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eBay Menswear Power Search
September 6, 2013 11:31 AM   Subscribe

Haberdashboard runs an organized eBay search on quality menswear brands in your size(s), and includes some nice search refinement options.
posted by Apropos of Something (44 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is actually quite nice but I just knew the word "quality" meant "I can't afford this". I mean, $169 for a pair of previously-worn shoes may be a good buy for some people but it's way out of my league. Still, I bookmarked it because you never know, right?
posted by tommasz at 11:37 AM on September 6, 2013


I'm pretty sure I'll never spend $169 on used shoes.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:41 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Put This On (via This Fits) has a few ebay searches that are worth modifying to your sizes and saving:

Super-Mega Excellent Suits on eBay

Extremely Excellent Suits on eBay

Quality Shoes on eBay

I hate giving these "secrets" away; I now fully expect to never find another blue Oxxford in my size or that second pair of SF Melody bluchers.
posted by carsonb at 11:42 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


And no one ever heard from The Whelk again
posted by elizardbits at 11:42 AM on September 6, 2013 [12 favorites]


Be patient. You'll be able to get a pair of those shoes for $80 eventually if you just wait it out. At least, I did -- and they were so gently used they looked like they hadn't been outside.
posted by Fnarf at 11:43 AM on September 6, 2013


This search tool is useless without extended sizes for the portly gentleman.
posted by Rob Rockets at 11:43 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


$200 for a used shirt?

I put in XL and that what it found for me. That's a medium.

I'll stick with eBay's searches.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:44 AM on September 6, 2013


Haberdashboard gets an 'excellent' rating from me simply for allowing me to browse eBay at work. Still can't bid or purchase since work blocks the domain, but now I can browse on something other than my phone.

Also, no width choice on the shoe search. =(
posted by carsonb at 11:46 AM on September 6, 2013


See, I can't tell if Fnarf is joking. $80 is about the top of what I'd spend on shoes new.

Shoes are like underwear to me. I intend to live this life without ever wearing another man's underwear (or shoes). I know, I will miss out on many joys, but it's my life.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:47 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


cjorgensen: Did you put in chest and sleeve measurements? I suspect that shirt is classified by dress shirt measures rather than by XL.

And yeah, Farf's experience is like mine, except usually about $30 less. Much like the design maxim: you can have your menswear fast, inexpensive or high quality, pick two. The eBay strategy almost surely rewards inexpensive and quality IF you have the patience to regularly look, past the first page. This tool makes that easier by putting everything on one page you can bookmark instead of eight.
posted by Apropos of Something at 11:48 AM on September 6, 2013


Wow, I never knew shirts had any resale value at all. If I ebay all my BB shirts I can probably afford to buy some new ones.

I almost bid on a pair of white Ferragamo loafers, but then I'd have to buy a white belt and that is way way too much effort for a joke.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:48 AM on September 6, 2013


Quality shoes are where this makes sense; shoes can be repaired (well made shoes can be; those $80 shoes probably not), such that they're still going to last you a good long while. Shirts wear out and aren't really fixable. I occasionally buy used shirts from thrift stores if they're cheap and I can see them to make sure they're in good condition, but I wouldn't do it over E-bay.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:52 AM on September 6, 2013


Wow, I never knew shirts had any resale value at all.

It's a bit of a mystery to me what clothing items hold resale value and what don't. Suits and sport coats lose almost all their value unless they're more or less couture, for example. You can pick up Italian cashmere/silk jackets for a fraction of the price you'd pay retail any day of the week on eBay. But belts, for example--even if they show some obvious signs of wear--will often sell for about 80% retail if they have any pretensions to quality at all. Does anyone have a good explanation?
posted by yoink at 11:53 AM on September 6, 2013


I guess I just don't understand the market for $300 shoes (even used). If you're walking around on sidewalks at all, aren't you going to scuff them and get them ruined in about a week? I guess boots make sense, because they're expected to wear, but dress shoes?
posted by sonic meat machine at 11:54 AM on September 6, 2013


If you're walking around on sidewalks at all, aren't you going to scuff them and get them ruined in about a week?

If you're buying shoes that are ruined "in a week" then you'd better be rich enough to buy $300 shoes for the heck of it.
posted by yoink at 11:57 AM on September 6, 2013


Not really. Have them re-soled and polished. I don't really polish them myself unless I have to, I'd rather have a professional do it I just assume they do a much better job . I've had pairs of shoes last 10 years. Also don't wear the same pair every day and buy shoe trees.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:02 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you're walking around on sidewalks at all, aren't you going to scuff them and get them ruined in about a week?

I bought my $400 shoes (C'MON!) for $50 on ebay and wear the fuck out of them. They get de-scuffed on the regular and when the soles wear out in a few years I'll have them re-soled. I plan to wear them in my coffin.
posted by carsonb at 12:04 PM on September 6, 2013


$200 for a used shirt?

It's important to remember this is what someone thinks it's worth and not the fair market value. eBay tends to have a lot of sellers who initially ask for pie-in-the-sky prices but eventually sell for much less. I suspect this is often a deliberate attempt to create the impression that things are worth more than they really are.
posted by pullayup at 12:06 PM on September 6, 2013


Did you put in chest and sleeve measurements?

I don't have these memorized, so no.

I used to buy cheap ($20) shoes and wore them out fast. Then one day I, on a whim, bought some $100+ shoes that I really liked that had been marked way higher. Those things have lasted forever, so it was at this point that I realized you do get what you pay for in shoes. I know tend not to skimp, but I still wait for the super sales.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:06 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you're walking around on sidewalks at all, aren't you going to scuff them and get them ruined in about a week? I guess boots make sense, because they're expected to wear, but dress shoes?

The difference is a few things, but a big part is that higher end dress shoes can be resoled. When you wear down the sole, you can go and get it replaced, so the shoes last longer. The quality of the leather in the upper is also higher so that they look better longer and can be polished more readily than the correct grained leather you get on cheaper shoes. There's still a limit to how long they last (you can only resole them so many times), but the limit is ten or twenty years rather than the year or maybe two you'll get out of cheaper dress shoes.

I still find it silly to spend that much on every pair of shoes you own, but for the shoes I wear to work every couple days? It makes sense to me.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:08 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't know about you guys, but when I walk on the sidewalk, the soles of my shoes touch the concrete, not the tops!

Bulgaroktonos, those $80 shoes were $300 retail and will survive at least two resolings. I expect them to still be around in twenty years (assuming that I am around in twenty years). I've had it forever with cheap shoes that fall apart; all my dress shoes are either Allen Edmonds or Florsheim Imperial -- there are perhaps better brands, but they cost too much even at steep discounts, and with those two I know EXACTLY how they will fit.

Sizing is a key issue with Ebay. I have been burned quite a few times by people who don't understand sizes. Fortunately, men's sizes are much, much more straightforward than women's. I would never buy a shirt sized M, L, XL -- only precise 16/32-33 (or 16.5 if it's "slim fit"). And if my weight changes, I will be back in the store trying on to make sure something hasn't changed (my dream is to be back in a 15.5/32-33 someday).

Suit coats can be more problematic for me -- different brands make a 42, 43, 44, R or S, slightly differently. A good tailor can adjust the difference, but unfortunately my good tailor passed away and the only one left near me is horrible -- constitutionally incapable of hemming pants less than an inch and a half too long, for instance. But with suits, I really have to try on. This would be less of a problem if I had a body like a model instead of a rotten fruit.

Plus, on Ebay you're going to get old styles, and you usually can't tell from the terrible photos. If you don't think men's styles change much, watch an episode of "The Larry Sanders Show" from the nineties and try not to guffaw at Larry's flowing purplish garments.
posted by Fnarf at 12:13 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Now, what Ebay really needs is a large influx of men's hats in sizes 7-3/4 and 7-7/8. There's never anything in between the moldy junk that looks like it's been in some guy's coffin for a hundred years and brand new spiffy $500 numbers that I can't afford. New hats in my size from the usual makers can be had at my local brick-and-mortar store (the wonderful Byrnie Utz in Seattle) for the same price as Ebay, and I can try them on.
posted by Fnarf at 12:18 PM on September 6, 2013


Bulgaroktonos, those $80 shoes were $300 retail and will survive at least two resolings.

For some reason, in my sizes (12.5-13), ebay is dominated by people with bizarrely narrow feet. 13A? What are these, skis? Oh and tassel loafers, all the fucking tassel loafers.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:22 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't know about you guys, but when I walk on the sidewalk, the soles of my shoes touch the concrete, not the tops!

I'm clumsy. I stumble on curbs sometimes. :)

I bought my $400 shoes (C'MON!) for $50 on ebay and wear the fuck out of them. They get de-scuffed on the regular and when the soles wear out in a few years I'll have them re-soled. I plan to wear them in my coffin.

Fair enough. I haven't had nice enough shoes to do descuffing; I usually just wear them about a year, then when they start to make me look like a bum, I get new ones. Are there any good resources on this?
posted by sonic meat machine at 12:25 PM on September 6, 2013


What do you mean? Try the link I posted above about shoes. You'll see a fair portion of purple/blue/white stuff and mostly everything in AAA super narrow because eBay deals in lots of seconds and last year's (or last decade's) fashion, but use the selectors to properly size the search and you can even narrow down the colors you're looking for. Then it's just a waiting game. As for caring for them, there are plenty of shoe maintenance tutorials online*, but lazy bastards like myself just drop them off at the shoe shine place every 3 months or so. Five bucks and they come back looking new.

* All you really need is an old t-shirt, some saddle cream, and a lot of elbow grease.
posted by carsonb at 12:52 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fnarf gets it. I plan on buying some Red Wings and either some loafers by OSB or Rancourt this fall.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:55 PM on September 6, 2013


I have one pair of expensive shoes (~$200) and they're so uncomfortable that I never wear them.
posted by octothorpe at 1:11 PM on September 6, 2013



I guess I just don't understand the market for $300 shoes (even used). If you're walking around on sidewalks at all, aren't you going to scuff them and get them ruined in about a week? I guess boots make sense, because they're expected to wear, but dress shoes?


High quality shoes are [potentially] far more comfortable than low quality ones. There are some terrible and expensive shoes out there, but in general a shoe that is made of good leather with a completely leather lining and a sewn sole (rather than glued) will conform to your foot better, break in more completely, breathe better and be more resistant to slight damage than a cheap shoe.

One reason I do buy second hand leather shoes (as I'm sorta-kinda vegan and probably should not, actually) is simply because work-appropriate and durable imitation leather shoes really fuck up my feet. (Well made canvas shoes are another story, but they won't do at my job.) Cheap leather has a plastic layer ("corrected grain") on top of the actual leather. Very cheap leather has a very thick plastic layer. This layer doesn't breathe well, is difficult to polish effectively (polish sits on the surface and doesn't sink in), cracks easily and resists forming to your foot.

High quality shoes also have better arch support and fit your feet better. (As long as you take the time to buy the right size and shape of shoe.)

And high quality shoes are generally made by people who earn a living wage and work under decent conditions.

I have rarely had to have shoes actually re-soled - it takes a long time and a lot of wear for the sturdier variety of good shoes to get to that point, especially if you have your cobbler add a topy (thin protective layer). The resoling argument doesn't actually seem like that compelling a reason for fancy shoes - resoling* is expensive and you could easily argue that you don't need to spend ~$300 on nice shoes plus ~$100 to get them resoled when you can instead buy eight pairs of $50 shoes each of which will last you upwards of a year, or sixteen pairs of Target shoes which will each last six months, etc.

Also, different people put different amounts of wear on shoes. I have friends who can buy cheap crap shoes and wear them daily for eighteen months before they are too broken down to wear, but because I am a big person who bikes and walks a lot, I go through that same kind of shoe in only a few months. So it makes much more sense for me to get fancier shoes.

But really, I just get fancier shoes because I like how they look and feel. And I do buy used ones.

If I were a millionaire and had no conscience, I could spend a lot more on shoes, actually. I would spend all my time traveling through Europe between fittings for Edward Greens and fittings for Vass, pausing only to pick up various colorful velvet loafers from Italy.

*Complete resoling where you stitch on a new sole, I mean. Putting on a topy is cheap. Stripping off part of the sewn-on leather sole and gluing on a new layer of leather or rubber is cheapish. So, for example, I had my cobbler take the heel off a pair of boots that I wanted to wear for winter but that had a leather sole, and I had him attach a whole vibram sole over the existing footbed. And I had him take off the deteriorated crepe rubber sole from a pair of rather old suede brogues and replace it with a new vibram sole that pretty much looked the same but wasn't coming apart.
posted by Frowner at 1:13 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I want to add that buying expensive shoes (even "expensive" used shoes) is absolutely a privilege, not an aesthetic or moral imperative.
posted by Frowner at 1:15 PM on September 6, 2013


The best fashion is working class people dressing as richly as possible but putting our own spin on it. Never doubt that.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:17 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


IE nothing looks cooler to me than scuffed used 300 dollars shoes.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:17 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


they're so uncomfortable that I never wear them

They might not fit correctly. Shoes are like bras -- a shockingly large percentage of people are walking around wearing the wrong size. You need to see a guy who knows how to use his Brannock Device (that's that aluminum slidey foot-measuring gizmo, and now you know the name of it).

Also, some shoes just aren't right for some feet. I have knobby big toe knuckles and flat feet, and I've tried on lots of expensive shoes in the right size that felt awful, but for some reason the Allen Edmondses just hold them snug and perfect. They're more comfortable than barefoot, I swear. The Florsheims took a little breaking in, but now they're more comfortable than slippers.
posted by Fnarf at 1:21 PM on September 6, 2013


nothing looks cooler to me than scuffed used 300 dollars shoes

I'm with you, especially if it pebble-grained, as long as you're not also wearing sock garters with shorts, like the unfortunate I saw the other day.
posted by Fnarf at 1:23 PM on September 6, 2013


Costs me exactly $107 to get leather soles with the rubber strips and rubber back bottom of the heel. Slightly more expensive than straight leather soles but I'm not slipping all over the place.

I probably get shoes re-soled a couple times a year so it isn't exactly an almost never occurrence for me. Never heard of topy before and I have no idea why the cobbler never mentioned it.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:24 PM on September 6, 2013


They might not fit correctly. Shoes are like bras -- a shockingly large percentage of people are walking around wearing the wrong size. You need to see a guy who knows how to use his Brannock Device (that's that aluminum slidey foot-measuring gizmo, and now you know the name of it).

That would require me to set foot in an actual shoe store, which probably isn't going to happen.
posted by octothorpe at 1:29 PM on September 6, 2013



Costs me exactly $107 to get leather soles with the rubber strips and rubber back bottom of the heel. Slightly more expensive than straight leather soles but I'm not slipping all over the place.

I probably get shoes re-soled a couple times a year so it isn't exactly an almost never occurrence for me. Never heard of topy before and I have no idea why the cobbler never mentioned it.


Wait, what? You're paying ~$200/year to maintain a pair of shoes? Are these your only shoes? And surely your cobbler is just gluing all that stuff on, right? You can't resew soles infinitely - the welt deteriorates. You, my friend, need a new cobbler, stat. Here is what I do: when I get a new ("new to me") pair of shoes, I take them to my cobbler to have a topy added. This costs me ~$20 and lasts me...well, it would probably last a year of two-to-three-times-a-week wear on concrete surfaces, except that I have loafers for summer and dress boots for winter and don't wear anything year round. So a topy lasts a couple of years at least. I don't know how it would be if you're wearing the same shoes every day, but surely not more than two topys per year. And heel replacement should run you ~$20/time.

Now, some very snobby shoe people maintain that a topy causes a less comfortable wearing experience because it slightly limits the flexing ability of the leather sole. And it's true that some of my most comfortable leather loafers that I've worn without topys have gotten to feel more like slippers than like shoes, but it's not that big a difference and certainly not worth several hundred dollars a year.
posted by Frowner at 1:43 PM on September 6, 2013


Topys can be added to any kind of shoe with a flat sole - so if you have a kind of cheap shoes that you like, you can extend their life a LOT by having topys added. If you know a girl who really likes target flats, for instance, but hates how the soles wear out - she can take those to the cobbler and double or triple their wearable life.
posted by Frowner at 1:45 PM on September 6, 2013


Wait, what? You're paying ~$200/year to maintain a pair of shoes? Are these your only shoes?

What no, not on one pair of shoes. I probably just walk more in leather sole shoes.

I usually wear Varda MV788 cap toe oxfords. Also Alan Edmonds Fifth Avenue and right now Johnston & Murphy oxfords I can't remember the name of and Neil M. Senator they sold me because they have a "hi-tech" rubber sole.

Otherwise I wear Nike Cortez '06 or Adidas Campus
posted by Ad hominem at 1:48 PM on September 6, 2013


That would require me to set foot in an actual shoe store

You can buy a Brannock Device of your own on, er, Ebay. Bonus: everyone who visits you will think you're insane!
posted by Fnarf at 1:53 PM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


this thread is very timely for me! I have been wanting a pair of AE loafers, maybe this... device will help me to obtain them
posted by rebent at 8:52 PM on September 6, 2013


Jesus, this thread is full of people crapping on good shoes. I don't get it.

it's like you're UPSET that people still make excellent, handmade shoes in first-world countries, and that you can still get excellent value for your money.

High quality shoes last a long time, and can be repaired, and quite often are much less expensive than buying 10x of some plastic junk from target. And here, this excellent ebay scraper site allows us to find all the used/almost-new/new pairs of the same thing for even LESS... it's fantastic, is what it is.

I can appreciate that you might be against quality just on principle but you're just plain wrong. It's OK to buy nice things that last for decades. We should encourage this.
posted by EricGjerde at 6:52 AM on September 8, 2013


And no one ever heard from The Whelk again

Not until I can find what Alan Cumming was wearing and staple it to my body.
posted by The Whelk at 2:02 PM on September 8, 2013


(I am never going to find vintage brogues in my freakish hobbit foot size, sigh)
posted by The Whelk at 2:03 PM on September 8, 2013


These conversations always appear surreal and I've always wanted to write a rant comment like this, but haven't, until this point. Like, I just don't feel "classy" enough to get them -- honestly, that's how it feels. It's like going to a fancy restaurant and being disappointed because the food isn't really *better* than what you're used to, and that's kinda the point because your tastes are used to having crappy food and you have to "acquire" a taste for something better. But I'd rather have my objectively crappy fast food because I have to do too much 'work' to appreciate nice food (and pay an arm and a leg to even have it).

One thing I don't understand in particular: I don't understand what people mean when they talk about cheaper shoes falling apart quicker/quickly.

I have a couple of pairs of Rockports (some moc front design that would pass, if I am learning my high falutin' shoe terminology well, as "blucher" with the umlaut over the u...just one in black and one in cordovan) that I have worn since I was in *high school*...and I didn't have to baby them with a shoe tree or by exchanging them every other day. Granted, when i was in high school, i didn't wear them all day every day [it was a public school], but back then I went to church every Sunday, so that was that. And even in university, I didn't typically do every day [and I had stopped attending church by then]. Still, for basically my entire first year at work, that's what I wore. [And, on top of all that, I did have two pairs for two colors, so I guess I could and did alternate them sometimes...])

These shoes are super comfortable (lots of padding, etc.,) I shined them until I see my face. I have done this since high school.

I went to get some allen edmonds new orleans after the 4/15 tax busy season end (because yay for "moving on up" in the world, having a Real Job, and AE had a sale or whatever). I didn't buy them because the shoes had fallen apart. Rather, I bought them because for my black pair, there was some excessive creasing (ok, here, I understand that's kinda what shoe trees are supposed to protect against, and higher quality leather, and better fit, and yadda yadda yadda), and my black shoe *laces* had fallen apart, and instead of getting new shoe laces (which would certainly be minimal cost), I thought I would try something else. And I noticed several things:

1) these shoes simply aren't as comfortable...they are just thinner than the rockports and I can feel every step.
2) Within 4 months of purchasing, my left shoe's heel is separating. To the extent that on some days (I think it's whenever things are more humid or rainy), I can here a click of the heel coming off from the shoe.
3) Oh, it's my fault, because I wear these pretty much every day to work (because let's face it, rotating these with rockports seems...silly.) [this is a little pathetic, but until I get new black shoes, this basically means...no black.]
4) Oh, I probably am not supposed to get these AEs anywhere near water, huh? vs rockports which are basically waterproof.

The things I can say for the AEs are that they definitely LOOK a lot better. I have definitely gotten several compliments over these. And yes, they do start molding to your feet with time. (But that doesn't change the fact that the problem with the comfort was a matter of padding). The Rockports simply aren't going to get any of that. (although now I know that if I were going to get different Rockports, I'd pay more attention to style instead of going with the super fugly square-toed-ish moc fronts my parents got because hey, I was only in HS and who cares [And i do emphasize...even with a change in design, the difference in appearance, materials, etc., will be evident. i am aware of that]).

Now, granted, the rockports aren't the $20 another poster mentioned earlier.

I honestly feel that a lot of these arguments are a part of buyer's rationalization, sometimes. I want to "get it," but I think that a lot of this is either elaborate trolling from people who know better or rationalization from people who don't.

...then again, I'm also still the kind of person who thinks, "I want a new laptop, but i don't want one that's bad or that will be outdated last month", and then i look at all of the Dells and HPs and think, "blech"...but then i see the price of the macbooks, I think, "whoa, too rich for my blood" and stay with my 4 year old craptop that's falling apart...(but i'll probably get a lenovo so OK.)

Anyway, even at the end of this rant, I'll probably still be looking for a black pair of fancy multi-hundred-dollar shoes (probably not used, even if they can come down to a reasonable price, because...not yet at the point of crossing that milestone yet) to go along with my fancy brown shoes, so I can start rotating them and whatnot. Because even if I don't get the fuss, I like the compliments.
posted by subversiveasset at 9:05 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


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