How to Start Your Own Online Vintage Shop
So you’ve decided you would like to open up your own online vintage shop. You have a fair amount of vintage inventory and eagerly ready to get started. So what’s next you say? Here are a few tips and guidelines that would be helpful for anyone looking to start their own vintage shop.
Research, Research, Research
I can’t stress this enough, first even before creating your website, research vintage clothing even your own inventory. Understand the history of vintage, why it’s so important and the details of the many different eras. Study and become knowledgeable in the different types and styles of vintage such as vintage furs, lingerie, differences between vintage day dresses vs vintage evening dresses, antique dresses vs a dress from the 1920s etc. There are many different resources out there to help as well. My favorite resource is Vintage Fashion Guild. The website provides a wealth of information on identifying and studying vintage clothing right down to label identification.
Ok, so you have an inventory of vintage clothing that you can start building your website with, well BUY more. Opening an online vintage shop means have having a constant stream of curated vintage pieces, and for that you will need to search long, hard and far. This means estate sales, yard sales, thrift stores, and even traveling to other cities and states. The best vintage I’ve found have been from traveling out of town to various places.
Know how to buy. Ok so you’re at an estate sale and you see tons of vintage clothes in a closet, so your initial reaction is to grab it all and go right? Wrong? Don’t just buy vintage because its “vintage” take a look at it, a very good look. Is this something that will fit theme of your shop (i.e. 1920s-1950s women’s dresses, 1950s men’s clothing)? Does it have any damages such as stains, tears or major stains? If so are these “ damages” easily fixable Don’t buy any vintage if it’s cost more to fix than sell
Now on to the pricing. Make sure you price your vintage items that’s within the market range to sell. This means search other vintage stores and online shops and ask why and understand how they price their items. Don’t forget most vintage items needs repairing and a good cleaning which should be reflected in the price.
Finding a Platform to Sell On
Ok so you’re now a master at researching and studying vintage clothing and you have a huge inventory of vintage pieces now it’s time to find which platform to sell on. There are many different platforms that cater to a variety of needs. Are you looking for a platform to just sell your clothing with mid to little hassle of dealing with SEO, HMTL, website building and social media and just learn the basics? Then Etsy and Ebay is your best fit. Both sites offers opportunities to sell your items with very affordable fees.
However, if you’re like me and want to have control over your website, are willing to design your website (or hire a pro) and have your very own dedicated space on the web then check out Shopify and Bigcartel, both offers the freedom you need to create and control your website. Remember this means you are in control of everything this includes SEO, marketing, and social media, blog post, etc. which bring organic viewers to your site. I use Shopify and can’t be any happier with the results. They have a dedicated support team that’s always willing to help an App store to make owning your own website easier to manage and shopify experts to assist you with various projects that you may have along the way
Now your online store is up and running, but you have minimal to no sales hardly any viewers what’s going on? For your online shop to be successful you must market your brand. Marketing is the key to having your website known to the public. Here are a few marketing that have helped me along the way.
- Constantly work on your SEO. You can learn about SEO here but there are plenty of other resources on the web
- Create a newsletters and allow anyone to subscribe
- Allow people to read your thoughts on vintage and why it is important to you
- Utilize all social media outlet
- Google Plus
- Collaborate with bloggers in your niche
- Fashion Bloggers
- Vintage Bloggers
- Network in your hometown
- Participate in Vintage shows/ Flea Markets
- Find a Meetup group ( entrepreneur, handmade, small business, fashion)
- Attend networking events in your area
Well that’s all for now. Feel free to email with any questions. I hope these tips are helpful to anyone in the vintage business. More tips coming soon on how to advance your online vintage shop