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What Are the Best Tips to Sell Vintage Clothing?

Lainie Petersen
Updated Feb 15, 2024
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If you want to sell vintage clothing, you should first determine how you are going to source the vintage clothes that you plan to sell. Next, you'll have to develop one or more venues through which you can sell vintage clothing. You should also work on a name and logo for your company and develop good marketing materials that can help you promote your business. If you plan to sell the clothing online, you will also want to have ready access to a high-quality camera so that you can take display photographs of your items.

Sourcing vintage clothing can be a challenge, and it may be a good idea to initially specialize in the fashions of a particular time period. By becoming familiar with labels, brands, and sizes, you may have an easier time sourcing items that are in demand and that you can readily sell to your customers. Collect old-fashioned magazines, as they can give you great ideas about what garments to look for and how to put outfits together so as to maximize sales. You can find your stock by visiting estate sales, consignment stores, and flea markets.

If you want to sell vintage clothing through face-to-face sales, you may wish to start by getting a booth at an antiques show until you can build up enough stock to justify renting or buying a storefront. If you do get your own storefront, you may wish to set special buying hours during which people can bring clothing to the shop so that you can consider buying it for resale. As opening a brick-and-mortar shop is a major commitment, you may also want to talk to a marketing specialist about developing a logo and a comprehensive marketing plan.

If you plan to sell vintage clothing online, you should identify online auction sites or other resale values. While it is possible to sell vintage clothing from your own website, you may find that starting out on a multi-seller site can be a good way of building up a clientele and developing business processes. Be sure to take careful measurements of all garments that you sell online. Clothing sizes have changed considerably over the years, so the size of a garment tag won't be of much help to a prospective buyer. Make sure that your online listings include measurements that you take yourself, along with several photographs and a detailed description of a garment's condition.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.
Discussion Comments
By nextcorrea — On Jan 17, 2012

I was once able to find a huge collection of vintage prom dresses at an estate sale. Apparently the family had had many daughters and they all wore a new dress to prom and the other school dances every year.

So I go about 20 dresses in great condition for a steal of a price. I wasn't quite sure where to sell vintage clothes but my sister is kind of a fashion queen and I knew she could help. She put me in touch with a guy that runs a vintage shop and he gave me almost 10 times what I paid for all those dresses. Nice little profit. You wouldn't think that old clothes could fetch such a high price but any seasoned junk shopper will tell you to look out for quality vintage clothes.

By Ivan83 — On Jan 16, 2012

I work in a vintage shop and one of the biggest problems we have is people trying to sell stuff that is too old, stained, smelly or thread bear for anyone to want to buy. Basically people think if it's old it's vintage. Well sometimes it's just trash.

So if you are serious about selling vintage clothes and want to make money doing it, don't try to pass off junk. People want to be able to buy something vintage and then be able to wear and wash it for at least a year or two. If it is about to disintegrate no one will want it.

By backdraft — On Jan 16, 2012

I have been able to find the best prices for my vintage clothing by selling them online. I tried for years to sell things to vintage clothing stores in my area but they always want to low ball you and in the end I probably lost a lot of money doing it this way.

By selling online you can connect directly with consumers. I have been able to set up my own website that has pictures of the clothes and also pictures of the clothes being worn by people. The website allows me to put the clothes in context and create a brand image around the things I am selling.

I love finding and selling vintage clothes, but before I got my act together online I was worried that I was going to have to give it up and find a real job. Thanks to the internet I can keep my dream job.

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
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