I read Christa??s post on big brand pricing. As a clothing retailer, I am aware of the price games the big companies play. When an article of clothing costs probably .75 to make in some far off country and they sell it full price at $55.00 on 3rd and 86th street on NYC, I know why they are doing o.k. The second part of this story is the price games some of our vendors play. A few weeks back, I received a catalog from a wholesaler in Texas. Turns out they are one of the largest in the country. I have flipped through their products before, most not my flavor. This time I dead stopped on a page. They were offering a clothing line that I carry in my store. This is a discount wholesaler. I am not a discount store. I called them and did a bit of snooping. Yes, they do buy outs. They buy leftovers and 'Lots' at extremely discounted prices and resell them to lower end stores. I can gauge the quality of the clothing by looking at the pictures. Or can I? When I saw my line, one of my major lines I carry, I was really taken back. I know the owner of this clothing line. I order from her at the Apparel Shows 4 times a year. I also know it is way easier for her to sell off her leftovers to brokers and discount wholesalers than picking up the phone and offering me and her regular full price customers first dibs. The discounted prices help me with my profit margin when I run sales as well. Many of my other vendors do this to help support the small boutique specialty stores that support them in return. It is a two-way street in my world. Then next show at the Javits Center I intend to brooch this subject with the owner. It would be silly of me to back door her and go directly to this discount broker in Texas for great prices??_. but I will if I have too! Another fun fact in clothing retail is clothing manufacturing in Italy. Chinese factories are sprouting up in large quantities, bringing in their own workers from China and warehousing them. The clothing is labeled ???Made in Italy??. The quality is far from Italian artistry. One clothing line I found at the last apparel show was labeled Made in Italy. This was about the 4th or 5th time I heard this chanted at the show. I knew something was up. I asked the owner and he finally owned up to the marketing incentives helping him promote his line. I kind of found it sad that this business thinks its customers, whether B2B or B2C, are so uninformed. This leads me to my final question. How do I inform my customer of the realities of clothing retail so they can make better decisions without spewing sour grapes? I kind of don??t right now. I focus on the positive of my brand, not the negative of theirs. My customers are savvy. They know quality. I educate them. Maybe this is all I can do.