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Resale Value 
14th-Dec-2013 12:36 pm
A non-lolita acquaintance brought up the matter of resale value in lolita fashion today, and it got me thinking- how much of a role does resale value play when you are making a lolita purchasing decision, and why? Is it a deciding factor when you're trying to choose between two pieces? Has items' resale value shaped your wardrobe in any way? Has the prospect of a high resale value led you to purchase pieces that you were otherwise lukewarm towards, knowing you could later sell the item if you didn't like it? Has the knowledge that a piece will have a low resale value turned you away from a dress you fell in love with?

Please bear in mind- I'm not talking about a case where you are buying an item with the sole intention of reselling it for profit, because it's pretty obvious what role the resale value of an item plays in that kind of situation! I'm referring to cases where you are looking to add an item to your wardrobe, and wondering how- or if- items' resale value may affect the pieces you ultimately purchase.
14th-Dec-2013 09:08 pm (UTC)
This is a very good question! :D

I have just become acquainted with re-sales, and I've realised what a tricky market it can be.
From what I have noticed, it is very hard to re-sell less popular designs from brands.

For example, I had to drop an IW jsk (that was to small for me) to half my asking price before I could get rid of it!
So, in the future, yes - I will be considering the re-sale value.

When buying very expensive brand dresses, the re-sale value can motivate me to pay the higher price.
It's always tricky with sizes when buying online, because you can't try on the dress before the purchase.
That's often why I consider re-sale price, since if it doesn't fit or the design wasn't what I thought it would be or the shape doesn't compliment my figure,
I need to get my money back.

But if I really like something, and I plan on keeping it for years to come, I would buy it without considering the re-sale price.
14th-Dec-2013 09:51 pm (UTC)
My sole reason for buying lolita is to wear it, so if I like an item and want to own it, then I will. I've never ever bought an item thinking "well I'll sell this later". I only sell things that I eventually get bored of and so have had plenty of wear from.

However, if I like a new item I think isn't/won't be popular, I'll hold off buying it to see if I can get it cheaper on the second hand market, so I guess in that situation resale value matters to me.
15th-Dec-2013 02:00 am (UTC)
Me does the same thing about buying stuff (buy it for wear and not sell later if i really like an item), unless the item doesn't fit me or it was not used at all or few times like 1-2 times only i usually sell the item. I like usually solid, tartan or polkadot stuff so this on auctions is usually cheaper (also crazy cheap) or stuff usually no one really like due to fitting issues or not really lolita like solid low waist skirts or salopettes. About the prints i like... well i have to wait so much for get them cheaper on auctions because AP prints aren't that cheap (more than 10000 yen) even for items of 2-3 years ago!
14th-Dec-2013 10:25 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I'd really have to love a piece if it were considered an unpopular print. Sometimes I like to experiment a little when buying new things to try and push my style in a new direction. And because of that, sometimes I end up not liking a certain item as much as I thought I would and in that case the resale value is a big priority when making the decision to purchase.

On non printed items it's a little less of a problem. It's harder to resell solid color items anyways, so I try my best to buy what I think I'll like and end up making it work, instead of putting it up for sale.
14th-Dec-2013 11:32 pm (UTC)
It doesn't really factor in to my decision making process. I bought the item to wear and enjoy myself, and while it is inevitable that I will choose to sell some pieces over time, it's more important that I buy what I like. I figure if I get plenty of wear and enjoyment out of a dress or skirt, then it was worth the purchase price. What ever I might be able to get for a dress later is just icing on the cake.
15th-Dec-2013 12:03 am (UTC)
It's something I keep in mind, there have been plenty of times I have received something and then posted right back up the next day because it didn't fit right or it just wasn't flattering, and it really sucks when that happens and you also loose money. But I have never decided not to buy something just because the re-sale value is low.
15th-Dec-2013 12:35 am (UTC)
I'll echo the above comments about considering resale when faced with fit problems. Not knowing 100% whether something I like will fit, but knowing that it will be easy to resell definitely affects my buying decision.

Also, thinking about resale value was a major push for me to get the AP Special Set (coat pack) this year. I loved everything thing in it except the the JSK, and knowing that I would probably be able to sell it easily on the secondhand market convinced me I should go ahead and buy it.
15th-Dec-2013 01:02 am (UTC)
I'd say it surprisingly has a lot of weight in my decision to buy something. I feel if it'll have a high resale value and I won't lose money if I end up not fitting or liking a piece I'm more likely to get it. Also if the resale will likely be high, I'm more motivated to get it from the brand because it probably would be more expensive buying it from someone later. If I think the resale will be low though, I might hold off just to see if it pops up on the sales community for less.

A high resale value is kinda like insurance for me. Like, I got my chess chocolate jabot jsk and headbow for a rather good deal and have seen them go for a decent sum more, so I felt that if it didn't work out I had nothing to lose. I guess it also helps when thinking about eventually leaving lolita and selling your pieces. If you take good care of them you get more from your investment if the stuff you have has a good resale price.
15th-Dec-2013 01:18 am (UTC)
I agree that it's like a kind of insurance. Getting a good deal and knowing I can resell something for the same price or more makes me feel like taking more risks. That's probably why I don't buy much retail lolita anymore. If lolita was like mainstream fashion party dresses and didn't resell for very much I would have a much harder time forking over several hundred dollars on an item.

And taste-wise, I have a lot of love for both new and old lolita, but I prefer the older items because they are cheaper, sometimes easier to find, and keep their value pretty well. So I would say resale value has shaped my taste somewhat.
15th-Dec-2013 10:51 pm (UTC)
I agree with it being kind of like insurance.

I'm in a weird place with lolita right now, I used to keep more pieces (5 dresses in per month, only 1-2 wouldn't work and be sold) but as of late, my numbers are less favorable. 5 dresses in, sometimes 3 or 4 out. I buy in quantity because only a few pieces actually work out for me (I have to love something to keep it, and it has to look good and feel good, or I don't see the point of owning it - it can be the prettiest dress in the world but if the cut isn't great or if the fabric isn't my thing or it isn't comfortable, I'm not going to wear it). I used to keep most of the Angelic Pretty I bought, but now, rarely do I keep many of the JSK's I get in. I love AP, but so little is "sticking" for me right now.

With Baby/AatP, the numbers are worse, I'm always disappointed by their fabric/cuts in person. I loved Traumerei, but when I got it, I found it was that weird dot fabric they use, and I really don't care for it. The fabric on Royal Tea was too thick and awkward and the front bow too large, same goes for Trick or Treat with Kumya, the front bow was just way too big in proportion to the rest of the dress and the fabric made it feel cheap and thin. Small things like that are irritating me now and once I decide I don't like a dress, I sell it immediately, I just don't want it around taking up space.

Most JM works for me, their fit/quality is amazing, so I rarely sell that, and ETC is usually a 50/50 chance.

However, I buy a lot of Japanese clothing that has no resale market, such as Malko Malka (which is in the same price range as lolita, pants being around $250 and sweaters $250-$275) and that doesn't bother me, because I love it and know it will work 100% of the time, and if not, I'll wear it in some way eventually.

So knowing that I don't have to worry much about being able to get rid of stuff I didn't like in person is a nice facet of this fashion. But I don't buy something I only half-like, ever, that would be silly, and I don't buy things thinking "I'll get all my money back on this." I just buy things I love and try it out once it arrives to me, and if it doesn't work, it goes, and I'll accept whatever I can get for it and move on and try again.
15th-Dec-2013 02:25 am (UTC)
It's not a factor at all. It might be if I were to buy a new brand item.
15th-Dec-2013 04:04 am (UTC)
It's generally not a factor for me. If I'm buying something, it's because I want to wear it for myself. The one exception to this is the time I found a brand blouse at a local consignment shop for $9 USD. It didn't fit me correctly, but I knew that if I couldn't make it work, I could sell it for more than I paid for it, so I bought it anyway.
15th-Dec-2013 08:48 am (UTC)
I personally don't think I would be spending anywhere near as much money on Lolita if I didn't know that most pieces I own would resell for more than I bought them after I was done wearing them. Spending 300 bucks on a dress but knowing that if I ever get tired of it or if I REALLY need money I can resell it back for that same price really means it's not a "waste" of money....a Liz Lisa dress on the other hand, I buy new for 10,000 yen and resell for 3,000 yen...huge waste of money and it's the reason I never buy Liz Lisa new anymore.

Also, I hardly ever buy Lolita new...feels like a waste as well since I can find it way cheaper on auction (usually brand new) shortly after release...but the few times I've bought new it's been because I had the feeling the print would be popular and that I could resell for more than retail value later on if I needed/wanted to. Unfortunately my predictions have been wrong every time so I just don't bother "investing" anymore.

Lastly, I have "max prices I'm wanting to pay" on certain dresses I'm looking for, and their future resale value definitely plays a role. For example there are a few dresses I really want right now. I know one would resell for at least 30,000 yen, so that's how much I'm willing to pay. The other I would have a hard time selling even for 15,000 yen, so I'm looking to pay 10,000-13,000 yen for it. I'm not made of money so I have to be careful about what I buy, especially since I change my tastes rather often. When I resell a dress I want to make back what I paid...and I actually think the fact that we CAN do that is a wonderful thing about Lolita that isn't true about most other fashions.
15th-Dec-2013 01:04 pm (UTC)
I have a problem with impulse buys, so i tend to sell those first.
if they're serious buys, my intention is to keep and rarely do i sell.
i usually pick quality items, so that alone means i get at least 70% (used condition) of the retail value back if not more (new condition).
i buy everything basically new, so i make a definite decision whether or not to keep before taking tags off.
most of the stuff i sell are still unworn and with tags (unless store provides without like Baby SF) because i want to minimize losses, so it is best to determine to sell items before it is worn/used and loses value.
i see my wardrobe as an investment and not a money maker, so resale value dont matter much to me.
if i happen to get sick of the fashion then obviously yes it does, lol, but i think ill be okay since most of my items are mildly popular to super popular and would definitely sell.
15th-Dec-2013 01:38 pm (UTC)
I like to keep my wardrobe small and I like to have lots of different main pieces so for big things I think about it a lot. There have been occasions where I have seen dream items for sale second hand and decided not to buy them because I don't think they will sell on for that price (if I won't buy it for the price shown then who will?). I think high resale values keep the prices inflated artificially high rather than forcing people to lower prices.
Also, since the Yen has come down in value resale is going to be harder - why buy a second hand dress for £200 dollars when the latest BABY release costs less than that?! It's made me cautious with sales.
15th-Dec-2013 04:58 pm (UTC)
Resale value is very important with me. If I desperately want a piece I'll get it no matter what, but otherwise, depending on how much I want a piece, resale value absolutely comes into play. I probably wouldn't have grabbed a luckypack the other day if I didn't know that if it didn't work out, I could resell it for close to the original cost. And if I'm on the fence about an item and I think the resale value is going to be crap, I don't buy it. Conversely, if it's priced way below, I go for it.
I get a lot of things I don't end up liking, my tastes change rapidly and I HATE owning junk I don't use so it's very important for me to consider this. I'm very glad secondhand is such an essential part of lolita.
15th-Dec-2013 05:32 pm (UTC)
I haven't investing enough into Lolita Brand items to really consider the resell market later; although when ordering Lolita pieces online I do tend to try and pick things that if they don't work for me could easily work for another person in my comm. There are not many Lolitas where I live currently so if, say, I'm buying an old school headdress, I try to make sure it's a colorway that, if it doesn't frame my head well, it could easily be given away or sold to another Lolita locally to try and encourage the fashion. The last time I ordered from Bodyline I stuck with a black theme for every piece because I knew, going into winter, that everyone in the group could use black. Sure enough out of the five items I purchased two did not work but I was easily able to give away one and trade the other.
Equally in the coming months I might be more likely to order in pastel colorways (for spring) in case there are fit issues again so I know they will be easy to re-distribute into the local comm if it doesn't work out.

Of course when / if I start to want to get rid of big ticket items things are going to get a bit more complicated. My most involved barter so far has been in regards to the free bag that comes with the Innocent World Mook that recently came out. One girl really wanted the bag and I did not. At first I was going to just give it to her because I felt like trying to separate out the value from the Mook and and the bag would be needlessly complicated since they were sold as a single unit; but she insisted that it was inherently, as a brand item, worth too much to simply give away. She ended up going out to every thrift store she could find and found a perfect "equivalent" bag that I would actually use in a similar tote bag / casual Lolita fashion. It's a plain canvas with dull dusty rose leather handles in a very "vintage" handbag shape that feels very 1950s - early 1960s.

Overall in the end I do think I'm going to try to avoid the resale market because I have a hard time placing a value on things I have owned. Having shopped at thrift stores a lot I have really developed a nit-picking sense of what a second hand item should be priced so I'd likely underprice everything way too much out of a weird sense of guilt that it was "owned" and "used".
16th-Dec-2013 01:05 am (UTC)
I really like things like solid pieces with low resale value because I can get them really cheap second-hand!
16th-Dec-2013 02:29 am (UTC)
This this this this! I love solid pieces as much for the detailing they usually have as I do for their cheap resale values.
16th-Dec-2013 07:40 pm (UTC)
Same here! Prints are nice, and I have many more printed pieces than I ever thought I would, but I still really like solids and plaids because the designs are just usually much more fancy.
16th-Dec-2013 01:39 am (UTC)
As I see it, what's an even better decision than buying a dress you're lukewarm to and will probably resale later, is not buying it to begin with because you're only lukewarm to it.
Resale value doesn't matter to me. I've started only buying dresses that I love the look and design of and can find nothing I don't like about it. Pretty much dresses that I fall in love with on first site. Doing that for me leads to never really needing to resale my dresses since I buy then for keeps. In turn, I don't really need to worry about the resale value. And I know what cuts would look terrible on me, or questionable, so I don't bother even buying dresses in those cuts in a hope that maybe it'll look okay.

16th-Dec-2013 03:02 am (UTC)
Eh, well, it's nice that it has a resale value so that I don't feel so bad about "disposing" it later. I always feel a bit icky about buying fast fashion items for that reason, because it's such an unsustainable mercendising model. Surprisingly lolita is very eco-friendly (lol), since resaling is a kind of upcycling. I tend to sell my stuff for reasonable or low prices, so it's not really an investment model to me.

I buy both brand new and second hand, it really depends on the item. I've done alterations for the dresses I like as well (in process of cutting up an ETC JSK to an OP! I've had that JSK since 2007, coordinated it to death, don't want to sell, so it's time to take it to the tailor!) I try to buy items that works with *everything* I own, although I've been kinda lazy about doing sales posts.... it's gotten out of hand, I just did one sales post and realised I should've done one more. (do I really need so many dresses? really?!?!)
16th-Dec-2013 10:20 am (UTC)
I have had problems moving some items. Knowing that I will want something new, and will never get time to wearing everything (and live in a small apartment), selling is great. I definitely consider the resale value of some items, but mostly when I am purchasing non-brand items, and also it often stops me going for BL for a quick fix. I have ended up waiting it out for staple items (I own two blouses at present, and one offbrand silk crepe blouse I wear sometimes too), just thinking that I won't be able to resell it if need be. Lolita can be an expensive hobby, and the only insurance you are going to get is resale value.

There are some items in my wardrobe which don't have a great resale value (handmade or have been gifts), but I just love them anyway. I guess I have a mix in my wardrobe, but I mostly use the resale check as a quality assurance check.

Another note here is, that buying things on the internet sometimes arrive that don't fit, don't look great or we just don't like when we get them. Having a resale value can help move the item quickly or find a trade.
16th-Dec-2013 04:50 pm (UTC)
No, resell value is not important for me at all.
I don't have much money to spend on clothes, so when I buy something "lolita brand", it must be something that I really really like and I am not planning to sell it later. (Yes, sometimes I also sell clothes, but only clothes that don't fit well.) To be honest, I would rather buy a dress which I truly love but with low re-sale value... I wouldn't spend money on a very popular dress that I may find pretty but I know I wouldn't feel well in it... (for example I don't wear dresses with food and candy...)
18th-Dec-2013 12:33 am (UTC)
Resell value bums me out sometimes, but it doesn't really change what I buy. I love more simple dresses, specifically non prints. I know if I bought print dresses their resell value would be a lot higher, but I don't like them as much most of the time, so I don't buy them. *shrugs*
18th-Dec-2013 06:43 am (UTC)
Resell value bums me out sometimes, but it doesn't really change what I buy. I love more simple dresses, specifically non prints. I know if I bought print dresses their resell value would be a lot higher, but I don't like them as much most of the time, so I don't buy them. *shrugs*
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