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Panama Hat Direct Question

bobkeenan

Familiar Face
Messages
67
Location
Portland, OR
Are these guys ok?

I orded a fino back in late May and got the hat in mid June. It took about 2-3 weeks. The packaging was poor and was crushed. The wood box was in pieces. The brim was too short than what was advertised. The Crown looked shorter than the picture. I ordered a non-leather band and got leather. And the silk crown band had a staple sticking way out of it.

So I called that day and they were very nice about it and offered a return and they would pay for shipping. I get the hat back to them in a 3 days. Then I hear nothing from them. When you first order they let you know, with an email, each milestone of the hat production. I hear nothing. So I start calling and emailing. What I get is don't worry we are working on it. Yesterday I get an email that it took a long time in customs but was in GA and would be shipped in a few days. Right after that I get an email saying that I had received the hat already in June. I had to tell them that this was the first hat with the problems. No reply to that.

So I call today. I ask for the status and he says he has the hat in his hands, but in Ecuador and would be shipped out sometime next week. Then of course it sits in customs. Then it ships to GA and then it ships to me. And they do not use fast shipping.

I am wondering what hat will and arrive and when. Maybe after Summer.

He says that they get so many orders that its hard to keep track of them?????

I think I may just cancel this order and go to a nice hat store.
 
Messages
10,146
Location
Boston area
Wow, Bob; not good! I've not heard of many fowl ups by them, but I guess anything is possible. I hope this gets straightened out satisfactorily for you, because they do offer one of the best values out there. Yes, they're a cottage industry, making the organization something of a challenge, but they SHOULD have it down by now!
 

Ordinary Guy

One Too Many
Messages
1,292
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
I have had same kind of problems with them.... The hat I got had a shorter brim and different ribbon, packaging had been cut open.....Luckily the slice missed the hat..... They said ship it back but would not pay for the shipping. instead of replacing the hat with what I ordered
they said keep it and offered a partial refund.
I have ordered in the past and no problems but perhaps they have gotten too big are a bit over whelmed ......

I just know I won't deal with them any more.. too long a wait for the hat to arrive and then if it is wrong, too much of a hassle to come up with a solution.......

Unfortunately I don't have a hat store any closer than a 3 hour drive.......
 

bobkeenan

Familiar Face
Messages
67
Location
Portland, OR
Now they are saying they will ship it direct to me instead of shipping it to GA first. I am not even sure why they ship it to GA first? Cheaper? If I get a tracking number in the next few dys I will stick with them but if not I will cancel. Wonder how hard getting a refund will be.

One other odd thing. When I last called I had to give him the order info and within 30 seconds he said "I have your hat in my hands". He measured the brim for me and it was too short. I told him what I ordered and then all of a sudden the brim size was the same or a little larger than what I ordered.
 

RJR

Messages
10,622
Location
Iowa
Now they are saying they will ship it direct to me instead of shipping it to GA first. I am not even sure why they ship it to GA first? Cheaper? If I get a tracking number in the next few dys I will stick with them but if not I will cancel. Wonder how hard getting a refund will be.

One other odd thing. When I last called I had to give him the order info and within 30 seconds he said "I have your hat in my hands". He measured the brim for me and it was too short. I told him what I ordered and then all of a sudden the brim size was the same or a little larger than what I ordered.
I've had good experiences with them;your experience is unforgivable,imo.
 

AndyR

One of the Regulars
Messages
227
Location
Illinois
Bob, who were you talking to? Just curious. My transaction had some glitches that really sounded like I was getting jerked around, but it ended up to be nothing more than poor communication.

In my case, the replacement hat (I ordered the wrong size the first time) was an actual 'in stock' item that was pictured. William said he was holding it in his hand and he answered questions about it, along with a few about another hat. I can tell by comparing mine to the picture, that it was indeed the actual hat that was on their web site.

Good luck. I hope your purchase ultimately works out for you too.
 

bobkeenan

Familiar Face
Messages
67
Location
Portland, OR
Finally got my Panama today and I am very happy with it. It is a fino with a very wide brim, just like I ordered it. So would I order from them again... yes. Although next time I would be overly communicative. Here is one pic.

p1955640831-4.jpg
 

Ld1422

New in Town
Messages
6
Location
Delaware/Florida
I ordered my second Panama Hat, an Optimo, from PHD. What I found out is that you have to stay on top of them regarding the status of your order. They have always responded to me within a day or two. It will take approximately 3 or 4 weeks from start to finish to receive your hat. I am talking about one that is already made. Is it worth the wait? You bet it is. I don't think that you can get a Monticristi Fino For the price they charge anywhere. It is a quality hat. You must also remember that it is shipped from Ecuador and needs to get through customs.
 

AndyR

One of the Regulars
Messages
227
Location
Illinois
Nice! The large brim looks good on you Bob. Which style is that? I'm glad the purchase ultimately worked out well for you.
 

RJR

Messages
10,622
Location
Iowa
Finally got my Panama today and I am very happy with it. It is a fino with a very wide brim, just like I ordered it. So would I order from them again... yes. Although next time I would be overly communicative. Here is one pic.

p1955640831-4.jpg
That hat looks good on you.
 
Messages
10,146
Location
Boston area
Are these guys ok?

I orded a fino back in late May and got the hat in mid June. It took about 2-3 weeks. The packaging was poor and was crushed. The wood box was in pieces. The brim was too short than what was advertised. The Crown looked shorter than the picture. I ordered a non-leather band and got leather. And the silk crown band had a staple sticking way out of it.

So I called that day and they were very nice about it and offered a return and they would pay for shipping. I get the hat back to them in a 3 days. Then I hear nothing from them. When you first order they let you know, with an email, each milestone of the hat production. I hear nothing. So I start calling and emailing. What I get is don't worry we are working on it. Yesterday I get an email that it took a long time in customs but was in GA and would be shipped in a few days. Right after that I get an email saying that I had received the hat already in June. I had to tell them that this was the first hat with the problems. No reply to that.

So I call today. I ask for the status and he says he has the hat in his hands, but in Ecuador and would be shipped out sometime next week. Then of course it sits in customs. Then it ships to GA and then it ships to me. And they do not use fast shipping.

I am wondering what hat will and arrive and when. Maybe after Summer.

He says that they get so many orders that its hard to keep track of them?????

I think I may just cancel this order and go to a nice hat store.

Shouldn't this thread title now be amended to include the last word, "resolved?"
 
Last edited:

JeffOYB

Vendor
Messages
183
Location
Michigan
I'm thinking of buying a hat. PHD is having a sale and I'm wondering if there's a big aspect of "end of year slim pickins" happening. Here are screenshots of SuperFino hats they have... I see "big hole divot dots" and wavy lines and some bold diagonal lines. Am I just seeing things and these things are fine, or are they not so hot?

1.png
2.png
4.png
5.png
6.png
 

jlee562

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,843
Location
San Francisco, CA
I am no Panama expert, so I would defer to other members that may want to chime in with a more experienced eye; but, I don't see anything alarming in the photos you've posted. Is it a hat Brent Black would sell? Maybe not, it's not impeccable. But as it is, the 'flaws' in this hat won't be obvious from more than a foot away. Remember, these are woven by hand. The ring of "divots" you are seeing, I believe are an artifact of weaving new fibers in. The lines you see here are an artifact of the fibers being slightly different widths.

To quote Mr. Black
Remember: ALL HATS HAVE SOME FLAWS, IMPERFECTIONS, AND IRREGULARITIES.

His guide to Panama grades may be of interest to you: https://www.brentblack.com/panama-hat-grades-explained.html

badweaveh.jpg

Look at the photo on the left. There is an area on this hat that counts 30 by 23. And overall it is a finely woven hat. But you can see easily that the rows of weave are not even close to being straight. The thickness of the individual straws varies significantly. There are irregularly woven areas that look very different from the surrounding weave. And many other very visible flaws.
panamahatweaveh.jpg
Compare the weave above with the weave to the right. The hat above is more finely woven. But which hat would you prefer to own? I think most people would prefer the beautifully woven hat to the right over the more finely woven hat shown above.

To me, the hat above is so irregularly woven that its price should be significantly lower than the price of the hat to the right. Possibly as much as 3 or 4 price levels lower.

...

When pricing the irregularly woven hat above, I gave it a -2 for Quality of Weave. The beautifully woven hat above right was given a +1 for quality of weave.

The third factor is Color of Straw. If the Color of Straw is exceptionally clear and even, then I would give the hat a +1. If the Color of Straw is a problem due to excessive amounts of gray or red straw, then I would give the hat a -1, possibly even a -2.

I am more likely to buy a hat with irregular weave than with color problems. To me, a finely woven hat is desirable even if there are irregularities in the weave. Generally, one has to look closely to see the irregularities. But a color problem is obvious and detracts immediately from the appeal of the hat.

My take is that the pictured hat has some irregularities which would disqualify it from being sold at the highest of price points. I also don't think anyone will notice the minor irregularities, such as the tiny variation in the width of the weave, unless they are specifically looking for it. It's up to you as to whether or not these are disqualifying qualities. If I were getting a deal, I personally would not be bothered.
 

JeffOYB

Vendor
Messages
183
Location
Michigan
Thanks for the feedback. I notice in their sample hat band pics that the hats look nicer. I agree that in such high value hats we could expect a little more variance. I've appreciated the custom efforts they've made for me. And I've also had the sense of them being a small, hectic shop at times. ...Anyone know if all their weaving is done by the one guy labeled as fabrication in their staff pic? Another guy is labeled as finishing. If so, that's amazing.
 

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