• Mon, Dec 20 2010

ModCloth Might Be Ripping You Off


Blogger Suze of Miss Vinyl Ahoy was scoping ModCloth‘s selection recently and found a quirky, chunky necklace for $37.99.  A quirky, chunky necklace at ModCloth, you say? What’s out of the ordinary? The problem is Suze spotted (and purchased) the same exact one about a year ago at Forever 21… for less than $10.

Before she weaves the rest of her terrifying account, she takes the time to ponder who’s being evil in this equation (I would just have a rage seizure, destroy my computer, then go down to the nearest Forever 21, punching indiscriminately):

My point? Who’s screwing who? Is Modcloth purchasing these necklaces at rock-bottom prices, only to resell them for 4x what they cost to purchase? Or is Modcloth’s supplier ripping them off?

Suze put up a few more examples of this possible ModCloth/Forever 21 conspiracy (one of them pictured above) in which a dress or skirt retailed at Forever 21 for a fraction of what it went for on ModCloth.

When she tried bringing her findings to the attention of ModCloth via their Facebook page, someone deleted it.  She then contacted them directly (it’s worth noting that she goes out of her way to be patient and generous throughout):

It was on the page, with no comments, for about an hour. Then, as about six comments come in the span a few minutes, someone from the Modcloth staff chose to delete the entire thread and a subsequent comment left on the Facebook page about the post from someone else.

The link posted on the Modcloth page was not meant to create any controversy, but was a way to make sure someone at Modcloth saw it. I was hoping to get a response from someone, hopefully explaining that you were unaware of your suppliers selling the same merchandise to these fast-fashion stores.

And then ModCloth responded with this:

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  • Missy

    I too contacted ModCloth about this very same concern back in August of 2009 because a dress I had purchased from Forever 21 was on ModCloth’s website at about a 50% markup and I was absolutely positive that it was a typo. I do not have the comment I left on their website, but I do have their response to me:

    8/26/09

    Hi there!

    Thank you for writing in. While we do, from time-to-time, share items with Forever21 and other retailers, it would be an exaggeration to say that we share the “majority” of our pieces. In fact, many of the vendors from whom we buy do not manufacture in a large enough scale to supply chains such as Forever21. We pride ourselves in offering our customers quality care – for instance, you are not receiving an automated response. We also offer social networking opportunities, the ability for customers to voice their opinions/likes/dislikes, and a dedication to carrying a diverse range of styles.

    We understand that some customers prefer to shop with larger retailers who discount prices deeper than we do. Many customers, however, prefer our level of service, belief in quality apparel, and dedication to customer satisfaction.

    If there is anything else with which we can help you, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    All the best,
    Chelsey

    • Cher

      Seems rather fishy that they refer to their “service” twice at the end. That’s a bull$hit boilerplate if I’ve ever seen one. Recently, I’ve seen far too many of these companies that claim to be “underdogs” utilizing poor marketing fronts such as this and exposing themselves as what they really are: ovevr-priced slop. It’s not worth it! If you’re going to buy high-priced clothing, at least buy high-quality! Then your clothes will last and you won’t be pitching worn garments into a landfill, you’ll look better in your clothes, and you won’t be trying to fill a Godot-style void in your life with material things!

  • Alex

    I’ve seen the same thing with modcloth! I’ve seen at least five dresses they’ve had going for anywhere between $50-75 being sold for $25-40 at Lulu’s or shopruche, as well as Forever21 a few times. One time, they were out of a clear plastic umbrella that I really wanted so I scoured the internet for it and eventually found it for $15 less at a smaller store – so size is clearly no excuse. I have a feeling the modcloth is either getting screwed by retailers or really likes jacking up the prices. Before I buy anything from them, I always check other sites to make sure I’m not getting ripped off.

  • Bonnie

    I think Modcloth is ripping people off. Over the summer I spotted a floral dress that was on their website for $60 at a local boutique in my area for $40. I think that Modcloth is aware that they are over pricing their items.

  • Christine

    True story about modcloth. I bought this super cute owl necklace at forever 21 for 4.80, saw the EXACT SAME NECKLACE, down to the clasp and chain, on modcloth. I left a comment about it and wrote to them, and they told me they couldn’t post it because I had not purchased the item in question. I haven’t ordered anything from mod cloth since.

    That wasn’t the only thing i noticed they ripped off. Sure seems like they’re buying things from forever21 and doubling the price.

  • BK

    Last winter I purchased a skirt from ModCloth for about $60, then went on to the LuLu’s website and saw the EXACT same skirt for $35. I returned the item because it didn’t fit, but I added in my return that if I were to repurchase the skirt in a bigger size, it would not be from them because I had in fact found the same skirt for almost half the price at LuLus .. they gladly accepted my return but failed to comment on the price discrepancy. Just sayin …

  • Cat

    I’m not shocked at all – even a cursory glance at the ModCloth site reveals plenty of items that can be picked up at Forever 21 for much less, such as a peacock feather hairclip for $12 that I’ve been seeing for at least a year at F21 for $4.50. But besides the copying, I am always kind of shocked that anyone buys clothes from ModCloth because the quality is obviously very poor for the prices they charge. Even looking at reviews for popular, highly-rated items there, you’ll always see several people noting that their clothes were sewn haphazardly, very wrinkled, made of cheaper, flimsier material than they appeared on the site, or lost buttons, ripped, faded substantially and/or fell apart the first time they were worn or washed. I can live with chintzy clothes bought for a pittance at a place like Forever 21 when I want something cute and disposable, but any girl who is into vintage-esque fashion and pays these prices for cheap crap instead of going to a real vintage shop is a fool.

    • Cat

      In fact, just so people don’t have to investigate on their own, here are excerpts from reviews of clothes on the site – these are all for different items, all of which are on the “Most Loved Items” list. Imagine how bad the reviews are for things that aren’t “most loved”!

      “Really wanted to love this dress. However… The material was really, really cheap and threads were coming out of the dress.”

      “The medium, while it fits, is sewn improperly at the top – one side of the sweetheart neckline attaches to the black strap WAY higher than the other, giving it a sloppy and uneven look.”

      “Also, the fabric is terribly thin and uncomfortable, as if it were a costume you want to wear once and get rid of. The buttons are extremely low-quality, they barely stay in their holes, and barely stay on their dress right from the beginning.”

      “I ordered the dress and found it to be cheaply made. I couldn’t even get the buttons open in the back without one popping off.” “The fabric of my dress wasn’t cut perfectly as the left hem is a bit longer than the right.”

      “I read the reviews that said this dress was thinner and more wrinkly than pictured, but I couldn’t imagine that it would be. I mean…the picture. it looks fine, right? Well, pictures lie, you guys. If they can edit the wrinkles off Terri Hatcher, they can edit the wrinkles off this dress–and it would seem they have. Also, it looks longer-waisted, and the sash looks much sturdier, in the picture than it is for real. The two Modcloth dresses I’ve purchased both ended up in the “some assembly required” category. Luckily, I’m a seamstress, but I typically use those skills to hone the fit and the hang on a $5 dress, not a $50 one. So, it’s a little disappointing.”

      “I feel like i got a completely different dress than the previous reviewers. I was expecting a lighter polyester or silk chiffon material–especially for the price. However, the white fabric used is very “gauze-like” (almost like a mummy halloween costume) and looks dirty/off-white where it overlaps. it looks cheap, and definitely not worth $125.”

      I’ll say it again: If you buy clothes from this company, you’re a fool.

  • Laura G

    Purchased a jacket from modcloth for about 70 bucks, the same one i found (the same BRAND even) at Necessary Clothing store in NYC for 30 bucks. Ridiculous!!!!! I had already been wearing the sweater for a month so i couldn’t return it. So SO disappointing. will never shop there again!!

  • Scott M

    as someone who works in wholesale, i know for a fact that smaller sized companies, when unable to commit to the gigantic quantities of large chains, can end up paying a higher price for the goods, meaning they have to resell at a higher pri…ce to cover their costs. this is what is killing the boutique market in the USA – large chains buying up everything out there at quantities that independant businesses cannot match. go to philly, boston, chicago and try and find independently owned boutiques. what you’ll find is Zara, H&M, Urban, etc.

    as far as removing a comment from the fb page that linked to another retailer, that’s a common practice. and why not? you want to protect your company, especially when you are an online retailer.

    i guess i know this topic from the other side and my support is for independently owned businesses. it’s not that they are purposely trying to rip anyone off. it’s that they cannot control who their vendors sell to and at what prices.

    • Cat

      I would buy this argument, except
      a) There’s a comment below (from Alex) mentioning finding a ModCloth item for less in an even smaller store, and
      b) Is ModCloth really such a small business? They have plenty of items on their site with hundreds and hundreds of reviews, and I can’t seem to go anywhere even vaguely fashion-related on the Internet without running into one of their banner ads. They are EVERYWHERE. What’s more, many of their items sell out very, very quickly, which leads me to believe that, if they are purchasing such small quantities in spite of what I suspect are pretty consistent sales, it’s deliberate. What better way to encourage people to impulsively buy items they might not have if they’d thought it through than to create a market culture of “if you don’t grab it right now, it won’t be there later”? It’s the same clever marketing idea behind companies putting out endless “limited editions” of things.

      Plus, none of that justifies how badly-made the clothes they carry are.

    • Gretchen Geyer

      they started tiny. if you go to their website and read their story you would see. do some research.

    • Alison

      Yep, what you said.

      Also, to the commenter below, I have also been involved in online advertising. What you probably don’t realize (and this may upset you even more, I don’t know) is that you have likely been pixeled or, in more colloquial terminology, cookied by ModCloth, Google (which will show up as Doubleclick), Yahoo (which will show up as RightMedia) or some other warehouser of users and advertisements. When you visit a page that has ads provided by these folks, your browser tells the ad supplier that you have previously visited the ModCloth site and that they should show you a ModCloth ad to get you to come back. It is called “retargeting”. That’s what makes you think that the ad is “all over the web” but really, it’s just all over your web. Another person would visit the page and get a totally different ad.

      A lot of people find it creepy, but it’s just how business gets done online. If you don’t like it, use your browser’s “in private” capabilities all the time and turn off Adobe Flash since the more underhanded pixelers use a self-regenerating Flash cookie that repopulates itself even if you delete it.

  • Lauragirl

    Well, Ladies–if it is, in fact, true that Forever 21 was getting things made in 3rd world countries, for much less, this must be the reason. If you are not aware, this was made known months ago. Look it up. That stinks….

  • Caly

    I too have had some mishaps with Modcloth. I found a pair of heels and a jacket that I loved, but they sold out on Modcloth with about a week and a half. Luckily I was able to find the shoes on another website and found the jacket at Zumies. Each item was about $10 or $15 less, in addition to having cheaper (or no) shipping charges. I also believe that they edit their photos, ever notice how they almost never have a picture of the product on a real person? The jacket was, in reality, much shorter with longer sleeves than it was in the ModCloth picture. The only item I’ve ever seen that included a picture of the item on a human was a swimsuit that they’ve carried forever.

    • Katie

      ModCloth is a small company, and models cost money, so of course they don’t use them often.

  • Jennifer

    This is how retail works. If you’re pissed about the prices you pay *stop paying them*. Stop spending outrageous amounts of money on accessories. If you want your look to be easy to assemble and straight out of a glossy mag then get over the prices you pay. If you’re that upset start shopping local or thrift.

    • Guest

      dont be stupid. have you heard of asian wholesale? of course not. you’re too busy spending your months food money on clothing

  • Stina

    yeah, from now on I will try avoid shopping there. It’s not worth the price. I never got anything there that was good quality or worthy of its price.. I’ve sold all my dresses I ever bought from there on ebay except the ones that were too unpopular…I’ve seen plenty of the same dresses on F21 for half the price, as well as at small boutiques!!

  • J R

    I saw a Delia’s dress dyed a different color on ModCloth, too.

  • Becca

    I’ve seen a number of the exact same dresses/accessories at fredflare as well for much cheaper. I’ve always felt like their prices are definitely way marked up.

  • Jessica Dante

    Did you guys know that Forever 21 produces all of their own clothing? And there was an article on The Cut a few months back about the fact that Forever 21 is in the middle of many law suits from designers such as Diane Von Furstenburg for copyright infringement. Forever21′s business model pretty much involves them producing knock-offs at much lower prices, and they’ll admit it. Also, I would pretty much bet that the indie designers that are selling clothing to Modcloth wouldn’t sell them to stores like Zumiez or other cheaper stores since they wouldn’t be able to sell them at such drastically lower prices and still make a profit. And its the fashion world– designers get inspired by other pieces they see and end up making one just like it. It happens. I can’t afford Modcloth’s clothing but I’m sticking by them! :)

  • Rachel

    So true! A skirt I bought earlier this year but returned for $65 was found at a local boutique for $35. Later I purchased the Indie Darling dress for $45 at shopruche as opposed to the $55 on modcloth. And yet another example today: this black dress:
    http://www.modcloth.com/store/ModCloth/Womens/Dresses/After+Darkness+Falls+Dress
    appears of fine quality on the website and is sold for $40 but when you see the EXACT same dress on urbanog.com here
    http://www.urbanog.com/Love-Fantasy-Dress_129_11117.html
    it looks like the cheap $20 they sell it for. At least they’re offering it in more than one color…

    Needless to say, I don’t think I’ll be purchasing anything else from modcloth unless I’m desperate. For now it just serves as inspiration.

    • alyssa balboa

      What was the indie darling dress called at shopruche? I am looking for it because it was out of stock and has been forever. Or what is the brand?

  • Nicole

    some of their dresses are cute but overall modcloth is kind of tacky.

  • Rach

    SO TRUE! i bought a knit headband from forever 21 for $8.99 about 3 months ago, and a month later, EXACT same headband on modcloth for $27.99. I wrote them a note, no response.

  • KT

    How much do you know about wholesale? How much do you know about how and where the clothing is made for these big chains, how they are distributed and end up on your body? If this article suprises you, you seriously need to do some research. It is disturbing that so many care only about price point, instead of the socio-economic results of your consurmerism. Today, with the internet and unlimited sources at your fingertips, ignorance should not be an option.

  • Danielle

    I found earrings from Target that were $3.99 They were little brown buttons that looked exactly like for Modcloth ones for much much more. Now, I do admit that they were a little bit smaller so I believe that they were not from the same designer. However, I love ModCloth, but I have learned to check around and search similar outfits before blowing my money and regretting it.

  • Modcloth ‘New Arrivals’ stalker

    I’m saddened but not totally surprised. If there’s a Modcloth item you like and it’s either sold out or somewhat pricey, Lulu’s and Ruche (shopruche.com, I’m pretty sure) sometimes have the exact same model for somewhere around $10+ cheaper. I’m fairly sure Ruche is much smaller than Modcloth.

    I’ve always wondered if it was a deliberate decision on Modcloth’s part to rarely list the brand of an item. It makes it that much harder to figure out where the best deal on a dress is.

    They’re quite good at ducking questions (although quite good at the superficial aspects of maintaining their image: giving/naming stuff after bloggers for good press, active Twittering, things like that). I’m hoping a perfect storm of negative publicity will finally get them to crack a bit and respond with something real.

    • Liz

      Just confirming: Ruche is definitely much smaller than Modcloth. I’m pretty sure it’s just one person–at least one person always responds to my emails.

    • Katie

      Ruche sells clothes wholesale to ModCloth, so of course they sell them cheaper on their own site.

      Also, there is a list of brands ModCloth carries on the side bar.

  • Angie

    Sorry I love “the gloss” but this article is seriously pathetic. First off the top photo from Mod Cloth is completely different from that stupid chain “Forever 21″ photo. If anything the Mod Cloth skirt looks better than the F.21 one. You guys are also comparing a $10 dollar difference. It’s ok… like the rest of America – KEEP SHOPPING AT WALMART!!!!!!!! The whole point of “bargain shopping” is to do your own research and should a store charge a different price that doesn’t fit with you… DON’T BUY IT!. Instead you waist your time complaining again about a $10 dollar difference. lol. This is why everything gets manufactured in China, because people like you complain about trying to get everything on the cheap cheap. However I never shopped at ModCloth but, reading an article like this just annoyed me. Just do yourselves a favor and should the price not fit your budget. – DON’T BUY IT!. hahaha trust me it’s really not that hard. HOWEVER – blogging about price is completely tacky!

    • tiffany

      I get your point but I think they are complaining about the fact that they are selling the same crappy material for a much higher price, I agree if you want the best then dish out the money but it has to be money well spent. With modcloth you’re dishing out the money but getting crap in return and that’s not fair. I purchased a top from there for almost $40, seen it on a different website for $20 less…shirt is now garbage thanks to an unexpected tear.

  • brittany

    I love visiting Modcloth but only buy items that are on sale. I have a few dresses from there and they are all cheaper (bad fabric, poor construction) than they look in the picture. I have a vest I bought from Karmaloop for $28 that Modcloth was charging $70 for. I also have an octopus necklace that I got at an aquarium gift shop (so you know it was already overpriced), and it was still less than what Modcloth charges.

  • irunn2doorz

    This dress at modcloth – $314.00
    http://www.modcloth.com/store/ModCloth/Womens/Dresses/City+of+Lights+Dress
    This dress at a different online boutique – $258.00
    http://www.efashioncentral.com/therosetree/detail.php?ProdId=2437622&CatId=35036&Page=CatOv&thisOffset=0&resPos=10&pSort=#subtitle

    Why hike up the price by $50+?? Because they can!!
    I like Modcloth, but I could never click “Checkout” after I went through the website. Now I know why – deep down I knew I was probably being ripped off! :(

  • Lydia

    I am a fashion merchandising student and it is textbook knowledge that a wholesaler/manufacturer must let the buyer/retailer know in advance if they plan on selling the exact same items to other reailers. If not, it could result in litigation, which indicated that Modcloth knows exactly what is going on here. There is a local store that I always visit for the exact same Modcloth products that I want, for half the price and no waiting time on shipping. Also, Forever21 is a store that creates their own items by sourcing designers and manufacturers. They are in a category of companies that operates by ripping off couture brands and are able to sell a look at lower prices because it is cheaply made and meant to last only a few wearings before being thrown out. Sadly, Modcloth is mostly the same type of company, but they charge much more than Forever21 and similar stores.

  • Ann

    if you’re going to buy cheap crap made in a sweatshop, better just buy from f21 or similar store because at least such stores acknowledge the fact that they sell cheap crap.

    modcloth, however, tries to disguise their cheap crap as fancy and one-of-a-kind. no, sorry, it is all still polyester and rayon crap crafted by kids in third world countries for 3 cents/hour. great job, modcloth.

    • MM

      Yes yes yes. The thing I’ve noticed with Modcloth is that they’re really pro with descriptions and photography, and if you at the clothes on their website they seem pretty nicely made. But in real life the quality is really not good at all. (Urban Outfitters is a similar offender.)

  • Becca

    If an Indie designer, i.e. not famous designer is ever going to expand/make a living that will inevitably mean outsourcing production. Here’s where it gets dicey- with the economic crash people want 2 things: to save money and for everything to be American made damn it!! These two ideas clash, nowhere more acutely than in the fashion industry. For an Indie designer, with no capital, to place a small batch order to a US garment factory their wholesale prices would be higher than anyone would want to pay retail. I am not arguing that we should outsource to China, just stating the reality. A garment being manufactured in China does not mean it is not designed in the US or “ripped-off”. The photos of the two tiered skirts in the original article are VERY similar but unfortunately, very similar in fashion is different that very similar in writing or other fields. You cannot effectively protect your garment designs/intellectual property with a copyright or patent. And while I agree that fashion repeats itself… Forever 21 you’re getting carried away with your lack of ingenuity/ blatant theft of intellectual property. Designer’s inability to protect their intellectual property allows companies like Forever 21 (and allegedly modcloth) to thrive by ripping off couture and Indie designers alike. I don’t feel that solid evidence has been presented to put modcloth in the same category as Forever21. They were started in a college dorm afterall. I choose not to comment on the quality of Forever 21 or Modcloth’s products, but I do think you should get what you pay for. On Modcloth’s webpage they claim to carry and support Indie designers. These allegations, if substantiated, would certainly not be congruent with their claim. But, if they actually are supporting young artists who are creating original designs I would happily pay more for fewer garments knowing I was supporting the art of fashion. We all have so much stuff in our closet we hardly wear anyway!

  • Rina

    I know I came across this thread a bit late…but I’d like to add another item to the list:

    http://www.modcloth.com/shop/necklaces/keep-an-owl-on-the-time-necklace

    This Owl pocket watch necklace is selling on Modcloth for $24.99..well the same exact pocket watch necklace is being sold by a Hong Kong retailer on etsy for only $1.88.

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/90832565/1-piece-of-46mm-antique-bronze-round-owl

    I understand that modcloth buys their stuff from Asian wholesalers…but if they purchased those necklaces at wholesale price each piece (which I assume is extremely cheap just by looking at the Etsy seller) why are they selling the necklace for almost $30?

    Another thing I’d like to add…their Vintage items are over priced as well. We all know they send their employees out to the local thrift shops to buy anything that looks “unique” and “one-of-a-kind”…but what really irks me is the fact that they re-sell the thrift shop items for WAY MORE than the price they paid. I’ve been monitoring their vintage stocks each day and have been noticing a lot of vintage glassware being sold at the highest around $40…well I’ve found exact matches and some similar pieces at my local thrift shop being sold for $o.50 each. The really sad part is Modcloth customers don’t realize this when they shop the Vintage section.

  • mikaela

    i know this is an old post but let me say i am pretty peeved at modcloth. I saved up and bought a few items from them at pretty hefty prices only to go to LA and find them at a chinese wholesaler. After looking online i found every one of my purchases on a chinese wholesale website called sammy dress. It wasnt even a small difference in price either the shoes alone cost me 55 bucks at modcloth and on the site and in the store, 15 bucks. . . .yeah…pretty peeved

    • disqus_BdOLC1pcNm

      I just want to note my bad experience with Chinese wholesale websites – they might use the same stock photo as Modcloth but the quality is usually very very bad. Even worse than F21 bad. My boyfriend bought some clothes from a wholesale website and most of the clothes were extremely thin, coarse, and fragile. In addition, they messed up his order, forgot to include something in it, and when he emailed them about it, said it shipped. He waited but it never came so he emailed them again: no reply. Their customer service is non-existent.

    • Guest

      i buy from chinese wholesale all the time and get my clothing, same quality as from the bigger companies. do your research and make sure it not a scam. ebay or aliexpress is very reliable if you know what to look for to make sure its not a scam. its not that hard. why would you buy from wholesale before researching?

    • c

      Ebay is not a chinese wholesale website since last time I checked. I’ve thoroughly researched my wholesale websites and make sure they are legitimate with a good track record. Wholesale, I might note, is hard to do research on since there’s so many of them and so few people who buy from them willing to share their experiences. But while they are not scamming customers, they do have questionable customer service and copyright issues. The images they use are often of brand name Japanese/Korean brands but the clothes they sell are knock offs of it. This often means lower quality. I’m assuming the clothes you normally buy were already designed to be mediocre in quality like F21 so there was not much difference.

  • Jillian

    I know this is an older post, but felt the need to weigh in. I’m not surprised that you can find similar items at large chain stores for cheaper prices. Modcloth is more of a quirky boutique (though it is quickly becoming bigger every day) so I accept and understand why they pay higher prices and in turn so do we. I have been more than pleased by Modcloth’s customer service every time I’ve contacted them. I recently conacted them about an out of stock dress to see if/when it would be restocked. Customer seevice gave me a timeframe as well as the dress designers name and suggestions on where to look so I could find it elsewhere if I needed it sooner. Furthermore, Modcloth lists the designers name for all their clothes so its easy as a consumer to cross reference and find a better price if you feel modcloth is charging too much. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that’s you responsibility as a consumer.

    • justanotherretailer

      ModCloth is not a quirky boutique. They are a major retailer with the backing of millions of dollars in funding.

    • cslaughter

      Modcloth does not list all the designers!!! OMG! Nothing I have ever ordered off of that website has ever said the brand except for huge brand like birkenstock I never see a brand name. And if you call they are rude and stupid.

    • DreaTheGreat

      They do not post any designers. They simply put Imported at the end of the listing, and that is how you find that what you paid sixty dollars for that was portrayed as quality with their “beautiful” images cost $10 across the street and was made in China.

  • Lisa

    I’m not sure why people are surprised by the fact that modcloth stuff is expensive. The products might be the same/similar but modcloth also spends money on stylist and models that frankly work better with the clothes. Their customer service is pretty good too and overall the are a company, that like every other company, is trying to make profits. Which is what it is. If you don’t like the quality or the prices you should shop somewhere else. No one forced you to shell out $50 for a $30 skirt

  • Fawn

    Thank you for this article, I can shockingly barely find anything similar to this online. Modcloth likes to hide, giving out proprietary names to products or leave out the brand name completely to a lot of the products having you believe that you can only find that item there. But it isn’t true, it’s just so that you the buyer will have a hard time finding the item elsewhere for more than likely cheaper and/or to have you believe that they are the only ones selling it.

  • Amy

    I have found Modcloth items sold by other retailers at a 10-25% discount. Not enough of a difference to feel I was being scammed but enough to make me do a little googling before making a purchase.

  • Pinkholic

    I saw floral pants on Forever21 that was priced at $35, no one bought it (i mean, it’s floral) and it went on sale for half the price. months later, I saw the exact same pants on Modcloth for $68. I also had gotten a same exact dress from Daffy’s in center city Philadelphia (now closed) in a different shade which was about $18.99 at the store, and $55 at Modcloth. I don’t understand their reasons for not having a buying power like a large retailer. Then how do you offer free return shipping, and how do you restock hundreds of units of items? I simply do not understand.

  • Tracy

    The forever21 skirt pictured above looks significantly different to me. And based on my experience in the quality of clothing between these two stores, my guess would be Forever21 is a knockoff & likely cheaper made. I love Modcloth. Everything I have bought from them has been TOP quality.. I buy from modcloth over Forever21 because I prefer the quality, the ease of online shopping (with free returns) & the customer service. ALL worth the cost to me. (I usually qualify for free shipping too).

  • Jade

    I purhased a dress from modcloth for $80. I then found the same dress in two other colors for $30 a piece and there was a %50 coupon code which is frequent on the site. In the end i paid $40shipped for two of the same dress in other colors. Same exact dress designer quality and material. The store i bought them from was similar to modcloth. Other times i have ordered dresses from there that look nice but are 90% made out of $2 worth of tulle and there proce is $90+.

  • Gretchen Geyer

    I just want to point out how many times Forever 21 has ripped off a design from someone else. You can pretty much find anything on the runway in their stores now. Also, the reason their clothes are so inexpensive, is that they are EXTREMELY cheaply made. My friend knows the owners of Modcloth, and they are hard working and have built their buisiness from scratch. I hate to see people do this to them.

    • Robin Stach

      Unfortunately though even if you get something from nordstrums or macy’s or other stores which are higher end than forever 21 (obviously not gucci or anything lol) have the exact same quality as forever 21. I buy from both places and have bought from f21 and modcloth and often the quality is sadly not that different (especially with shirts). I also have a few exorbitantly priced designer things which are the same quality as the high end designer stuff (guess has the same quality as gucci). I do agree about things being cheaply made. at f21 though.

    • Heather Fox

      I love ModCloth, but their prices are usually too steep for what it is. Their clothes are adorable, but sometimes they are cheaply made. It depends on the designer, honestly, but I’ve read countless reviews where a garment “fell apart” after 2-3 wears and the shopper couldn’t return it.

      Another thing is, ModCloth re-sells items returned (from other people) as *new* and does not discount them. I am of the opinion that if a store knows a garment has been used–even just once–they should sell it at a discounted rate. Instead you’re paying the full $60-150 for that dress.

  • Gretchen Geyer

    also, boutiques are always more expensive. yeah, you can go and buy the same shirt at forever21, but its the small business you are supporting. i work at a boutique and we have had several people come in and mutter damn i could get this at walmart for cheaper. yeah, maybe you can, but also maybe its cheaper quality and probably looks like it.

  • Carol

    Does no one know how business actually works? Forever21 and Modcloth buy clothes and resell them. They aren’t designers or clothing producers, they are stores. No one is ripping anyone off. They have a right to gain profits, that’s the nature of business. You can find the same clothes in lots of places always. This is all the equivalent to three drugstores selling the same pantene shampoo (they probably bought it from the same supplier too!) and then selling it at three different prices. As the consumer, it’s your choice where you purchase this shampoo. And time makes no difference because the person who made the necklace, or skirt, or whatever it was, decided to sell the stock to another company. No one is ripping off anyone. I’m really annoyed with articles like this (the other I have in mind is an etsy seller saying Urban Outfitters copied something of hers, a state shaped necklace, or something…While you also can’t copyright the shape of a state!!!!!!!!!)

  • Forever Mod 21 Cloth

    As some one who has a boutique, has been buying for 12 years and has close relationships with LA manufacturers let me be the first to tell you that ModCloth has an office in the LA Fashion District.. yes.. the cheap part where F21 also has an office. Don’t let MOD Cloth fool you into thinking they are a small indie based company.. Google their revenue and let your mind be blown.. they are making squillions off “wannabe indie chicks” all over the world. Both ModCloth and F21 buy from the hundreds of manufacturers in the down town LA fashion district. F21 offers things a lot cheaper because they buy a butt-load of product – so their negotiating skills are stronger.. – and they turn things over like lightening. That being said.. my store is actually small and more “indie” in size than ModCloth is – 2 people work at my business and I am one of them – and I am very easily able to undercut Mod Cloths pricing for exact same items and offer free shipping. ModCloth is buying the same items as F21 is…. I even carry lots of the same items as both of the store mentioned above.. there is nothing “indie” about ModCloth.. (sorry to be the bearer of bad news) and F21 is able to offer things cheaper because they understand that turning over more product at a cheaper price means more profit.. If I was as big as F21, located in Los Angeles and had their ability to lower prices and still make some profit – by all means my stuff would be as cheap as theirs. So yes, that skirt in the photo is the exact same skirt at F21 and at ModCloth.. the only difference is the price. That necklace.. same thing.. don’t let ModCloth tell you any different. They are completely using F21′s bad rep against them. As for F21′s bad rep.. F21 doesn’t “design” its stuff… they are buying it from Chinese and U.S. “turn and burn” manufacturers who don’t give a fuuuuuuuuu about your indie boyfriend and his tiger faced tee with holes in it.. they see dollar signs and make their own version.. sometimes to a tee and watch the profit roll in. ModCloth is F21 with a higher price tag.. even their Bernie Dexter line is manufactured in the fashion district and is super cheap quality. read the reviews of her stuff… unlined, thin fabrics.. smoke and mirrors people.. smoke and mirrors. That’s all :-)

    • Kip

      Also, Nasty Gal, LuLu’s, Shop Akira, Pixie Market, Go Jane, Make Me Chic, Urban OG, Karmaloop, Le Bomb Shop, Urban Outfitters, Wasteland, Edge of Urge, etc, etc.. they are all buying from that same area.. so chances are you will find your item a lot cheaper on one of those sites than you will on Mod Cloth.

  • Lauren

    Modcloth sells their ‘My Pet Octopus’ necklace for $14.99. You can buy the EXACT same one on Ebay for 99 cents. It’s a ridiculous amount more you pay on Modcloth.. After I found this out I don’t bother with them anymore, it seems to untrustworthy.

  • Alicia

    The website Modcloth.com is prettier and easier to navigate than any other I have been to. For this alone I am willing to pay more for their clothing when I can.

  • GodIsWithYou

    Forever21 (who made almost 1 million their first year in business) and Mod Cloth purchase their items from the same vendor…Most small boutiques and bigger retailers do. Why the price difference? The more you buy from the vendors the cheaper each item is. For example, If Forever21 can afford to buy 6,000 units of one particular shirt they can get that shirt for $1 each. But if Forever21 can only afford to buy 500 units of that one shirt then they would pay $10 each for that shirt. To make a profit retailers have to triple the price of what they purchased for the shirt. So if F21 or Mod cloth purchased a shirt for $5, they will sell it for $15 to make a profit. Remember they both have to pay employees, merchant fees, pay federal and state taxes, pay for shipping, and actually make a profit….Quality depends on how much the buyer is willing to spend on a unit.If they buy an expensive unit (one dress for $25) most likely the quality is great…if they buy a cheaper unit (one dress for $5) most likely the quality will be poor.. – Owner of an online boutique.

  • loomis

    As a person in the fashion industry, what she says about buying power and having to pay higher prices for smaller orders is completely true. That is the way buying wholesale works. the larger the order the lower the price. A store like Forever21 which has hundreds of stores all over is going to get rock bottom prices because theyre are buying thousands of units per style. Whereas the smaller store is only buying a hundred peices per style they will end up paying much more. Unfortunate but true story. In the end, I would still rather give my money to the young dreamers who worked the bottoms off to get where they are than a giant corporate brand.