09/29/2017 at 7:42 am #23412
I know there’s a couple folks on here who successfully do men’s suits and blazers. I occasionally dabble but it is just not something that reels me in as being “fun”. Anyone who does a lot of business on this front want to chime in with some tidbits of wisdom that might spur my interest?
When I do occasionally peruse the suits section at a thrift it is just very hard to tell the high value from the run of the mill. I end up just randomly searching brand names to check for consistent high values on ebay. Last week I checked a bunch and only ended up with a Johnny Carson Blazer just to say I got something out of the section. I’ll list it this weekend and maybe a quick sale of it will spur me on.
Anyways, feel free to chime in and start a dialogue.
09/29/2017 at 7:57 am #23414
I’d also love to hear an experienced seller explain the economics of blazers. Usually thrift stores price them higher because they are “fancy clothes”.
But we’ve successfully sold men’s blazers. We’ve learned to only choose the ones that have a tag with a size. Custom sized blazer or tailored blazers won’t work even if you proved measurements because it will often be a weird size. We also sell the pants separate from the blazer if they are together.
Blazers dont sell fast for us. Even good brands.
10/09/2017 at 6:18 pm #23736
I have picked up vintage Harris Tweeds, but only if they’re ridiculously cheap. They aren’t a fast mover for me. I do very well with vintage disco/leisure suits.
10/10/2017 at 12:03 am #23745
Brands that are always good sellers (price/time) for me are Canali, recent Brooks Brothers, and recent Ermengildo Zegna. Others will sell, but might take time. Usually larger sizes fetch better prices.
10/10/2017 at 7:47 am #23747
Thanks for the tips. Brooks Brothers will be one I definitely look for going forward just to get me in the game.
Another question: Pretty much every listing has a dress shirt and tie in all the photos, but it appears only the jacket/pants/vest are included. It isn’t stated anywhere in any listing I checked that the shirt/tie are not included, but they also don’t have size info for the shirt.
Is it just understood that the shirt/tie aren’t part of the sale? I would think customers would be upset when the shirt/tie isn’t included. Or are they included?
10/10/2017 at 11:10 am #23756
There is a lot in this to cover, but yes, there is good money in Suits & Sport Coats if you have the knowledge.
Suits sell better than Sport Coats (by 2-4x)
Ensure that a “Sport Coat” is exactly that…not a suit jacket without the pants. How to tell? Mostly experience and vision. Can you see someone wearing the jacket with multiple types of pants (both color and material)? If so…Sport Coat.
Suits and Sport Coats must be PERFECT. My rationale is that this person is wearing this in a very formal setting, and as part of their career, so ANY minor flaw on the outside and it is OUT. PS – Same goes for dress shirts & ties.
These are long tail items. Know that going in that it may take 6 months to 2 years to sell. They must be stored hanging in a climate controlled / bug controlled / dust controlled place.
They take longer to photograph, especially suits, and with suits, you WILL use all 12 photos.
If you want good money, you need a mannequin and you need EXCELLENT photos. You are asking a buyer to purchase a used piece of clothing for maybe $100+ that they are wearing in a formal setting…you have to treat it like gold and display it to the buyer as such. PS – Yes, well known that the shirt & tie are not included
High End – Canali, Brooks Brothers, Zegna, Brioni, Armani, Samuelsohn, Tom James. Check for fakes.
Middle – Albert Nippon, Hart Schaffner Marx, Jones New York, Circle S (Western), Jack Victor, Orvis, Hickey-Freeman, Hugo Boss
Low End – Tommy Hilfiger, Banana Republic, Chaps, Joseph Abboud, Michael Kors
95% of what you will see in a thrift store are not worth it, so start out with some brands in the High and Middle range above. There are variances in the low end that I won’t touch, but some that I will, because I know what sells them.
Some brands can move up and down the spectrum, depending upon the model and how it is made. Brooks Brothers 346 is their low end brand, where Madison is on the higher end.
Harris Tweed will sell very well ($65+ for Vintage), but make sure the look isn’t dated and out of fashion.
Learn ALL about how to describe the suit. These details and where they are on the spectrum sell them faster and for more money
Material – Wool, Cashmere, Silk, Linen (Cashmere and Silk blends sell for more). Don’t buy Polyester or Cotton.
Lapel – notched, peak, shawl
Lining – Full or half
Cuff – Working Sleeves (high end), Faux Working (middle-high), Waterfall (Middle-high), Kissing (Middle)
Vent – Double (High), Single, Ventless
Canvassed – Very high end. Takes lots of practice to feel if a suit is Canvassed
Pants – Flat front and non-cuffed (current style for trim), Pleated and Cuffed.
Measuring – you MUST learn how to measure a suit properly, especially if it is not labeled with the size. I learned how, but it takes a while. Learn Portly/Executive vs Classic vs Modern/Athletic cuts on the suit (not shown on the label). It is the difference between the Chest and Waist measurements. Provide Chest, Waist, Shoulder, Sleeve (including material inside that a tailor can let out), Length. Pants are Waist, Inseam (including material inside that a tailor can let out), Rise, Thigh, Cuff, and Overall Length.
Economics – I buy suits and sport coats in the $3-$5 range, and can sell them in the $30-$250 range. I don’t spend more on them unless I know that I will get at least a 6x on my money, preferably more, due to the time it takes to prep (lint roll and steam), photo, list, and store them. I can shop for 2 days sometimes and only get maybe one or two to sell. When I started, I made mistakes (and some of them are still listed…need to weed that garden!), but I have learned a lot. Like everything else in this business, you have to enjoy it first!
10/10/2017 at 11:54 am #23758
This is such an awesome explanation of suits. I didn’t know 75% of this info. The few suits/coats we have listed definitely reflect that we’re amateurs. I thought Banana Republic was a good brand!
Like Tsatt says, you have to enjoy what you sell. We don’t enjoy selling suits with this much detail!
10/10/2017 at 12:40 pm #23763
Banana Republic is a good brand, but the price you get will vary depending on cut, features, material, etc. I pass on some, pick up others.
10/10/2017 at 12:14 pm #23760
Thanks for all the great info!
As for enjoying listing suits, that’s why I want to experiment. Once I sell one for $250, I KNOW I’ll enjoy the hell out of it. Lol!
I’d be more than happy to keep 10-20 $250 suits in my inventory at all times.
10/10/2017 at 12:43 pm #23764
I would too. The $100+ suits are hard to come by. 90% of the suits I sell are in the $50-$80 range…
10/10/2017 at 12:50 pm #23765
I’m sure they exist, but I rarely ever see suits in pristine shape at thrift stores. Or the extremely fancy brands you mention. Plus, many thrift stores price suits at $10+ because they’re “fancy”. It’s incredible that you can find fancy suits in good shape for $3.
10/10/2017 at 12:52 pm #23766
Benefits of being in a major metropolitan area.
And I almost always buy on 50% off days. I may pay up to $10, if I think I can get at least $50 + shipping.
10/10/2017 at 2:13 pm #23768
Don’t forget Paul Smith! Big seller for me, as far as sport coats blazers go. And they are very slow to sell.
10/10/2017 at 2:46 pm #23769
Agree on Paul Smith. Great seller, I just don’t see them often out here.
10/10/2017 at 6:15 pm #23770
If you want to sell higher end suits and jackets, and mens clothing in general, I recommend watching Hart Pickers on YouTube. He is The expert.
10/11/2017 at 8:48 am #23779
I will have to check him out. Thanks for the heads up!
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