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Fri June 14 2019 13:29:53

Selling Ethics: The Case of the Stained Blouse

By: Ina Steiner

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You're on your regularly scheduled scouting mission (thrift store, yard sale, fill-in-the-blank) when you spy a designer blouse with tags, for only $3. You know the brand sells well and are certain you can sell it for well over $100. 

But wait, you see there's a stain on the blouse. That's a huge problem for any item of clothing, especially one that's a NWT (New with Tags) item.

So what do you do?

- Snag it, list it as used, and disclose the stain.

- Buy it, clean it, and sell it as used without disclosing it had been stained.

- Grab it, do a deep clean with your favorite cleaning agent, and sell it as New with Tags without disclosing the clean-up job.

- Walk away.

It's common - expected, even - for sellers to pretty up antiques, collectibles, used books, and the like, without having to disclose the condition in which you found the item, no matter how deplorable that condition was.

But shoppers who are looking for contemporary high-end fashion pieces that are sold as new with tags have far different expectations than a collector.

What you would do in this case? Is it a matter of, what you don't know won't hurt you?

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Selling Ethics: The Case of the Stained Blouse   Selling Ethics: The Case of the Stained Blouse

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Jun 14 18:01:41 2019

Since I've had experience attempting to clean stains on items and just making them worse, I would list as used with tags and disclose the stain. If the blouse was worth $100 new, I'd  ask for $50 and make a best offer available.

Perminate Link for Selling Ethics: The Case of the Stained Blouse   Selling Ethics: The Case of the Stained Blouse

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 14 18:50:57 2019

If you can clean it without a single trace, then there is no issue.

If there is a single trace, better disclose it

with antiques, even if you do a poor restoration job, the buyer can clearly see that it needs more love and can determine that with pictures.

Perminate Link for Selling Ethics: The Case of the Stained Blouse   Selling Ethics: The Case of the Stained Blouse

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 14 18:56:38 2019

personally I'd just walk away - why invite trouble

Perminate Link for Selling Ethics: The Case of the Stained Blouse   Selling Ethics: The Case of the Stained Blouse

by: pennyemporium This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 14 20:24:02 2019

perhaps it depends on the degree of stain and the type of ''designer'' fashion.  not all stains or flaws devalue a garment at the same rate.  

for example, personally i shop for Tommy Bahama Hawaiian shirts, and have found many ethical sellers on eBay listing shirts with the stain clearly marked, close ups, location, lots of pictures, etc.... and typically the stain is so small that a person would never notice it if not looking for it.  i get a good deal, the seller makes a sale to a non-returner.  

it's just a guess, but i would think women's fashions would be a harder sell with a flaw of any type.  especially as you go up in dollar value, i would imagine a higher dollar ask would relate to a higher perfection expectation.  

one person's flaw is another person's buying opportunity!

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This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Fri Jun 14 20:41:21 2019

I'd list it as 'new with defects' and emphasize the stain. It's not rocket science. Just because something is new, doesn't mean it's flawless

If a brand new car is rolling off the assembly line and a brick falls on it, it's still new. Only now it has a defect.

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by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 15 16:27:27 2019

I walk away. It is disappointing for sure. But I think with defects you are just inviting problems. I sell used car parts and use this logic constantly. Do I lose some opportunities, sure. But there are plenty more without the hassle. Also, you are setting yourself up to lose your item and your money. The unscrupulous buyer knows full well about the defect, buys it, then uses it as a claim against you to get the item for free.

No thanks.

Perminate Link for Selling Ethics: The Case of the Stained Blouse   Selling Ethics: The Case of the Stained Blouse

by: rover This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 17 04:20:36 2019

If I could clean it to new standard I would sell it as ''new with tags''. My grandmother used to have a saying ''What the eye does not see the heart does not grieve over''.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 17 07:04:01 2019

"perhaps it depends on the degree of stain and the type of ''designer'' fashion.  not all stains or flaws devalue a garment at the same rate."
Depends on the stain, I agree.  Some stains are just trouble and I walk away.  But if I can rub the stain on the garment and see it disappear, I'll take it and clean it with soap&water - or Dryel.  I bought a beautiful Pendleton yellow wool jacket ($2) - just beautiful and didn't see the stains until I got home.  Took it to the cleaners, added $3 extra for the clean.  Listed it over and over and nobody wanted the jacket.  And then I noticed some small tiny repairs.  I took the loss, donated the jacket.  

Now when I see stains or repairs I usually walk away.  I was sourcing last week and came across a "tattered" Patagonia jacket.  I walked away, when normally I would jump at Patagonia.

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This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon Jun 17 15:37:57 2019

I learned from a sales associate at Neiman Marcus that they keep artgum erasers in their drawers to clean up bags if customers stain them during handling. If it's good enough for Neiman Marcus it's good enough for me. (Of course, there is a continuum of stains...from the gross period stain to make-up to 'pizza fingers.')  

Perminate Link for Selling Ethics: The Case of the Stained Blouse   Selling Ethics: The Case of the Stained Blouse

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Wed Jun 19 17:16:08 2019

Knowing what I know now, run away.  I honestly don't think I could turn a profit on something I got for free at this point.



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