Modern clothing is undoubtedly the fast-selling item on the market. But if you are the type that dabbles in a different niche, then selling vintage clothing is something to explore. You can rein in additional potential buyers and sell them at a high price.
You may be thinking, are vintage clothing that appealing? You may imagine old clothes that your grandparents wore or some heirloom pieces that have no hopes of being worn again. But surprisingly, Gen Z shoppers are keen on vintage clothing. They like putting modern twists on it, turning something old into a stylish outfit. Investing in vintage is something worthwhile, especially when you get your hands on luxury and rare pieces.
What is considered vintage?
Vintage simply means belonging to earlier times. These can be from the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. But it can also range far back to the ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s. Common vintage items are clothing, jewelry, shoes, and accessories. Some of these items have a collector’s appeal, especially if produced by a well-known designer or artist. The term also applies when there is a record of authenticity and previous ownership.
Now, what is the difference between vintage and retro? The latter applies to those items that reference the past–not necessarily from the past. You can think of padded jackets and baggy jeans.
Compared to retro, vintage was created in earlier times. Some are considered more valuable than modern items, given the history, ownership, and even the hallmark styles of various brands. All of these factors make it worth considering in your inventory or listings.
Where to source vintage?
Scouring for vintage items and even one-of-a-kind pieces may be a challenge. But there are many different destinations to look into. You only need to have general knowledge of what can be a high-value item and to be patient in your search.
Thrift Stores and Boutiques
For those on a tight budget, your best option is to visit your local thrift stores. The items come at low prices, and the best part is you can even negotiate them. The latter applies especially when you are buying clothing and shoes in bulk. Therefore, most sellers at the thrift stores encourage you to purchase more items so they can give you a good discount.
You can check your area for thrifting destinations. Do a quick Google search to make it easier so you can plan out your trip.
It is good to check for authenticity when choosing vintage items from these stores, especially if they are branded or designer. You need not be an expert in identifying whether an item is authentic. You can do general research, but if you are still not confident, you can always ask an expert or a friend who has knowledge on this.
Yard Sales, Garage Sales, and Rummage Sales
Sometimes, you don’t need to venture far to snag vintage items. You can look into your neighborhood to find someone selling their pre-loved clothes. Many of these are priced relatively low, given that people want to move them out to make room for new clothing and accessories.
Beyond your neighborhood, you can also check out rummage sales of churches and hospitals. There may be heaps of clothing that can get overwhelming, but if you are patient and have a good eye for vintage, you can find something worth selling there.
A tip: before visiting sales, you may want to research the items you are planning to buy should you come across them. Do this by looking up vintage pieces in online marketplaces like Poshmark and Depop. Take note of the prices so that when you haggle in garage and yard sales.
Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace
As well-known e-commerce destinations, these two are your best option should you prefer to shop from the convenience of your home. While it may be a daunting task given the thousands of listings there, you can use the filter features to target your location and narrow down your search.
However, keep in mind that scams are common in the digital landscape and so you must be careful in checking the listings. The vintage items may not be as they appear in the photos, and the seller may just be roping you in. Therefore, you have to remain cautious in online transactions. Look out for signs that the listing or the seller may not be real before completing your purchase.
3 Top Tips on Listing
There are many tips on listing vintage, but here are three major ones you should take note of.
- Check for the authenticity of branded vintage pieces.
Before you even get your hands on the items, make sure to check if the brand or label is authentic. Many fake pieces are being produced out there, so it may be tough to identify, especially if you are not an expert. You can look up general identifiers of brands such as the hallmark styles, materials, logos, and other elements. If you are still uncertain, you can always consult a vintage retailer. They have the knowledge and expertise and can help you identify whether or not a vintage piece is authentic and of high value.
- Prioritize hygiene
Before selling these clothes, make sure you properly wash and steam or iron them out. You also must stitch any ripped seams or cut out any loose threads. You want these items to be in the best condition possible before shipping them to the buyer.
As there is a possibility that these have been worn many times before, keeping everything hygienic is your top priority. Do these even before taking photos, so the images in your listings come out visually appealing.
- Set the price right
When setting the price, always do research. As these pieces dated back decades ago, it may be tough to know how much you will sell them for. What you can do is look up the original price. Some websites can show you vintage prices, especially if they are iconic brands.
If you cannot find the original value, you can always compare prices with similar listings in other marketplaces. Knowing how competitors list can give you an idea of how to tag your items. Your last resort is to consult a vintage retailer or anyone who has experience in successfully selling vintage pieces.
Overall, if you can get your hand on a rare vintage, make sure to assign a high price to this. People are willing to purchase them as these can be part of their collections or something attractive and unique to post on their Instagram to show them off.
Where can you sell vintage?
With hundreds of online marketplaces out there, you may be confused about where is the best place to do it. eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplaces are your safest choices as these are the long-standing and stable online marketplaces out there.
If you want something with a modern look and with equally young audiences, opt to sell in these places: Poshmark, Depop, Mercari, Tradesy, and ThredUp. These are the popular marketplaces in the US where you can sell vintage and other pre-loved items. There is a wealth of branded ones like Michael Kors and North Face. But some don’t have labels yet still are good and modern enough to be sold and worn.
If you are selling luxury vintage, opt for TheRealReal (identifies themselves as luxury consignment), Refashioner (for avant-garde designers and unique pieces), and Style Alert by Material World (for pre-owned luxury apparel, accessories, and handbags).
Pro-tip for the vintage seller
Whether or not you are exclusively a reseller for vintage items or combine it with other pre-loved items, you may be wondering how else you can increase your sales. This is where an automation tool like OneShop comes in handy.
The service app allows you to cross-list your listings to different marketplaces. For instance, if you are selling on Poshmark, you can crosslist your items to Depop, Mercari,and eBay (soon to add Grailed and Facebook Marketplace).
When you do this, you increase your exposure to thousands of other potential buyers. You are more likely to close sales as more people will see and be interested in your listings. OneShop also automatically delists once you have sold a listing in a marketplace, preventing you from selling the same item twice.
Additionally, OneShop allows you to track your sales. As growth is your top priority, you can see how much you have been earning and which of your items sell well. From monitoring, you can gain insights on how else you can improve as a reseller.
Take advantage of the 7-day free trial today and experience the convenience of having OneShop as your virtual partner in business.