We recently read this blog post over at Queens of Vintage. It seems these days, people are finding it harder and harder to sell their vintage.
Ebay is pretty much a no-go unless you have a very well established store with a loyal following. The word 'vintage' is thrown around on there like nobody's business and you can rarely even hit a reserve.
Etsy is another story altogether. When Ebay fails, many turn to Etsy. We do have an Etsy store to supplement the main website but sales don't come easy. Gaining regular sales on Etsy takes one hell of a lot of hard work. It's a fantastic platform, with a great community, and a lovely selection of vintage at great prices, but being found by vintage browsers takes hours of slog. Renewing items regularly, keeping a full shop, creating treasuries, joining in with forum discussions... it's not quick fix for vintage selling by any means. However if you put the hours in, sales will happen.
Another option we have tried and tested ourselves over the years is vintage fairs. We haven't done one for a long time and we won't be doing one again. They are wonderful things, and we adore visiting them, but as vintage sellers, unfortunately they are not for us. Many people, ourselves included, found/find that quite often the takings from a vintage fair will cover the cost of the stall, sometimes your petrol or lunch but little else. People don't want to pay high prices at a fair so we always took our lowest priced items, much of which was stock we never listed on the website, yet I don't think we ever once made a profit of more than £10. There is no doubt that some sellers have incredible success at vintage fairs. We've seen them. They fair hop and it's a serious business for them. They pay for bigger stalls and tour the country. They have transit vans and a very efficient 'get in, sell, pack up, next fair' system, but again, the hours and the work are very much put in.
We launched Love Miss Daisy Vintage in September 2008. A simpler time for vintage selling, before the market became truly saturated. Having left a career in PR, we were very fortunate that I was able to gain wide press coverage within our first year. Hours upon hours were spent gathering a Twitter following (we have just hit 12,000 followers after almost 6 years of hard slog), and we were able to use Facebook to generate sales and fans before promoting posts and paying for advertising became the only way you showed up in people's news feeds.
We don't take for granted that the timing of our launch was extremely fortuitous. Had we entered the vintage business today, I'm not convinced it would have been the same story. We've seen several well known vintage websites close down in the past 6 years, for various reasons, and new websites launch. ASOS Marketplace has created a platform for many vintage fair sellers to sell online. Vintage has become a red carpet staple thanks to the wonderful William Vintage, whom I worked for at an event several years ago and was in complete awe of. Vintage clothing has hit our television screens, following the opening (and closing) of Lily Allen's store, and we shall shortly be seeing Dawn O'Porter's series 'This Old Thing' on Channel 4 (along with the release of accompanying book) which will no doubt spark a new vintage fire amongst viewers, and there is now even a Vintage TV channel.
Vintage selling is no walk in the park. As far as online shops go nowadays, if you build it, they probably won't come... for quite a while.
We see the frustration in people with wardrobes crammed full of vintage that they would like to sell in order to generate extra money for such things as the arrival of a new baby, like Lena. So if Etsy isn't working for you, if you find Ebay a complete shambles, and if you don't have the time or resources to dedicate to vintage fairs, we would like to offer our services as a vintage dress agency.
We have worked very hard for many years to establish ourselves as a trusted, reputable online vintage shop. We have always sourced our own vintage and very very rarely bought from individual sellers. But now we want to open our cyber doors as a dress agency, to people with vintage to sell who have exhausted every other avenue. Here's how it would go:
- You email us with a list of and images of the vintage items you would like to sell through us, with any flaws described
- We pick the items we believe will fit in with our collection and are of good enough quality
- We fairly price the item ourselves to fit in with our price points and what we believe the item to be worth
- You take 60% of the final sale price less p&p, we take 40% plus p&p
- We keep each item live on LMD for a total of 6 months. If after 6 months the item hasn't sold, we return it you
- We will consider vintage dating from the 1920's to the 1980's
- Vintage must be Grade A, in excellent or very good condition according to our website guidelines
- We promote the items on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest.
Hopefully we can help those of you with vintage to sell to get it in front of a good audience, promoted through all of our social media, and converted into money in your pocket without the stress.
If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, don't hesitate to get in touch and send us your images and descriptions!
And let us know what you think!