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Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:13 PM

Inside Payless's elaborate prank to dupe people into paying $600 for shoes

A mini-runway, lined with stiletto heels, glistens in bright fluorescent lighting. Shoes of various types sit neatly in individual glass shelves. A statue of an angel carrying several shopping bags stands in the middle as Los Angeles fashionistas mill about, trying on shoes, posing on the red carpet, drinking champagne served in tall, slender glasses.

It was a private launch party of a new luxury brand of shoes called Palessi, designed by Italian designer Bruno Palessi.

“I would pay $400, $500. People are going to be like, ‘Where did you get those? Those are amazing,’ ” a woman said as she tried on a pair of bright-gold sneakers with leopard prints.

The woman was not actually buying a Palessi because there’s no such brand, and there’s no Bruno Palessi.

There is, however, Payless ShoeSource, a discount shoe retailer hoping to shake things up through an elaborate — and expensive — advertising prank to attract new customers and change the perception that the company sells cheap, unfashionable shoes.

“We felt like this campaign would be a great way to get a lot of people to consider Payless again, and to realize it’s more than just a shoe store in the mall,” said Sarah Couch, Payless’s chief marketing officer.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/11/30/they-had-us-fooled-inside-paylesss-elaborate-prank-dupe-people-into-paying-shoes/?utm_term=.1a8e26307d68&wpisrc=nl_rainbow&wpmm=1

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Reply Inside Payless's elaborate prank to dupe people into paying $600 for shoes (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Dec 1 OP
malaise Dec 1 #1
madaboutharry Dec 1 #5
malaise Dec 1 #6
spooky3 Dec 1 #7
malaise Dec 1 #9
canetoad Dec 1 #8
malaise Dec 1 #20
suffragette Dec 1 #10
malaise Dec 1 #13
suffragette Dec 1 #22
brush Dec 1 #28
suffragette Dec 1 #35
Major Nikon Dec 1 #29
malaise Dec 1 #31
Drahthaardogs Dec 2 #43
HipChick Dec 1 #30
malaise Dec 1 #32
underpants Dec 1 #2
TheBlackAdder Dec 1 #36
Roland99 Dec 1 #3
erronis Dec 1 #4
Blue_true Dec 1 #14
teenagebambam Dec 1 #26
Blue_true Dec 1 #41
teenagebambam Dec 2 #42
crazycatlady Dec 1 #11
Blue_true Dec 1 #16
crazycatlady Dec 1 #17
Raine Dec 1 #23
crazycatlady Dec 1 #24
Raine Dec 1 #25
SammyWinstonJack Dec 1 #33
FakeNoose Dec 1 #27
BannonsLiver Dec 1 #12
Blue_true Dec 1 #18
BannonsLiver Dec 1 #19
petronius Dec 1 #15
oberliner Dec 1 #21
renate Dec 1 #34
Codeine Dec 1 #37
Marrah_Goodman Dec 1 #38
SoCalDem Dec 1 #39
Demonaut Dec 1 #40

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:20 PM

1. My mother had an obsession about taking care of our feet

She always told us that it was better to own one pair of Clark's than several cheap shoes. It paid off - i have no corns and no bunions to this day and these feet are old. I 'll buy good shoes on sale. I have never bought shoes at Payless. I do buy their cheap laces for sneakers. They won't fool me or my siblings.
What a dishonest greedy bunch.

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Response to malaise (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:27 PM

5. Same here.

I have a motto: Wearing a well made pair of shoes is as important as getting your teeth cleaned every 6 months. Once those things go bad, life can be a misery.

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Response to madaboutharry (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:30 PM

6. That simple

.
The latter was ingrained because mom's dad was a dentist.

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Response to malaise (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:31 PM

7. My mother had the same opinion. She looked for

Bargains for many other things, but thought quality shoes were important.

I have shoes that are more than ten years old and have been worn a lot (and repaired a few times). All but one pair still looks and feels great.

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Response to spooky3 (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:38 PM

9. Same here

With care good shoes last forever.

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Response to malaise (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:37 PM

8. Don't get me started

On ridiculously impractical, overpriced and dangerous women's shoes. I'm convinced that the concept of stillettos is a direct link to the 'Lotus Foot' so prized in foot-binding cultures.

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Response to canetoad (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:17 PM

20. I have often wondered about who thought/thinks they are good for the human back or feet

and all or vanity or a certain look

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Response to malaise (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:41 PM

10. Pretty clear those fashionistas had no clue about what comprises actual quality.

So many things would be a clear giveaway between those shoes and better quality ones.

They must have no idea about European vs US shoe sizing either.

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Response to suffragette (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:53 PM

13. You are so right

These fashionistas are only interested in enriching themselves.
They really are clueless. I wear British 5 1/2, American 7 1/2 and it has been fun watching my feet gain a half size in the last 30 years.

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Response to malaise (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:28 PM

22. Enriching themselves. That's exactly what they were doing. Most of them were described as holding

up a shoe and praising it. Doubt any of them tried walking in the shoes or looked at the inside construction.

I wear from 6 1/2 - 7 in American or Canadian, depending on the style and brand.
My best fit tends to be in 37 in certain of the European brands. Those have a narrower heel and slighter wider forefoot that works with my duck feet.

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Response to suffragette (Reply #22)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 08:21 PM

28. Duck feet?

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Response to brush (Reply #28)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 09:23 PM

35. Narrow heel with a wider forefoot.

Of course, duck feet is an exaggeration but many shoes are either too wide in the heels or too narrow at the toes ( or even both) to fit.

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Response to malaise (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 08:34 PM

29. A pair of well made shoes can last a lifetime

A well made shoe will have a welted sole and a cork midsole that molds to your foot as it breaks in. The uppers will be made of quality leather that if properly cared for will not wear out. When the sole wears out, it can be replaced with a new one. I have shoes and boots that are over 30 years old and they are still far more comfortable and durable than the vast majority of new shoes on the market today. If something lasts 10 times longer, you only paid 1/10th of the price.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #29)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 08:40 PM

31. You're right

Today it's crap with a fancy name

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #29)

Sun Dec 2, 2018, 06:02 AM

43. Yes. My boots are Meindl and are 25 years old

We have put miles on together from the Alaskan tundra to the pheasant fields of Kansas. They are still waterproof

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Response to malaise (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 08:37 PM

30. I learnt the hard way

Cheapest always works out the dearest...

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Response to HipChick (Reply #30)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 08:44 PM

32. Our neighbor was discussing this yesterday

He fixed a bumper the cheap way after ignoring our advice. He came over to say that now he has to go and buy the new bumper.
You can get really good quality stuff on sale, but if it was dirt cheap from the beginning, the quality may be suspect. On the other hand there is some very expensive crap stuff.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:21 PM

2. Not surprising given how gullible the Russians made us look

You're not getting leather there but you can find some good cheap shoes.

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Response to underpants (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 09:46 PM

36. I bought shoes with my daughter at DSW and most of their shoes, under $125, were pleather.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:22 PM

3. I'd heard of this but didn't realize it was so elaborate

Hilarious

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:24 PM

4. Makes me remember when I ran a wine-tasting club in DC with "brown-bag" wines

Many of us considered ourselves fairly cognoscenti about stuff like "mouth", "bouquet", "legs", etc.

Most of us were totally gobsmacked by how wrong we were between $10 and $100 bottles. We tried to vary the timing of the wines so the "afficianados" weren't too affected by the earlier tastes, but sometimes it's just how pretty is the label, how much it costs. Ivanka?

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Response to erronis (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:55 PM

14. Good thing that you didn't have me in that club, my friend.

You would have been going to the roughest part of town to buy $2 Apple-berry wine to get me to see a difference between that and a $1,000 bottle. I cook with wine, but other than that, I have zero feel for the taste difference between wines of the same type, regardless of how expensive or cheap they are (I can tell different types).

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #14)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 07:55 PM

26. I'm glad it's not just me

My usual first question when tasting ANY wine is "what am I supposed to think of this?" because it all pretty much tastes the same to me. The only type I can truly say I love is a Barbera d'Alba.

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Response to teenagebambam (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 11:37 PM

41. Pretty much where I am. But what is Barbera d'Alba.

Honestly, when people are sampling wine and talking about the assorted flavors they are getting, I sit glassy eyed. A sure way to shut me up is to have a wine tasting anywhere me. And I won't be shut up because I am drinking wine either.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #41)

Sun Dec 2, 2018, 05:44 AM

42. Barbera d'Alba

is an Italian wine from northern Italy - Alba is the town where Nutella is made. Mind you I can't tell you WHY I like it, I just do.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:46 PM

11. Payless is one of the few places that have cute shoes in wide widths

That don't look like I raided the closet of a nursing home. Knock them all you want but they're a godsend for this.

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Response to crazycatlady (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:00 PM

16. You make an excellent point.

Unless a person gets expensive shoes custom made, they are brutal on people that have wide feet. I have two pair of pricey shoes, but I can only be in them two hours max. For everyday wear, I wear a comfortable pair of semi-sneakers (somewhat dressier than sneakers, but they are comfortable).

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:03 PM

17. Shoe manufacturers have yet to catch up for people with wide feet

Not all of us are in nursing homes or want to wear shoes that look like you raided your grandmother's closet.

There's a huge market out there, and Payless is one of the few to cash in on it.

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Response to crazycatlady (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 07:26 PM

23. I have a terrible time finding shoes because

I have a really small foot size 5 but really wide. I can't be particular and snobbish about where I get my shoes, I'm just thrilled when I find some that are in my size.

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Response to Raine (Reply #23)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 07:33 PM

24. Have you tried the kids section?

I have a 7.5 foot and sometimes find athletic shoes in the kid's section for much cheaper than the adult's section. Usually on clearance at places like TJ Maxx.

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Response to crazycatlady (Reply #24)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 07:41 PM

25. Thanks, good idea

I'll do that. I dread when my shoes start to wear out finding new ones is such an ordeal.

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Response to Raine (Reply #23)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 08:45 PM

33. 5 1/2, hard to find and in wide, really hard to find.

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Response to crazycatlady (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 08:09 PM

27. Yes the wide sizes are hard to find

I don't actually have wide feet but I do have bunions. Most women's shoes are not designed to accommodate bunions (or any other foot problem) so I've suffered a lot of foot pain over the years. Finally I realized that the "wide" version of any shoe would fit even though the "normal" doesn't. So now I go to stores that carry wide shoes and Payless is one of them. I've also found wide shoes at Walmart believe it or not. They might be cheap plastic shoes from China, but at least I can wear them without pain.




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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:52 PM

12. Some fast food company had a variation of this a few years ago.

The premise was people couldn’t believe they were eating a fast food burger vs. homemade. Sort of hackneyed marketing, but not exactly a crime against humanity either.

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Response to BannonsLiver (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:08 PM

18. I too didn't see the problem.

There are just people in the world that will pay $600 for something that cost $20 to make. Should we stop them if what they buy make them feel special?

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #18)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:14 PM

19. Agreed. You make what people will buy I guess

Another not so minor detail here is nobody actually paid $600 for the cheap shoes. Again, I’m not getting the outrage, or from WaPo’s angle, the news value.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 05:57 PM

15. It certainly shows up the goofiness of this whole influencer concept - they stacked the deck

with people particularly eager to be flattered and willing to be duped.

But I can't claim that I'm much savvier - I know I can be swayed more than I care to admit by packaging, context, presentation, etc...

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 06:21 PM

21. "those who bought the shoes were allowed to keep them for free"

Nice!

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 09:17 PM

34. I think this is fun!

It goes to show how styling and photography and Instagram and perceived rarity, not actual craftsmanship or quality, influence many people's choices. I love the idea of Payless shoes being bid on for hundreds of dollars... it means that regular people can afford to buy things that would normally, due mostly to advertising, packaging, and imaging, be priced out of reach. And it also shows that people who think they're paying for design and quality... aren't, at least not necessarily.

I'm 100% behind this prank.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 10:04 PM

37. I like Payless because they have sturdy work boots

that aren’t made with leather. I’ve always gotten a lot of wear from them despite their low price.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 10:08 PM

38. Never paid more then 30 bucks for a pair of shoes

And those, to me, were expensive. I cannot begin to understand people who pay hundreds of dollars for a pair.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 10:14 PM

39. I gladly pay whatever for Finn-Comfort

Germans know how to make durable comfortable shoes

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2018, 10:20 PM

40. change the name, abbreviate, like KFC become "PL shoes"

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