Buyers Beware: 10 Tips to stay safe from dodgy retailers and sellers.
When I was in school, we were taught common phrases like, “Cheaters never prosper” and “Honesty pays”. In the past few months, this ideology has been thrown out of the window by the likes of Donald Trump who has turned lying and fake news into an art form. There is no low that he will not fathom and this is a reflection of many dealers, retailers and sellers operating amongst us today.
In my line of work, I come across tens of tailoring providers claiming big but very few actually can provide evidence to show what they are really made of, or actually making. The most common culprits are the fly-by tailors from Asia that do everything textbook on how to really do business in the most unethical way. Starting by coming on tourist visas and doing business out of 5-star hotel rooms; not paying taxes or employing locally; taking business away from local businesses by over promising and under delivering and even not providing what was told to have been ordered or requested.
Today I walked past a store in Auburn Sydney selling fashionable menswear. On closer inspection, the garments were imported from Turkey (nothing wrong with that) but were being sold at $499 to $599 as wool suits but were in fact 100% polyester with gaudy trimmings. On enquiring with the sales staff, I was told they don’t know and maybe it’s a misprint on the label and not to worry about it. I didn’t insist further but took an image of the garment and the label for my own reference.
The supplier as mentioned in the label sells these suits for $59 USD wholesale so probably this store bought it for less than $49 USD and doing a 1000% markup. I do understand that retailers have costs of running the stores but such a markup is closer to robbery than ethical business practices which operate at 50 – 200%.
What is interesting is that this store will continue to prosper as unsuspecting walk-in customers from lower to mid socio-economic groups of mainly ethnic minorities from MiddleEast and Africa will continue to shop there and be sold rubbish at gold prices.
I’d like to get feedback from the readers on what your take is on this rort by retailers, and it’s not uncommon to find stores, where Chinese imports are being labelled as Made in Italy or Made in UK and sold off to people who can’t differentiate between labels, fabrics or designs.
To help honest customers fight back and support the good fellas earning an honest living, here’s my 10 tips on how to be aware and shop smart, so you are not the one taken for a ride:
- Check the labels for fabric composition and washing instructions.
- Request for a valid invoice and not an IOU.
- Buy Quality and you’ll never regret it.
- Avoid fakes and copies as it’s illegal to buy or sell them.
- Speak to experts like stylists, wholesalers and manufacturers so you pay for what you get.
- Do your research by comparing apples with apples, brands and prices aren’t always the sole indicators of quality.
- Don’t compromise on style, fit, comfort or quality – there’s a reason these things cost more for originals and higher finish output.
- Don’t ask for discounts or else you’re bound to be compromised – pay for what you want so you get it.
- Choose a provider who can offer you money-back or quality guarantee, be it repair, replace or refund.
- Don’t engage with overseas fly-by operators as they don’t contribute anything to the local economy and more likely than most, show you something and sell you something totally different.
At Azrim, we focus on the repeat business and strong referral based on word of mouth. In 13 years of operations, and creating thousands of garments, we operate at 98% accuracy which means only 2 out of 100 garments need to be remade (compared to an industry standard of below 60%). Our best-fit guarantee is second to none, ensuring that when you trust us to make your suit or shirt, you’re getting exactly what you wanted.
Only businesses that provide quality products and services deserve to reap the benefits. Sadly, many shoddy operators have entered the industry and giving reputed businesses a tough time by offering junk products and services, by lowering prices, or by slick sharp marketing built on over-promises that never eventuate and leave customers out of pocket.
As a clothier, I find the best judges of my quality are not just the customer, but also tailors and dry cleaners. If you take my garments to a quality tailor or dry cleaner, they can tell you within minutes of the highest standards maintained in producing an Azrim suit or shirt.
If you’d like more information on clothing for yourself or your office, feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to assist or point you in the right direction. By appointment only. For best-fit guarantee, our terms and conditions apply which can be viewed on our website.