So what would you expect to pay for quality? I ask this question, as of late I have been getting increasing comments on social media that our pricing is too high, such as:
Far too expensive, Way too rich for me, Wow so expensive, So expensive not realistic at all
So this got me thinking, and quite frankly a bit concerned that I am either not getting my message across as to actually what The Unique You is all about or in fact we are too expensive? So I went online comparison shopping, an interesting and worthwhile exercise, I am sure that you all comparison shop as the plus size fashion market is highly competitive so you have to know what you are looking for, so I looked at these sites and to keep my study comparable I looked at new listings.
Please understand that I am not criticizing or discouraging you to shop at these sites, I am just comparing pricing to make sure that we sit correctly in the market place.
Whilst this site has a contemporary feel and does cater for the somewhat younger shopper, the majority of their fashion is polyester which is something that I try to avoid. The average price of new tops was $79.95, dresses $159.95 and jackets – depending on the weight were between $119.95 and $129.95. They cater for 14+, although their models look no bigger than a 14 and they use a lot of ghost images which I am not a fan of. You can sign up for an instant $10.00 voucher and shipping is free over $150.00. A large company which also has bricks and mortar stores.
This site has a more elegant feel and caters for the more mature shopper from size 12. Pricing was comparable to City Chic, but again – most pieces that were available were either Nylon or Polyester, long cardigans and jackets were between $129.95 – $179.95, sleeveless tanks $59.95 and tops and tunics started at $109.95, their models were no larger than a size 12, free shipping for orders over $60.00, or click and collect from one of their 150 stores. Prices were high but they seem to have clearance sales frequently, their current sales brought the prices down to $69.90 to $99.90.
A privately owned family company with a huge, popular online presence and one bricks & mortar store in Cooma NSW. This site carries over 250 independent brands, some of which we also stock, but has also created their own. I had to search – a lot – to find plus size clothing, it is listed as Belle Bird and not actively advertised as a plus size brand the sizing goes from a size 10 to a 22. The models used are predominately a size 12 with one size 16 model featured, which is not really accurately representing plus size fashion! Dresses were between $139.00 – $159.00, blazer $119.00 and tops started at $89.95. There was a mixture of fabrics some with viscose or cotton, but many were polyester. Free express shipping on orders over $100.00.
A more mature brand with 90% of their fashion being Australian made, they also have 10 stores providing high quality clothing in the premium market catering for sizes 10 through 24. Jackets were priced at over $200.00, tees $135.00 and dresses $219.00, even though there were cotton and viscose blends, they all had some form of polyester, the sizes of the models or what size clothing they were wearing is not mentioned but I would say they were a 12. Free delivery on orders over $200 (excluding sale items).
An established well known contemporary brand with a big online presence and multiple stores across Australia and New Zealand catering for sizes 14+, some of their items go to a 30. Images used are a mix of ghost images and models from a size 12 to a 16. Tops start at $49.99 although you can pay less if you buy multiples, Dresses from $80.00 and tunics from $79.99, all of the items I looked at were either polyester or nylon blended with viscose. Free shipping on orders over $80.00, or you can click and collect from a store, if you have to return anything it is free return to a store or you have to pay to send it back via Australia Post.
An online site with 5 stores in South East Queensland, for the more mature shopper aimed at Mother of the Bride fashion catering for sizes 14 – 28. The models used are more mature and appear to be around sizes 14 – 16, Dresses from $179.00, Blouses $119, Classic shirts $129, and Jackets $149.00. Fabrics were mixed from Polyesters to cottons and a blend of Polyester/Organza jacquard (had me thinking on this one!). Shipping is mixed depending on how many items you purchase but free shipping was not offered at all, also the delivery seems to be slow as they quoted 7 – 14 days from purchase.
The Unique You
Yes I have put us on this list! After comparing all of the above sites I know that our store sits well in the price bracket. Our site caters for the 35+ shopper in sizes 14-24, a handful of brands do go to a 26. The model used is more mature and a size 18-20 (me!) Where I can, I also use images as sent to me by my suppliers so you can compare how the same piece looks on different sizes. I prefer to stock Australian owned brands who utilize ethical manufacturing processes and use natural fibres, only a handful of pieces that we stock contain polyester, I try to avoid these. I do find though that if we want to stock Australian made fashion then it has to be a brand that uses polyester simply because of the pricing, using natural fibres in an Australian made brand would be out of our price bracket. Free shipping is available on all orders over $50.00, return postage is paid by you if you decide to send an item back for refund, however if it is an exchange then we will send your replacement back at no charge to you. All of our members receive an ongoing discount of 20% which can be used multiple times and does not expire, to become a member is free, just sign up with your email.
I believe that we are not only offering a quality item at an affordable price, we are also looking after the environment, and at the end of the day I need to make a profit to stay in business but you get a piece of fashion which will last and will retain it’s structure and appearance., it’s all about the quality of the brand, the fabric and the way in which it is manufactured.