Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A slight rant about pricing discrepancies.....

Seeing as I'm wearing another deeply unglamorous outfit today, I thought I'd write about an irritation I have with the pricing policy J Crew has for its international customers. Obviously, I can only write from an Australian perspective, but it makes me cross that the prices we in Australia are charged bear no resemblance to the official US$ to Aus $ exchange rate.
I've been shopping online since 2006, and have a lot of experience with overseas retailers, particularly from the US and UK. In my experience, all of the online retailers I've used, apart from J Crew, use the official Forex currency exchange rate as their method of calculating prices for the foreign market.
This meant that in 2006/2007, products from the US were relatively expensive for Australian consumers, as the US $ was strong compared to the Aus $.
However, in the last 3-4 years, the US and Aus dollar have been almost at the same rate. Today, for example, the US dollar is worth 0.957 Aus dollars.

So, why do J Crew charge us so much more? As you can see, the price difference between the two sites is significant, and during the last 30% and 40% off promos the prices were even more out of kilter, as the additional % off wasn't valid for non US shoppers.
Compare the prices of the two orders from US and Aus sites. They're significant, $80 difference!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.


  1. I can totally understand what your saying!
    For me its the same,jcrew charges me a lot more here in germany than in the US and like you said the promotions are usually not valid on the international side:(
    Still i enjoy every box that i receive and am happy that they ship at all internationally.
    The years before that i could only read other peoples reviews and had to wait for my husbands business trip,so he could get me a few things.

    Have a great day!

  2. Ina, sorry to hear German customers are screwed over too. I guess we should be happy that they now ship o/s, but the pricing voodoo really shits me.
    For example, the Pixie pants I had in my basket yesterday have mysteriously jumped up in price by $40!

  3. Here in Tokyo I feel your pain Ruth and Ina. Before J Crew started their partnership with fiftyone they actually shipped to Japan and we paid the US prices and qualified for all promotions. At the time the shipping was a graduating scale so shipping has offset the increase a tiny bit but still the mark up is enough to break your heart. I tried to boycott them for a while but I ended up folding and anyway I doubt Mickey or Jenna noticed I wasn't stalking the sale corner anymore. I hold out hope (tiny hope) that they are going for high margin over high volume short term only because they haven't the manufacturing capacity to go fully global at the moment and are retailing online to increase brand awareness before a more comprehensive global onslaught. I don't know about Australia or Germany but J Crew items are showing up in Japanese non advertisement pieces lately. We live hope lol.

    1. I hope your analysis of their strategy is right.... It would be so good if they lowered their prices for us to be inline with official exchange rates.
      Fingers crossed!

  4. I can totally feel your pain. I live in Germany, and Jcrew charges the same price, but in Euros! Given that the Euro is 30-35% higher than the dollar, this is quite significant. Plus, we have to add 19% VAT to the total. I recently moved here from the U.S, and have a US based credit card, so I pay an additional 3% foreign currency fee ( since they charge in Euros). I end up just having everything sent to my Mom in the U.S., because the total ends up being sometimes twice the cost ( especially when jcrew is running a US only promo). I have quite a few boxes waiting for me at my mom's. The hard part is not being able to see my purchases until I visit the U.S. Anyway, great blog. Thanks for letting me vent, since my husband can no longer hear about it anymore :)

    1. Hi Natasha, thanks for visiting and commenting.
      Sounds as if you're being ripped off even more, with the exchange rate and credit card charges.
      I really wish they would alter their international pricing policy. I would buy so much more if it was more equitable!
      It must be so frustrating having to wait to visit your mum to get your packages!

      Come and vent here whenever you want :-)