Originally Posted by cptjeff
Well, not everyone, I've seen nothing but junk and ruined ties recently. A few nice pieces, but made by no name tailors or defunct and now obscure shops (like Britches of Georgetown) where I'm not willing to take the risk as a casual seller who never gets around to listing things anyway.
I did see a XXXXXL (yes, five Xs) cotton-cashmere blend sweater from a decent maker yesterday, but a somewhat limited market there.
Actually, there's a local woman who makes a pretty good living online selling clothes to the obese. Her website:
Here's a story about her that ran in the local rag when she accepted a Webby on behalf of eBay:Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
"Assuming hyphenateds are allowed-woo-hoo!" - AccuRadio, 2006
"Sports? Pornography? Sports? Pornography? SPORTS!" - ESPN.com, 2006
"Please don't recount this vote." - Al Gore, 2005
Everybody already knows who won.
Acceptance speeches are the biggest reason to pay attention to the Webby Awards ceremony, where winners whose names were announced a month ago are allowed five words to express their feelings.
"I'll be at the bar," intoned someone from stackopolis.com, which last year won a Webby, the Internet's equivalent of an Oscar, for a game-related Web site.
A Springfield woman will get her chance to contribute to Webby speech lore on Tuesday, thanks to eBay , which is flying her to New York to help accept a lifetime achievement Webby for the online auction site.
Who cares what Brandi Ramos will wear? What's she going to say?
"We have not been given that yet," said Ramos, a struggling single mom turned eBay star. "The Webbys is just a huge deal. I never thought I'd see a red carpet in person."
Even without a word limit, Ramos said her acceptance speech would be short.
"The only people I have to thank is myself and eBay and God," she said.
And perhaps Dieter from the Netherlands.
Ramos was barely making it four years ago, when she began buying clothing at clearance sales and re-selling it on eBay .
"I was on food stamps," she said. "My little boy had a medical card. At one point, I had five jobs."
Then she found a bargain on 50 oversized men's shirts. They were name-brand, brand-new and, it turned out, in demand.
"I made quite a bit of money off that," she said. "I thought, 'Gosh, there's a lot of people asking if I can get different colors or bigger sizes.'"
Dieter was the tipping point to life as a mail-order middleman for the big and tall.
"He said, 'I work in security and I can never get shirts that fit-can you get me 50 black T-shirts in 5X?'" Ramos recalled. "I tracked them down and told him what it would be with the shipping and he said 'Great.'
"Now, we have what we call 'Fat Man's Macy's' in my basement."
Last year, sales topped $100,000, said Ramos, who sells everything from Ralph Lauren shirts to Hanes briefs, size 60 - the ultimate in tighty-whiteys.
"I have customers in 51 countries," Ramos said. "I've been able to buy a home. I've been able to buy a nice vehicle. I've been reacquainted with a high school sweetheart. We're getting married on July 7."
Ramos says she owes it all to eBay .
"That's what's given me the freedom," she said. "The sky's the limit with something like this."
Not surprisingly, eBay sees a poster child in Ramos. Besides flying her to New York for the Webbys, the company is also paying her way to Boston later this month for an eBay convention.
In retrospect, selling clothing to big people was a can't-miss proposition.
"They want to dress nice," Ramos said. "They want to look professional. They're willing to spend the money. It's hard to find big-and-tall clothing .
"A lot of people aren't comfortable walking around malls for hours searching for clothes that fit. A lot of people also have issues with hip or knee replacements."
Besides running auctions and an eBay store, Ramos offers a personal shopping service. It doesn't have to be clothing . A client in Canada recently paid Ramos to track down a certain purse for his wife. A customer who can't get some companies to ship to his country sends her a list, she said. He's been spending $2,000 a month for the past few months, she said.
"He could care less," she said. "He just wants the product. Half the fun is finding the product. It's a lot of hitting the pavement. It's knocking on doors and asking people."
It hasn't been get-rich-quick. Ramos said she usually works more than 40 hours a week, but rarely eight hours in a row.
"My goal was to be a stay-at-home mom," she said. "I don't make anywhere near a million dollars a year. It's a lot of hard work. It's a lot of sacrifice. I don't have much of a social life."
And work is never far away, no matter where she is. She'll be bringing a laptop to New York, where she expects to share the stage with David Bowie, who will also get a lifetime achievement Webby.
"My poor future husband," she said. "He always asks: 'Do you ever not work?'"