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!
11/21/2017 at 2:56 pm #26277
Quick update on this. My experiment Johnny Carson blazer was listed and sold within hours for full price. https://www.ebay.com/itm/263324333342
Feel free to critique the listing.
Since that worked so well, I bought a nice suit and two wool plaid Tommy Hilfiger blazers to list.
11/21/2017 at 4:23 pm #26284
Check out Endless Entrepreneur on youtube for lots of information on selling suits, jackets and blazers.
11/21/2017 at 10:47 pm #26361
Yep, Luke is pretty good. Steve Raiken started me on this path as well. I wrote my take on suits and Sport Coats about a month ago if you are interested.
11/29/2017 at 1:12 pm #27570
Picked up several Hugo Boss suits the other day. Score! I have 6 suits and two blazers to list now. I need to get on it so I can have a decent small sample test going on.
11/29/2017 at 1:17 pm #27571
Nicely Done! Hugo Boss suits can go for good money. I listed an excellent tuxedo by Hugo Boss for $250 recently.
01/22/2018 at 11:51 am #31003
So I started down the suits rabbit hole this weekend. Pretty fun once I started. Some of the suits I’ve done so far were duds. One was a button donor as the jacket and pants had many small moth holes. I was too blinded by the tag when I bought it to thoroughly examine. So I cut off all the buttons and trashed it. Next!
Another suit was missing a closure button. Again I was blinded by $$$ signs and didn’t inspect well enough. I ended up listing it anyways at a reduced price. Replacing all the buttons would take way too much time for the sales price.
It has been interesting to learn how to measure the tailoring spare material and such. I don’t know if any of these will even sell, but I’ve already got my money’s worth in knowledge.
Here’s the first few I’ve listed. Feel free to critique.
01/22/2018 at 12:13 pm #31010
Retro, I checked your listings. My thoughts (only to help!):
If you want to stay in the game longer term, get a mannequin. It will raise your ASP.
Your pictures are a bit too dark. Suits are tough with the darker colors, but you need good lighting to show the shade. You may also want to get the free photo editing software PhotoScape. It will help with color balance, white balance, and lightening your photos.
I’m with you on being bit. When I source Suits, Sport Coats, Dress Shirts, and Dress Pants, I am METICULOUS looking for any flaw possible. I will pass on a LOT of items with any kind of flaw. I have found that any flaw will have these items just sitting in your store.
Your pricing looks good though!
PS – You should lower your shipping. Suits and Sport Coats, folded correctly, can fit into a Regional A Priority Box. You have to order them from the USPS, but they will keep your shipping cost to below $10 (at least before the increase, I haven’t seen the updated pricing for those). This will keep your customers to paying no more that $10 for shipping. I flat rate price mine at $9.99 shipping.
If I can help in any way, or if you have questions, please let me know.
01/22/2018 at 1:12 pm #31019
I have a mannequin…but its only a small female torso mannequin. My main photo is on the female mannequin turned around backwards. It works decently. This weekend I decided I need to stop being cheap and just invest in a nice male torso mannequin. Until then, the female does a decent job. Can’t shoot from the back though, which is why only my opening shot is on the mannequin.
I’m growing increasingly unhappy with the photos I am getting out of my iphone 7. I have 4 75W LED daylight bulbs in a ceiling fan overhead and my actual studio setup is two side shooting lights and one overhead – all 3 are 120W equivalent daylight photography lamps. The iphone struggles with colors – darker colors and specifically blues. I also get that hazy look when I have darker items with any kind of sheen to them.
I’ve never used the regional rate boxes. Which “A” box are you using, A1 or A2?
01/22/2018 at 1:18 pm #31023
Use the A2 boxes.
With the dark suits, they basically soak up the lighting, so you need a lot more. You have to be careful not to wash out the photos. I have the photo boxes, with 4 5500k bulbs each. One on each side, and one boom light.
PhotoScape will help get the photos correct. Free and quick to learn.
PS – I always like to get a close up shot of the pattern on the shoulder (unless it is solid). Helps to make sure the customer gets a solid shot of what the material will look like.
01/22/2018 at 1:20 pm #31024
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.