05 February 2012

"Fashion Hunters" not really

Have you been following the new show on Bravo "Fashion Hunters"? Out of curiosity I started watching, as I used to have a brick and mortar shop selling vintage and designer clothing as well as consignment. At first it was interesting but the employee dramas became old fast (especially when said employees aren't very likable.) One episode stuck out in particular for me, episode 9 "Price Wars" which coincidentally aired on my birthday!

The usual drama ensued with consignors bringing in items and angling for the best prices. One in particular stood out. A woman came in saying she was living in Paris for awhile and one day wandered into Christian Louboutin boutique with her mother where lo and behold Monsieur Louboutin was in-house. Her mother struck up a conversation and he invited them to his atelier where he created two pairs of custom shoes for this woman, according to her never put into production.

Lets hold up for a second. One pair were exactly the same as a pair sitting in my closet. I purchased them 3-4 years ago, like new, for about $100 (I think I got them less as they were hanging around for awhile and anxious to move them, but can't be sure.) The condition were slightly worse than those of mine pictured below (which isn't saying much considering mine have seen better days!)



The exact shoes shown on Episode 9 of "Fashion Hunters" as you can see the past 4 years or so have gotten them quite a bit of use!

The second pair she brought were gorgeous chartreuse green silk heels, never worn as according to her they were too tight. Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't custom-made shoes made to measure to insure proper fit, to avoid just this problem? That was my second red light that perhaps this was a case of someone talking up the value of their items (it happens all the time in the consignment/ second hand biz as people try to get the best price possible for what they believe are treasures.)

The third red light was that the staff took her word at face value without checking on any of the items to see if they were indeed put into production.

Back in mid-December I wrote to the show, sending photographs of my shoes, where they were purchased, how long ago and for how much (wow I can put them on consignment in worse condition for $300? Cool!) Yet heard not so much as a thanks for your email from them. Which says to me they're not really interested in what the public thinks.

This experience taught me one thing, if I wanted to lie to push the price up on my consignment items, I know where to go!

My point in writing this is that to remember these are reality shows, they rely on ratings and sensationalism, please don't think that your beat up old Louboutin's will command such a high price in the real world! And always make sure you have in writing what they will sell for (you'll find at a later date when I write about the major screwing i got by a supposedly well-known and regarded online consignment shop -- not until the legal case is closed will I write about them and their smarmy practices!) The world of consignment is filled with wonderful people and shops and you can choose the best to deal with! Watch these reality shows with a grain of salt (okay a whole heaping bagful!) and enjoy them for what they are; entertainment, not the last word in clothing valuation!

XXX
Jet

6 comments:

  1. I saw that episode too! I was wondering about those shoes too.

    I honestly can't say I liked the show...materialism at it's worst and I didn't really care for any of the show's "stars"

    There are some wonderful consignment shops and ebay sellers but I've generally only had bad experiences. I recently worked with an ebay seller who had no clue what to price the merchandise at, and keeps changing the rules as things sold. She refused any of my suggestions for pricing, display or ran up huge ebay fees that left both of us without any profit. I'd have rather given the things away than do this ebay nonsense. I look forward to hearing about your story!

    Christine xo

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  2. Oh Christine, that's awful! I know some great shops, will def turn you on to them. I can't believe I have to sue these idiots who reneged on everything! I will win in the end though, its just a major pain.

    I agree, I don't care for the "stars" either -- where's the joy? I used to be so happy to have beautiful clothing and accessories for sale and it was reflected in my attitude towards my clients -- they don't seem to care about the clients!
    XXX
    Suzanne

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  3. Hi Suzanne!
    So funny, I've never watched that show, but I know some consignment shops don't always know what they're doing. At Tokyo 7 I saw an Erin Featherston for Target coat with the tag taken out and replaced by a Philip Lim 3.1 tag, selling for 4 times as much as it was at Target! I think this is a pretty common practice...
    Anyway, I am unfortunately not in NYC right now, as I am living in Stockholm until May, but would love to meet up when I get back!!!
    xxx
    Tiffany

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  4. Hi Tiffany! It's a shame, as the consignment shops are precisely the people who should know this stuff so they don't get ripped off, in turn ripping off their customers. That's so sick about the coat! When I had my shop you'd get all kinds telling insane stories to jack up prices -- didn't work on jaded old me! Yes, lets definitely get together when you return to NY in time for some lovely spring weather!
    XXX
    Suzanne

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  5. Hi again!

    Thanks so much for the offer to send me to some good shops!

    You're so right about "where is the love" in the show. I think at least two of them are there to stock their own closets!

    Christine xo

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  6. Haha Christine, you're so right -- they do seem to shop more for themselves than the shop! XXX S.

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