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Is this what the B&S Has Come To?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by jrd617, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. Jamesgatz

    Jamesgatz Senior member

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    I agree that the old B&S leg of the forum was better.

    My own purchasing habits have changed for other reasons as well, however.

    I made my first purchases here in spring of 2010. At the time everything was novel and exciting: new brands, new iComrades, new looks, etc. I still recall Whusardi's giant threads, Spoo's closet clearances, and StephenStyle's tie hauls.

    Almost four years later my closets are pretty full, some of the novelty has worn off, and all the brands have lost some of their mystique. While my monthly clothing funds remain pretty stable, with closet space running short it is simply more difficult to justify new acquisitions. In addition, buying from the US has become unattractive with harsher tax policies here. When I began buying from B&S, it was my only source of Marinella, Cappelli, RLPL, Kiton, and the like. Now 20-40 Forum old-timers are running their own shops, in addition to brand webstores.

    While I hope that the premium sellers (like Ich and Justin) continue their service, I'm afraid my purchases will be few and far between.
     
  2. unaware

    unaware Senior member

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    I would imagine the sizes being offered also has something to do with it. Even back in the "merit bumping" days, most replies were some variation of "great price, if only this was my size".
     
  3. Fred G. Unn

    Fred G. Unn Senior member

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  4. marblehouse

    marblehouse Senior member

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    - que parlor music and me sipping whiskey in a corner talking to myself about the good ole days -

    The site as a whole has switched to more of a commercial site on men's style. Threads that dominate are about brands (why and where to purchase), sales to be had, showing off said purchases, affiliate threads, etc. I would have thought that this might push more traffic to the B&S, but the B&S is a fairly diluted and tough to browse marketplace - which I and other sellers probably exacerbate by dividing items into individual threads for more page views.

    To add to this, I think users prefer to support affiliate vendors or SF members that have made full time ventures, rather than buying from one individual hobbyist (or full time seller) since there isn't the same joint excitement about huge and diverse hauls of goods, an identity with repeat large-lot sellers, or a sense of urgency to buy. The design and offerings of some of these sites are hard to compete with - and what would be the benefit to buying from an individual sellers vs. NMWA for instance - a respected member you know, with fantastic offerings, and the ability to return? Possibly lower prices, but maybe this gap has decreased - or users are content to pay more with a better browsing, checkout, and return process.

    The social aspect that once existed in sales threads - (oohing and aaahing) now is in spoos/nmwa/etc. threads - choosing custom make-ups, interacting while shopping/designing, and congratulating others on their purchases. There are micro communities based on simply what people buy and like that others purchase. Some of what SF has done here is really nice - and I don't doubt the appeal for new users and senior members alike in the ability to interact with makers as well as other members in designing and purchasing their wardrobe.

    However, the downside is that it gives MC a commercial feel - it's the evolution of the site and I don't mean to say every aspect is negative, but this part I find depressing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
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  5. inimitable

    inimitable Senior member

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    Completely agree that B&S has gone majorly downhill. It's a lot harder to make a sale, and I see lots of top notch stuff hanging around for a long time. Also barely any comments/discussion on these items.

    Funnily enough I have had more luck selling a few pieces on eBay where they have gone BIN for 30% higher than my asking price on here.
     
  6. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    Incredibly eloquent and quoted for posterity...you took the words right out of my mouth. The days of the spirited individual seller on this forum are numbered and whatever void they leave will be consumed by affiliates and larger companies which is a shame to say the least.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
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  7. othertravel

    othertravel Senior member

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    Somebody mentioned before that the old SF had a flea market vibe to it (in the best sense). So Marblehouse's point about the social aspect is spot on.

    And remember Pocketcircle's old super threads? He had dozens of cross-category items in one thread; made browsing alot more fun (like browsing a virtual store).
     
  8. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    One thing about the Marlows is that the style has been widely available for a long time, and often on deep discount. Those who want them (i.e., those who recall when they were the thing to have) already have had numerous chances to get them at a very good price.

    Beyond that, we now have fewer influential tastemakers who drive people to specific styles. As noted, the focus has shifted to the affiliate threads and consumption discussions. Now people want to be early adopters, to be the first to get the new toys from the latest fashionable affiliate. That has SF currency in a way it did not a few years ago.

    B&S never really recovered from the depletion of deep discounting that existed in the days before the economic collapse. The glory days created artificially high expectations that inevitably led to disappointment.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
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  9. JubeiSpiegel

    JubeiSpiegel Senior member

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    Very true, SF is more of a market forum now. I remember noticing the commercial banners going from relevant menswear adds, to anything goes, seemingly over night. I know SF needs to make money, but there has been a huge shift in focus from knowledge seeking, to product selling.

    When I look at most of the treads I follow, more than half of them are vendor driven. I forget that SF had a B&S, in lieu of eBay and the constant exposure from vendor threads. When I do go to B&S it is a pain to shuffle through the posts, to find relevant items.

    I am lucky that when I joined SF a lot of those quintessential sartorial knowledge threads where still active, so I was able to learn the fundamentals. So now I am more product driven. But I can imagine the frustration of new members, trying to understand the products being sold, instead of understanding principles.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  10. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The funny thing is that Andy's, a forum that used to be derided for hawking the Encyclopedia and pricey underpants, is probably the least commercial of the major forums.
     
    2 people like this.
  11. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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    I still check B&S quite a bit, but rarely is there something in my size (particularly shoes, given my wide feet) that I need.

    Related, I do think that B&S is very difficult to use. No good way to filter, etc. I don't think that by itself is the source of the problems, but it certainly contributes. Unless you are checking it all the time, things that you are interested in are certain to slip through just because there is no good way to find them.
     
  12. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    The discounts back then really were crazy!

    Your point, plus the engaged discussion created by each thread getting bumped through conversation (even with the gaming of the system that happened as a result), meant B&S felt like part of a genuine discussion forum, rather than simply a sales forum. And like aravenel has just said, it's impossible to just "drop in" on the board and find a particular class of item in your size, which limits its utility a lot.

    Having said that, I still use B&S to sell off one or two things every now & then. Only my own stuff, rather than the NWT reselling I used to do, mind. But still, things do sell; it just takes a lot longer and/or with the need for more discounting.

    I don't really mind the presence of lots of Affiliate threads, etc on the CM forum. Commercialisation and monetisation aren't bad words IMO. There's still the space for a decent regular thread, if someone started an interesting one.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  13. SimonC

    SimonC Senior member

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    Just my two'pennorth - I have an RSS feed set up for B&S so see everything through my feed reader. I subscribe to a few threads via the forum (and check them via the mobile interface) but mostly browse the rest using Google when I need to find something. The interface is just too busy otherwise.

    On B&S specifically, I would suggest it's become more homogeneous and angled toward discounted NWT and a handful of larger-scale used flippers / sellers.
     
  14. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Heres my quick take.

    I used to sell shitloads on B&S. I miss the vibe, the bumps and the general mood of B&S back in the day. It was so awesome. I used to refresh 15x a day waiting for a whus thread or an Aportnoy thread.

    But things are different now.

    B&S I check about once a week, sometimes less. But you can shop SO much more in CM. You can bump threads - all your favorite mega sellers (most anyway - me, edmorel, gdl203, malfordoflondon)) from back in the day maintain affiliate threads here - so you can still find your deals - you just have to look in different places.

    Sometimes, the only way to be different is to stay the same.

    This reminds me I need to do a closet clean.
     
  15. HRoi

    HRoi Senior member

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    as someone who used to sell fairly massive volumes, i think there's one primary answer, one that's already mentioned - the days of deep discounting NWT merchandise are over.

    during the glory days of B&S the prices were truly ridiculous, and add to that the feeding frenzy PSA's when an e-tailer (or a B&M that took phone orders - these were the most hilarious) would try to clear shit out and get sledgehammered after someone posted a thread. people back then were very educated shoppers (still are) and they knew what a truly "oh shit" price was, and during the glory days, a great item was being offered at an "oh shit" price EVERY DAY. sometimes every hour on the weekends. the deals got so plentiful that i bet most of us who were around during those times increased their clothing budgets significantly (unreasonably?) because there were so many deals not to be passed up. i know i did - that's actually 100% of why i resold - to fund my own purchases. i never set anything aside, like Spoo did to get his Ferrari.

    when i was selling, i knew that there was a price point at which i knew i could sell a NWT item pretty much immediately, as long as it was a desirable brand, color and size. John Lobb and EG at 5xx, RLPL suits at 5xx, Kiton/Charvet/Fray/Borrelli dress shirts in the very low 100's, and so on. i stayed away from Incotex because of fucking Daffy's and the expectations they created, though :laugh:

    the items being sold today are still great, but very seldom do i see the prices of yesterday. if someone were to sell something at those prices, i bet they will be snapped up just as fast.
     
  16. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Lets take it back to 2010, H... you and me! We can make it baby!
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. HRoi

    HRoi Senior member

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    dude....we may have come up together, but you're Lebron James. i'm Maverick Carter :laugh:
     
  18. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    I dont watch sports. Does that make me awesome and popular or the bad guy?
     
  19. HRoi

    HRoi Senior member

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    you Jay-Z and me Damon Dash?


    meaning totally different levels of success - still, i didn't make quite as much money as Damon did, though
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  20. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    I get it now!

    Did you know that Dr. Dre has made more money off of beats than he did ever with music?
     

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