Posted on | April 25, 2009
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Posted on | April 16, 2009
Posted on | April 10, 2009
Want to know a secret? There is hidden treasure tucked away behind those imposing wooden walls across from Barney’s, Northpark. Martin+Osa played host for our recent interview with Katrina Szish. During our visit we discovered a wealth of classic styles and great American values. The casual, yet elegant clothing brand is relatively new to the style scene. Their parent company American Eagle Outfitters though has been a favorite with trendy teens for years. Martin+Osa continues the American Eagle tradition of competitive price points and casual aesthetics, while upgrading the materials, cut, and feel of their clothes; targeting the 25-40 year old demographic.
The assortment of amazing accessories and cashmere blends found throughout the store is impressive. Think J. Crew, with a little less prepster and a little more weekend warrior. Martin+Osa brings you effortless style and countless possibilities. Enter the Martin+Osa ”Curated Closet” Sweepstakes by April 14, 2009. WIN your own Martin+Osa wardrobe valued at $3,500!!!
Blog contributed by: Valerie Elizabeth and Kate Trevorrow
Posted on | April 7, 2009
The Pink Memo party at Martin+Osa Northpark was the setting for our chat with Katrina Szish. We had the unique opportunity to turn the tables and interview the successful fashion journalist on everything from starting out in the world of fashion journalism to being fashionable in today’s ailing economy. Szish, a Harvard graduate, talks with Society Stylist’s Valerie Elizabeth and Kate Trevorrow about being a woman in business and media; her philosophy on mixing and matching your favorite styles, brands and seasons; her love for Martin+Osa’s fresh, casual styles; her thoughts on Michelle Obama as a style icon; paying your dues as an intern and assistant in the fashion world; and insider scoop on Lauren Weisberger’s time at Vogue as Anna Wintour’s assistant. The other side of The Devil Wears Prada. Watch the vlog here.
Posted on | April 2, 2009
So you have cleaned out your closet and now you want to turn your clothes into CASH? Get your items ready before May 2nd and participate in The Ultimate Exchange; a sale where you can get up to 70% of your sales total and you get to set the prices. Before you start pricing though, it is important to first understand is how much your items are really worth.
One of the most important things to discuss when it comes to consignment is pricing. Most people do not understand how much their clothing is currently worth, how to properly prepare for the resale process and the different types of market prices for used and new clothing. If your item isn’t priced accurately, the chance of it selling decreases significantly. A key to understanding pricing is, understanding both the different price structures and the difference between price and value. If you saw the recent Confessions of a Shopaholic movie you might remember when Luke Brandon tells Rebecca Bloomwood, “cost and worth” are very different things. He has just given her $20 to get out of the way so he can buy his $3 hotdog. This statement sums up the largest problem with resale. It is often hard for a client to understand why they received payment of $24 for a jacket they originally paid $700 for.
This can be explained. Though the retail price of the jacket was originally $700, the current Fair Market Value (FMV) is only $60. Then, once the consignor takes a split on the jacket the consignee receives a check for about $24. The FMV amount is the amount an item is worth at the time of resale or what someone is willing to pay. Below you will find an overview of the details of what each type of pricing is from the time of creation until resale.
When you start pricing you must make a decision, do you want to make money or do you want to keep your clothes? Your “get rid of” pile may include both. I typically have a large pile of items I want to get rid of and would love any amount I get in exchange for them. Then I have a smaller pile (typically higher priced items) that I would rather keep than sell for less than $X. Remember the less you price your item for, the more likely it is to sell so be sure to set your price at a place where you are comfortable. For those of you who just want to jump into pricing we will give you a few general rules to guide you.
Guide to Pricing for Resale
1) Pricing should be less than 75% of the retail price (the price charged by the original store)
2) In the case where you are reselling a new item with the tags on it you can charge slightly more than 75% of retail if the item is still in style and in season, with no damage.
3) There are some instances where an item you purchased now has an inflated value, use the “eBay Test” to find out.
4) “eBay Test” Go to ebay.com and click on the Sell page. They have made it very easy by including a “What is it worth?” box. Enter the name of your item, and it will give you the average price “sold” in the last 30 days. It is important to search for “sold” prices, as the prices on the unsold items aren’t relevant because the seller didn’t sell the item. For example “Marc Jacobs Blake” had 23 handbags sold and an average price of $360. The FMV would be $360 unless your bag was a limited run or in mint condition with tags.
5) There will always be exceptions: Items that are in too poor of shape to be resold, items that are so out of date that 1% of retail would be FMV and on the other hand items like Hermes Birkin bags that may be worth more than their original retail price due to their rarity.
Note: Remember that 1994 formal you paid $700 is not worth more to the new buyer because you wore it to your senior prom with McDreamy. That emotional value is not typically passed on in pricing. Unless of course you really went to prom with Patrick Dempsey and have pictures to include with the dress.
Guide to Pricing Structures
Wholesale- A wholesale price is the price offered to purchasers of manufactured goods or to commercial sellers in many cases. These prices are usually about half the price of something that could be purchased at retail value. Sellers or producers of other goods (like restaurants) confer a higher price to the retail customer, often at a mark-up of 100% or more.
MSRP- Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price, and means just that; a suggested selling price for the retailer. (Also referred to as List Price)
Retail Price- The price charged to store customers at store offering retail merchandise (merchandise sold for the first time) This might be the MSRP or it might be more or less than the MSRP.
FMV- A fair market value is often an estimate of what a willing buyer would pay to a willing seller, both in a free market, for an asset or any piece of property. If such a transaction actually occurs, then the actual transaction price is usually the fair market value. Note that the opinion of people that are not interested in buying or selling an asset has little meaning, because they are not active in the market. Thus, “market value” (which is the same for everyone in the market) is not identical to the “intrinsic value” that different individuals may place on the same asset based on their own preferences and circumstances. This is the most important concept in resale! Fair Market Value is determined by the current selling price, based on things like the eBay of a like item.
Blog contributed by: Valerie Elizabeth and Kate Trevorrow
Posted on | April 2, 2009
Want to Do-It-Yourself and increase your profits to 70%? Check out the Society Stylist blog series, “Talking Consignment” for a step-by-step guide on how to sort, prepare and price your clothes for consignment. You can set up your TUE account at The Ultimate Exchange. Be sure to put Society Stylist in the referral section, to receive priority check-in with Society Stylist and Society Stylist tagging for your merchandise.
Posted on | April 1, 2009
You want to feel better about yourself, better about your wardrobe and save yourself hundreds of valuable hours each year? Take the time to cleanse your wardrobe. Many of us are daunted by the task of “cleaning out the closet” while others just can’t bear to part with something that they paid so much for or that might come back in style someday. Yet, all of us could use a little “closet cleansing.”
At Society Stylist we strongly believe cleansing your closet, and keeping it cleansed, will save you countless hours each year- hours you are currently spending trying to decide what to wear. How long does it take for you to select something to wear each morning? How about when you are going to an event? A “cleansed” closet let’s you see just the clothes that are in season, cleaned, tailored and fit (fit you today, not fit you seven years ago). Most Americans waste hundreds of hours each year deciding “what to wear” and yet still spend most days unhappy about how they look. Does this make sense? No. Is there a solution? Yes.
Though cleansing your wardrobe can be overwhelming, taking the time to do it can be very rewarding. Over the next few days we will discuss how to “Cleanse” your closet and how to turn your unwanted clothes into cash. No matter how big your closet is you could use some extra space.
Below we will give you the steps to take to do your own “Closet Cleanse.” Let the upcoming The Ultimate Exchange sale be your inspiration to get your sort started and get your items sold. Overwhelmed? We can help you prepare and place your merchandise. Read more about our Society Stylist Personal Consignment Appointments for The Ultimate Exchange Consignment Sale May 3-5.
Step I: Remove the following items from your closet. This does not mean get rid of them, just remove them from the closet for the time being. We will let you know what to do with them.
A. Items that don’t fit (be honest here)
B. Items that are out of season
C. Items that need to be cleaned
D. Items that need repair, mending or tailoring
Step II: Assess what is left in your wardrobe and separate it into three sections
A. Items you love and want to keep
B. Items you don’t like, don’t wear and don’t want cluttering up your space
C. Items you don’t love but don’t necessarily want to get rid of. This includes things you want to keep for emotional reasons, basic staples that you need to replace before you get rid of them, items you think might be great if you could figure out what in the world to wear them with.
Step III: Sort the items from Step II: Section B into 3 categories
A. Items that are beyond repair should be put in the trash
B. Items that are in good condition (something you would not be embarrassed to pass on to a friend or family member) put in the pile to give to friends or consign
C. Items that aren’t trash but aren’t in excellent condition should be put in a pile to be donated to the charity of your choice. (In a future blog we will give our suggestions on where to donate what)
Step IV: Items you love
It is okay to leave these in your closet, just be sure none of them need cleaning, mending or alterations.
Step V: Items you don’t know what to do with
We recommend assessing whether you have ever worn the item, intend to wear the item or would miss the item. If you don’t ever wear it and don’t think you’d miss it pass it along to the “get rid of pile.” If you think you’ll regret handing it over then add it to the pack up for later pile.
Step VI: Items that don’t fit
This can sometimes be hard for us to face. When items are too big it is easier to get rid of them but when items are too small we often envision we will be able to fit in them again one day. Ask yourself a few questions…if I were to fit in this, is it still stylish or age appropriate? Would I wear it if it did fit? If the item is something you love, that you think there is a chance might fit you sometime in the near future, a
dd it to the pack it up for later pile. If not, send it to the get rid of pile.
Step VII: Items that are out of season
Each season you should pack up items that are seasonal to allow you additional space in your closet. Use this time to review any items that need to go for repair, are worn out and need to be replaced or items that are no longer in style or you don’t like any more. Purge the aforementioned items and add all the seasonal items you wish to save for next season to the pack up for later pile.
Step VIII: Items to be cleaned or repaired
Use a critical eye to see if there are any items that should be cleaned, mended or repaired. It is always unfortunate to pull an item out to wear just to find out it is in need of cleaning or repair. Take these items to be cleaned and repaired so you can get them back into your wardrobe circulation.
Step IX: What do I do with the “pack for later” pile?
If you have an alternate closet or storage space where you can hang them we recommend hanging them there. If not, there are many options but we’ll suggest two. You can purchase some hanging boxes from your local moving store and store the clothes sealed up in the garage. Or you can use large plastic tubs and fold the items as neatly as possible for the next season.
STEP X: How often should I do a closet cleanse?
We recommend you do a major closet cleanse at least once a year and do seasonal updates and maintenance four times a year.
STEP XI: So now that I have sorted out my wardrobe how an I turn this huge pile of clothes I no longer want into cash?
That is a great question. We suggest preparing your items for The Ultimate Exchange sale coming up May 3-5 or sending your items to your favorite consignment store. Check back tomorrow for your answer in the next blog, in the “Talking Consignment” series entitled: How much is this really worth?