Outsourcing

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chasemac
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Outsourcing

Post by chasemac » Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:36 pm

One struggle I have as a seller and I'm sure some of you do as well, but what are some methods you use for outsourcing some of the crap you receive. If you aren't cherry picking you are bound to get some stuff you can't use, especially from bales. For example, a lot of you guys have messed with Midwest.

Midwest grades t-shirts that we buy in the soft & thin category. Therefore, even if they are late 90s even early 2000s they will get thrown in there strictly because of the people sorting them. Also, a lot of the stuff is torn and just unsellable in our market. My question is, what are some good ways to outsource this. Obviously you have to sell them cheaper or even donate them, but then that just puts them right back where you got them from.

I sell to several boutiques and consignment shops, but I'm not in the market to rip people off. That's just not good business. What would be a good way to outsource the stuff that I can't use?
CRAZYBUBBA
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Re: Outsourcing

Post by CRAZYBUBBA » Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:51 pm

I have no experience in this but Flea markets may be a good venue. Sell them for $1 a peice, minimum purchase of 5, otherwise $3 each.

Also if you have alot of free time and could cut the shirts into 4 pieces you could resell them to your supplier as "polo wiper" and make $.10 a lb. The price for "uncut" wiper grade tees would be lower. :P

Both options require time/resources unfortunately. Really, buying a bad grade is a real hassle because you can't just return it like you would at a thrift store.

I'm also in hearing how others handle this problem.
Have vintage Elvis tees? Let me know!
Frank
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Re: Outsourcing

Post by Frank » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:20 pm

i was thinking about throwing them in a lot and doing a 100% charity auction.
hermosavtg
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Re: Outsourcing

Post by hermosavtg » Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:32 am

I've been saving my quality 50-50 left overs for some screen printing experiments. If i ever get around to them that is.

How is everyone's experience with Midwest? I've been considering purchasing from them but I'm a bit uncomfortable with the idea of purchasing merchandise in bulk without having the opportunity to inspect it first.
CRAZYBUBBA
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Re: Outsourcing

Post by CRAZYBUBBA » Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:09 am

hermosavtg wrote:How is everyone's experience with Midwest? I've been considering purchasing from them but I'm a bit uncomfortable with the idea of purchasing merchandise in bulk without having the opportunity to inspect it first.
What I know about them is this: They start work at 9 am but they open at 7am so that mexican pickers can come buy what they want. Essentially what you get in their grades is the left overs. I've never bought from them but I would rather buy from a factory that doesn't have alot of pickers. In this sense, Chase is actually better positioned than he realizes.

Go visit the factory first, see their grade, understand how they work or just buy a small sample order. Anyone who is serious about doing business should agree to those terms.

You don't want to invest your $ in a grade that isn't what you want.
Have vintage Elvis tees? Let me know!
Frank
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Re: Outsourcing

Post by Frank » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:46 am

a factory that doesn't have alot of pickers
Any suggestions?

Midwest is not great and have resisted my attempts to get in there to see how they operate, so that kind of sours me towards them, but I do occasionally buy from there. It sucks because they're a 6 hour drive from here and it would be a fun adventure to check out their digs, but they're resistant. So i was surprised to hear that they open their doors to "ropa usada" pickers. Then again, those folks are probably NOT looking for soft and thin vintage t-shirts.

The raghouse by me wants to change $6 per t-shirt with a $300 minimum. Is that crazy? It seems excessive to me.
hermosavtg
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Re: Outsourcing

Post by hermosavtg » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:33 pm

I bet quite a few of the "ropa usada" pickers are after vintage stuff since every one of the big vintage flea market sellers in LA is Mexican, and quite a few of them get some choice stuff.
Frank
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Re: Outsourcing

Post by Frank » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:14 pm

another theory shot! :lol:

interesting stuff from NPR
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... d=12253255" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
chasemac
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Re: Outsourcing

Post by chasemac » Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:09 pm

Wow, that was insane. One thing I have considered is going into about a dozen thrift stores (Goodwill, Savers, and Salvation Army) in my area and setting up some kind of deal where I can buy their bulk. The only problem is, I am small and I have one focus and hate to mess with all that at this point. If I got some warehouse space and some connects (as well as some expendable cash flow) I could make it happen, but i dunno man. I will not be deterred though and you guys shouldn't either. You gotta fight for what you love.
chasemac
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Re: Outsourcing

Post by chasemac » Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:25 pm

Still curious about Midwest?

I know some of you have worked with Midwest including the VP's. As for Hermosa, do a sample order. They are more than willing to help you out because they want you as a customer. One of the better sorters in their vintage section quit so it's not as good, but I can give you a good idea of what you're going to get. I'll start you with 25lbs.

25lbs: You will receive about 80 tees. I would sort this out into two categories at first. What you can use, and what you cannot use. This unfortunately will end up being about a 50/50 split. The trouble lies in obviously what we have been talking about and that is outsourcing what you cannot use. If you have an actual business setup where you pay taxes, you can donate the stuff and receive a pretty decent tax exemption, which might be the best you can do. As for the stuff you can use you will need to wash them a couple times, removing as many stains as you can (which Jimmy J has a nice little stain removal bit in his blog). You will be lucky if you see one concert tee out of these 40 shirts which could end up paying for the whole batch. It's kind of like opening a box of baseball cards when you where little. The other stuff will be decent items you can sell on ebay. Or you can hit up your local vintage shops and they usually will buy a bunch. I have about 5 or 6 shops I sell to in my area. I sold about 40-45 pieces for $210 today. It all banks on how well they can move your stuff in regards to how often you can sell stuff to them. Some places I go weekly, others monthly. College towns are great! You've gotta be smart and you gotta just do it. Hope this helps answer your questions.
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