or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Philosophy on clothes buying
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Philosophy on clothes buying - Page 2

post #16 of 36
phew...that sounds about as fun as filling out a timesheet in 6-minute intervals. which plenty of people do, i am aware. /andrew
post #17 of 36
Thread Starter 
post #18 of 36
well, if you look at what discount/ebay wholesale sellers are selling Brioni/Attlioni suits on, they are probably paying at least 20-30% less than their "Buy it Now" price if not more, otherwise why would they sell it?
This seems to make sense, I used to think this way myself. But since I started working with Vass, I've learned differently about wholesale prices. You would think that, since items on ebay are so cheap, retail stores must not be paying much for the merchandise. Not true. Wholesale is usually about 1/2 of retail. Less for some items and for some stores that can make huge buys, but they still paying SERIOUS money for the merchandise. Why then can ebay sellers sell the suits so cheap? Because it's clearance merchandise. It did not sell at full price, or at the store's clearance sale, so the store is willing to sell it a very low price, usually well below wholesale, to get rid of it and make room for the new stuff. Ebay sellers mark it back up in order to make some sort of a profit, though the prices still remain ridiculously low. As such, the ebay market poses no threat to retail stores, nor does it devalue the brand names. There is nobody on ebay selling current season merchandise at cut-rate prices. It's all clearance merchandise, and all the seller's on ebay probably cannot match the inventory of even one specialty store. On the other hand, given the comparitive rarity of top goods on ebay, you guys really are spoiled when it comes to the prices you pay. I mean, I have to auction NWT Barbera, St. Andrew's etc. suit for $600-$800. Those are laughable prices, and they are only that low because you refuse to pay more, unless I want to run an auction for 6 months, and wait for that one guy who really wants it. I'm guessing this will change one of these days, so enjoy it while it lasts. As for my buying philosophy, I refuse to pay much, and I am super-picky. I only buy stuff that is perfect. You can have it both ways, but it takes a LOT of shopping. I do it in the course of my business, so it works for me.
post #19 of 36
I didn't mean to imply that the wholesale price for retail stores was as low as ebay sellers, as I understand the dynamics of seasonal stocking and how they need to move it out, merely that of course you can assume that ebay sellers are purchasing them for somewhat less than their buy-it-now prices and presumably somewhat less than they expect the products to go for in a regular auction, although I guess they can be burned by lack of bidding.
post #20 of 36
Sorry for the misinterpretation.
post #21 of 36
Ironically, the larger ticket the item, the more likely I am to pay retail. Suits from Savile Row, handgrades from Northampton--these are the classic pillars of my wardrobe, and I'm not willing to comromise for these items. Shirts, ties, and casual wear are things I'm willing to take a little more risk on. Generally, once an item is $40 or less, I'm almost always willing to purchase on a whim. Sometimes this results in a great deal--other times I end up with an unused item in the back of the closet.
post #22 of 36
I only wear suits in the $3000+ range, sportcoats $2000 and up (just got one marked $2975)-- but I don't know if I'll ever have a job where I can pay full retail for these items. If I didn't have a great relationship with a few key sellers, I think I'd be stuck wearing hugo boss, zegna, and other machine produced, glued clothing. The only things I do pay full retail for are: - Shirts (only occasionally do I find a great Borrelli shirt on sale) - ties from NM (I've found it hard to buy ties online, unless the pattern is very basic, such as the new black and silver striped Brioni I stumbled upon) - Trousers (VERY hard to find on sale/ online, only found one or two Incotex like this)
post #23 of 36
I only wear suits in the $3000+ range, sportcoats $2000 and up (just got one marked $2975)-- but I don't know if I'll ever have a job where I can pay full retail for these items.  
Andrew Harris is right that there are few quality sellers on EBay, few upper-end products, and, surprisingly, few upper-end purchasers (e.g. the gray flannel Attolini 42 suit that "Weissbier" has been trying to sell for five months). There seems to be less available in all these categories than when EBay started. I've always liked Barbera, long before EBay, and can fit into a 50 European. Its a fairly common size, so I like to buy suits, jackets, and pants from this maker (or similar) on Ebay. Size medium is common on EBay in sportshirts and polos (Purple Label, Loro Piana, Malo), as is size 34 slacks from Purple Label and, less frequently, Incotex. It's hard finding a specific item on EBay at any given point, so you have to wait and spend a lot of time looking. It's probably impossible if you want a large wardrobe. Most of the rest on EBay doesn't fit me, so I have to buy retail [shoes from Alden or Northhampton; Hermes ties (because of the EBay fakes) and MTM shirts.]. I don't have to spend time shopping for sales on these items-they're fairly rare and you have to be on the spot.
post #24 of 36
I'm willing to pay full retail on occasion, if I see the item as something that I would value as high as the money paid for it. Not to mention, I feel the whole experience of getting an article of clothing at full retail just feels better, simply because when I take it home, I don't feel like it's scraps, secondhand, clearance goods, etc. You get that brand new feeling that you don't get from eBay, Yoox or Bluefly, and every once in awhile I'm willing to pay for that feeling. When you pay more for an item, you value that item more. Even if other people recognize that my Helmut Lang jeans retail at $350, if I only paid $50 for them, I don't value them like a $350 item. On the other hand, my Yoko Devereaux shirts that I purchased at Maxfield at $48 each, I treat with the utmost of care, simply because I value them more, which I relate subconsciously to the percentage of retail value that I paid. Perhaps I'm talking in circles here, but I think the point is there. Now, when you point out how much it costs to make a garment, I think you are speaking of the cost of the materials which is almost always negligable. But do you not agree that it is worth paying for the expertise of both the designer and the manufacturer, as well as the time it takes to make the garment? Lastly, some will pay a premium for exclusivity (I, myself will not, but I do acknowledge its value).
post #25 of 36
There is also a large cost for marketing, those 5th avenue boutiques are going to cost something and that cost is being levied on the consumer. On some products (fragrances especially) the marketing costs may represent almost the entire cost of the product.
post #26 of 36
I find myself paying retail more frequently these days. My needs have become very specific, and most of the time I don't want to wait around for sales. When I buy, I usually have something specific in mind before I hit the stores. However, it's great when I quicker to buy something marked down that I happen to see.
post #27 of 36
Thread Starter 
I think this topic would make a great thesis for an economics phd candidate.  Whether consumers act rationally is a hot topic in economics right now, and I'm sure we could provide them with plenty of evidence both ways.
post #28 of 36
Im sure this is just a personal issue, but I find when I look for items on sale, I end up buying stuff I dont really need. In my mind I think I am getting a good bargain because of the discount, but in reality, I dont need it, or dont love it, but am buying it because I feel like I would be stupid for not taking advantage of such a good deal. As for ebay, yes there are great deals, but often I find myself justifying certain items. The deals can be so good I will talk myself into a suit even though its not exactly what I want. In the end, I am dissatisfied. What I have done over the past 3 years is have a strategy that has served me very well: Each spring: 2 suits, MTM (either from RL, or Isaia), some shirts, maybe 4 (T&A, BB mtm), 1 pair of EG's (ordered from Richards of Greenwich). throw in a few ties. Each fall: 2 suits, same deal. same deal with shirts, shoes and ties. and maybe a sweater. Yes, I end up paying retail for the majority of it, but I get EXACTLY what I want. Lets say all of that costs $6000.00 (just picking a number), am I getting a worse deal than if i scour ebay and sales for items I dont really want and spend the same $6000.00? I would definetely have a greater amount of stuff if I went that route, but would I truly be satisfied. For me, I wouldnt. For someone else, the lure of the sale and the satisfaction of getting something for less is very powerful. For me, I like getting what I want. I like looking through swatch books, and fabrics, and photos, and getting a very small amount of things I truly love. Otherwise, I look in my closet and say , wow i got such a great deal on that brioni on ebay, but couldnt it just be a slightly darker shade of grey? At the end of the day, I like having things in my closet I truly love.
post #29 of 36
In the end the old saying, "you get what you pay for," is true. Paying full retail, the customer gets to be discriminating. Searching for sales requires (not always) compromise, unless you get lucky.
post #30 of 36
One thing many are assuming is the ready cash to buy retail. I suspect many of us (am I projecting?) aren't financially prepared to drop $6000/year on whatever clothing meets our hearts' desire. My line of work is not particularly lucrative (we'll say I work for a non-profit) and won't ever be. I use sales, ebay, discounters and thrift to allow me to increase the quality of clothing I'm able to wear. There's also the thrill of the hunt, of course. If I had unlimited funds to drop I'd probably opt for the wide choices that retail offers as well. But I suspect I'd still try to buy at sales.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Philosophy on clothes buying