t worth the real price you charge but half of that.

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36 thoughts on “How do you feel about “high-end” brands being discounted?

  1. Avatar of Melissa divinem (Melissa)

    I’m all for finding a price break on high end brands. It’s rare. I don’t interpret discounting as cheapening the quality of the brand. Believe me, my beauty wallet can use a break!

  2. Emily

    From a make-up perspective, not really. The discount could be on things that I don’t care for (e.g. MAC at the CCO, having discounts on wacky colors or the sort). So, I still buy MAC at the full price for things that I truly want because I feel that they still have excellent quality products. From a clothes and accessories perspective, I tend to think that a brand is cheapened because of the sheer number of outlets available in many countries (e.g. Tommy Hilfiger). In this case, I don’t ever pay full price for those kinds of products. Logic aside, I think I’m a biased makeup nut so I’ll always buy something at full price if I like the idea of it. haha =/

  3. Just like designer clothes and accessories, unsold and/or past season or old edition makeups go on steep discount to serve other markets (budget conscious makeup junkies or late adopters). They don’t cheapen the brand because image is not created based on pricing alone.

  4. francesca

    Here in Turkey, most brands are sold equal to american price only when there is a 40-50% sale.Normally they are much more expensive, and this makes me feel like a fool to buy those at full price. So, I always wait for a good discount,or at least for some value sets.

  5. I love buying discounted everything… but I have to agree that discount products make me think less of the full priced product. Why should I ever pay full priced if I don’t have to?

  6. Anon

    I feel fantastic when a brand has a sale and the company should too. I will spend more money usually on cosmetics. As far as discounts cheapening the brand, IDK. Aren’t the cosmetics cheap to make from the beginning? I’ve heard that many of these cosmetics that we purchase for $20+ are made with very little money. Cents actually.

  7. Audrey

    Smashbox and Stila come to mind.

  8. I agree

    I agree with you. I feel the same about gift with purchase. Customers always ask (I work at MAC) if we have gift with purchase and I know if we did, it would be like other brands where people wait to buy Lancôme or Lauder only when they are in gift. It just cheapens the brand a little.

  9. You will never see Chanel, Tom Ford, La Mer, Dolce N Gabanna, Sisley ever discounted. They are never available at Sephora and the likes. It is like seeing a Louis Vuitton or a Chanel purse being discounted which for these two brands unlike Gucci, Longchamps, Dior and such, the former do not put their purses on sale.
    In my lifetime, I only remember Saks giving a 10% off sale for cosmetics. I dont think a discount cheapens the product. It is a way to introduce newcomers to try out that brand and become prospective customers.

    • Amanda

      Chanel (and MAC, but they’re not in the same price bracket) makeup used to be sold at Sephora. I really miss those days because Sephora often had great sales going on and it was nice to get Chanel at a discount. And regarding Tom Ford, I can’t speak for his makeup line, but I’ve seen his perfumes significantly discounted at my local CCO.

      And I agree with you about discounts being a way to get new people to try the brand. That marketing technique works quite well on me!

  10. Erin Franzen

    I have this gut feeling that people who would be turned off to a brand because they found a bunch of second-run product at a discount retailer aren’t buying for the quality- they’re buying for the prestige of a high-end product. They’re probably mostly bothered by the prospect that someone who doesn’t spend much on make up might get the same product and be perceived as being in the same caste as them.

  11. I sometimes see very expensive brands at retailers like TJ Maxx or Nordstrom Rack.. it does cheapen the brand but I also think they need to sell and the bottom lines matter more than anything. Plus, it’s probably because they sell them at ridiculous prices in the first place – or, our beloved retailers love to sell us a bargain ;)

  12. I don’t have any problem with discounts…except it means that the product is probably being discontinued.

  13. Ljana

    I don’t mind if high-end brands go on sale as long as the expiration date is OK. It’s a consumers’ market – the demand for a product determines its price, and if something’s discounted, I take it to mean that the company has had to cut its losses and sell for a price we are willing to pay. I know very well that Dior – for example – would happily charge 500 euros for foundation if we were willing to pay it. Thankfully, we’re not.
    However, aside from occasional sales at Sephora (20% off everything, about twice a year), high-end brands don’t go on sale that often in Europe. I bought a Chanel RA in Darling in Greece at a 30% discount just because it was LE and the store wanted to get rid of the remainder of the batch. Other than that, I can’t remember the last time I found a high-end brand on sale.

  14. I’d rather pay for quality than luxury. That means, if I’m buying a Rouge G that’s because I really like the formula, not because it’s luxurious. That’s the reason why I never mind buying unused testers of high-end products and why I love a lot of indie products. Hey, you get the quality and you don’t get to break the bank. :)

  15. Sharnek

    I love a sale and certainly don’t mind it when brands offer discounts at particular times of the year / occasions etc. However, if a brand is frequently dicounted or a load of stock appears in a discount store then it become a disount brand to me, which I would never pay full price again.

    I know some department stores have promotional days, which the consessions have to take part in. I understand that thats a store promotion and doesn’t ‘cheapen’ the brand for me.

  16. Avatar of Catherine Cath

    For most brand, I agree with you Christine, more money in my pocket that i can buy more makeup with :P But there are some brand like Chanel and Dior that i buy when I want to treat myself and honestly, wouldn’t feel the same if they were on sale.

  17. If the r/etailer or sale is credible, I’ll go ahead and buy it! Perfect example is TJ Maxx selling theBalm products at 40-60% off. I’ll rarely buy from Sephora or theBalm’s site now because I know I can get the same products at a huge discount.

    I think in my eyes it makes me think theBalm isn’t as price-worthy, but the quality and care are so well executed that I don’t see the products as being cheaper than they are.

    Something a bit off topic but what astounds me is that Chanel quads are baked internationally but pressed in the states. Something about the baked quads with white sponge-tip applicators scream cheap to me! Are they of same quality??

  18. Yazmin

    Its a bit of a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is the obvious discount, and sometimes you find real bargains, i.e i found lip tars for about 3/4 of the price they normally retail for in the uk.

    the bad thing is they may not necessarily be the genuine thing, just about everything is being faked now, benefit, mac, nars, ysl and i would rather add the difference and buy it from the shop itself and know ive bought a genuine product.

  19. I think that the consumers themselves have cheapened the brands. “Gift with Purchase” has now become an expected thing in stores everywhere. Some consumers wont buy there foundation, or even there moisturizer, even if they are out. Unless that little bag with those “free” products are involved, in which they through the bag away or better yet, “I’ll give that to …, there birthday is coming up. Really? Talking about a sale!

  20. Amanda W

    If I knew a source was reputable, then I probably wouldn’t pay full price. I’m never certain the discount retailer is giving me the real thing, though. I often buy slightly higher end things at Marshalls or T.J Maxx, but they rarely have the specific brands I prefer.

  21. Sarah R

    It definitely doesn’t cheapen the brand, for me. It allows me to buy more at once!

  22. Venice Claire

    I so agree!

  23. Miriam

    I’m all for discounted high end products as long as I know it’s coming from a reputable retailer/seller and not tampered with. I don’t think it cheapens the brand but it definitely has to be the original product.

  24. The reason I make the trip to IMATS Toronto is that I’m not a Pro makeup artist and It’s nice to play with quality products over labels. I pretty much don’t buy from “high-end” brands because the price is all about the prestige rather then the product it’s self (same with designer clothing labels). I’ve been jaded by the quality not matching the price in this case but I’m willing to try it to see if it works at a discount.

  25. dsixx

    With all the sales I have learned to control my makeup buying impulses. I don’t remember the last time I bought a makeup item at full price without using a gift card…they are already overpriced as it is. I have more makeup than I really “need” (which is something I don’t like to admit) so there’s no reason to not wait for one of the F&F sales.

  26. asha

    second christine’s answer.. y even bother if its on sale all the time.. moreover i wud buy frm sephora or ulta or beauty.com or frm the retailers discount not frm hautelook..

  27. Avatar of Veronica Veronica

    Well, going by the assumed understanding that all stock is inflated by the nature of manufacturing to sale process – it depends on the type of sale. End of year/cycle sales are pretty pragmatic to me regardless of brand – even powerhouse designers need to clear out stock by the end of the year. But if a brand is consistently dropping prices, rather than just occasionally for specials, it tends to rub a bit wrong.

  28. M.

    This isn’t quite the same thing, but the drugstore-ificaton of Hard Candy did not please me. I own one of their nail polishes (not that great) and two of their lip glosses (very nice), but I still don’t like it, and tend to refer to it as “Hard Candy.”

  29. Alyssa

    First off… better for the company to make money off a warehouse filled with older items than just storing said items that haven’t been bought. Second, I pay for quality over anything else. I love make up, but if I want to flaunt my worth… there are better ways to do so. I don’t think any less of those companies, that is what they’re here for… making a profit whether it’s off people looking for a “luxury high-end product” or a cheap discount. Consumers are consumers. They just need to buy whatever image or discount is being sold.

  30. I don’t think it’s a perception of value so much as it is pragmatism. If a brand goes on sale frequently, I don’t think of it as ‘cheapening’ the brand image – it just means that they’re training me to expect, and wait for, sales. And while that’s great for my wallet, it’s not really to their benefit.

  31. I don’t think I see it as cheapening the brand. I look for quality, and I’ve found for example that some WNW eyeshadows truly rival brands like Mac and Urban Decay, so price doesn’t come into it that much for me. (And I know people who loathe Mac, and the fact that Mac doesn’t do sales or GWP hasn’t convinced them it must be good.)

  32. Joy

    I agree with you. I feel the same about gift with purchase. Customers always ask (I work at MAC) if we have gift with purchase and I know if we did, it would be like other brands where people wait to buy Lancôme or Lauder only when they are in gift. It just cheapens the brand a little.

    Surely you’re aware that you’re working for Lauder, Mac’s parent company?

    • I work for MAC, Bobbi Brown(two of Lauder’s adopted Children), as well as Chanel And NARS. And let me say, I am so glad that GWP is MIA. I have worked for those GWP lines, and the number of times throughout the year that I have heard “you got free gift” is madning. And when you say ” no ma’am, we do not have a GWP right now but how can I help you. All of the sudden, they don’t need anything.