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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Selling Vintage Online Talk

Last night we hosted our FREE Selling Vintage Online talk and networking evening (thanks to sponsorship from ASOS Marketplace) to a sell out crowd of vintage collectors.

James & Hanna(Mint Vintage) Alison(Fashion Angel) Victoria (Jarvis & Janis) Samantha (Bardot in Blue)
We were  lucky to have a fantastic panel of vintage sellers – James Wright and Hanna Mansson from Mint Vintage, Victoria Wright from Jarvis & Janis, and Samantha Bennett from Bardot in Blue. Samantha’s day job is working for ASOS Markeplace, giving her a unique perspective, and we also had Katie Oldham, Senior Marketplace Manager, on hand making a valuable contribution to the evening.

Below are our panellists top tips for building a successful online vintage business:-

Running a business is very time consuming and costly  so it’s important to put a business plan together and decide at the beginning what you want from the business – is it a hobby/sideline or a business that you expect to earning a decent income from

When sourcing product, be aware of trends – anything ‘on trend’ will make more money.

It’s easier to find gems and product outside London in places that are less vintage savvy. There are great vintage wholesalers in Europe and North America however it’s important to work out the travel/shipping/insurance costs to see if you can sell the items at a high enough profit margin to cover these costs – usually this is only viable if you are buying in quantity.

The best selling vintage items are dresses followed by bags; however sales of menswear are also steadily growing.

Unanimously the most important tip from all the panel was to make sure you have good images – good photography means you’ll sell more, and at a higher price. If you’re serious about your business the costs of professional photography is a worthwhile investment.

Treat each sale as a gift to a friend – beautiful packaging and a hand-made thank you card will help you build customer loyalty and your brand.

Customer service – respond to questions quickly. There will always be difficult customers but its best to kill them with kindness rather than engage in confrontation. This way you will get positive feedback and word of mouth recommendation – by far the best (and cheapest) form of marketing.

Your keywords should form the first three words of your description to help you come high in Google search rankings for anyone searching for your product category– the description language should be down to earth and quite formal.

Provide as much information about the garments including measurements and detailed description – this will reduce your returns.

Use social media sites to drive traffic and sales to your site – competitions are a good way to do this.

After the talk ended everyone stayed on to network and pick up on some of the issues discussed in the talk.

By Alison Lewy

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