LOS ANGELES, California - Payless taught fashion influencers a lesson about shoes by opening a fake store that sold Main Street shoes at Madison Avenue prices.
Payless ShoeSource said it recently held a launch party in Los Angeles for the bogus label Palessi. Fashionistas were invited to sample the merchandise. Those who got the invitation were people with a lot of social media followers and are supposed to be "in the know."
The company posted a video of what happened on Facebook.
"I would pay $400, $500. Yeah, people are going to be like, 'Where did you get those? Those are amazing!'" one shopper said.
The VIP shoppers paid as much as $645 for shoes that normally sell from $19.99 to $39.99 at Payless. They could not tell the difference between the in-expensive footwear and designer brands.
Payless rang up $3,000 in merchandise before coming clean with the reveal.
"Shut up! Are you serious?" the shopper said.
The pranked shoppers got their money back and were allowed to keep the shoes.
Their reactions will be featured in a series of commercials.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.