In praise of full retail shopping...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Artisan Fan, Sep 2, 2006.

  1. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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    I have been learning how to get great deals on things by lurking here and have put some ebay sellers to use, but I really have learned that there is a lot of value left in full retail price shopping.

    Here's why I like it:

    1. Selection, selection, selection. No more hunting for my size. I look at patterns and buy my size.

    2. No shortages in my size. Usually plenty in stock even in half sizes at the right store.

    3. Current season merchandise. Fewer trendy, already out of style in six months yesterday's "gotta have". In fact, a good rule for gentlemen is to avoid any clothing that the NY Times, GQ, or Esquire says is a must have piece.

    4. Best patterns/colors/etc. are not taken because a sale is on and some sales guy gave an early tip-off or hold to his regulars.

    5. No product sniping by ebay resellers at places like Filene's.

    6. More relaxed, less pressured buying experience.

    7. There is value in forming networks of friends at the better local and out of town stores.

    8. Trunk shows, artisan collaboratives, and receptions are just plain fun when done well. Meeting great people like Massimo, Fabio Borrelli, Olga Berluti and others creates more of a connection with the craftsmanship imho.

    9. Bespoke & MTM is loads of fun-fabric selection, fittings, your own "design" is really cool.

    10. Shoes are much easier to buy in person.

    Just my $0.02 on the subject...do you agree with me?

    How much full retail shopping do you do?
     


  2. kitonbrioni

    kitonbrioni Senior member

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  3. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    At the beginning of a season, I'll get about three pieces that I really like and that I'm reasonably certain will not make it to sales. I've been wrong about this, but seldomly. A few times I held off because I thought that the piece was too dear, and I've always been disappointed when it sells out.

    I find that bargain shopping and beginning of season shopping are two different things altogether. In bargain shopping, you are digging through a bunch of left behinds looking for a gem. Beginning of the season shopping is more thrilling. You are in the race to identify and purchasethe best items before they are gone, gone, gone. I tend to like niche brands with limited distribution, so a lot of the stuff is tough to find to begin with.

    I have been learning how to get great deals on things by lurking here and have put some ebay sellers to use, but I really have learned that there is a lot of value left in full retail price shopping.

    Here's why I like it:

    1. Selection, selection, selection. No more hunting for my size. I look at patterns and buy my size.

    2. No shortages in my size. Usually plenty in stock even in half sizes at the right store.

    3. Current season merchandise. Fewer trendy, already out of style in six months yesterday's "gotta have". In fact, a good rule for gentlemen is to avoid any clothing that the NY Times, GQ, or Esquire says is a must have piece.

    4. Best patterns/colors/etc. are not taken because a sale is on and some sales guy gave an early tip-off or hold to his regulars.

    5. No product sniping by ebay resellers at places like Filene's.

    6. More relaxed, less pressured buying experience.

    7. There is value in forming networks of friends at the better local and out of town stores.

    8. Trunk shows, artisan collaboratives, and receptions are just plain fun when done well. Meeting great people like Massimo, Fabio Borrelli, Olga Berluti and others creates more of a connection with the craftsmanship imho.

    9. Bespoke & MTM is loads of fun-fabric selection, fittings, your own "design" is really cool.

    10. Shoes are much easier to buy in person.

    Just my $0.02 on the subject...do you agree with me?

    How much full retail shopping do you do?
     


  4. EL72

    EL72 Senior member

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    This is all very nice but really a moot point. If you can afford it, sure - who wouldn't buy under those conditions? The reality is that I could never buy the brands and quality I like and want if I cannot get them at a deep discount via sales, discounters and especially eBay. I am therefore perfectly willing to forego all the frills so that I can buy a $2,000 suit for $500 - even if it takes a while to find. My other option is to shop at full retail at JC Penney.

    Just my $0.02 on the subject...do you agree with me?
     


  5. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    I tend to buy things on sale as a general rule. I could certainly afford to shop full retail but I'd rather increase my buying power by purchasing items on sale.
     


  6. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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    Well they do have Land's End now so life is not too harsh, [​IMG]
     


  7. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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    I agree to a point, but what happens if you don't find your size? Do you live with the compromises?
     


  8. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    This is all very nice but really a moot point. If you can afford it, sure - who wouldn't buy under those conditions? The reality is that I could never buy the brands and quality I like and want if I cannot get them at a deep discount via sales, discounters and especially eBay. I am therefore perfectly willing to forego all the frills so that I can buy a $2,000 suit for $500 - even if it takes a while to find. My other option is to shop at full retail at JC Penney.

    Just my $0.02 on the subject...do you agree with me?


    Preach it, brother!
     


  9. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I agree that there is a lot of value to the retail experience. If I was loaded, then discount stores and sales would be for fun only, they would not be where I bought most of my wardrobe (you would most likely find me frequenting the shops of custom tailors and shoemakers.) But, unfortunately, I'm not loaded and I think my champagne taste/beer budget reality is probably shared by a good number of the members here.
     


  10. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Regardless of how much money I had, I can't see myself ever buying everything at full retail. I was raised to value thrift, and paying full retail, when I know I can get the same quality items for less, goes against that.
     


  11. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

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    6. More relaxed, less pressured buying experience.

    Definitely cannot agree with this one. When you go to a discount store you can try on whatever you want and nobody is bothering you about buying anything. The salespeople at outlets and discounters are only there to unlock the door to the changing room for you. On the other hand, at regular "full retail" stores, some salesman leaches on to you, puts your shoes on for you, and basically kisses your ass to the point that it makes you feel very uncomfortable to forego buying anything. Basically, as a summary, I find the buying experience at a place like Neiman Marcus to be a lot less relaxed and the buying experience to be filled with more pressure than at a place like Last Call.

    As for always buying at full retail, well, I don't believe that a lof of the things I buy are worth what they are being sold for at full retail. Otherwise, the same things wouldn't be appearing at the discounters for pennies on the dollar. For example, a Corneliani suit is worth $600 (STP price) + waiting for the right suit to come along; a Corneliani suit is NOT worth $1400 + being able to find it right away at the store. Once you get a solid system down for discount shopping and you already have the basic pieces that you need, discount shopping becomes pretty easy.
     


  12. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

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    What does Olga Berluti have to do with craftsmanship again? Berlutis are made in a factory by Stefanobi.

    Anyway, yes, full retail is nice, providing they actually have something worth buying. There's a difference in the full retail experience between a place like Wilkes Bashford, which always treats me very well no matter how much or little I've bought (and I recognize that others may not have had positive experiences) and the DC Neiman Marcus, which generally has wretched service. Moreover, in the DC area and a couple of smaller retailers aside, the discount stores likes FIlene's Basement often have better stuff (IMHO) than the Mazza Gallerie Neimans or Saks.

    I will agree with the OP that there is a great benefit to having the range of sizes or colors that you may actually want. One pitfall of discount shopping is making do, buying something that isn't actually what you really want but doing it because it's there and at a discount.
     


  13. Dragon

    Dragon Senior member

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    I think he`s talking about the atmosphere of the shopping experience.

    When shopping retail, you can sit down in a quiet area over a cup of coffee/tea, and choose what you want in a relaxed atmosphere, with no pressure of competing with herds of people to buy something at discount.
     


  14. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

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    I think he`s talking about the atmosphere of the shopping experience.

    When shopping retail, you can sit down in a quiet area over a cup of coffee/tea, and choose what you want in a relaxed atmosphere, with no pressure of competing with herds of people to buy something at discount.


    Can you really?
     


  15. lakewolf

    lakewolf Senior member

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    agreed !

    I am a classic dresser not a follower of trends and my closet is almost set with everything I need ( or would in the next 2 lifes [​IMG] )

    So as I don't really "have to" buy something, I do it for the fun of it... I have the cash to go and blow it at full retail, but I like better the joy of hunting and having found the right thing, right size at 75% off... And for me that I wear a European 48 suits, 15 1/2 shirts and Size 9 shoes it is indeed not easy as those sizes are the most common and you don't find too much on sale for those sizes....

    However I have bought superb things on sales that fits me as MTM...

    my $ 0.005 ( that is the 25% of 0.02 [​IMG] )
     


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