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Fedora Lounge Impact

Ianthepilot

New in Town
Messages
20
Location
North-Central Massachusetts
Marc Chevalier said:
it's possible that tens of thousands of nonmembers view it all the time.
They do. I was one of them until only half a week ago. When a person runs a search on google about almost anything pertaining to the golden era, fedoras especially, they are going to start finding links to the Lounge at one point or another.
If this place has made an impact, I'd say that that's it. I can't really think of a better place to go to for people who are interested in these sorts of things short of doing heavy research and chastising a modern hatmaker who may or may not know as much about the field as can be found here in one convenient place.
 

fedoralover

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,006
Location
Great Northwest
I've been a member of the lounge since MK first started it. Before that I was at Club Obi Wan a lot because it was one of the best places to talk and share info about hats. Mostly Indy hats true, but not all. Then I could count on buying really nice fedora's, Whippets and Stratoliners for around $45 to $60 off of ebay. A nice vintage borsalino would maybe run up to $80. Hard to find those deals anymore, is that because of the Lounge? I think it is. As I write this post there were 60 members online at the lounge and 281 visitors. I can't help but think that the vast amount of knowledge shared on this board hasn't helped people know what to look for in a great hat and how to reshape and clean them.
It only takes 2 people who really want an item to bid up the price to high levels not previously seen. I'm glad for the most part my collecting is done, to try and get some of the same fedora's today would cost me more than my wife and my bank account could tolerate.

fedoralover
 
Messages
14,812
Location
Buffalo, NY
The Lounge has (about) 18509 members, not all into hats. How large would be the impact of that, in a population of, say, 250 million?

Considering that the page views on an interesting vintage hat generally number in the hundreds, I would hazard a guess that the Fedora Lounge influences a fair share of the looks and bids.
 

Undertow

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,126
Location
Des Moines, IA, US
I can't say that the FL has *no* impact, but to say there is some kind of direct correlation between viewers/membership and the ultimate outcome of an eBay listing seems short sighted.

Afterall, where did the member's of the FL start? Certainly not all FL hat wearers joined the FL first before purchasing hats; and certainly not all eBay bidders of hats are FL members. So why should it follow that the FL has a specific impact on eBay? Simply because some eBay bidders may have reviewed the FL prior?

I don't think that's a good enough answer. There are numerous antique buyers/dealers, as well as syle mavens and regular Joe's that like hats. If anything, I would be inclined to say the increase in high-bid eBay listings is a result of Hollywood and television network ratings.
 

DJH

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,351
Location
Ft Worth, TX
It only takes 2 people who really want an item to bid up the price to high levels not previously seen.

Yes indeed and this happens a lot of the time.

I've seen many eBay auctions where there are two bidders about $60 or $70 higher than the others who have bid on the hat. The fact that the single additional person was committed enough to place a sizable bit costs the eventual winner quite a bit. Get more than two people prepared to bid and all kinds of things can happen. I know that quite often one or both of the higher bidders (of hats in my size) are members from the Lounge, so there is certainly an influence from here.
 

Lefty

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,639
Location
O-HI-O
True, b-u-u-u-t ... the "Hats" section of the Lounge can be viewed by anyone, not just members ... and it's possible that tens of thousands of nonmembers view it all the time. (We'll never know how many, of course, because statistics can't be gathered about nonmembers. Or can they?)

I always question the idea of 20,000 members. AFAIK, that number simply means that many people have signed up. They may have posted once, because they had a single question and/or were selling something, and never viewed the Lounge again. Heck, they may have moved away from the types of things discussed on the Lounge or even passed away. Most of the time, there are no more than 70 people viewing the Hats forum, which almost always has the most viewers. Viewing the "member's online" box at the bottom of the home page, I tend to recognize most of the Hats regulars, accounting for around 1/3 to half of who's usually viewing. Saying we have 20k members is like saying McDonald's has 20 billion members.

To me, this tends to indicate why the heavily discussed hats (the ones that everyone learns about right away), such as Whippets, Strats, & Playboys are the ones that sell for crazy prices, when similar hats, Stetson or otherwise, go for half the cost of the big names. A new guy sees several hundred pages of Stratoliners, and he's not going to go after a Royal Deluxe clone with exactly the same proportions. When it comes to a quality vintage hat without a name, I can almost tell which members of the Lounge are fighting for it. Of 20k members, it's pretty easy to get the list down to under 5.

Active members. Now there's the question.
 
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Lefty

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,639
Location
O-HI-O
Up to 5 for any specific hat.
An example would be a great 20s or 30s western in a 7 1/2. You'll get a few of the new guys who bid early and have no chance of winning, but it will probably end with real competition between feltfan (hoping to stretch it a little), vic (going up just a little) and maybe one or two others.
 

Tomasso

Incurably Addicted
Messages
13,719
Location
USA
I always question the idea of 20,000 members. AFAIK, that number simply means that many people have signed up. They may have posted once, because they had a single question and/or were selling something, and never viewed the Lounge again.
A quick perusal of the member list found:9435 members with 0 posts.......1472 with 1 post........842 with 2 posts...............and 14085 with 10 or less..........mind you, it's a rather common occurrence on message boards for a relatively small percentage of membership to make the lion's share of posts.
 

Lefty

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,639
Location
O-HI-O
Nice. I hadn't tried looking at the member list for quite a while, and the last time I tried, it said I didn't have the right handshake (or something along those lines).

I tried searching members with at least 200 posts who posted at least once since Jan. 1 and came up with only 361.
 
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fedoralover

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,006
Location
Great Northwest
How often a person posts here doesn't reflect how often they buy hats. Art told me that he gets a lot of business from people that read the posts but never post themselves, I believe the term they are sometimes referred to is "lurkers" and they never post pictures of the hats he makes for them. But they are indeed influenced to have him make them one from what they see and read here on the lounge.

fedoralover
 

Terry "The Hat"

Practically Family
Messages
543
Location
East Central Illinois
How often a person posts here doesn't reflect how often they buy hats. Art told me that he gets a lot of business from people that read the posts but never post themselves, I believe the term they are sometimes referred to is "lurkers" and they never post pictures of the hats he makes for them. But they are indeed influenced to have him make them one from what they see and read here on the lounge.

fedoralover

Most forums this size have a great number of lurkers. Some of the time there are more of them than actual members. This forum influences them just as much as it influences us. I didn't start buying hats because I joined the Fedora Lounge. I found and joined the Fedora Lounge while looking for a hat. It has been a great help and I've made some friends here. I've also picked up several very nice hats (not from Ebay but from the members here).
 

wgiceman

One of the Regulars
Messages
159
Location
Houston, Texas
Most forums this size have a great number of lurkers. Some of the time there are more of them than actual members. This forum influences them just as much as it influences us. I didn't start buying hats because I joined the Fedora Lounge. I found and joined the Fedora Lounge while looking for a hat. It has been a great help and I've made some friends here. I've also picked up several very nice hats (not from Ebay but from the members here).

Same here.
 

Lefty

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,639
Location
O-HI-O
The idea that the Lounge is driving up ebay prices is sort of like the music being too loud as you get old. A new generation raises the complaint every year, whether it's about hats or clothing.
Yet, every year, it's the same hats that go for more, and deals are found in every size, by those who have taken the time to do more than learn a few names.
2006
2007
2008

As usual, feltfan is wise.

***

Meanwhile, remember that good deals still come up on eBay.
Look for poorly listed items. Look for excellent quality brands
that most people don't know about, like Portis, Disney, Adam,
Mallory, Mossant, Flechet, Barbisio, and Caxton. Remember that
the Borsalino hunters might not know about Knox or Dobbs,
many of which are at least the equal of Borsalino. The trick
is not to buy with the herd.

Or to put it another way, the more you know about
hats and hat history, the bigger the edge you have on
everyone else who is looking. Therefore, the best way
to get a good deal on hats on eBay is to take a lot of
time and read the old threads on this site.

Or shrink your head down a size or two, in some cases.

"We have met the enemy and he is us." Pogo Possum


BTW, I completely agree with this,
How often a person posts here doesn't reflect how often they buy hats.
but would note that nearly every hat that I watch (and I like to think that I see many of the good ones) ends up being posted here.

As to customs, they're like the named hats. Art's name is frequently posted and praised here (as it deserves to be). It doesn't take anyone very long to learn the trusted names of Art and Optimo around here, but that's neither here nor there as to the prices of vintage hats on ebay.
 
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wgiceman

One of the Regulars
Messages
159
Location
Houston, Texas
In a way, you guys are validating the point that I am trying to make.

For example, the way that I learned about Portis, Mallory, Adam, Flechet, Mossant, Barbisio, Disney, Mayser and Knox was via the lounge. I would guess that you guys also learned a lot about them here, as well. So, when one of these brands tend to show up on ebay, it is not the casual consumer who tends to be stuck on Stetson and Borsalino that we bid against. It tends to be fellow loungers. Those same loungers are the ones who will also notice the poorly listed items. We are all seeing and noticing the same things. This is just a general observation on my part based on recent experience.
 

Tomasso

Incurably Addicted
Messages
13,719
Location
USA
There is no doubt that the FLounge has an impact on the lid market but the extent is indeterminable.
 

Brad Bowers

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,187
All I know is that there are others that are interested in the same three brands I collect, and have deeper pockets than I.

Brad
 

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