There was a time back in the Spring of 2006 that I thought about starting a vintage clothing store on eBay. I know, I know.
There were only a handful of vintage ebay sellers that I knew of: Mama Stone Vintage, MouseVox Vintage, Bleubird Vintage, MakiMaki Vintage, Nasty Gal Vintage and AdoreVintage which sold clothing off of their own domain. These savvy women had tapped into something that was just starting and they were taking it to a whole different level.
I loved the idea of having an online boutique but I had too many vintage treasures that I couldn’t part with. So I set off looking for thrift finds that were cool and that I would want to sell. I set up an account, posted a few auctions and then the idea fizzled. When no one bid on my fantastic finds, I got bored and kept them in my closet. Sucks for you, worked out for me!
Apparently, no one else got bored because fast forward 2+ years and everyone and their dog has a vintage store on eBay.
Anywhoo, I don’t regret not selling clothes online, even though sometimes I feel that itch to think about what if?
If you don’t think there’s enough vintage sellers on ebay (really???!!!) and want to jump headfirst into it. Again, really???!!!
Then I would use the stylealchemy Selling Vintage Clothing on eBay Starter Set:
1. Think of a business name for your store, add vintage, voila! Register this domain name everywhere. Think Etsy, eBay, personal domain. You have to think bigger than eBay, people! There will come a point where you will not want to deal with fees, trust me.
2. Go thrifting. Lots and lots of thrifting. You need inventory. You need good product. Please realize, I do not want to buy something that looks like a thrift store find. Make it look like the hottest shit evah! Let’s go to #3.
3. Start styling. Think outside of the box. That Cosby sweater is not ugly, it’s avant-garde. Pair with lame tights, sick black boots, sunglasses. Put together crazy combinations that work, make my jaw drop at your awesomeness!
4. Find models. For those starting out, you can use yourself but you must be edgy. If not, get your hipster friends to pose by offering them free beer (PBR anyone?) and the lure of internet stardom as a model.
5. Tell model friend that they are fierce, have them pose as if their back hurts. This is where watching America’s Next Top Model comes in handy. Vintage clothing eBay models do not smile with their eyes, mostly because they are covered by huge sunglasses. They are insolent, bored and a little tough but they look frickin amazing and you want to dress like that, don’t you? You know you do, cause I do!
6. Figure out if you want really awesome, clear photographs that look professional and make buyer drool in the genius of that leather skirt or do you want something more creative. Do not be mediocre! Mediocrity will not produce bidders. Pick an extreme and stick with it.
7. Promote, promote, promote your store. This is your brand. Love it, live it.
8. You are now ready to start selling. Godspeed!
In all seriousness, I give mad props to all those vintage eBay sellers who have developed their businesses into mini-empires. Look at Nasty Gal Vintage, MakiMaki, etc. Maybe if I had stuck with it, I would have a hugely successful vintage business but my main problem stems from the fact that if I found some great piece, it probably wouldn’t make it into the store. So I will continue to support other vintage sellers in their quest for online domination. These ladies are redefining what a businesswoman looks like. Take note, internet!
♥ the alchemist
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