Avoid the overseas fly-by-hotel-room-tailor: 5 reasons that could save you a lot of pain & money
A most common question I get asked by most of my clients is that why they should consider buying locally (from me or someone else) when compared to the out-of-this-world deals being offered by the fly-by hotel-room tailors that come regularly from HongKong,China, Thailand, Vietnam and even India.
Having been in this industry for nearly two decades, and having seen the best and worst tailoring jobs, I can safely say that you’re putting yourself at massive risk, when you deal with an external entity, on the promise that you’re getting a really good deal.
Please Note: No tailor is in the world can guarantee a perfect fit every time, but most genuinely experienced made-to-measure providers will operate above 80% of accuracy which means minor alterations might be needed by the time the garments arrive.
1. Is it really a good deal? Beware the cheats !
When I see the adverts in the AFR or any of the leading business newspapers, I shake my head in disbelief. And what is even more surprising is the amount of people willing to go to these trunk-day events to grab a bargain, or so it seems.
When you look at the quality of construction and the fabric being sold, then it’s a different scenario. Many of these tailors show a higher grade of fabric from leading brand mills in UK, Italy and others; but then make the garments in Chinese manufactured replica cloth, and most every-day buyers wouldn’t know the difference.
If, in case, they offer you the genuine mill cloth, then its end-of-season off-cut or export-reject fabrics which are sold to such tailoring businesses at dirt cheap prices. These fabrics don’t last as long, and can even be 4 or 5 years old, making them weak and liable to disintegrate within a year.
Genuine cloth manufacturers and distributors can’t sell these items below a regulated price. This is to manage the integrity of the brand and the product, and ensure you’re getting the best value but not being cheated in the process.
TIP: Super 120 Merino Wool onwards is good quality – avoid polyester as it’s not good for the skin.
2. Are you getting buyer-protection on your purchase? Is it legal?
When you buy local, you’re getting all the benefits including buyer-protection under Australian (or any other country specific) Consumer Law. This means that in the case of dispute, you have certain rights to seek compensation, if the seller is at fault.
This right doesn’t exist when you purchase from an overseas person, who is not registered to do business here. They are coming here on visitors visa, and setting up shop, and selling in bulk, and they’re double-protected whilst you’re at double-risk.
Firstly, they are not registered here so there is no shop or entity that exists locally. Secondly, they are selling the items overseas (compared to the country they operate from), so they can’t be held liable in the country of origin as they sold the items overseas.
This is very important to understand to protect yourself. They can sell you whatever they want, at whatever prices they like, and may not even send you items and you can’t do anything about it. This is based on facts and personal experience stories I’ve heard from many clients.
TIP: Check out the online forums so you know what you’re getting into.
3. Buy Local and support a fellow business?
When you buy from such operators, they’re making maximum revenue without committing any money back into the Australian economy. They don’t pay GST, they don’t hire any local staff, they are not affiliated to any business associations or chambers, they don’t support any charities and they sure-as-hell don’t see you any more than a cash cow.
If you’re a client who wants to spend and put something back into the local economy, and would like to see a local business flourish, so they can invest back in hiring staff, renting offices or stores – then do the right thing ethically and legally.
TIP: Buy Local Support established businesses
4. Cash Cow vs. Valued Customer?
Yes, a lot of these operators see you as a Cash Cow. They are in the business of visiting hotels around the world, and milking the most out of their appointments. They price the items at the lowest value so you get excited and book, and when you’re there, they will upsell you on their highest value garment. In many cases, claiming that offer has expired or the fabrics have sold out.
Those providers that value their clients, will never offer seasonal clothing but carry perennial cloth so it’s available at the best-value all year round, and knowing you have a relationship with them, it’s not about selling you the most, but providing you service so that you keep coming back for more.
TIP: Ask for referrals and check out their credentials online
5. Don’t be another client of the burn n churn model?
The model that best simplifies this business model, is the burn and churn methodology. Every three months these operators come and meet 200 to 300 clients taking home thousands of dollars in closed business. Out of which only 100 get really well-made garments, the other 100 not-so-good with lots of additional tailoring, and another 100 the very worst.
Most consumers in the very-worst are left to lick their wounds, and probably never buy made-to-measure again, which is sad, as it affects the business of genuine providers, like myself. After paying for alterations, the cost of these garments far exceeds the value that you thought you’d be getting, and there’s nothing you can do.
Then another 3 months later, these operators come by and do the same with another 300 clients. In a country like Australia, and city like Sydney, it’s very rare that these guys will face a shortage of new clients willing to try their services.
TIP: Find a tailor that offers more than just good garments
Well…that’s about to change
With the advent of genuine made-to-measure specialists within Sydney, in the coming years, there will be very few of such operators coming down. Also, by educating my clients and connections on LinkedIn through posts like this, I want to forewarn them on the risks taken by many in the scope of buying a cheaper garment. It’s really not worth the hassle, when you consider the time and effort spent to rectify things.
There are a lot of reasons I can say that you should consider my services, but the only one I’ll give is that I started it so I can reduce or mitigate the cheats out there, and set myself up as a genuine provider of best-value suiting and shirting in Australia and New Zealand. With over 5000 clients over 12 years in business, and servicing some of the leading companies as their corporate stylist; it shows that genuine passion and concern for customer service matters to people.
I’d love for you to share your good or bad experience with made-to-measure so I can offer advice and suggestions to help you reduce your pain, and save you time and money. I own two businesses Azrim and MirzaHeath offering made-to-measure in Australia and New Zealand, as well as servicing clients around the world.