What was my surprise to see that a Vertu sale in the VPLounge of vente-privee.com was planned on Wednesday 24 June! I registered, of course, intrigued by both the prices that would be charged and the proposed models.
- The prices offered were set at 40% of the usual price – i.e., a discount of 60%. The Vertu Constellation range could be found at 1640 euros instead of 4200 euros, and the Vertu Ascent range at 2280 euros instead of 5700 euros.
- The models that were offered - Signature Diamant / Constellation / Ascent - were models of the current collection, available at the Vertu retail outlets. I noted, in particular, that the models of the new Signature range, launched in September 2008 in Paris, were also available. To be quite clear, I went to re-verify it on the website of the brand: the telephones that I saw sold at a discount of 60% were indeed there.
All brand marketers I have discussed vente-privee.com were unanimous: all products offered were sold out within a few hours; these were (almost) always unsold stocks of the previous season. Vertu therefore did not follow the golden rule of private sales: do not offer discount prices on products available at retail outlets. Unless, of course, the economic situation of the brand is bad and it is necessary to un-stock ... but at what cost to its customers?