View Full Version : Can anybody help me, please? Panama hat
03-12-2004, 04:46 PM
I'm new to the world of fine panama hats. Please, help!
I'm interested in the folowing
Can anybody help me, please?
03-12-2004, 05:25 PM
Do you guys think this is a good hat? He's been selling them on eBay for a long time and he's got a great feedback.
03-12-2004, 05:34 PM
I would view this auction with a bit of skepticism.
I, too check out the ebay panamas from time to time. This specific auction raises a few red flags with me:
* The seller, Incabox, typically offers hats of lesser quality
* Panama hats are out of season right now, and at best will get maybe 15 bids over the course of an auction. This specific auction has, as of this writing 57 bids - and no way to check if the bids are coming from the same bidder or different bidders. The auction is "Private".
*Bids are in the high $200 range right now with a Buy-it-now price in the high $300 range - yet the item still hasn't reached its reserve price.
* There is no real description of some of the things that you look for in a high quality panama - such as weave count, or quality of weave - and no decent close-up of the hat to aid you in making this sort of judgement.
I haven't dealt with Incabox - and for all I know, this may be an entirely legit seller offering a quality item. But, if it was my money I would approach this one with some skepticism.
If you are interested in getting a quality panama, I would suggest taking a look at some of the informational stuff on some of the online vendors websites such as:
Robert Weber is the owner of panamahat.biz, and posts here as PanamaBob - if you search for his posts you may find them helpful. Many folks here think very highly of Optimo and/or Brent Black.
Unfortunately, the world of panama hats is rife with misrepresentation and exaggerated claims. You need to do your homework.
03-12-2004, 06:48 PM
I'm sure tempted to buy this one. I have looked at the other hats he has sold and they all look great!
I have emailed past buyers of this seller and they all seem to have no problems with him and are very happy with their hats.
One guy email me back saying that he has two Brent Blacks and has boght several hats from incabox and would never buy another Brent Black. He felt that he paid too much for the BB hats.
This buyer also told me that he had bought from other sellers on eBay and he thinks that incabox has the best for the money. He said the hand blocking from incabox is the best on eBay and pretty close to BB's.
What is hand blocking??????? Can any one explain this to me?
I will now go to the web sites Dave told me about. Thank you all in advance.
03-12-2004, 07:30 PM
I now know what hand blocking is! I went to some of the web sites Dave gave me. Thanks again!
03-13-2004, 08:34 AM
I'll be very careful here.
Incabox will not answer any specific emails that I ask him or that others have asked from other communications...DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING, I suppose, but the questions regarding weave count and blocker go unanswered.
I would ask the weave count, and by whom, where, and when the hat is blocked.
I've seen pictures of fellows I know, who do not handblock, who live in Montecrsti, on his ebay ads. In fact, one fellow personally ironed Andykev's hat. He was quite shocked to know his photos were being shown on an auction when he only finishes and irons the hats and is not receiving anything extra for his representation. I can give you names and phone numbers if you want.
I don't want to step on any toes. The hats are from Montecristi and there are many price levels available for fine hats, so you can see a variance. We sell many different weave levels, and yes, have different pricings, too. We sell as panamahat*net on ebay and find it a great vehicle to keep weavers weaving. What is better? Selling $20,000.00 hats twice a year or selling 400 hats for $100.00? If you ask me, in helping out, keeping the weavers weaving is more important.
Brent Black is Brent Black and Milton Johnson is Milton Johnson...Robert Weber is Robert Weber and Casey Dazell is Casey Dazell...to each his own. When two guys who live in Ecuador have prices many times smaller than two guys who don't live in Ecuador...what does that tell you?
Do your emailing and ask how many weaves (should be over 1000), or carreras at least 5.5 for this auction.
If this is insulting please tell me so I can edit it.
Real Montecristi Panama Hats....REAL prices!
Last edited by Panamabob on 03-13-2004 at 06:28 PM
Perhaps the two guys living in ecuador can sell their hats cheaper because their overhead is that much less. There are different markets for different folks. Live and let live.
03-13-2004, 04:48 PM
I am one of those guys who live in Ecuador and yes, my overhead is cheaper. However, not 300% to 5700% cheaper.
I do live and let live.
I ask you, what is a normal markup for a business to survive?
I see hats that cost no more than $350.00 for $20,000. Is that a fair markup? Is a 5700% markup just like any old business?
I'm not making this an issue on markets...I said to each his own...ultimately you are the guys spending your money.
You can private mail these types of comments, because I'll respond to every one on the open board and make more people angry.
03-13-2004, 05:26 PM
In response to D. Mccone's post.
I'm not the owner of Panama Hatworks of Montecristi. The owner of the licenses and the tax payer in Ecuador is my wife's brother, Wilson Espinales. He's also the guy who chooses most of the hats, packs, and ships them.
I'm the gringo in charge of English sales and most final decisions.
03-13-2004, 07:44 PM
squat about the Ebay sellers...quite frankly they scare me..and I have seen prices which don't match fuzzy photos and vague descriptions.
I have bought a hat body (unfinished hat) from Panama Bob, and It was extremely nice for the price.
Was it Optimo quality..NO. But I did not pay that price. I got a very very high quality hat, tight weaves, but not perfect weaves. My cost? 1/4 the price and that included shipping. And FAST service.
I was amazed how something so far away came so fast.
I have photos of the hat body, and I believe I posted on this site Art Fawcett blocking the hat for me.
All in all, I would recommend Robert Webber...(panamabob).
I waited a long time to take the "chance" ..but Zohar got a spectacular hat..and I just had to have one.
So ...there you go! Thanks Bob.
03-13-2004, 07:47 PM
Not an ad...I don't know what Optimos top price is. I don't know what Hawaii's top price is (though I now see $2500 and up, is now changed to $2500. I don't know what New Mexico's top price is, but I see it says $20,000 in a few places.
I do know that we list the best hat found in Montecristi for under $500.00 to your door FEDEX. If you want one on par with the hats of Zohar or AndyKev it is under $400.00.
03-13-2004, 08:06 PM
Thank you all. I'm very interested in high quality Montecristi Panama hats. I'm planning to buy several of them and that's why I want to find out who has the best for the best price.
I have heard good things about panamabob, but I have also heard very good things about incabox. I haven't written to any of these two guys yet. I want to educate myself a little bit more before I do.
03-13-2004, 08:18 PM
I'm wearing the hat I got from PanamaBob in this picture over to the left. It is a terrific hat, with a very nice weave count, and was an absolute bargain.
03-13-2004, 08:19 PM
I have fond an eBay member who has bought panama hats from these two (incabox and panamabob) guys. I will e-mail him or her and find out what he/she thinks of the hats he/she has bought from them. (out of respect I will keep that person's opinion to myself).
03-13-2004, 08:49 PM
This is a small , tight knit society of hat lovers, and other things. We (I) only post things that are based upon actual experience. So, be wary of Ebay...a good measure..but this is the place where you will be amongst friends.
03-13-2004, 08:56 PM
Thank you, Andykev.
03-13-2004, 11:27 PM
Well I have one coming. After Art does a block on it, I should have it in time for next weekend. The LA Tribe will get a chance to see it next Sunday (Manny Oquendo concert). I am extremely estatic.
03-14-2004, 04:35 AM
As usual...I hope it lives up to the hype!
How many people are buying those 25,000 dollar or even the 2,000 dollar hat, or even the 1,000 hat? I bet few. If they want to, that is their bussiness. There is always someone wanting to waste their money and why should they not be able to.
Most of those over priced hats from USA makers you banish, are averaging between 500 and 750 dollars. Some are cheaper. Seems to me that accounts for overhead and the nice label from an upper-end merchant. Some people want that. Some people shop discount stores. Or maybe, the hats are more finly finished with nicer handmade hat bands. And maybe the brim is over 3 inches and the body is more expensive. And maybe the price is somewhat inflated because the merchant can get it from the market he serves. In the USA we are a capitalist economy.
I can tell you my Optimo Fino has a 3-3/4 brim and a hand beaded hat hand. It did not cost me 25,000 dollars and what I paid for it is my bussiness. It is the most beautiful Panama I have seen. There is nothing on your page to compare.
It also seems to me the price is between the buyer and seller.
03-14-2004, 10:30 AM
You are telling the wrong person to relax. Walk a mile in my shoes where your wife lived in a one room shack made out of cane and wood...rats galore...just trying to help out some poor familiws. . I have the wrong attitude to sell these hats....where are the CUTTHROAT SELLING 101: Get Rich Off Of Po' Folk classes?...you know who you are! My opinion, it doesn't need a lawsuit....no specific names.
I see who comes to town, I get calls to come look at their boxes ready for Express Mail, 2nd week in February was the last I saw before I came home. Whose box did I see? Western State Address...nice hats....bought one as yet unpaid for (looks to be a golf hat to the tune of $$$, I paid $80.00. I see the hats, I know the prices, I know the people, thank you. Each extra centimeter costs a bit more for the weaving, yes. I can get any size you'd want, too. And yes it costs a BIT more, just a BIT.
When a man goes down to Montecristi, and pays one of the richest men in town $250-$350.00 (I'm talking superfino, you can't do regular select for less)for one of the finest hats around, knowing that some poor old woman or man has woven that thing of beauty and receives half of that and then that man brings it home, puts on airs, blocks the hat beautifully no doubt, and sells it on his website or his store for $3000.00 plus...I do think I know what I'm talking about. I don't knock the man for making the price. I knock a man for letting the poor weavers live how they do. My opinion, no libel, no victim.
How many $20,000 hats does one sell? I asked once and got a shove off. I asked lots of things and get short quips..."kids in college." etc. I ask a lot, ask Mr. Black.
I've asked you not to fill the board with this drivel. Please, fill my inbox or my private messages, because I've lived and will live there. You are most welcome to fly down, pick out your hat and fly back for less than $3000. Superfino, nothing less.
I'd go out and check the store, but am certainly not welcomed there.
Hey Panama dude:
You don't get to pick and choose what is on the forum. This is an open discussion. We still practice free speak up here in the States. If it were restricted to political correctness, as you define it, the forum would not be a very good source for information.
Sorry to see this is a personal issue for you. But reality being what it is...life is unfair. Maybe the weavers should get together and uniformlly charge the Gringos coming down higher prices. The hats will only sell in the US what the market will pay. Simple economics. Or maybe you should charge more and pay the weavers more. None of this is the fault of anyone on this forum, or any customer buying a Panama hat.
Go ahead blow some more steam and have the last word. But that is not what the forum is for. Personally, I find you to beating up on every one selling Panama hats who competes with you. Not very good crickit, old man.
03-14-2004, 10:59 AM
It is your hard earned greenback.
Don't question my patriotism.
My name is Robert, not dude.
03-14-2004, 11:32 AM
JRH chill. In my opinion, this was getting on the personal side. It's not only about free speech, but free market. Bob, is a "straight-up" fella. If you have a beef outside of bad experiences with Bob, you really should take it offline.
03-14-2004, 08:07 PM
Well! I have personally bought hats from Optimo, Brent Black, Panama Bob, Hat Guys (Oakland), and Miller hats.
I have visited FINO FINO in Menlo Park, and Paul's Hatworks in SF.....Michael Harris ..one of the best hatters I have ever seen.
His hats are in the $2500 and up price range.
So folks, here it is: Sellers charge what the marked will bear, profit for them, pay for their rent, supplies, the workers who trim the hats....'cmon...you ever run your own business. Geez, workers compensation insurance in California will KILL you!
So I see Panama Bob as a guy who has an inside track who can find bargains and send them to you at prices that are from a bygone era.
I was NOT ripped off when I got my Panama Bob hat.
My take on this "thread" is that , yes, there are those who attach a high price based upon rairity...and the market will dictate what sells and what does not.
Go into a jewelery store,,the markup is WHOPPING.
And real estate..ask what you want..but something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
Please gentlemen..this is a civil discussion and do not get personal.
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