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Canali

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

  1. 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.
     
  2. 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.
     
  3. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior 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.
     
  4. von Rothbart

    von Rothbart Senior 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.
     
  5. NoVaguy

    NoVaguy Senior 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.
     
  6. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior 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.
     
  7. 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.
     
  8. 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
     
  9. 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.
     
  10. 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.
     
  11. demeis

    demeis Senior member

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    what about flipping etiquette on here? What is your usual mark up to styleforum member as opposed to ebay? Do you leave it the same and would it be considered bad taste to ask high prices of styleforum members?
     
  12. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    I don't know about everyone else, but I usually ask considerably less (about 10%) from Styleforum members. Look after friends first has always been my motto.

    The actually markup depends on a lot of things, primarily what I think that thing is worth and the cost I accrued getting the stuff. Some stuff that I have been able to get for really cheap can have a 200 to 300% markup, and I could've probably gotten 400% for some of that stuff on Ebay. Some things, like the jeans I've been selling, 30%, which is hardly worth my time at all - but I put Earnest Sewn Hutch on my top Ten jeans list, and even though the cut is not quite the same, I thought I owed everyone a taste at 50% off retail. This is not always obvious from the asking price, btw.

    The Ebay starting prices are pretty much always higher and/or shipping is not included, to reflect on the cost of using Ebay.
     
  13. uppercase

    uppercase Senior member

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    Well, scouring the stores and then flipping the clothes on ebay is certainly a valuable service for those wanting to build up a quality wardrobe on a budget and who cannot themselves get access to the discount stores.

    You have to ask yourself though that if quality clothing is selling at 10-20% of retail at the discount stores, and assuming that these stores still make a profit at that discount level, what is the real economic cost of producing clothes.

    Maybe with industrialization and economic need to keep the factories working plus the retailers need to constantly sell , clear their product and make room for the new collections, that we consumers all benefit price-wise.

    But you really have to start wondering what a $3000 Brioni and Canali suit is really worth; consumers at the retail level, must be paying huge add-on costs for advertising, merchandising, retail rentals, etc. for retailers to arrive at that final retail price..

    Is retail clothing really just rags in "the rag trade"?

    It would be fascinating to know the component costs - labour, material, shipping, marketing, sales expense, etc. etc. - of a $3000 retail suit. Is a $3000 suit really only "worth" $300?

    I wonder, with the many clothing factories in Europe (an even China, etc.) , if access to that source, i.e., buying overstock or even buying from the manufacturers' outlet stores, wouldn't also be an attractive business proposition for ebay buyer and seller alike?

    You would think that with the factories pumping out thousands of items, that they could not always guage retail demand exactly and so, have to place their excess production somewhere, somehow....

    Wouldn't sourcing Europe and Asian manufacturers be a great source of clothing for ebay sellers and buyers alike.?
    Or would the US import taxes/shipping expense make those imports to the US unfeasible?
    Or alternatively, is there an ebay auction site for those living in Europe or even those in the US willing to shoulder the shipping costs from Europe to US?

    I mean, who could resist buying 3-4 quality suits on ebay for the price of 1 retail suit...?.

    The entrepreneurial ebay sellers are providing a great economic benefit to consumers by wringing out so much of the overhead and other hidden costs from retail clothes.
     
  14. shuman

    shuman Well-Known Member

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    Having worked for a midwestern department store for nearly ten years, I can add some insight. The products that didnt sell, after being marked to 75% off, were then sent back to our warehouse, and I was told they were sold to places such as TJ Maxx etc. for .10 for every $1.

    I'm sure they took a loss, because for that $600 suit, the retailer paid $200-300, and when the vendor sold it to them, they made a profit accordingly, so it probably cost them $100 max (if that) to manufacture said garment. At least this is what i've been told.

    The markups in the garment industry are some of the highest around, so everybody makes a profit.
     
  15. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    What's a Brioni worth? Intrinsically it's worth about $10 -- from a purely utilitarian perspective, you could get the same warmth and cover from a $10 garment. You could argue that wearing the Brioni does have an intrinsic benefit because you will look good and therefore potentially reap more of the goodies of life -- good job, good wife, more clients, etc. All that translates into money.

    But the real answer is that the Brioni is worth precisely what someone is willing to pay for it. This is the case with all goods.

    The problem, of course, is that the above theory demands that buyers have perfect information, which they don't. How many people understand that an Armani is machine made and fused, yet sells for the same price as a largely handmade Isaia suit? That's where the economics break down.

    However, there can be information pitfalls on the same side, which is one reason why I and people like myself can flip things on Ebay. In the niche market of outlet shopping, how many people understand that that "ugly" flannel Oxxford suit actually is quite dapper, superbly constructed, will last forever, and is well worth that $400 outlet price tag? I guarantee you not many. I have several suits in my closet where I know for a fact that most people would have bypassed them for a more "traditional" (i.e. boring) fabric from an inferior maker. Case in point: The Hickey Freeman Hand Tailored suit I posted about. I got it for $450 on the 2nd to last day of a week long sale. During that time, I bet at least 20 regular line Hickey Freemans in the same size were sold for the same price in "ordinary" fabrics like LP grey pinstripe. I took advantage of the information deficit that afflicted the local market. But I know that in the larger Ebay market, these information deficits are less salient -- there will always be 2 or 3 buyers who know the value of what you are selling.

    Also, remember that shopping successfully at outlets takes some time. I could see how a really rich person could easily justify going into Neiman Marcus and dropping $4K on a Brioni just to avoid the hassles of trying to find a similar product at discount. I'm not yet one of those people yet though.
     
  16. JAGMAJ

    JAGMAJ Member

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    Uppercase:

    You're assuming that the retailers are still making a profit when the suits are sold off to discounters. I would imagine that it's a case where they are just cutting losses. When you average out the profit they make on suits sold at full price and the small loss they take on getting rid of surplus, they still come out way ahead. I would also imagine that the construction and material costs of the nicer suits are still significant-- though a fraction of what the suit normally retails for. Those who get their suits at a discount really are getting a good value.
     
  17. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Hey JN3,

    You're in an optimistic mood today, huh?
     
  18. uppercase

    uppercase Senior member

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    Yes, the mark up in clothing must be incredibly high.

    Clothing, the manufacture and sale, must be an absolutely huge business globally; I'd love to find some economic studies of the business. Maybe some of the brokerage research houses produce something...?

    And the ebay model, also must be gigantic. Does anybody know their annual sales revenue? I would guess that they're larger than the largest retailer - Walmart.
     
  19. discostu004

    discostu004 Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    LOVE canali. the other day i wore a charcoal windowpane flannel jacket i bought in 1996 from korshak and got 2 compliments, one from a guy who buys Kiton from me and he was stunned to find it was canali and that it was 9 years old. price points are nice too, especially when you can get one from a discount seller. i have a 46L canali brand new that i would think would sell pretty quickly to the discerning customer
     

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