Updated: Jul 19, 2019
Why does this cost so much?
Vintage sellers hear this question a lot. People do not understand what goes into curating a collection of quality vintage goods. Just because we didn’t make our items does not mean that we didn’t put any work into them. Anyone can find something old and slap a price tag on it and call it a day. Vintage sellers with any good business sense genuinely care about the items they sell and the people who buy them. Below are some of the steps we take to bring our customers.
THE HUNT: Yard sales, estate sales, basements, personal connections, thrift shops. We often spend hours searching for the perfect products that we can pass onto our customers at the perfect price. Vintage can be a cut throat business. Getting to a sale hours before it starts just to be first in line, and digging through junk hoping to find a treasure are typical work days for the vintage seller. Knowing just where to look and what to look for takes hours of research. The same wells don’t always have the same water. We must develop a network of our own to find what suits our collections.
PREPARATION: We don’t always find items that are ready to sell. We often clean them. Vintage is new to you and should look and feel as such. Wear that is appropriate to the piece should be expected. But, it is up to the seller to clean and deodorize items as we see fit. Just because it’s vintage doesn’t mean it should smell like the back of a closet. Jewelry is often worn with perfume that must be cleaned off or aired out. Some pieces are repaired or restored. Then there are more hours of research for history and pricing. Pricing needs to reflect market value and bring a profit, a balance that can be hard to strike.
SELLING: Honestly, this is probably the most tedious and time consuming aspect of the process. Finding platforms/venues that work for you, photographing, listing and marketing are an endless cycle. Then there is customer service, packaging and shipping. Or packing for shows, setting up, sitting there all day, then breaking it all down.
These are like three separate full-time jobs. And this is just the basics. Also take into account that those of us who do this for a living are dependent on our sales. We must follow trends, find our niche and develop a solid customer base in order to maintain a steady flow of income. Even then, there are no guarantees.
You ask for a discount. What I ask is, what is all of this worth to you?