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Euopean snobbery

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by esquire., Mar 2, 2005.

  1. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Well-Known Member

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    Japanese are fanatical about products being real, I imagine most of them wouldn't use fakes, of course there are some exceptions.
     
  2. Fabienne

    Fabienne Well-Known Member

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    The "Japanese asking an autochthon to buy Vuitton for them" has made it to contemporary French literature:

    Finalement elle dessina les gens dans la queue, le toit du Grand Palais et l'escalier du Petit. Une Japonaise l'aborda en la suppliant d'aller lui acheter un sac chez Vuitton. Elle lui tendait quatre billets de cinq cents euros et se trÃ[​IMG]moussait comme si c'Ã[​IMG]tait une question de vie ou de mort. Camille Ã[​IMG]carta les bras :

    "Look... Look at me... I am too dirty..." Elle lui dÃ[​IMG]signait ses croquenots, son jean trop large, son gros pull de camionneur, son Ã[​IMG]charpe insensÃ[​IMG]e et la capote militaire que Philibert lui avait prêtÃ[​IMG]e... "They won't let me go in the shop..." La fille grimaça, remballa ses billets et accosta quelqu'un d'autre dix mètres plus loin.

    Anna Gavalda, Ensemble, c'est tout, 2004


    Basically, a Japanese woman asks a French woman to go buy a bag for her in a LV store, the French woman refuses because she feels she isn't presentable.
     
  3. Brian SD

    Brian SD Well-Known Member

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    I think I am misunderstanding.. I see two different issues here:

    Employees not selling *anything* to a person who is Japanese, because they have a maximum number they will sell to Japanese per day?

    A maximum amount buyable for a product, and this affects Japanese the most because often they come in to buy many duplicates of the same item? However, should a French woman want to buy 29 LV bags, she would be limited only to 5 as well.

    If it's the latter, then I see nothing wrong with it at all, because it is putting a dent in the reputation of your brand and you have a right to do your best to control that reputation. If you're paying a ton of money for a product, you don't want people to think that they're so mass produced that you can just come in and hoarde them like you're buying for your kids soccer team. I don't see how this is racist.

    If it is the former, however, I'll have to make it a point not to be purchasing from a racist company (although it is seemingly avoidable considering LVMH owns nearly every high end designer Im interested in).
     
  4. hopkins_student

    hopkins_student Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't sound like LV dislikes the Japanese, in fact I'm sure they like them very much. Their limit is imposed strictly to prevent the export of their products to Japan where they will be sold cheaper than the prices in the LV retail stores.
     
  5. Roy

    Roy Well-Known Member

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    Yup, I think this is just a logical policy.
     
  6. esquire.

    esquire. Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but why are the LVH merchendaise sold in Japan so much more expensive there than in Japan? It sounds like if a european customer wanted to buy as many items, nobody would enforce this rule. This european male could just as easily try to sell these items online to the japanese market, and sell the items cheaper than the LVH stores in Japan as well.
     
  7. Roy

    Roy Well-Known Member

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    Basically, this European (fe)male doesn't purchase 25 of the same items at a LV shop. From what I gather this is mainly tourist behaviour (whether or not they are Japanese I don't know).

    I imagine that if I (a European male) would try to buy 25, or even 10 of the same items they would ask me why at least.
     
  8. Tyto

    Tyto Well-Known Member

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    Another place I was surprised to see this was at UCLA. Busses of Japanese tourists stopping by to stroll the campus and shop in Ackerman (the student union). I don't see it as much anymore. In the '80s and early '90s, the department signs ("clothing," "stationery") were printed in Japanese and Chinese, as well as English.
     
  9. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Well-Known Member

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    LV stuff is cheaper in France than anywhere in the world afaik. I purchased my wallet there for 95 Euro (when the Euro was 1E=$1.1US) and the same wallet was $185 in the LV store in South Coast Plaza. For reference, the same wallet in Honolulu (which is part of LV Asia/Pacific) is US $205 (but no sales tax in Hawaii)
     
  10. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Well-Known Member

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    Two reasons jump out at me for this kind of bulk shopping, be it LV purses or UCLA sweatshirts: 1. omiyage. Japanese travellers bring back souvenirs for all of their close friends and relatives, which adds up to a lot of purchases, especially things like the UCLA sweatshirts that are not tremendously expensive and have brand recognition back in Japan. 2. Purchases for friends. I don't think it is uncommon (in any culture) to ask a friend going overseas to buy things for you (provided you pay them back). I've asked people heading to Japan to buy me particular electronics, people heading to Singapore to buy me watches, etc. This is actually the most likely source of any "resale" intentions, as I can easily picture an OL buying a bunch of bags then selling them to coworkers at cost or cost plus a token markup.
     
  11. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

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    I used to subsidized European vacations by buying Levis 501's in bulk at places like Ross (Dress for Less) at about $20 a pair (usually in sizes 31-33), and selling them to whoever wanted a pair for $60 (equivalent.)  About 20 pairs per trip.  20x$40 = $800.  There were lots of takers; and I thank the French and Germans in particular for paying for my hotel bills, some cool sneakers and some really nice meals I probably couldn't have afforded otherwise.  Did it with some "Replay" jeans too, which was nearly too funny.

    Then I'd pick up Prada and Armani stuff at the outlets and make some money back homeside (and get the VAT off too.)
     
  12. j

    j Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, this reminds me. Is there anything I should buy in bulk to take over to Japan? Where would I go about selling it?
     
  13. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

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    I used to just sell to fellow hostelers. I also opened up a very illegal stall in Paris once, but bolted quickly when I saw cops around.
     
  14. Walter

    Walter Well-Known Member

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    Just about anything by Louis Vuitton.
     
  15. alchimiste

    alchimiste Well-Known Member

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    The LV monogram has a high visibility. It is not so much the case for Hermes (except their belts with the H buckle). A monogrammed bag is obvious luxury (or an imitation of it) whereas an Hermes tie is not so obviously expensive. If people want to show off, LV is a suitable choice.
     
  16. Bic Pentameter

    Bic Pentameter Well-Known Member

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    I am not quite sure what you might want to bring with you to sell in Japan, J. Given your talent for making thrift store discoveries, you may consider buying retro t-shirts, baseball caps, and jeans to sell to some of the hip shops in Harajuku. (Unfortunately, I am not really enough attuned to prices to know what would move here.) One used to see folks on the street in Japan selling brand name bags and watches. They would have a small portable table, and set up shop near locations that got a lot of foot traffic. Â I was once told (but never confirmed) that many were young Israelis. Â The story had been that police often turned a blind eye to the practice, and aside from the ocassional payoff to the mafia, things went pretty well for these folks. Â Recently there have been news stories of renewed vigor in visa crackdowns. Â When I think about it, I haven't seen any of these folks in the last 6 months. There are numerous pawnshops and "recycle" shops in Japan where one can sell and purchase designer goods. Â Popular hosts and hostesses apparently get numerous high-priced brand name goods from customers, and they often sell the extras to these shops. Â Popular culture is replete with young Japanese men who want to give their lady friends a Bulgari necklace or LV purse, but not wanting to pay full retail, will buy it at one of these shops. A Saturday morning television program recently had a regular segment with an expert in spotting fakes. The expert and a reporter would visit trendy areas of Japan and ask passersby if they would agree to have their Gucci, Prada, or LV item examined. Â A great laugh was had when the owner realized that her prized LV clutch or Gucci tote bag was fake. Very often the (usually female) owner would say, "I got this from my husband," or "I got it from the boss as an omiyage from his trip to Hawaii."
     
  17. Fabienne

    Fabienne Well-Known Member

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    Quick call to Louis Vuitton's customer service in Paris.  

    A pleasant lady with very good phone manners explained to me that the reason why they limit the number of bags per person is simply a question of "stock".  On one of their more popular models (she gave a name I didn't catch), for example, they only get 4-5 a day, and if they sell it all to one person, they will start to get complaints from their regular customers, and their reputation might suffer.

    (I drew the conclusions. She left it at: if we sell all the bags to one person, then we won't have anymore for other people).

    Similarly, I once tried to talk a small Italian restaurant owner into letting me book all his tables for a particular event. He refused, saying he didn't want to disappoint his regular customers.
     

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