Strap on your padded helmet, Balenciaga's online shop launched late last week. As usual, the bells and whistles are distracting enough to give an innocent online shopper a seizure at their cubicle. This is what troubles us about the big name e-commerce ventures: if someone is going to buy a $2,300 dollar bag, they (or their personal shopper) probably wants to make the transaction in relative peace. That is, if you're slapping down your cc info, you don't want four thousand screens flashing and zipping and flipping all over the place. You want a shopping cart and a 'Thank You' screen (be it a chic one). When we tested this out to make sure we really felt this way about the online shopping process, we noticed another, uh, small detail. Namely, the prices.
On the Balenciaga website, the Maillon bag (our favorite) is $2,295 and on Bluefly, $1,596. Oh, you know, that's only about a one thousand dollar discrepancy. Without the sale, Bluefly still retailed the bag for $1,999 so it's basically the difference between a 2.25% markup and a 2.5% markup. Yes, Bluefly is a horribly unattractive website. Yes, the images on the Balenciaga site make the bag seem like it's actually worth the money. But, no, we do not understand how someone can be savvy enough to buy their designer handbag on the internet and yet not notice this vast pricing discrepancy. Although Balenciaga offers the full range of handbags, and the boutique e-commerce sites do not, there are still these issues. In the end, it's entirely possible that Balenciaga just doesn't give a damn.