Payless Opened a Fake Luxury Store and Tricked Fashionistas Into Paying Hundreds for $20 Shoes

Shopping question: do you enjoy scoring deals at big box stores, or would you rather spend your hard-earned cash at high-end boutiques? Now, don’t feel bad about answering one way or the other because there are virtues in both bargain stores and pricey shops, but if you fall into the latter category, it’s important that you do your research and DON’T overspend.

If you are investing in a pair of shoes that is made by a reputable brand, for instance, you pretty much know that you’ll be parting with a bundle cash. But, on the other hand, if you find yourself falling for shoes whose soles are inscribed with an unrecognizable designer, you could easily fall victim to a sky-high markup.

Talk about a gamble!

Recognizing this, iconic discount shoe store Payless, decided to make light of this common shopping dilemna by conducting a secret social experiment. The store planned a launch party for a fake brand called Palessi (get it?!) and invited a bunch of fashion influencers to check out the ultra-expensive footwear. The kicker here, though, is that Payless stocked the party with THEIR shoes; the only thing that differed was the presentation and the prices–some were set at over $600 per pair!

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the influencers went gaga for the faux designer shoes, happily dropping hundreds of dollars to don their own pairs. But, Payless didn’t just take the money and run–they filmed the embarassed and shocked reactions for the whole world to enjoy. And, yep, the reactions are pret-ty hilarious!

To get a sneak peek of Palessi’s–we mean, Payless’!–brilliant new marketing campaign, be sure to watch the video below. We’ll never look at discount footwear the same way again.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on Payless’ new campaign! Do you think it’s clever? Is it worth it to spend more money on shoes? What is your favorite footwear brand?