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Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:46 AM

Urban Outfitters Buys Yard Sale Clothes And Resells Them To Hipsters As 'Vintage'

Urban Outfitters buys clothesat yard sales and flea markets and then sells them in stores as "vintage."

The retailer has done this for years, usually selling the used goods as promotions for about two weeks.

But an incredulous shopper recently posted a picture on Reddit of a tag attached to one of the items. It reads "this unique found item was hand-selected for you from a yard sale or flea market. Any tears, holes, paint stains or other 'defects' we consider a virtue and not a flaw. Wear it well."

On Reddit, the post garnered thousands of comments. The general sentiment was that it's dumb to pay a huge mark-up for something a shopper could get at a Goodwill or Salvation Army store for under $5.

"Urban Outfitters putting on some crazy markup and charging $50 for a shirt you could've gotten for $5," one commenter noted. "They're basically selling old clothes to people for a new clothes price, and calling it vintage."

http://www.businessinsider.com/urban-outfitters-buys-yard-sale-clothes-2012-12#ixzz2Ej9hI8Vb

47 replies, 4228 views

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Reply Urban Outfitters Buys Yard Sale Clothes And Resells Them To Hipsters As 'Vintage' (Original post)
The Straight Story Dec 2012 OP
msongs Dec 2012 #1
merrily Dec 2012 #6
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #2
Cobalt Violet Dec 2012 #12
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #21
bunnies Dec 2012 #28
tilsammans Dec 2012 #3
tilsammans Dec 2012 #4
merrily Dec 2012 #7
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #22
siligut Dec 2012 #33
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #37
tilsammans Dec 2012 #47
Mojorabbit Dec 2012 #5
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #10
Mojorabbit Dec 2012 #46
Xithras Dec 2012 #30
cash__whatiwant Dec 2012 #8
Buns_of_Fire Dec 2012 #9
union_maid Dec 2012 #11
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #23
JI7 Dec 2012 #45
jollyreaper2112 Dec 2012 #27
Angleae Dec 2012 #13
FSogol Dec 2012 #14
sufrommich Dec 2012 #15
Javaman Dec 2012 #16
pstokely Dec 2012 #32
Javaman Dec 2012 #39
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #24
Odin2005 Dec 2012 #17
justice1 Dec 2012 #18
leftyladyfrommo Dec 2012 #19
hifiguy Dec 2012 #20
jberryhill Dec 2012 #31
sagat Dec 2012 #25
Iggo Dec 2012 #41
Aerows Dec 2012 #43
bunnies Dec 2012 #26
jberryhill Dec 2012 #29
Lizzie Poppet Dec 2012 #34
RedCappedBandit Dec 2012 #35
Arkana Dec 2012 #36
randomtagger Dec 2012 #38
Iggo Dec 2012 #40
SoCalDem Dec 2012 #42
JI7 Dec 2012 #44

Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:52 AM

1. sounds up front to me - it's the people who pay for this that have issues IMO lol nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:28 AM

6. I agree. I thought everyone knew "vintage" means used, older clothing.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:53 AM

2. in this case i say -- well, if people are stupid enough to pay it... for my taste, even goodwill is

 

overpriced these days. you frequently find stuff at goodwill selling at retail or near-retail prices.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 06:45 AM

12. Yes Goodwill is overpriced.

I use to be able to afford to shop at thrift stores but I can't even afford that anymore.

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Response to Cobalt Violet (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:37 PM

21. we still have some thrifts with actually thrifty prices. decent jeans for $1, e.g.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:03 PM

28. My goodwill sells all pants, shirts, skirts and sweaters for $5.00 ea.

and the color-of-the-week tag sale items are half off. I regularly buy brand new items for $2.50 a piece. Such as the Ann Taylor jeans Im wearing right now.

I wonder why the price structure isnt consistent from state to state. Seems unfortunate.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:00 AM

3. Not surprised.

UO, along with sister company Anthropologie, is a sleazy Rethug-owned outfit (pun intended). Although I love a lot of Anthropologie's merchandise, I'll never shop there again.

http://www.alternet.org/story/155818/how_urban_outfitters_peddles_ironic_conservatism,_hipster_racism_and_other_terrible_values

http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/hayne.asp



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Response to tilsammans (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:02 AM

4. Oh, yeah, and I forgot Free People

"Free People," my foot.

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Response to tilsammans (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:34 AM

7. Ugh. Thanks. Good to know.

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Response to tilsammans (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:38 PM

22. what's free people?

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #22)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:11 PM

33. A line of clothing marketed to hip, young people.

You know, the stuff that shrinks and/or falls apart if you try to wash it in a machine.

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Response to siligut (Reply #33)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:17 PM

37. lol. thanks.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #37)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:09 AM

47. And it's far from "free"

Pretty pricey for the flimsy, imported crap that it is.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:50 AM

5. Not cool with the huge markup but like the idea

I have a sister who LOVES hitting garage sales and goodwill most days of the week. I just don't have the energy due to illness. She finds the most amazing things. I would love for pick up some nice vintage already sorted and sized. It would save me a ton of time.

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Response to Mojorabbit (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:44 AM

10. Etsy dot com?

Their prices are a bit beyond me but there's plenty of vintage stuff available from the convenience of your computer.

http://www.etsy.com/

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:25 AM

46. I love etsy! nt

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Response to Mojorabbit (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:08 PM

30. That's the idea. It's the convenience.

No hipster is going to be caught dead trolling garage sales and thrift stores for a pair of jeans. UO is essentially offering hipsters a way to get the look without all the work and wading through old muumuus and baby toys.

And that $45 markup may take advantage of some pretentiousness, but it's also covering the paychecks of the people they're sending out to these garage sales and thrift stores to "curate" their collections.

For the life of me, I can't work up any outrage at a company that is creating jobs by exploiting pretentious idiots.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:36 AM

8. Not surprised at all!

their quality isn't worth their price. Most of the clothes that you see at UO that pander to the "hipster" scene now can be found at goodwill.

I find H&M's clothes better anyway. People talk shit about Forever 21, but I've never had a problem with their clothing.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:42 AM

9. And to think I've been throwing away my "vintage underwear"

I've been sitting on a gold mine (literally)!

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:56 AM

11. I think that's beautiful

It's a relatively harmless way to exploit pretension, and pretension is always begging to be exported. It's also hilariously ironic, which should appeal to the hipster gestalt. My son was incredulous when, years ago, he learned that an aspiring hipster of his acquaintance (with a trust fund, of course) routinely paid a whole lot of money for pre-mismatched socks. But they are a perfect accessory for ridiculously priced yard sale clothes.

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Response to union_maid (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:41 PM

23. i think it's fine so far as an exploitation of pretentiousness. what bothers me about it is the

 

increasing corporatization of sectors that used to be outside corporate control.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #23)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:16 PM

45. it's more the brand, people can say they got it at urban outfitters rather than goodwill

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Response to union_maid (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:01 PM

27. but

how can he put the right mismatched socks together after he washes?

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 07:10 AM

13. P.T. Barnum said it best

There's a sucker born every minute

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Response to Angleae (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 07:24 AM

14. +1 n/t

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 07:32 AM

15. The sad thing about this article isn't the vintage clothing

itself,it's that a corporation is selling them. I know people who sell vintage clothing on Etsy and it's a full time job to find,clean and sell them ,both the women I know who sell vintage clothing love vintage and need the money earned doing it . Selling vintage clothing is no different than selling antiques and it's not just hipsters that buy them, it's also collectors and buyers for TV shows and movies. The buyers for Mad Men and other shows set in historical eras comb through Etsy regularly and buy from these people. It's a shame to see a corporation buying this inventory.

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:44 AM

16. I think it more shows the demographic that UO is aiming for...

They know there are suckers out there and they exploit their stupidity.

PT Barnum had an exhibit at his "Barnum's American Museum" in NYC called, "Egress". Which amounted to nothing more than a sign above a door. No one knew what that word meant back then and would willingly go through the door finding themselves back outside of the museum.

In this case, however, it's spelled out on the tag that UO is duping them, that I think is much worse. The buyer knows it's not new, knows that they can buy pretty much the same thing at a garage sale but choose to pay 50 bucks for a name to go along with that item in their personal strive to be with the current fad of "vintage".

The people buying these items and are making a personal choice. They don't have to buy it.

And UO laughs all the way to the bank. They laugh hard and they laugh loud.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #16)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:09 PM

32. These people would probably pay Lexus prices for Geo Metro labeled "vintage"

nt

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Response to pstokely (Reply #32)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:20 PM

39. LOL good one! nt

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:42 PM

24. +1

 

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:31 PM

17. We suspect one of the regulars at our thrift store is doing this.

He will buy 20, or even 30, items at a time, every other Tuesday!

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:01 PM

18. People have been purchasing at thrift stores and reselling for years, why not?

My issue is when employees hold back merchandise, and it's given away, or sold to friends, and the charity doesn't see the money.

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Response to justice1 (Reply #18)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:04 PM

19. That does happen.

I have a friend that worked at the Salvation Army Thrift Store here in KC and some employees just got to take whatever they wanted - for free - stuff that had just come in.

Other employees that weren't on as good terms with the manager didn't get that benefit.

They get some good stuff sometimes and it never makes it onto the sales floor.

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Response to justice1 (Reply #18)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:22 PM

20. Just another form of picking

like the guys on American Pickers. Except they don't do clothes except for the odd military or motorcycle-related piece.

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Response to justice1 (Reply #18)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:09 PM

31. Very common to thrift stores

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Response to sagat (Reply #25)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:27 PM

41. LOL.

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Response to sagat (Reply #25)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:41 PM

43. Anyone that buys a t-shirt that costs over $1600

deserves to be parted with their money. I have a few that I'm willing to part with for a fraction of the cost. Only $160 for this shirt that has paint all over it and a tear near the waist!

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:59 PM

26. I dont see a problem with this.

I have a friend who ran a boutique doing exactly the same thing. It takes a lot of time to go to thrift stores and yard sales to compile a stock of a certain 'look' that will appeal to a specific customer base. Vintage = old. Its pretty up front really.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:07 PM

29. It's value for service, take it or leave it


Nobody is stopping anyone from going to yard sales or thrift shops. But if UO has people with an eye for items which they can re-sell, the value for service proposition is that they sorted through a lot of junk to pick out those items.

You can dig for gems, too.

If the proposition here is that they are asking "too much" for the value of having people rummage through piles of stuff to get selected items, then the answer to that is just as simple.

Not too many businesses make a go of buying items for X, and selling them for X or less.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:11 PM

34. Fill in the blanks:

"A _____ and his _____ are soon parted."

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:13 PM

35. It probably costs them more to find vintage crap

than to manufacture new crap in a factory in Bangladesh.



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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:15 PM

36. Heh. That's actually pretty funny.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:17 PM

38. lol

 

Hipsters are so gullible; it is so easy to profit from them they should feel bad for doing it.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:25 PM

40. So their used clothing is actually used clothing?

Big whoop.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:31 PM

42. "Vintage" means "used".. People are paying for the "hunt" for the items, as much or more

than for the actual items.

Used things are found at flea markets, yard sales & auctions.

If they object to the resale prices, they need to gas up the car and go looking on their own

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #42)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:13 PM

44. yes, i don't have a problem with this since they are saying it's used by saying it's vintage

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