Originally Posted by AndroFan "Thrift Wars
, meanwhile, is a competitive fashion series set in New York and follows “elite and hardcore” thrifters that scour flea markets, warehouses and estate sales to see who can make the most money buying vintage designer wear in a given day. The executive producer is Matt Sharp for Sharp Entertainment.
I suspect the impact of this will be less severe and shorter lived than most of us are nervous about. There are several mitigating factors.
First: The show will (at least initially) be on Oxygen and, as some have already observed, I don't know what their viewership is.
Second: It's the economy. This is just the latest in a long line of escapism/get rich quick salves for an economically strained public. Eventually, this fad will pass, just as there are no longer all-night dancing contests or shows about house flipping. As the economy improves, as folks try their hand and get stung because they learn their perceived-high-value items won't sell (which I obviously have no knowledge of.... [uncomfortable cough]), and as the general national consciousness turns to a different get rich quick scheme, those who are serious about the hobby will remain and those who are not will not. (NOTE: I include, of course, myself here)
Third: Impact will be market specific. In markets where the economic strain is most painful, the alure will be felt greatest; in "recovered" or stronger markets, the deterrent of used clothes is probably still too strong. But, of course, in these markets, the gravitational pull of thrifting has already been present and driven people to thrift anyway, so query how great that additional impact will be.
Fourth: As a business, this is neither high profit nor low risk. As others on this thread are far better positioned to instruct: One must have a firm grasp of both quality and salability (which are non-equivalents, BTW). It's pretty easy to lose a good deal of money fairly quickly and end up with a closet full of clothing in sizes other than your own and that nobody wants to buy. Do that a few times when your whole goal was to get rich quick and you won't go back to the well. Those with true staying power do this because they a) love clothes; b) love the thrill of treasure hunting; c) are perennially cheap; d) like the idea of giving quality garments a second chance at life (see also b)); or e) all of the above.
One might supsect that the greatest danger of the show would be educating folks -- whether already inclined to thrift or otherwise -- what to look for in terms of quality and salability. Leaving aside the general availability of this thread, I actually think this risk is strongly mitigated by the trademark issue: I doubt very much the show will get permission to use brand names (do you think Brioni, Kiton, Isaia or any other high end manufacturer will grant permission for a show to reveal their goods can be found at miniscule percentages of their retail cost?) I suppose the show's participants could describe handwork and other hallmarks of quality. But as we all know, that's a skill that takes some practice mastering. So I'm not sure how "educational" the show will be.
So, on balance, I think the impact will be modest and relatively short-lived. Perhaps the greatest danger is that it may inform thrift managers on how to price their goods. But as Branpore has already observed, those folks either don't pay attention or don't care (or both). Moreover, trying to control the uncrontrollable is like bridling a whale with a rubber harness, or trying to possess the power of the ocean by taking a handfull of water: a futile effort. The hobby will evolve as it will evolve. In fact, it may be that the impact of the show is to GROW demand for high end clothes that we find, or to drive people here to share their finds with us (rather than let them fall into the abyss of car-washing rags or other abuse and misuse of quality garments). To paraphrase, I believe, John Lennon: Life's what happens when you're waiting for life to start.
FWIW, my 2 cents.
I'm on a thrifting hiatus, so I have nothing exciting to share.