Sunday, February 17, 2013

LL Bean outlet store

Around my part of the country the weather can't decide if it wants to stay winter, or move on to spring. I am not hater when it comes to winter. It's not a bad time of year as long as we're not dealing with constant snowstorms and sub-freezing temperatures. Lately though it seems the weather's been giving us an early taste of spring. So before the winter season slips away, I thought it important to sing the praises of one of my most reliable winter items to sell...LL Bean shirts.

When most people think of LL Bean, they think of cold weather gear like coats, flannels, boots and those funny looking tennis racquets people wear for boots when mushing through the snow. The company has made their oats selling top quality fall and winter merchandise through their catalog and more recently, their stores. Not far from where I live there's a big LL Bean store that I've occasionally browsed. Walking around inside, you'll hear nature "Muzak" sounds piped in like a babbling brook and birds chirping in the trees. It's all designed to subconsciously plant in the shopper's mind the overwhelming desire to go on a hiking or camping trip-all activities requiring expensive LL Bean gear! But your Dude is not so easily manipulated, and although it's fun to look around, I never buy anything in that store. Why should I? Like any good thrift store shopper, I can find the same LL Bean clothes at Goodwill for a lot less!

It's true-nearly all the Goodwill stores I've frequented have brand new LL Bean clothes for sale. It seems like much of LL Bean's discontinued stock is donated to the Goodwill chain. (Much like Target stores do.) I feel confident in "guesstimating" that every single men's shirt rack in GW has at least one LL Bean shirt. Usually they're hiding somewhere between the more commonly found, "World's Best Pop-Pop" and "Viva Las Vegas" T-shirts. When combing through the racks, I've often mumbled to myself that I could open up an LL Bean outlet store using just Goodwill finds! Although I don't think I'd make much money, I do know that Goodwill could easily provide my outlet store with a steady stream of  inventory.

But just because all these shirts have the LL Bean tag on the collar, doesn't necessarily mean they'll sell on eBay. In fact, many shirts I've experimented with have either been ignored by buyers, or only sold for the starting price of ten bucks. After much trial and error I've concluded that despite the abundance of LL Bean shirts at Goodwill, I only fork out money for two very specific styles. Let me share these unscientific findings with you.

I'll start with what I'll call the runner-up for best LL Bean shirt in a Goodwill store: the canvas "sunwashed" shirt.  Sunwashed is LL Bean's way of saying, stonewashed or as us peasants might say... faded. But call it what you will, the sunwashed canvas shirt is a popular style. LL Bean describes the sunwashed canvas shirt as follows:


My runner up: Sunwashed
"Our popular Sunwashed canvas shirt is made of softer cloth for a relaxed,  broken-in feel right from the start, the cotton fabric is washed to weather the rich colors and to add softness without losing the rugged durable character of canvas."

Sounds nice, right? Buyers think so too. If you spot one of these shirts at the right price they're worth grabbing. During the right time of year, you shouldn't have a problem re-selling them on eBay in a range of twenty dollars or more.

But the sunwashed shirt is a sales-slacker when compared to my number one shirt of choice...the LL Bean's flannel-lined "Hurricane" shirt!  These shirts are hugely popular. A classic farm & country look, they're super comfortable and durable....the Holy Grail of winter shirts for guys who work or play outdoors.  Here's LL Bean's description for the king of winter-wear shirts:

This Hurricane is a good thing!
"The heavy-duty 6 oz. cotton fabric is also wind resistant and breathable. These qualities – coupled with exceptional warmth – make this shirt a great choice for backyard chores or cool-weather walks. Prewashed to a well-worn softness, it looks and feels like you've owned it for years. Hidden beneath the rugged exterior is a warm layer of 4.2 oz. cotton flannel. Sturdy triple-needle stitching. Button-flap pockets. Shirttail hem.

Makes you want to run out and buy one, don't it? When I find one of these shirts in the Goodwill racks, my knees begin to buckle! They are a stone-cold guaranteed eBay sale...and usually for a nice chunk of change. I often pay $5.00 dollars for a Hurricane shirt and flip them for $35 or more! Selling price depends on the usual factors-time of year you are listing the shirt, the condition, size and color. While these shirts have a lot going for them, it's the flannel lining that makes them super popular. When the weather's cold, who doesn't want to wear a nice, warm flannel lined shirt?

So those are my favorite LL Bean shirts to sell. When you're at the thrift stores, make sure you keep an eye out for them. Whether it's sunwashed or a'll have no problem selling flipping these shirts on eBay!

If you have any awesome LL Bean or winter themed flips, give it a shout-out in the comment section below....  

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  1. Dude, you are so generous to share all your thrifting tips! I now have a running list going so that I know what to look for when garage sale season opens up here. These are items that I formerly would never know have resale value.

    PS Your writing style always makes me chuckle too. :)

  2. The list gets longer and longer, right? Ha! I hope you find some of this stuff and score big! If you do, let me know, I am always looking for a good story to publish.

    Thanks fo enjoying the blog, I am glad you like it....Dude!

  3. Yeah, I love the LLBean stuff, bot not the price. It's quality that lasts, and the endless return policy? How could you ever go wrong, honestly, even paying full retail? But NOT us thrifty folks!! I find/buy a lot of it just for myself/husband at thrift. I love their ladies sweaters, and have sold many of them for $50 or more. A specific one that does well is called the "Kingfield" cardigan. It's been in their line forever, and is a classic.
    I'd say if/when you find any LLBean items NWT, snatch them up - I think that you'd be able to sell them for at LEAST double your cost. Will be on the lookout for this particular shirt, Dude! Don't think I've ever spotted one.....yet!!

    1. Susie Q-

      I don't wander into the ladies shirt racks, but I'll keep an eye of the Kingfield. Sometimes ladies stuff is mistakenly placed in the men's racks. Thanks for giving us all the tip!

      LL Bean stuff rocks! There was a time back in the Eighties when it seemed like everyone was wearing it. Sort of the "NorthFace" of the time. But while LL Bean clothes are not quite the rage they use to be,they're still way popular and have a loyal following.

      Thasnks for checking in....Dude!

  4. I enjoy your blog so much! I have really only ventured on Ebay for the the "found money" while helping my mom empty her house. And I love thrift shops anyway!
    Question- do you find "Lands End" sells well? Like LL Bean it is guaranteed for life- so I was wondering if you had any good experience with that brand too!?
    Thanks again for all your wisdom and your humor too!

    1. Holly - Good question.Lands End and LL Bean are basically cut from the same mold.

      Although I do come across Land's End, I've never bought any of it. I just did a little research and checked "completed" Lands End items on eBay. I found there were about 22,000 items listed. Of that, only about 5500 actually sold...most for under ten dollars. So I don't think there's much demand for the stuff.

      Thanks for liking the blog, I really appreciate it...Dude!

  5. My GW is ridiculous with their pricing. When they get those flannel lined shirts new with tags, they price them at $19.99 and often they are not even LL Bean. I will be keeping my eyes open though at the thrift stores

    1. becky-I hear ya, there's no explaining some of GW's pricing policies.

      One of my personal favorites is when they'll overprice a baseball or football jersey, not realizing the player no longer pays for that team. So they'll tag a worthless jersey at around $19.99 just because it looks nice! The jersey then sits in the racks for months.

      They are brutal.....Dude!