Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Party People LOVE DressThatMan.com!

Movie Star good looks... we love it!

McChocolate has it going ON in original 1970s vintage attire. Put a happy man in an original 70s disco shirt and you know that good things are gonna happen...

... check him out in the Gallery!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Customer Service

Customer Service is where it's at, man. But... there are some people that you're never going to make happy. Ever. Just because.

Why? Mainly, because they are pissed off. And, this one began as a customer who apparently didn't win an ebay auction. That said customer is in possession of five shirts purchased from DressThatMan.com for him by his Mother for his birthday.

We won't name him, because we do have a privacy clause on the site and we don't ever release customer information without permission. Even though it was actually his Mother that was the customer and not him - technically we could post his information but we won't - so, if he gives us the go ahead - we'll release it. Along with the mp3 of his long telephone message he left on Memorial Day ending with he won't be shopping at DressThatMan.com again.

It's a well known fact that many of the top vintage stores both online and off, along with their network of buyers, do find specialized items on ebay that are purchased for resale. OK, so... the hot-under-the-collar customer was completely bent out of shape because number one: he had to apparently had to pay over 100 dollars for a rare 1970's Nik-Nik shirt that he felt he was in competition with a vintage clothing store for, thus jacking up the price. Blaming us and ticked off, because other shirts he wanted he was also outbid on. We've seen collectible Nik-Nik shirts go for just under 200 bucks on ebay in the past.

Unfair, shady business practice? Nope. Ebay is a free market, and we've got no doubt that Antique Dealers and specialized shops buy on ebay all of the time. In fact, we know of of many names that are used to buy vintage clothing items for online stores that are always buying on ebay. We don't have to name names. It's not warranted.

Is buying on ebay an unethical practice? Is buying something for resale and making a profit shady when you're in business? Hell, no. We're not talking widgets you can pick up a dime a dozen here in this particular instance. We're talking about a relatively rare items that are decades old and are NOT available on the racks at the mall for mass consumption. The rarest items are very often NOT the most profitable items due to their cost. Certain specialty items we have waiting lists for - if we can ever find them.

Many of our customers "don't do ebay, and would NEVER buy on ebay" Why? Because of past disappointments. Things not being what they said in the auction, things having issues: smelly items, damaged items and not being able to find EXACTLY what they want EXACTLY when they want it. Plus, many sellers don't accept returns and that's a hassle for some people.

Are we competing with our customers on ebay? Often we and our buyers are bidding against other vintage clothing retailers when it comes to specialized vintage clothing items. When a customer buys directly from DressThatMan.com and needs to return an item because it doesn't fit or isn't right for him for any reason, they can return it for a full refund. Minus shipping charges, which is pretty much standard in the industry. BUT what isn't standard in the vintage clothing business is that not everyone will give you your money back for a return and you are forced to accept store credit, a practice we don't think is fair. Why? Because vintage isn't for everybody and maybe you wouldn't find another item you actually wanted in any given online store.


Our customer service rep, Shelly called and left a voice mail message explaining that vintage clothing store shopping on ebay was a common practice and blah, blah... "I don't know what to tell you... maybe you should bid higher next time on ebay..."

OK... so maybe she could use a crash course in public relations - but, the comment wasn't exactly out of bounds considering it is ebay and the guy was pissed off he didn't win some auctions there.

DressThatMan.com Customer Specialist Taylor then wrote to him (via the email address on the original orders placed by his Mother) the same day:


Hi ::: name removed :::,

Thank you for the telephone call. We received your message that you left on Memorial Day today, May 27th, 2008.

The vast majority of Mens Vintage Clothing items we have at DressThatMan.com – come from the people who have them and contact us directly, and from warehouses that have long been closed.

It is a common practice for purveyors of vintage clothing to search for specialized and rare items in all possible sources. This includes ebay auctions. As for items not "showing up on the site" soon after an auction ends, the network buyer who then sells an items to the corporate division at DressThatMan.com often waits until they have several boxes of items since most buys are made in bulk. You mentioned an item that went for 100 dollars on ebay and then shows up on the site for 50 dollars more. Whatever Nik-Nik shirt you are referencing …in vintage retail, a standard mark up of 50% is well within reason. Chances are, the mark up was even less – because our network of buyers also have to make a profit. At DressThatMan.com, we have retail buyers waiting for Nik-Nik disco shirts worldwide, so it would be no surprise to us to find that ebay would be a source in the network of vintage clothing buyers who then sell to us. Many of the vintage Nik-Nik shirts we obtain never make the site for general public consumption due to the waiting list we have.

As for ebay, it's a free market. Our network of buyers are not in direct competition with the customers who shop at DressThatMan.com – our buyers are simply searching for items on our most wanted list.

We're sorry that you are disappointed that you didn't win an ebay auction, and we're sorry to hear that you won't be shopping at DressThatMan.com because of it.



Customer Specialist


::: start :::
Then we get this from ::: name removed :::

Thank you for returning my call last week. This is the last message you will hear from me, but I felt your comments warranted a reply. You conveyed that buying clothes on Ebay and then re-selling them on your site is within ethical bounds. I simply want to know why this source is not listed on your site's section: Where do you get all this stuff?

I just want to reiterate that I am disappointed with your business practices, because I love your site and the merchandise you offer. I simply want you to stop and think about the limited options your clients have when it comes to making ONLINE purchases. I never said it is illegal for you to attain clothes from Ebay, but I think an ethical boundary has been crossed in directly competing with your customers on an alternative site for purchasing vintage clothing. If you feel that Ebay is fair game, then I simply encourage you to be truthful with your customers and include Ebay on this section of your site. Why hide the truth? I have taken the liberty of writing the copy for you so you will have more time to scour Ebay for other incredible bargains.

Where do you get all this stuff?
While you sleep, we are scouring the globe. When you are awake, we may be shopping on Ebay. While you are waiting to see if your $100 bid for a Nik Nik shirt will result in a happy ending, don't be surprised if we outbid you at the last minute. Don't worry, the shirt is not completely lost to you forever. Just wait patiently for about a month, and then you can pay $150 for that same shirt at DressThatMan.com. There is no reason to frown. We've got you covered! DressThatMan's buyers are super savvy garment zombies who enjoy the thrill of the hunt and chase and take pride in the fact that we hand pick all of our selections according to higher standards. Not much makes us happier than finding great stuff that ultimately makes you happy and deflates your bank account. Then it's happy - happy - happy ...all the way around. We love that almost as much as we love inflation. Although, we get some of our best vintage merchandise directly from the original owners, the man who loved his vintage fashions and still does, except he can't fit into it anymore and wants it to have a good home. Some items come from estate sales, vintage shops and through an ever increasing network of reliable people who buy things specifically for DressThatMan.com and know us by our high standards.

All the best,
::: name removed :::
Columbus, OH

P.S. I converted your snide voicemail ("I don't know what to tell you... BID HIGHER NEXT TIME") to an mp3 file. I'm still trying to decide the best way to share it with others. www.dressthatmanEXPOSED.com???

::: end :::


Snide voice mail? A number of people were in the office when the message was left and it wasn't snide in the least. Send the mp3.

It's a fact. It's ebay. You lose an online auction because your bid wasn't high enough. Bid higher.

We understand that some of our items are pricey, and we also know that not everyone can afford to buy vintage clothing items from DressThatMan.com and that ebay along with other, smaller vintage clothing stores are options. But, we also understand our customer base and the fact that we have many wealthy clientèle who want certain rare, difficult to source and collectible items and the bottom line is that we are in the business to find them.

By the way, we did have the webmaster add "online auctions" to the list on the FAQ page of the site.