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Menswear Resale/Consignment Discussion

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

A bit new to the SF culture, but I am very interested in creating an online consignment business exclusively for pre-owned upscale menswear. I know that there have been several attempts to do so, and I know a few brick-and-mortar menswear consignment shops that have survived, but the odds appear to be against the modern e-haberdasher.

 

Since no business plan ever survives first contact with the customer, I thought that I would get real-time feedback from the SF experts and everyday users of online shopping/trading resources. Any comments you give are greatly appreciated. Copy/Paste format to reply may make it easier.

 

You guys are great,

 

Jeremy

 

 

 

Just to start the conversation:

 

 

1. What sites do you frequent for pre-owned menswear other than SF and eBay, if any?

 

2. If you do visit e-commerce boutiques, what attracts you to them? Are you a regular customer or do you purchase from boutique sites intermittently?

 

3. Which has caused or would cause you to be a returning customer: Convenience or Customer Service? 

 

4. Do you know of any online consignment ventures that failed? Succeeded? What do you think was the key to their outcome?

post #2 of 15
I think that you have to have a track record of sales on ebay to be successful.

I think that you also need to have lower fees than someone else who is more established
post #3 of 15
Starting one online would be harder than opening a physical store. With a physical store, nobody really has any clue what your track record is, other than your inventory, which you could initially stage. Online, I'd think your only shot would be having a killer eBay business that transitions into a website. Having a killer eBay business takes time to build. It would be exponentially easier if you had a team of shoppers ready to help you from the start.
post #4 of 15
From my perspective the things that are most important to me to be a customer are, in no particular order:
  • My Size, maximum 18.5" chest on Jacket, usually shoulders length and sleeves will end up matching up
  • Selection of makers that range from Trad to English to Italian
  • Reputable seller, accepts Paypal, and fair shipping

To answer your questions:

1. What sites do you frequent for pre-owned menswear other than SF and eBay, if any?

www.portero.com (mainly accessories)

User Tweedy on SF has a site: www.tweedmansvintage.co.uk


2. If you do visit e-commerce boutiques, what attracts you to them? Are you a regular customer or do you purchase from boutique sites intermittently?

The above answers are what would

3. Which has caused or would cause you to be a returning customer: Convenience or Customer Service?

Customer Service would imply some level of convenience, however what would continue to attract me is apart from just suiting to have accessories and neckwear would be a plus. The main factor is going to be whether or not you continue to have items in my size and style I prefer.

4. Do you know of any online consignment ventures that failed? Succeeded? What do you think was the key to their outcome?

Honestly not sure what has and hasn't failed, but most likely its due to having to compete with eBay and forums like SF or Ask Andy etc...
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much for the feedback.

 

Reputation appears to be king.

 

Do you think there is a way to establish reputation without having to lean on eBay?

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mycardsir View Post

Thank you very much for the feedback.

Reputation appears to be king.

Do you think there is a way to establish reputation without having to lean on eBay?
no. ebay is where the buyers are.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

@Saturdays

 

http://www.portero.com and http://www.tweedmansvintage.co.uk/ are good examples of targeting a niche market and providing a lavish inventory. 

 

Playing devils advocate: portero.com seems to have higher prices than one would find on eBay and tweedmans appears to be comparable pricing to what you could get on eBay, so why would you choose to shop their site for those items over eBay? Why did you make the initial purchase? How did they over/under deliver?

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

Have you ever made an online purchase of pre-owned menswear outside of eBay or SF?

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by suited View Post

Starting one online would be harder than opening a physical store. With a physical store, nobody really has any clue what your track record is, other than your inventory, which you could initially stage. Online, I'd think your only shot would be having a killer eBay business that transitions into a website. Having a killer eBay business takes time to build. It would be exponentially easier if you had a team of shoppers ready to help you from the start.

 

Do you feel as though shoppers will follow inventory? There appear to be boutique clothing/accessory stores online that either consign or own their merchandise. My initial thought would be that a team of upscale consignors would more valuable, as buyers would have to take at least one chance at purchasing before knowing if the business was reputable. 

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

Apologies. I am still figuring out the forum format.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkDerm View Post

I think that you have to have a track record of sales on ebay to be successful.
I think that you also need to have lower fees than someone else who is more established

 

So when you say "lower fees", you mean a higher consignment ratio of say 50/50 instead of the standard 60/40 split? How many eBay sellers get sales from their customers outside of the the eBay format? I was not aware that there were customer bases built on eBay that could be transferred. I'm not trying to be difficult, I'm truly curious. 

post #12 of 15
I'll be monitoring this thread.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpooPoker View Post

I'll be monitoring this thread.

Stoking out competition?
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

eBay apparently takes a large part of the market share, but I feel that there is real potential for those that wish to embark on their own and generate their own customer base outside of eBay. Personally, I do not believe that many of the prices on eBay are fair to the buyer or the seller. Also, eBay is extremely inconvenient for what it offers, particularly for those that wish to sell their items.

 

For the amount of fees incurred, the effort/compensation ratio is quite off. This is something that I would like to remedy. 

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

My motivation for trying to get this feedback is based initially on an idea that many folks that re-sell on AAAC, SF, or eBay are attempting to gain a profit or recoup initial costs of items. 

I feel that the process of posting items, photographing, bumping posts, answering questions, managing the shipping and payment - while it may be enjoyable for a gifted many, there are many others that become weary of the process over a long period of time and decide that the reward is not worth the effort. 

For those individuals, I would like to provide a way for them to conveniently send their items (for free) to a secure facility that would curate and market their items via a professional consignment e-store. Quite literally just sending their items and getting paid 40% of the final sale. I will agree that this is not the most profitable way for anyone to sell their clothing online, but it would provide the most stress-free and time-free way. 

I would definitely utilize a service that existed such as that. 

Thoughts?

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