Review of France Paris
The main reason for me to write this review, is that I hope my review could serve as a reference to the younger couples out there who are considering on the different options of pre-wedding photo shoot package, such that you could have a better view and able to make a better informed decision. In my review I would also include some of the (presumed) common tactics by the vendors to tout more money from you. So I hope all these little advices could be of some help for you in the process of selecting and bargaining with your vendor.
Disclaimer: I have no intention to create unnecessary / untrue rumors about any company. This review serves strictly as a review of the company of which me and my partner had experienced with.
I remember me and my partner attended the BOWS roadshow in Bugis, where we foolishly and impulsively signed a package. We didn’t have any intention to sign any package from the beginning actually. What we wanted to do was just to walk around and see what are some of the vendors, what are the price range etc, basically just to understand what BOWS had to offer in general. However, this incident has taught us a hard lesson: never attend such roadshow “half-heartedly”, ie, if you are not sure you can stand firm and not sign anything you have little knowledge about, do not attend such roadshow. If not, the price you pay would be very high, literally and metaphorically.
When we first sat down in front of the saleswoman in their booth, she showcased all the pretty wedding shoot photos from her iPad. After we looked it through for quite a while, she started introducing the different packages. In general there are 3 categories, A, B and C, with increasing choices of gowns to choose and thus with increasing price. And in general, for pre-wedding photo shoot package, that ranges from SGD7-8k already. After that, she also introduced the actual day package to us that ranges from SGD 2-3k in general, so that total up to around SGD 10k.
Tactic #1.1 Act nice +praise + customer’s potential to bring more customers for them
She kept saying we are so young, definitely most of our friends are not married yet, so we are the high potential customer who can bring in more customers for her, acting over-familiar with us etc. And for this reason, she was able to discount for us, so it would be around SGD 6k (for pre-wedding photo shoot and gown rental on the actual day).
This tactic here is the soft skill of salesperson. Trying to act nice and close to you. And definitely, a lot of words to let you feel good about yourself, to increase your “value” as a young couple, let you feel that you have the bargaining power (which actually she manipulates / creates it).
How To Counter:
Understand clearly the reason why you are here: to just understand the price range and not to sign anything. Remind yourself and each other about it. And of course, if possible, know what exactly you want and put that as your bargaining power, instead of letting the salesperson manipulates / creates it for you which you think you have but in fact no.
Tactic #1.2 Half-priced from a heavenly price
So the person went on to take her calculator out, slowly pressing here and there, “trying” to give us a better price, telling us that she is considered senior amongst the salespersons there, so she could make decision there, but we cannot tell others the price she gave us blah blah blah. In the end she discounted to around SGD 5k. And now, from the original SGD 10k, now is half-priced already, would you be enticed?
Imagine, you ask for a price of something that you are considering buying. After a while, they say there is a promotion and it is only 50% off at this instant! Would that sound enticing enough for you?
How To Counter:
Once again, know the exact true value of the thing / service that you are considering. Most of the time, for similar thing / service, it can be obtained at a cheaper price with similar quality than what you were offered with. Remind yourself about that. High price doesn’t guarantee quality, I guess you have some experience about such truth.
Tactic #1.3 Last call, deal or not deal + free gifts + guarantee + chop
So definitely me and my partner were wavered by the price already. But definitely we were not sure whether we wanted this company. So we requested to see their photo shoot albums again to check if their gowns, their styles, their photo shooting skills were to our liking and requested her to give us some time to discuss. After sometime, me and my partner had our conclusion. That is, we would ask her to hold the price for us and we continue walk around to see other companies first. Of course, we were faced with a cold and harsh “NO”, she can’t hold anything for us. When she said that, I have no intention to continue talking to her already since she can’t hold a price that she promised us. Unexpectedly, she further dropped the price (see her desperation?), to SGD 4k. Plus, she added a lot of “free gifts”, showcasing all the different free gifts to us. Other than that, she made a guarantee that if we are not satisfied with the photos, we can request to have another photo shooting again without adding any price. And the photographer assigned would be their Number 1 photographer etc. And she said this would be her last call, so it is up to me decide whether to deal or not deal. She also said if no deal we could just leave, there is no point wasting her time like that. And in the end, we gave in, because of the photos that we looked through were generally quite good and quite the style we want. Just never did we imagined that, it was yet another tactic…
And now you are told the item you want to buy is at 60% offer, with countless of free gifts, and now comes with a guarantee. How does it feel to you?
How To Counter:
Again, know the exact true value of what you want, and of course know exactly what you want. If not, you are bound to be taken advantage of, and being fooled around with your psychology unable to keep up to their tactics.
Tactic #1.4 Best gowns, best suits, best photos, best variety of everything
Actual Situation (on hindsight):
Yes, their gowns, suits, photos, have the best variety of everything. It seems they can suit any style we want it. However, bear in mind that they are here for a roadshow, everything they showcase here definitely would be their best of the best. So sometimes, it will not be a safe gauge as to their general standard. Also, we were not told that:
1. Suits included in the package are only black and white. If you want any other color like any other suits you saw in those albums, you need to pay (significantly) extra. And surprisingly, there isn’t many black and white suit showcased in the photo albums. Now you know why it looks so nice, cause there is this hidden cost inside that they will never tell you.
2. They would try their very best, to give you a lot of excuses / lack of information, to mislead you to eventually decide to go to their wedding shoot theme area to have the shooting, which you need to pay a starking NTD 3,000 for. So, once again, all those nice public places, mountain areas, pretty beaches etc, eventually you will not likely to have your shoot there.
3. And… A lot more to come… Stay in tune~
Salesperson makes use of human’s maladaptive mental skill of assuming to win more sales. They won’t tell you every single detail. They would just show it all in front of you, and they would be happy if you make the assumption and the linkage yourself. Cause ultimately, it will be your fault if you never ask properly and assumed too fast, too much. They will not think they have the obligation to tell you every single detail. And yes, they won’t feel guilty about it. Remember, what is shown, what is seen, may not be true and may not be what you will get when it’s your turn. And again, most of the people just get married once in life and have pre-wedding shoot once, so definitely they can make all promises and guarantees under the sun, cause even if it fails, you can’t possibly want to do it the second time. And this gives them the confidence to bullshit you about anything, everything. Thus, if they say you can bring in more customers, then they are telling lies. Cause what matters the most to them, it is the current customer right in front of them of which they can earn hard cold cash from. Potential customers remain as ghost customers if they never appear, and do you think they would prefer to invest their time and money on that, or on you?
How To Counter:
You need to be more proactive and detailed, be nitty-gritty, ask every single thing you can find, as all the answers will give you a clearer and clearer direction as to whether this is a good and worthy company to choose from or not. You need to be FULLY involved. Hard lesson learnt.