This time around the selection is HUGE. Use Password TESARCHIVE2021 for early access! Tons of cashmere sweaters, favorite T-shirts, scarves and more. You can find almost anything you are looking for. Like last time, some prices are better than others, so browse carefully but quickly, some items are already sold out!
The Elder Statesman recently held their first Archive Sale. Unfortunately this website was still in the building process when the sale opened so we were not able to share it with you, but this will serve as a guide and reference for future sales, and as a general review of some of The Elder Statesman’s products.
If you are unfamiliar with the brand, they are known for making high end luxury cashmere goods. We think their cashmere sweaters are the best on the market in terms of quality and style. There may be some nicer fabrics from brands like Loro Piana but they are usually rather basic, and even more expensive for what you are getting. The Elder Statesman gives you incredibly soft cashmere in interesting styles. They also make cashmere accessories, as well as nice shirts and jackets, among other things.
Their recent Archive sale, the first they’ve ever held, opened at elderstatesmanarchive.com on September 15th, though there was a pre-access for those who signed up, opening on September 14th with password “statesman”.
They offered an impressive amount of product, both newer and older styles. The newer items were more expensive, but the items that were from a few seasons prior were available for great prices. Not all staple pieces were available, but some were. Picasso sweaters, graphic sweaters, all kinds of accessories; There was something for everyone, both men and women.
The best deals we found were on non-cashmere or cashmere blend items. Some items were up to 80% off, and maybe more. The 100% cashmere items were closer to 50% off, some less, and some up to 70% off. Below is a rundown of our purchases and how much they cost. All were great deals, especially the silk shirts and the felt sweater, which is a particularly amazing item.
The Elder Statesman Silk Betony Camp Collar Spider Webs Button Down Shirt
These silk shirts were one of the highest discount items available in the sale. The retail price was near $750, maybe more. During the archive sale it was available for $125. It’s high quality silk in a camp collar cut shirt with a spider web pattern.
The Elder Statesman Silk Betony Camp Collar Javanese Floral Button Down Shirt
Another silk shirt in a “Javanese Floral” design. This one was also $125
The Elder Statesman Alex Israel Sky Printed Felt Sweater
This is by far the nicest piece of the group. The retail price for these felt cashmere blend sweater / sweatshirts is around $2,200. During the archive sale they were $250, and they were worth every penny. The Elder Statesman always uses high quality cashmere, but this blend which is 80% cashmere feels like a cloud. This print is especially nice, based on Alex Israel’s Sky Backdrop artwork. Technically a unisex piece, it fits a bit relaxed, like many of the brand’s pieces. They also had a thermal print which was very nice.
The Elder Statesman Cashmere Blend Tshirts
The sale had a good amount of Tshirts in both Cotton, Cotton/Cashmere, and Cashmere/Silk Blends. The Elder Statesman ‘Favorite’ Tshirts are their nicest, which are 85% Cashmere and 15% Silk. The Cotton/Cashmere Tshirts were the best deal, and the fabric is nearly as nice as the more expensive Cashmere/Silk versions. This black one was a steal for $65, while the ‘Magic Rings’ versions below were $125.
The Elder Statesman Dip Dye Fleece Sweatshirt
Here is a 100% Cotton sweatshirt in a maroon dip dye pattern. It’s a nice soft fleece, though the sleeves are very long. This was $85
The Elder Statesman Whirlwind Denim Jacket and Shirt + Dress
There were a number of pieces in the ‘Whirlwind’ pattern, including this denim jacket. $225
They also had this short sleeve work shirt for $155. While the denim jacket above is TTS, slightly oversized, this shirt is massive. It fits more like an XL than a Medium.
There was also a raw silk long sleeve shirt version, which was $250. Unfortunately, they accidentally sent a shirt dress version. Photos included below to show the fabric, which is substantial and almost flannel like
Now, we must mention that The Elder Statesman’s customer service has been spotty. We contacted them about one order we placed, which was for about $1,400, 12 days after the order was placed with no sign of it shipping (a subsequent smaller order had shipped almost a week before). Two days later we got an email about some of the items being out of stock; It’s unclear whether this email was a response to our initial inquiry or they just coincidentally finally got around to emailing us. They were very helpful and even provided some photos of some possible replacement items they had available. Once sorted, the order shipped soon after.
Sadly, our emails about the dress being sent incorrectly have gone unanswered since October 3rd, almost 20 days ago. A follow up was sent directly to the person who helped with the other order, but that was 6 days ago with no response. We are in a unique situation these days, but these wait times are rather excessive. For such a high end and expensive brand, I’d expect better service, even for an Archive sale.
At the end of the day, the sale was a great one. The products The Elder Statesman offers are all beautiful and it’s rare that they are available for the prices seen in the Archive Sale. They previously had a lower end line, ‘Tyro’ by TES but it doesn’t seem like they produce it anymore. They used less cashmere, either a blend or even alpaca or cotton. Some of it can be found on the secondary market, but if you’re able, The Elder Statesman stuff is well worth seeking out. You’d have to be very well off to afford it at retail, but don’t pass up a good sale.
Grailed has recently faced some backlash from users after raising their fee / commission to 9%. We’re going to breakdown whether that fee is reasonable, or whether you’re better off selling on Ebay or StockX.
Let’s start with the obvious, that 9% fee. It was raised on August 12th, 2020 from 6%. In an attempt to explain the increase, Grailed stated that they have been spending a lot of money on authenticating items, and that they will be investing further in improving the site for sellers. We’ll discuss authentication in detail below, and we don’t have any new major seller features yet. So how does this 9% fee stack up?
Ebay is the most obvious competitor to compare against. Ebay has been charging a 10% fee for quite a while, and Paypal charges 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction = 12.9% + 30 cents. With their new Managed Payments format, that number will now be 12.35% + 30 cents. Grailed’s 9% + 2.9% and 30 cent Paypal fee equates to 11.9% + 30 cents. That’s less than half a percent difference, in favor of Grailed. But here’s the kicker; Ebay offers discounted shipping labels. Depending on your method of shipping, USPS labels will usually cost you about 15-40% less than what you’ll be paying if you purchase a label through Paypal. This means it is most likely that your fees will be higher when selling on Grailed than on Ebay once you account for shipping.
But we’re not finished. At the end of 2019 Ebay eliminated final value fees for items sold for over $100 in the Athletic Shoes category; Yes, that means 0% fee for sneakers that you sell for over $100! This is a huge advantage for Ebay over Grailed. Even if you went an easier route with StockX, they charge 9.5% (or less) and you don’t even have to pay to ship your shoes, they provide a label, which means they are definitely cheaper than the Grailed fee as well. Plus, StockX physically authenticates every pair of shoes that gets sold on the platform. Do you know who does not physically authenticate ANY items?
That’s right, Grailed. The first thing you should know is that Grailed does not personally inspect any items. This means that a seller could easily use photos of a legit item but ship you a fake. This can happen on any platform, of course, but Grailed is the only one with the lack of integrity to claim an item has been authenticated without ever actually seeing it. StockX will catch most fake items, while Ebay will not, but nor will they ever claim to be able to verify an item as authentic.
And we’re still not done. Grailed’s “authentication” process is a combination of human and machine moderation. They do not make it clear what percentage of items are reviewed by humans, or how they determine which items to tag “Digitally Authenticated,” but they do claim every item is reviewed. We have come across some oddities which are cause for concern.
Here is a listing we came across when it was first listed. This was a listing from a user with no feedback, selling an expensive sweater from The Elder Statesman, and only using stock photos from the brand’s own website. The Grailed authentication page details what is considers a “high-risk” item and this certainly meets the criteria. How it was possibly authenticated is beyond comprehension. The seller has subsequently added some real photos, but the listing was posted and remained authenticated for two weeks while it only had the stock photos.
Here is one of many Travis Scott burgers from McDonalds we saw posted when it was first released. I wonder how these made it through the filter if every item is reviewed?
Is the Grailed Authentication process good? No. Is it better than nothing? Maybe. Is it a complete waste of time and resources for them? Absolutely. At the end of the day, it’s a worthless service, and the time and money would be better spent elsewhere. It’s terribly misleading to potential buyers and a real shame if the cost of this service contributed to them deciding to increase their fee. It’s even worse considering that they certainly must know that this service doesn’t provide any real value and is probably only being provided as a marketing tool and a way for them to justify charging sellers more money.
So it is still worth using Grailed? While Ebay has its own flaws, Grailed no longer offers any real advantage to sellers since raising the Grailed fee. Ebay also still has a much bigger user base. It’s up to you to determine whether to continue selling at one or both sites, but we have made made our argument and we rest our case.