Who’s screwing who update (AKA- the day after)

Well yesterday was a bit interesting, eh?

I posted Modcloth’s response last night and headed off to bed, only to find 10 new comments when I woke up this morning that needed to be approved (and are now up!).

I had someone on twitter ask me if I am “happy with Modcloth’s answer.”
These are the questions I posed to Modcloth: where are you getting your merchandise? Who is supplying you with these pieces? Are you aware that you’re each selling the same items for dramatically different prices? What are you going to do about it?

While they didn’t directly answer any of my questions, the fact that they called their designers/suppliers and even pulled one of the dresses off the site tells me they’re taking this matter very seriously.

Modcloth is a business, and like many people commented, have the right to price things however they want. Again, that wasn’t the point of yesterday’s post. The point was to ask if they were aware of the same merchandise being sold at rock bottom prices at Forever 21 and to see what they planned to do about it.

And, obviously, their plan was to figure out where the merchandise really came from and pull it if they couldn’t verify, which makes me, as a consumer, really happy. They may have started as a tiny company in a dorm room, but they’ve grown. It’s nice to see how they react to situations like this one, and here’s hoping it doesn’t happen again!

If you have time, go back to the first post to read some of the new comments, especially this one from Neeka B. She explains what I was trying to say really, really well (she works in the industry, I do not).  The discussion in the comments section is amazing. It turned from Modcloth into fair-trade and USA goods.

(I’m editing this section, because Tarren says I’m making “assy assumptions…)
Now I need to take a minute and thank everyone who commented, tweeted, RTed, emailed, posted and reposted this link. All I did was make a blog post. You guys MADE them pay attention. You guys kept hounding Modcloth, kept leaving comments, posting to their Facebook wall and tweeting them, asking them to respond. I wonder if this would’ve been on Modcloth’s radar is it hadn’t had such a huge reaction. So for all your efforts, I thank you.

By the way, I was called poor, attention-seeking, a know-it-all and a few other names yesterday. And just to clarify, yes, I am poor. But you can keep those other names for someone else.

🙂 Suze (AKA- the girl who kicked the hornet’s nest)

PS: Be back later with an outfit post (yay!)

EDIT: Here’s a list of all the other posts and blogs I’ve found discussing this topic (if I missed yours, please let me know and I’d be happy to post it!)














24 thoughts on “Who’s screwing who update (AKA- the day after)

  1. As someone who works in the design industry, although I know no longer work in apparel, I think it was great the you brought this to Mod Cloth’s attention. I also think that their response was fair. The fact that they pulled one of the dresses was impressive. What I suspect is that most of the items Forever 21 is selling truly are cheaper to produce: 1) because of the large orders they made 2) because of the construction methonds they use. For example something as simple as cutting a pattern on the straight grain vs. on the bias can have a huge impact on the price and although the dress on the bias will drape better it might not be something that most customers notice. Most clothing can not be patented and there limited copyrighting power here in the US, (Europe is different). This is why we can find such similar items in so many stores.

    I do think that Mod Cloth can be a little over priced, and they could choose to make larger orders and offer less variety. I think this is something we need to remember as shoppers. When we buy from Mod Cloth part of that price you are paying it so that you can choose from 200+ dresses rather than 50.
    This was an amazing thing you did Suzie!! I think you really prove that us bloggers do have a voice we can use and that we have the power to hold retailers accountable

  2. There are certainly european (or goods sold in europe but manufactured elsewhere; though not in the us) being sold on the site for a large markup. Dorothy Perkins and Topshop stuff for a start. While Topshop is a similar pricepoint, Dorothy Perkins is certainly not, though is part of the same commercial owned group as Topshop.

  3. I just want to say I’m so proud of how you kept it positive, you kept it honest and you kept it real. I’m super impressed with the way you handled the whole situation.

  4. I really admire you for starting this whole thing. Sometimes, I really do love the internet! I was actually really impressed with how Modcloth handled the situation, too. They sounded very professional, and they seem to be taking it seriously. I guess nothing will ever be totally fair and perfect, but people like you at least inch things a little closer to the ideal 🙂

    • I think they just needed to be aware of what’s going on. Or, at least what APPEARS to be going on. I still stand by what I said in my post- they may not have ANY clue about the similarities. Modcloth relies on their purchasers/designers/suppliers to provide them with unique, indie stuff. They can’t control it being sold to/through Forever 21 before it gets to them.

  5. I’m proud of both parties in this discussion! Suze, for your wonderful detective work and not being afraid to ask questions, and Modcloth for not pushing this under the rug and doing some detective work of their own. We as consumers deserve to know the answer to every question we ask! I know most of us work very hard for our money, and I know I have a wrapped package from my mother under my Christmas tree from Modcloth and I would love to know that my own mother isn’t getting screwed out of paying extremely high prices. But this whole thing just proves why we need to STOP shopping at places like forever 21 because they throw off the balance for every other company out there! I’d rather pay a little more and know that my money is going to a small company/designer who cares about there customers. Do you think forever 21 would have responded to this? I’m sure that would be a no. So thanks again for keeping things interesting 🙂

  6. It’s sad that people had to resort to name calling, all because you called something to people’s attention. I’m glad that Modcloth responded, and more impressed that they spent the time talking to designers & suppliers, pulled the dress, etc. While they may not have answered all the questions, they took action, which says a lot.

    It’s disappointing that people think you were pointing fingers, when rather you were just using 2 stores as an example.

  7. I felt that they way you called it to attention was rather rude. Also, saying that you forced them to respond, and assuming that they would otherwise have not responded, is uncalled for and a pretty assy assumption. I guarantee the way you did it (calling it out on their FB wall) got you an answer a lot sooner, but it’d have been more appropriate to email them and be paitent for a response. People who on on FB PR at modcloth have little, to no, instant access to answers to questions of that calibur.

    • I DID send them an email and wait for a response. You can go look up the @modcloth replies on twitter- most of them are not me- they’re other people questioning why it took them so long to answer.

      Instead of telling me what I did wrong, why don’t you focus on the positives in this situation? Modcloth obviously was unaware that they were selling the same goods as Forever 21 and have taken the steps to fix that. That is what is important here. They have an image and a brand to uphold, and I doubt they want to sell the same stuff as Forever 21.

      I don’t think Modcloth would’ve responded if it hadn’t been for all the attention the post got- not because they wouldn’t want to, but because it wouldn’t have been on their radar. I apologize for the gaff- I’ll make sure to clear that section up, because I wouldn’t want to give any assy assumptions.

      I don’t think the people who man their FB have the access to answer those questions, but they have the ability to say, “We’re working on it.”

    • You seem really offended by Suze’s question. Unless you have stock in Modcloth/own half the company, you might want to tone your indignation down a little. There was nothing wrong with her chosen method of communication. It makes sense to leave a comment on their Facebook when it’s Modcloth’s way of communicating with their customer base. One comment does not equal “calling them out”. Really, unless you’re manning their Facebook or PR department, calm down.

      • I’m not really offended or worked up, the reson why I posted here on her blog is because we were having this discussion on her first FB post to MC and it got deleted and I just wanted to put my 2 cents in on how the way I percieved the situation was that the blog author had kind of a personal axe to grind against MC. Maybe that’s not true and I just misinterpreted things. I was just suggesting logical answers for some of the things that she was initially irritated (@ modcloth) for, and ways that she might have better dealt with the situation to avoid misunderstandings (such as me feeling like you were kind out to get MC-). I don’t work for MC and I have made probably 30 purchases from them in the 6 months I have known about the site. I am also a savvy shopper who knows that nastygal.com, lulus.com, karmaloop.com (etc) sometimes sell the same items at a lesser price. Sometimes, not always. So I shop around. Every experience I have had with MC and customer service has been very positive. I really hated the changing of the sizing system but won’t allow that to stop me from shopping there as they have other redeming qualities that I love in an online company that I purchase from. I would have to disagree, and thing that they would still have responded even if this post had not gained so much attention. I definitely see how this post is full of realy useful info, it just irked me a bit how you (blog owner) went about it from the get go, like the little updates about how long they were taking and comments about them trying to hide things. *meh* no worries… I just really like this company and didn’t want to see their reputation tarnished by all of the responses between the times that you posted the blog and FB links and the time MC responded. Because they have done me 100% right, any time I had an issue with one of my orders. And I really do feel they offer *some* really unique, hard to find, indie designs. Some are not. Such is life.

        • If you read the way you wrote your previous comments, you sound very pissed off and worked up, yet here you’re saying you’re not. Your tone in this comment is much calmer and makes you seem less, well, bitchy. I think that’s what Lisa was trying to point out.

          I have nothing personal against Modcloth. I’ve purchased things from them before. Some things sucked, some were awesome. It’s nothing against their store. The post is NOT against Modcloth (as I’ve said before). It’s about things being sold at Forever 21 A YEAR AGO and now being sold at Modcloth. I wrote it to ask the question of WHO is getting screwed over- the customers or Modcloth themselves. Someone could have leftover inventory and sell it to Modcloth, which they then sell to us, not knowing it was sold at a cheap store a year ago. That’s what many people are failing to realize the major issue was here.

          The link posted on their Facebook was to give that person the chance to see the post and alert their PR staff to make a comment. The people who do their PR are not the same people as those who fill orders, so it doesn’t matter if it’s their “busy season.”
          Go and check out some of the other links people posted. Go google issues people have with Modcloth and you’ll realize that it’s not just a ME thing. There are LOTS of people who dislike them for various reasons (Mod-zombies, their monopoly on bloggers, etc). Just because I write a post that YOU think is negative does not mean I’m ripping on them.

          You are their ideal consumer. You say you’ve made at least 30 purchases from them in 6 months. I’ve made maybe two. Therefore, you’re the person they want shopping there, not me.

          Again, this is MY blog, and the reason I updated (only 4 times, mind you) about what was going on, is because I kept getting emails and tweets asking if they had responded yet. I updated the post to let the readers who were waiting for a response know that I had heard nothing. It’s easier to update a blog post and update my twitter/facebook ONE TIME than to respond to 50+ emails and tweets.

          I work for in a PR department. If something happens, regardless of the complaint (which this is, if you break it down), it doesn’t matter if it’s our “busy” season or not. We don’t wait nearly 10 hours to respond to it. A good PR company will respond within a couple hours, at most.

  8. The fact that anyone called you poor because of that post is absolutely asinine. I didn’t realize that caring about how a company is treating customers made you poor. (I also didn’t realize that being poor was something someone should point out to another. Oh, you know my financial status? Why, thank you for letting me in on it!) If caring about what you buy, how much you pay for it and who you bought it from (and why they are selling it as such) makes you poor, then call me POOR! Perhaps those who called you poor should take a lesson in responsible buying.

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  10. Ahhh craziness! I stayed away from the comments section because it just seemed to blow up! I think it’s awesome that you presented your case in a calm but assertive manner and for the couple of dumbos who had to resort to name calling, there were a ton of girls I think who become much better informed consumers, and that makes it all worth it! (I think anyway, then again I wasn’t the one getting called names! 😦

    Keep being awesome dear 🙂

    • I totally agree with Sarah – I think you did more good than bad (and I mean bad in the terms of some people thinking you did, not me personally). I think your post will probably make a lot of people think about what they are buying/how they are buying it/who they are buying it from in the future – and that’s great! 🙂

  11. I think you did what’s right. As a consumer, you have the rights to ask those things. Plus, you didn’t bash anyone on your post… you were just asking them and you’re even concerned for ModCloth thinking that maybe their suppliers are taking advantage of them.

    If I were someone who work or who owns ModCloth, I would thank and be happy for people like you who helps the company to provide better service. 🙂

  12. I like this. You spoke your mind on your blog, but not in a negative way but in a “did you know” informative, eye opening way. I have noticed the similarities before with these to companies and I work in the industry so I know how things are really made and then “price pointed” to the consumer. Sometimes it takes you as the consumer to pay attention, but thank you for shining a huge hooligan lamp on this very noticeable and ongoing issue all over the industry.

    Just a side note on the nasty name calling anyone that speaks there mind always gets thrown stones at, so stand proud and keep uncovering because if you REALLY knew about the industry like most people that work in it the glimmer of glamour would fade away. It’s all smoke and mirrors until you shin the light on it.

    • So very true.
      I’m pretty sure the name callers are people who believe Modcloth can do no wrong, and dislike that I wrote this post.

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