People come in every single day and use their best selling stories so we can buy into the "fabulosity" of their items. It is their way of getting us to price high so they make as much money as possible -- no mystery there.
That being said, a huge part of our job is using our experience and backbone so that we aren’t easily swayed when it comes to pricing. You have to take what people say with a grain of salt, no matter how convincing they are. I love having Christian Louboutins in the store -- but I’m not willing to put my store’s reputation on the line by having them sit on the shelf for an exorbitant price because the client told a tall tale. Sure, some stories are true. But in this particular instance, with one pair of beat up flats and another pair of standard satin pumps I’m pretty sure I saw selling on sale on Outnet.com, it didn’t seem to me like these were "custom made."
Christian Louboutins go all the way up to $3,000 so there is a total science in pricing them. Basic pumps like that go for $895 retail. There were no gemstones, glitter, or crystals -- all things which drive Louboutin prices up to $2,500. Then it is appropriate to price them at either $500 or $800. I thought it was not only a joke that we would put those beat-up black flats on our sales floor, but that we would put them at $300. I don’t take ripped Gucci, stained Givenchy, or Balmain with holes in it. I don’t care what label it is. Once we have designer clothes with damage, we are officially “thrift.” Resale is a competitive market. Gucci dresses aren’t just one price because they are Gucci -- there’s a difference between a silk gown with gold studs on the shoulders and a cotton jersey shift dress. The same applies to Louboutins and that should be understood by anyone doing pricing at Second Time Around.
The Valentino mystery was a great example of the kinds of issues we deal with every day. The pictures can confuse us -- was it from a bolt of the designer’s fabric or is it an actual piece? Obviously, having no label is a good first indicator, but doesn’t necessarily mean it is not designer. Having Keni come in was a good reminder to us that the stitching really tells you everything. It was poorly sewn, which indicates that the Valentino seamstresses absolutely did not make it. However, the fabric was so lovely and unique that Tara was willing to raise the price higher than if it had not had the picture of the actual Valentino dress with the same material.