Collecting vintage has always been a passion of mine. I have been frequenting charity shops and car boot sales since I was knee-high-to-a-grasshopper. I have spent years wandering, rummaging and sourcing charming, interesting and downright bizarre finds from times gone by. Eventually this hobby of thrifting on a weekly basis led to a rather large collection of Stuff. Oh yes, with a capital S. My house was bursting with vintage finds. And in order to keep my hobby going I needed a system of moving on some of my vintage finds to make room for the newbies. New vintage, if you can call it that!
And so, I set up a little online vintage shop called Three Jelly Moulds and a Wardrobe. There I was able to share my passion for vintage and find new homes for some of my vintage collection. I absolutely loved selling vintage online. Things I loved about selling vintage online included; being able to connect with fellow enthusiasts, the thrill of an order to popping up in my inbox, carefully wrapping an item in tissue paper and twine, and know that something beautiful was going to be loved in a new home.
Eventually I closed my online vintage shop for various reasons but not without learning a shedload of tips. Tips that I am happy to share with my lovely Rosalilium readers.
10 Tips for Selling Vintage Online
1. Photographs are key!
The photographs of your vintage items are a key deciding factor for a potential customer. You need to make sure you take big, clear photographs that show the item in its full glory. Ideally the item should be photographed with a plain background in at least one of the images on your site.
2. Demonstrate use
Get creative and photograph the item in use. Some items are straightforward, a coat is generally only worn as a coat. But an enamelware coffee pot has a variety of uses, it can be a simple coffee pot or ornament or even a vase. Show these in the photograph to entice the buyer!
3. Be honest in your description
You want to build a good reputation and being honest is definitely the right policy. In your description of the item be sure to note signs of age, wear and damage. Most customers interested in vintage will expect some wear on their purchases. Just don’t let it be a surprise for them!
4. Research pricing on ebay and other vintage sites
A simple google search should bring up any competitor vintage sellers and their similar items. It’s worth pricing your items at a similar rate accounting for damage and wear. After some time of researching pricing you will be able to gauge quickly how to price your items.
5 . Keep the language perky
You don’t need to be a professional copywriter to create eye-catching descriptions. Write your product descriptions with a light, friendly tone. Even some humour won’t go amiss, just keep it cheeky rather than blue!
6. Think SEO for product titles
Make the titles of your product pages as descriptive as possible including colour, era, shape, pattern, manufacturer, material or use. This will help potential customers find you via a search on Google. Keep the title to approximately 70 characters long.
7. Social media is your friend
Share your listings on social media but be mindful of spamming your followers. Spread out the listings over some time. And consider sharing sneak peeks on instagram or facebook.
8. Blog about your vintage stuff
Whether you blog about your thrifting adventures, your vintage style or even your latest product round-ups, many readers will be interested in the behind-the-scenes blog posts.
9 . Practice your fixing skills
Learn how to remove stains from clothes, lift rust from tins or bring up the shine on silver. Fix up your items as best you can to enhance your chance of selling your vintage online.
10. Become a pro at customer service
As with any business your customer service skills are paramount. This includes friendly emails, timely delivery and welcoming feedback. The vintage community are a friendly bunch so get involved and watch as your reputation grows!
Good luck if you are selling vintage online. And do share your shop link in the comments below. It would be great to see what you have in store!
P.S. I used both Shopify and Bigcartel for selling vintage. Each have their merits but both are recommended.