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Clothing retailer, Everlane lets shoppers choose their price, cashes in on guilt

Everlane, a clothing retailer, is letting their customers “name their price” on certain items. Customers choose from the lowest (basic cost of the item), to the highest range (giving back to their employees).

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Trousers with a side of guilt?

Times are tight. We clip coupons, wait to shop until an item goes on sale, we even comparison shop from store to store and website to website. So why would we ever pay full price for an item when the option to pay less is listed right there on the same page as the higher price?

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Some customers chose double

As we wrapped up 2015, Everlane tested shoppers using that exact scenario. Though some shoppers may have chosen to pay the lowest possible price – where Everlane made no profit at all – I can imagine there were others who felt bad even considering the option and paid up to twice as much for the item. The example from the Consumerist had the price range of a single pair of pants listed from $46 to $89 – almost twice as much.

… select the lowest option and a pop-up will tell you that only the cost of production and shipping will be covered without any money going toward overhead for Everlane’s 70-person staff; the middle price and you’ll pay for a small amount of that; and the priciest tag will mean you’ve covered all those costs and your money allows the company to “invest in growth.” You also get a “thanks!”

… we’re good..

A thanks? I can’t send my dogs to day camp on a “thanks.” A “thanks” won’t pay college tuition for my niece.

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My thought: Put an item on sale, or don’t. Make the price $46 or $89, Everlane, I don’t care which one you decide. But I’ll be the one to decide where and how to spend my money – and how much of it to spend. And I don’t need your guilt or your blessing either way. I’ll either buy your trousers or I’ll look elsewhere for a comparable pair at a lesser price – without the judgement and moral dilemma and guilt.

Pick-your-own-price purchasing options are popping up everywhere these days – from insurance to banking fees to clothing. Let me offer one piece of shopping advice: Shop local, don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about shopping around for a lower price, and wear your trousers with pride. You bought them; they’re yours. And they look damn good on you not matter what the price tags said.

#GuiltTripEndsHere

Written By

A native Texan, Summer Huggins serves as Account Manager | Client Support for Small World Labs, a Personify company. She is also an animal advocate, active in Austin's animal rescue community, and an amateur photographer. She wants to be a Rockette when she grows up.

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