Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cheap VS. Expensive Fashion: The Low Down

Being an online seller and an avid shopaholic I have learned a lot of things about clothing and how it affects our way of life and self image. Here's something I realized, a lot of us don't know what to buy when we shop and what to expect from the things we buy with our money's worth. So, I wanted to answer the question.
I have arranged the topics by price range so we can all be organized... :D

Root of the Product:
1. Ukay-Ukay- They are cheap, most of them are made from good quality materials since most of them come from countries who sell high quality items, if you're lucky you get the ones that are less stained and luckier if they're with tags. The downside is that if it's in good condition, its more expensive. You'll get lucky if you persevere to get the ones newly opened and if you can tolerate the smell/environment where it sells. It's an add-on if you have quick hands and eyes. Also, Ukay items tend to be a jungle of bacteria, dirt and stains, so the best way is to be prepared. Bring your money in small amounts, bring a hand sanitizer and dress appropriately. Wash them well at home too.

  • QUALITY OF WORK - Indefinite
  • STYLE - Indefinite
  • PRICE - Low
2. Locally Made (Unbranded-Philippine made) - These are the ones produced and made in factories here in the Philippines. Locals usually get from factories and sell it themselves. These are cheap but in good quality brand new products. They're cheap because the factory labor is cheap, they haven't gone through shipping and tagging and all that extra charge stuff. Sometimes materials they use are also cheap. Make sure you get items that are made of good materials, cheap but not uncomfortable.

  • STYLE - Good
  • PRICE - Low
3. Cheap -no-QC Made-in China - China is the largest manufacturing country in the world, because of very cheap labor and factories of raw materials are also in the same country. Extra Charges are gone BUT the items they ship to the Philippines are most likely to be made of low quality materials so they're even cheaper. They aren't that strict with the QC (quality control) of the products because they sell it cheap here. Their country is also nearby so most rejects are sent here. Make sure that when you buy from them you check outside to inside-out. If the material for you is OK, check the sewing lines or buttons and button holes, some of them are actually missing

One of the Good things here is that if you're looking forward to being in the trend, they're the ones updated. Why? because after they make orders for the BIG names in clothing industry, they replicate the products the best at the cheapest possible way. Be smart... buy cheaper for trends that aren't classic they tend to fade fast anyway.

  • STYLE - Very Good (most of the time)
  • PRICE - Low
4. Boutique Local Brands - the label I give to brands like Plains and Prints, Bench, Penshoppe & the like. They are made from our country so quality is good since they don't MASS-produce like China... and the QC is strict so were ensured. The price they give these products is fair since they use quality materials. The price also depends on how the stuff went from point A to point B. Tagging, labeling, packing, shipping and Store service labor are calculated to fit the price they give.
photo credits to the official photographer

  • STYLE - Very Good
  • PRICE - Slightly High
  • EXTRA CHARGES - Slightly High
5. Boutique International Brands - they are Brands like Forever21, Nine West, Guess & the like. They Mass Produce, trendy and they are in very Good quality. They are produced in highly paid factories and the design team for their products are highly paid too. That's why they have higher prices than local boutique Brands. Also, The process from point A to point B is a very long process. They are, after all, internationally shipped. Customs taxes are paid, shipping fees are paid too.

  • STYLE - Very Good
  • PRICE - High
6. Premium Brands - No question, they are the brands of all brands. They are the dream of Stylistas and favorite of the highly paid. haha! Loui Vuitton, Gucci, etc... I don't need to explain's just simple. They're the bast of quality but the highest priced too.

  • QUALITY OF WORK - Very High
  • STYLE - they are the makers of style!
  • PRICE - Very High
  • EXTRA CHARGES - Very High (since they require EXTRA care)
That's the low down from they're roots.

 Now, let's go to where we buy them..

1. Mall Boutiques - They add bigger charges since they have bigger rentals, electricity bills and service bills. They also charge you for the money they spent when they made you that very attractive store display.

2. Big Business -This is where mall department stores come to be. They add charges for service, electricity and all the things that happen inside the mall.

Branded stuff prices are the same as Mall Boutiques but remember, If they have a boutique outside the department store and they have a booth inside, check both for SALEs and Discounts they sometimes differ because of management decisions.

If you're buying Brand-less products or unfamiliar brand names from the department store be wise enough to check the quality and material of the items, some of them are just tagged to brand products to set higher prices but the items are actually cheap-china made.

3. Small Business/Online Business- We can't deny that online selling is the go-to of Stay-at-home mommies and it's the Business boost for Companies that are in other cities from their buyers.

Here are some tips:

  • Please check first the sellers mode of payments---most banks charge you for depositing money to another branch. Check if the banks location differ--- you will pay for your fare to the bank. If bank #1 charges 50 pesos and is nearby that you only pay 20 pesos for the fare and back home is better than if you go to bank #2 and they don't charge anything but requires you a fare of 100 pesos just to reach them and back home. It does save you the effort and time.
  • Please check their shipping couriers --- if you buy bulk there are couriers who charge lower for the larger and there are couriers who charge flat by weight. EXAMPLE:
    •  if you buy 1 kilo or less products courier #1 charges you flat for 1 kl which is 120 pesos but if you go to courier #2, they will charge you a weight of 1 kilo x 40 pesos per kilo + 50 pesos handling fee + more fees of 50 pesos = 140 pesos. Expensive sf right? 
    • If you buy 10 kilos of items, courier #1 charges you 120 pesos for 1 kl plus 50 pesos for every additional kilo its total will be 540 pesos but if you go to courier #2 they will charge you 40 pesos per kilo + handling fee of 50 pesos + more fees of 50 pesos = 500. its cheaper at courier #2.. so check!
  • check their price compared to the quality of the product ---some china items are sold like they were from mall boutiques. OMG!! be wise people.!
  • Calculate the total of your expenses before finalizing your order --this is to avoid inconvenience in both parts-the seller and yours.

So that's it! I hope I have made sense in making this post! hihi! Shop away...

If you'd like to see my Online Store.. please click this link: Tickle Tags Co.

More of my posts soon... :)

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