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Stores Begin Charging Try-on Fees to Thwart Online Shoppers

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Some Australian shop owners have had enough of people like you, me and almost everyone I know, who have begun to treat bricks and mortar shops as a mere changing rooms, not places of commerce. Rather than buy a sweater or a pair of shoes in a store, we simply try the items on, solicit a few opinions from the well-meaning staff, promise to come back later, then go home to buy said products online at a better price. 

Now, to win back sales lost to such, let's face it, totally natural consumer behavior, some Australian retailers have begun charging fitting fees. At one store customers are charged $50 to try on a pair of ski boots. If the boots are then purchased, the fitting fee is waived. If not, well, try saving a whole $50 by shopping online. The deals are not that good, unless we're talking about eBay, of course.

$125                                                                              $71

Time will show whether this "fitting fee" method -- already used by some high-end bridal shops in the U.S. -- will actually help prop up sales for the Aussie businesses, or if it will backfire, scaring off honest shoppers. There must be a few of them left.

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