Originally Posted by Man Of Lint
Retail is out to rip all of us off. As I stated, a friend of mine told me about the fabric 'scam'.
That is what raised my question. Nothing more.
The point of my question was to ascertain whether or not, on principle, older stock should fetch the same price as newer stock. It is an absolutely valid question.
Day old bread gets reduced in price for a reason.
Last years car models are also reduced in price lower than this years or next years models.
And since tailors -do- buy older fabric stock at reduced prices, then the industry supports my claim.
If it didn't, then older fabric would not be discounted to them in the first place.
Therefore, the tailors savings should be passed to the customer.
It would have nothing to do with his labor costs.
I fail to see why the price of the fabric should matter to a potential customer any more than any other component of production, for instance, the cost of the tailor's labor. More broadly, I failt to see why anyone should care about the tailor's margin at all - care about the price to you and whether you feel it worth paying. If one starts going down this path, why not ask him his hourly labor fee as well in order to judge whether that's fair or not? How about the cost of interlinings, the thread, the undercollar felt, the padding for the shoulders? Why not start worrying about the fabric mill's margins as well? How about the landlord's margins on the tailor's rent (he can move after all)? Why simply judge the fairness of one small component? All of that and much more is buried into the cost of the garment after all.
Look, the tailor will offer you a price for the completed garment. If you like the price (or at least believe that it represents a fair economic and emotional trade to you as a buyer), commission the garment. If the price is too high, either try to negotiate or move on. The market will quickly take care of tailors who are too expensive for the quality (or perception of quality) offered. His ultimate margin and where he gets that margin from shouldn't matter anymore than your (you generally, not specifically the OP) salary should be judged by others. Most of us don't run around worrying about the margins built into everyday consumer goods (or services), even though they are much, much fatter than anything most tailors could hope for. Most people I know certainly don't worry about fabric cost when buying RTW clothing, not sure why this would be any different.
Additionally, the vast majority of tailors aren't exactly getting rich plying their trade - if anything it's the opposite. If, due to their connections and knowledge, they are able to do some things to take home a little more, why begrudge that? The fabric isn't any worse for being a year older, the vast majority of bespoke fabrics stay within a tightly bounded range of designs which vary little year to year (most bespoke aspires to timelessness, not latest fashion), and the pricing difference isn't going to matter that much anyway - if the tailor is able to get fabric at $25 a yard rather than $75 a yard (and the fabric might retail for $150 per yard - others here will know the retail margin better than I), would you really notice the $200 difference on your $2000 or $3000 bespoke suit?
My advice - if the price works for you based on all you know about the tailor and the offer, hit the bid, if it doesn't move on and let the market do its work. Learning about fabrics may well be wise, but more to ensure you commission a garment that you like and will enjoy over long period of time rather than to determine "fairness".