Do you have a passion for vintage and second-hand clothing? Do you have an eye for finding great picks? If the answer is ‘YES!’, selling vintage and second-hand clothing sounds made for you, and it’s never been a better time to start. Now more than ever, buyers want to be sustainable and stylish while shopping. Vintage and second-hand clothes meet both needs, but it can be hard for consumers to find those perfect picks. This is where you come in.
At Fleek, we are here to help you create a stylish and sustainable way to shop by selling vintage and second-hand clothing. With hundreds of vintage vendors using Fleek, we know what it takes to be successful selling second-hand clothes. Follow our 3 key steps for a stress-free guide to get started sourcing, merchandising, and selling. Read on to turn your passion into a booming business and find out how Fleek can help along the way.
You’ve got a passion for vintage and second-hand clothing and want to turn this into a business. Sounds great, but what next?
The first thing to do is find your niche. This will streamline your sourcing process, as well as help attract an audience. Find a style you’re interested in, as this will make it easier for you to spot those stand-out picks, but make sure your niche is viable – you’ll need to buy a lot and sell it too. 1980s apres-ski knitwear might be where your heart belongs, but how much stock will you be able to buy and sell quickly? On the other hand, make sure your angle isn’t too popular – you need to stand-out in this fast-growing market and doing the same as everyone else won’t show what you can offer. Follow the latest trends on both the runways and social media and combine this with your personal style to find an angle you and your buyers will love.
💡Pro Tip💡 Get inspired by browsing Fleek’s Instagram to see our latest drops and our blog posts to keep you on top of the trends.
Once you’ve found your angle, it’s time for what you really came for … shopping! Or, as we say in the business, sourcing. Start by browsing thrift stores and online retailers regularly to get to grips with the market, but think about using a marketplace like Fleek to make sourcing quality goods that much easier for your growing business. This will free up your time and make sure you’re getting the best for your buck. Wherever you shop, make sure you have a plan and inspect your garments – no one wants to get excited about a gorgeous vintage find to discover it’s damaged.
💡Pro Tip💡 If you haven’t found what you’re looking for scrolling through Fleek’s online store, contact us to arrange virtual handpicks with buyers for bespoke bundles that suit your seller needs. Download our app or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get going!
Once you’ve sourced your trendy vintage and second-hand clothing, you need to find a suitable way to merchandise them. A good system will make your life so much easier, so we’ll talk you through our top tips.
It’s important you find the right place for your vintage and second-hand clothing to keep them in mint condition. Store them in temperature and humidity controlled environments, away from pests. Remember they also need to be kept out of natural light – their colours may fade in the sun and this is the last thing you want for your precious finds!
You’ll also need to have your finds cleaned and repaired before you advertise and send them out to buyers. Always check the labels and follow instructions – vintage can be tricky, so guessing isn’t an option here! The good thing is that there are plenty of curators out there, so if your label is missing or you have any concerns, look online for info or the Vintage Fashion Guild’s label resource to search for brands. If your garment is truly one-of-a-kind, assess fabric condition and soil level to determine the best way forward. A quick steam can remove odors and creases, which saves you from ironing your fragile vintage finds. The Smithsonian has a great method for removing stains, but it’s always handy to have a good dry cleaner who has vintage experience on call too. The same goes with a tailor for those missing buttons and undone hems.
Keep organised by creating a good storage system. A popular method is by type, then colour. For example, keep all your sweaters together, then sort in colour-order. Maybe even group by era, if this is your vibe. However you choose to store your vintage and second-hand clothing, make it work for you. Keep your garments visible by hanging clothing on racks and storing accessories in clear boxes. Trust us – this will save a whole lot of time rummaging through piles of clothes for that tiny cami you’ve just sold!
💡Pro Tip💡 Be careful storing those stunning embroidered finds – beads can get caught and snag other items!
It’s now the perfect time to sell vintage and second-hand clothing, but you’ll need to know how to do it right to get those buyers refreshing your page for that next big drop.
The current market is visuals-driven, so follow suit selling your products. No matter how great a second-hand find may be, people won’t buy it unless it looks good in photos. Shoot your items immediately after they arrive and have been cleaned – there’s no time to spare in the second-hand clothing market. Use a consistent background to show buyers you are a pro with a reputable business. Always show the full garment, the label and any flaws your vintage find might inevitably have.
💡Pro Tip💡 Social media is your most important tool and buyers love to see candids mid-shoot. Sneak-peaks of your items will get buyers interested before they’re even released.
Setting up a store online can seem daunting, but there are plenty of places out there to get going, from global marketplaces to vintage websites. Wherever you set up your store, make sure the storefront works for you and your customers. Display items in collections for ease of browsing; this may include era, colour, occasion and item type. You’ll need to have a great product page copy (a description of your item) to set customer expectations and minimise returns if an item comes exactly as described online. Describe your garment in detail with its brand, size, condition, date and label. We know vintage labels can go missing, so remember to look online and include anything you find in your description. Your product page copy is super important for vintage where measurements and condition require a bit more info:
- Sizing is crucial and you’ll need to include as much info as possible so your buyers know what they’re purchasing. Include waist, hip and bust measurements in inches and centimeters as well as sleeve length and neck opening measurements.
- You’ll also want to create your own terms for the condition of items and use them consistently. It will help your buyers to have this info, along with your size charts, in the FAQs on your website.
💡Pro Tip💡Once you’ve got your store running, get in touch with us at Fleek to help you engage with hundreds of other wholesalers out there to buy the hottest garments in bulk.
Pricing can be tricky for vintage and second-hand clothing, as you’ll need to forget all the standard formulas. Factor in the cost and overheads as usual, but also consider rarity, age, demand and brand. Consult the market for accurate pricing first based on competitors – have a browse of Fleek to see what price bundles are going for elsewhere. If the item is really rare or couture, consider using an appraisal service to make sure you’re on the money – literally.
Finally, the marketing for your vintage and second-hand clothing business is make or break. Social media is your best friend, especially with clothing, as sharing and shopping online is quick and low-maintenance. Put that constant flow of fresh items on insta straight away to get snaps to buyers ASAP. Shout-outs from celebs or influencers is ideal, but you can generate your own buzz by asking customers to post photos of your items. A simple “make sure to tag us and we’ll post you!” provides user-generated content that people can trust, building your reputation along the way. Use social media to sell your products too – it is easy for buyers to see something special online and want to snap it up straight away!
Following these steps will get you on your way to your dream of selling vintage and second-hand clothing. Remember – know what you’re looking for and how to sell it! Great garments combined with excellent presentation and marketing is your key to success.
At Fleek, we are always here to help. Whether that’s virtual handpicks with verified sellers or shopping for stock with full buyer protection, we are a safe and trusted way to source your vintage and second-hand clothing venture. See How it works and take a look at our FAQs for more information. Just drop us a line and say hi – we check all our messages! email@example.com
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