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Canali

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Cesare, Nov 16, 2004.

  1. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    I've gotta add that you have to know your market too. If I am trying to flip a specialty brand (eg. Belvest, Corneliani, etc...) I often make an offer here first, to avoid Ebay fees. And you need to be aware of what sells and what doesn't. Some things are obvious. A white or pale blue Borrelli double button cuff is a sure thing, a peach shirt, not so much. Some things you have to have an eye for. My basic premise is that if I wouldn't personally recommend it, I generally wouldn't sell it. Therefore, Distressed laceups (btw, Johnnynorman, you poached those Varvatos from me, you rascal) will sell much better than shiny boots, textured casual jackets better than long, smooth finish coats, and so on. And so brands, although pretty decent, never do well: Schneiders comes immediately to mind.
     


  2. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Distinguished Member

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    LA Guy gives the best advice -- know your market.

    That means (1) do research before you start flipping, (2) be aware that you will get better as you go, and (3) don't get into markets that you don't know.

    After almost a year of flipping, I can go into several stores in the Boston area and at any particular time and guarantee that I can walk out with anywhere from $50 to $500 in profit (sometimes more) about half the time.
     


  3. modsquad

    modsquad Senior Member

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    Cesare,

    I am sympathetic to your skepticism of e-bay. These amazing bargains that everyone gets start to sound like Elvis sitings after a while. In fairness, I don't give e-bay nearly the scrutiny that some of the board members do. But the decent stuff in my size (39L - 40L) is so sparse and the competition for it is so fierce that it isn't worth the effort.
     


  4. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    I usually don't like to flip - it's a hassle, and not really my thing, but within the last couple of months, to defray the costs of travelling to and from the West Coast, I've flipped for a profit of about $700-800 - on a total of 5 items, not including jeans (another $125 or so, Ebay and paypal fees already deducted.) Not hard to do if you know the your sources and your markets well. Most of all, don't get greedy. Except for high end jeans, which are a cash cow if you know the market (and I think I do,) I will never flip anything I don't think I can reasonably get 100% profit on, 66% if it is a big ticket item. Anything less than that is a waste of your time, effort, and often a sunk cost.

    It's like playing poker, really. Know when to hold 'em. know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run.
     


  5. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Distinguished Member

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    I don't think in terms of percentages. I think in terms of absolute dollars. If I see a $5 tie that I can sell for $11, I'm not going to flip that. If I see a $500 suit that I can flip for $700, I will absolutely flip it, unless I'm really time crunched. My computer is in my living room and I can post a suit while sitting right next to my wife watching a sitcom.

    But I never, ever try to flip anything that I think might not be able to sell for what I bought it for. I've never sold anything for a loss, and never returned to a store anything I was planning on flipping. And I've never sold anything I wouldn't sell to a customer if I were running a retail store.

    I have sold one thing -- a Brioni sportcoat -- where after fees I merely broke even. But I bought the sportcoat because by buying it I earned a $150 gift card to the store I bought it from, which means it was really like earning a $150 profit (since I shop there regularly).

    The deals on Ebay are real. It's not like shopping a retail store, for sure. But it is more often than not better than shopping at the outlets.
     


  6. uppercase

    uppercase Senior Member

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    Well, you guys are obviously performing a service.
    But still....
    The ebay prices are so far below retail, I don't see how you can make a profit.
    I mean, if a $3000 Brioni is finally discounted at end of season at NM for $1500, OK.
    But how can that suit then sell on ebay for say $900 and the seller still profit?
    And the 66-100% profit margin...how's that possible...?
    Obviously it's possible but I don't see how....unless what is selling on ebay has been bought somehow by the seller at 10-20% of retail.
     


  7. regularjoe

    regularjoe Senior Member

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    It's not impossible to find. Very difficult, but not impossible.

    Some guys like discostu buy in bulk which makes it easier.

    In any event, who cares. The fact that it is out there is good enough for me.
     


  8. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Distinguished Member

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    It's tough to flip from Neiman Marcus. I'm talking about finding something at Filene's Basement that retails for $3000 (say, a Borrelli suit), is priced at Filene's Basement for $1500, and then eventually gets to the 75% markdown rack. That makes the suit about $400. Put it up on Ebay, start the bidding at $600 and the auction will end from anywhere from $700 - 900.

    I've sold eight Oxxford suits over the past year on Ebay. I've gotten them from Filene's Basement, where they go for $1000. They get to the 75% markdown, so I buy them for $250. 10% of retail. I sell for $500 and everyone is happy.

    One time I got a bunch of Louis Boston suits at Filene's Basement that were on 75% markdown, and that day the store gave an extra 25% off of that. So it was effectively an 85% markdown on a good that was already priced at under 50% of retail.. I made a lot of money -- but I can guarantee you that all of my buyers thought I was performing a valuable service, because they all bought the suits from me for about 20% of retail.
     


  9. von Rothbart

    von Rothbart Distinguished Member

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    If that suit doesn't sell at end of season at NM for $1500, it'll be eventually moved to Last Call stores where it'll subject to further discounts. I've seen many items on eBay with NM price tags attached.

    Also, Brioni suits were marked to $560 at C21 last Jan.
     


  10. NoVaguy

    NoVaguy Distinguished Member

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    Absolutely, on the service thing. I've bought one of johnnynorman's belvest suits, and there's pretty much no way I could find the items at the prices he sells them for, let alone what he paid. No car (I'm a DC metro rider) means I have no way of getting from place to place for these sales, unless they're by a stop. And even going to places by metro is time consuming compared to zipping around in a car, unless its rush hour (at which time the streets seem to turn into parking lots)

    And if he can find another belvest 44/54L in the Louis Boston cut, perhaps in a solid or muted navy (hint, hint), I'll have to seriously, seriously consider it.
     


  11. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Distinguished Member

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    I'll keep my eye out. Pickings are slim right now, unfortunately. But it's a crazy world out there.
     


  12. shuman

    shuman Well-Known Member

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    Hey, Johnny, do you ever come across anything in big sizes? (i'm talking 50-52R). Thanks.
     


  13. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Shuman,

    I do all the time. What are you looking for?

    LA Guy
     


  14. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    That's why I was talked about big ticket vs. small ticket items. Johnnynorman, we are going to have to get together sometime over coffee and "have a meeting of the" um, "two families," and compare notes. Lot's of stuff in the Basement, but I you have a lot more buying power than I do, so maybe we can work out an arrangement where I give you a headsup on stuff (like exactly when the Barney's stuff is coming in) and you can let me take some of the lower priced stuff. BTW, the brick and mortar owners on the forum are going to mortified by this discussion.
     


  15. JAGMAJ

    JAGMAJ Member

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    I highly recommend buying from Ebay once you find the reputable sellers and learn about quality suits. You also have to pay close attention to the measurements listed-- the good sellers list all of the relevant ones. For a grand total of $500, I have recently acquired a dark gray Canali Milano DB, a dark navy Zegna in Trofeo fabric, and a dark gray pin-striped Norman Hilton. Two of them required letting the sleeves down a half-inch and one required lengthening the pants hem. All are in excellent condition and I am extremely pleased with them. I got two of them from Carlo (of Carlo Franco fame)-- who is a regular on this board and a great person to deal with. Do your homework and stay away from anyone with less than 99% positive feedback-- though, even some of the obvious counterfeiters have 100% feedback.
     


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