Advice on starting a vintage clothing business
If you are the type of person who loves sifting through the rails at the thrift store, spending time at yard sales or spending the weekend at flea markets, you’ve probably thought to yourself – ‘I could make a business out of this’ – but how?
Selling vintage clothing may seem like a pipeline dream, but the good news is that it isn’t as difficult as you may think. Unlike other professions, setting up a business doesn’t require any professional qualifications, and you will learn the tricks of the trade along the way.
Here’s how you can turn your passion for vintage and retro into a fully-fledged vintage business:
1. Look for a trustworthy supplier
Relying on thrift stores and flea markets probably isn’t going to cut it when you have a business to run. Finding treasures is all down to luck on the day. You’re going to have to search for a good supplier who will source the garments for you in good quality condition.
If you consider yourself creative, you could always ask the dealer to sell you a few wounded items, which will most likely be sold to you at a lower price. This would be an opportunity to make a sole profit by trying the method of upcycling; otherwise known as the art of sustainable fashion. This process transforms the original wounded garment into a brand-new style in sellable condition; for example – shortening the length, ensuring a better fit or making it into a different piece altogether. Upcycling will require a good level of sewing ability; meaning you’ll need to invest in a professional sewing machine and sewing machine table to alter the product to the highest standard. Golden Cutting & Sewing Supplies offer a stable and durable option which will make a suitable work station for days spent adjusting and altering clothing.
2. Decide who your target audience is
It’s not necessarily the older generation who will appreciate vintage clothing – it’s now becoming a popular trend amongst teenagers and kids too. Before you start purchasing your stock, you need to establish who your sole target audience is going to be as a way of limiting your spending and focusing your efforts.
3. Be clever with photographs
Customers are more inclined to purchase an item of clothing if it is photographed well and displayed effectively; such as with the use of a mannequin or model. Refrain from snapping away at a dress hung on the back of a door as it is an unprofessional technique, and won’t showcase the garment in all its glory.
4. Make sure the price is right
Although vintage clothing pieces are one-off items that can’t be found elsewhere, this doesn’t mean you can charge the earth. There are many established sellers found online who already have a large client base, so be realistic with your pricing in order to secure sales in the early days.
Pricing your items correctly will entail a vast amount of research, to understand the estimated worth of the item and the brand. However, if you’ve been a vintage lover for years and are used to purchasing similar items, it’s likely you’re already aware of a suitable pricing strategy.