Mmkay, so, when I make bold claims like “This is how Buff Ex prices their stuff,” I should probs note that said claims are, ultimately, subjective at best. The only peeps who really know what’s up are those on the other side of the register: The employees. Lucky for us, a former Buff Exchange Staffer commented on the Price Point Phenomenon, and was kind enough to give us the full scoop. Make that two scoops with hot fudge and nuts. If you ever wondered how to sell your old stuff, wonder no more. This girl’s got it covered.
Bullet points, numbers, bolds and italics my additions, FYI. Am totally incapable of not adding my two cents.
1. Most important is the LOOK or cut. Is the piece cute, current, desirable, in good condition? This has nothing to do with brand or era, simply: will someone today, August 3, 2009, look at this and want it as is? (An excellent question, methinks.)
2. The next factor of consideration is the brand and approximate year, which can skew the price up or down based mostly on the quality.
*If you have a 2008 GAP t-shirt, Buffalo really can’t price that for any higher than it went on sale for (probably $3.99 if you’ve ever experienced a GAP clearance rack). GAP (and brands like it) turn their inventory quickly so a basic piece from a mass retailer gets stale quickly. (Another reason not to buy corporate mass produced junk – you can’t re-sell it for anything substantial.)
**Alternatively, a t-shirt from a higher end label, say Helmut Lang, will usually be made with more interesting design details, higher quality materials, and better finishing processes (check out the seams on a cheap t-shirt and a higher end t-shirt or the hem finish on skirts of various brands). (Oooh! I WILL!)
Let’s apply what we’ve learned so far to two examples. New (ish) L.A.M.B. pumps are priced at $60 because L.A.M.B. is a current, on-trend brand. Also the holy grail of heels.
Older, more vintage-esque Bottega Veneta pumps are priced at $36, even though BV’s retail prices are even more obscene than L.A.M.B.’s. Regardless, both pairs are pretty kickass, IMHO.
A mere half size stood between me and both pairs of these glorious shoes. Can I get a TRAGIC.
Mmkay, back to our Buff Ex Staffer.
3. So after cut, condition, and label are concerned, the buyer checks out the fabric. Poly-blend is going to go for lower, 100% combed cotton is going to go for higher, you can imagine why. (Even at resale, Green is like-so-hot-right now.)
4. Additionally the current season (as in weather) will come into play. (Yes, it’s true – re-sale actually doesn’t give a shit about what’s In for Spring 2010 if it’s September 2009. Practical fashion – who knew?)
*A fabulous MJ parka (Marc Jacobs – HELLO!) WILL be bought in August, but for a much lower price than if the seller brought it in in October. (Ah HA.)
**A good condition North Face jacket will probably not be purchased in August because it will certainly come in again in colder weather, meaning some other person will be trying to sell that style later and it’s not necessary to pick it up in the dead of summer. This is because Buffalo can only afford to hold onto stuff for so long before it goes on sale.
Addendum: Items purchased for the store in August will be put on sale for 50% off in October. At the end of October, they are donated. Having undesirable or out of season stuff in the store takes up space where cute, current pieces could be hanging. (Word. To. That.)
Final Thought: Basically, if you wouldn’t give the stuff you’re selling to your sister/cousin/friend/mom to wear right now, some random girl shopping at Buffalo Exchange isn’t going to want it either. (Truer words were never spoken.)
A big shout out to our Buff Ex Staffer for disclosing what amounts to the best Sharesies EVER.
She will now obvs have good shopping karma for life.