Digital Communication


Digital Communication

Online vintage sales: having your own online store


If you love fashion and trends, then why not make money selling vintage clothing? There are, however, a few points to pay attention to, particularly when it comes to choosing and preparing clothes. This represents a lot of work, especially when you’re starting out. In addition, it is essential to choose the right sales platform as well as the right sales strategy. Find out how creating an online vintage clothing store will give you great flexibility.

“Vintage”: what exactly is it?

Normally, the term “vintage” refers to clothing that is at least 20 years old. Some people are even more picky and claim that vintage clothing dates from the 1920s to 1950s. Clothing that is only a few years old is not considered vintage, but can still reflect its style.

Before launching into selling vintage clothing online: find a niche

It is essential to precisely define the term vintage before even launching your fashion store. As the offer is very varied in the fashion market, it is important to find a niche. From there, you can develop your brand and your sales strategy. To write the business plan, it will also be essential to know your product inside out as well as its USPs.

To find a niche market, for example, you can choose only one style of clothing. Here are some concrete ideas you can draw on:

  • Vintage clothing from the 1920s
  • Vintage sports or wedding clothing
  • Casual or romantic vintage clothing
  • Vintage pants or coats
  • Vintage clothes for children or work
  • T-shirts with film or rock band motifs

The advantages and challenges of selling vintage online

One of the fundamental advantages of selling vintage clothing on the Internet: the clothes are generally easy to get at a low price. On the other hand, this acquisition can take a lot of time. Once you find what exactly suits you, you need to check and examine each item of clothing. It will surely be necessary sew them up, clean them and repair them. Even though it’s second-hand clothing, your customers will have high expectations for its quality. Once each item has been assembled/prepared, a photo shoot will need to be carried out to showcase them. Finally, you will be able to sort and store them.

How to sell clothes on the Internet?

Before creating your online store, you must check each of these points:

  • Acquisition : sort through your own wardrobe and that of your family and friends, go to flea markets, pay attention to classified ads, auctions, liquidations and second-hand shops. You can also go to a professional wholesaler from whom you can buy “in bulk”. In any case, you will have to pay attention to the quality and price of what you buy.
  • Repair/cleaning : if you do not have the required devices, contact a dry cleaning service (ideal for delicate materials) and a sewing workshop who will repair small defects professionally.
  • Presentation : take care to take product photos and write quality descriptions. Professional product photography plays an important role in online sales.
  • Storage : Clothes must be correctly folded, stored and sorted. You’ll also need to get padded clothing bags and hangers, find somewhere large enough for storage, and develop a system so you can find each item of clothing quickly.

Inspiration for creatives: learn more about selling furniture online, selling jewelry online, and selling art online.

Risks and benefits of online sales

Online sales have advantages, but also their own disadvantages.

If you want to sell second-hand clothes online, you have the advantage of start your business quickly and easily thanks to all the platforms and tools that already exist on the Web. You decide the size of your website and how much time and money you want to invest. Furthermore, you can work from any location, using only a laptop.

Your main challenge: stand out from the crowd. Furthermore, your customers will not be able to try on or touch the clothes before ordering them. You will therefore need to think carefully about your shipping method and how you will handle returns. For example, you can work with a dropshipping supplier to help you manage your inventory.

The different possibilities for selling vintage clothing online

You will have a good chance of standing out from the others by creating your own vintage clothing online store. This will give you all the flexibility you need. No matter how many items you sell, you decide how many photos, text, and videos to upload. You can also create an attached blog with ideas for combining clothes or care tips.

Develop your content strategy and tell the story the story of your love for fashion to promote your website. Link to your online store a blog on these themes to create real added value to your business.

Social networks are also platforms suitable for selling vintage clothing online. You will actually go faster by organizing your sales via Instagram or Facebook. You can also create your own online store and then organize your marketing strategy via social networks. It’s the ideal combo. This is where collaboration with influencers makes sense. The advantage of Social Selling? You interact directly with your community. The disadvantages: little flexibility and possible costs for promoting your posts.

The third possibility for selling your vintage clothing online is marketplaces. Among other examples, Etsy is a platform recognized for the sale of handmade creations, and you can also find vintage clothing there. Alternatives to Etsy for clothing are Amazon and Ebay, the two largest marketplaces in France. Warning: these platforms are not very flexible for presentation and you will have to pay a commission on each sale.

Benefits Disadvantages
Online Store

  • Maximum presentation flexibility
  • All data is stored on your own server
  • Adaptable at will

  • Takes time to set up at first
  • You must have knowledge or a budget beforehand

Social Selling

  • Existing structure and visibility
  • Simple to set up
  • Opportunities to easily interact with target customers

  • Little flexibility in presentation
  • Data is stored on foreign servers
  • Ongoing charges/commission on each sale

Online marketplace

  • Existing structure and visibility
  • Simple to set up
  • Logistics and marketing strategy put in place (depending on the cases)

  • Data is stored on foreign servers
  • Little presentation flexibility
  • Ongoing fees/commissions on each sale
  • High competition

How to sell your vintage clothes through an online store?

If you want to sell vintage clothing online, you will first need to complete administrative formalities. Would you like to work full time for your store? Where do you want to register as a micro enterprise? In any case, you will first need to create a business plan. In this business plan, you not only describe an idea, but also the chosen niche, the origin of the clothes, the history of your brand, your target customer and finances. Finances include the initial costs of launching your online store, but also ongoing costs and calculating the price of your items.

Once you have taken care of all the administrative formalities, it’s time to get down to business: choose an operating system for your store. Depending on your technical knowledge and the time you have, you can create your online store with WordPress or with another system. In addition to choosing your system, you will need to create your brand, your company name and logo. Choose your hosting type and a domain name to register.

After making your choice, all that remains is to create your online store. You will have to choose carefully the graphic elements such as font, colors and images. A good organization categories, menu and navigation is also essential. The next step is to fill the store: download the product photos and descriptions as well as all other content. Here, take care to optimize them for search engines. You can optimize your texts, but also images. Once the contents are ready, the store can be put online.

Marketing is a discipline in itself. Depending on your objectives and your target audience, you can succeed in your marketing strategy via Instagram, TikTok, a Newsletter or even a well-established content strategy (see above). Test lots of things to see what works and what doesn’t and you will gradually refine your target audience.

In summary: how to sell vintage clothing online?

To make money selling vintage clothing online, you need to be passionate about fashion. Acquiring vintage clothing at flea markets, second-hand shops or friends’ wardrobes takes a lot of time, as does the preparation and presentation. And then, you will then have to be extra patient and creative to organize the sale of these clothes. Above all, don’t forget that photos and content are much more successful when you put your whole heart into them. For a more authentic character, your store must tell a story and not just any story: yours!

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