How to buy vintage clothing on Etsy / Ebay

Saturday, 15 June 2019

How to buy vintage clothing on Etsy / Ebay 

Sourcing vintage clothing is seemingly the struggle many toy with when considering buying vintage.
Often wondering how or where those amazing pieces are sourced. What most articles reiterate is seemingly that if you walk into your local vintage store or charity shop you're going to find a treasure trove of vintage goods. Lets lay this out simply... you're not.

I have spent many of an occasion in such shops to be incredibly disappointing at either finding the wrong size, a dress that looks like a bin bag or a stretched out musty mess. This is not to say do not pursue these shops, you just need to be more diligent to how or where you go.

Today's topic is for the online shopper, how to find retro pieces one of a kind online. Sourcing the creme de la creme of vintage goods is actually just as difficult online. But can also be the right path if you manage to:
1. Look at the right time / Keep track of bidding 
2. Find items that are not on bid 
3. Search for colour or shape rather than item.

So let's tackle this one by one 

1. Sourcing at the right time 

Personally for Ebay I find that looking for items selected in 'Ending soonest' that expire at 1-  4 am and bids placed on 1-2 day bid scheme, you have the highest chance at winning the bid. So scouting the items around 11 that day allows you the opportunity to bid for the item and be confident not many would swoop in at the last minute. 
For Etsy: There is no bid process so finding an item on there is more simpler. The prices on Etsy are usually 1-2 x the price on ebay however. But for more elegant or better condition items you're probably best seeking out there. Sundays between 3-6 pm are prime time for sellers placing retro items on their pages. I neglected to follow the buyers pages and instead opting for liking the item. Although the notifications can become annoying, it is actually incredibly helpful to have a push notification to see if the seller has similar items.

Leaving an item in your basket at Etsy for a short period of time is another key tip. We have all heard of those big bucks online retailers who send you repetitive messages saying "Hey babe come back for a discount, we are sad to see e you go". Much alike to a clingy friend, these emails provoke you to spend by offering discount. Etsy sellers know how many people have their items in their baskets and more often than not they reduce the price slightly. Now this usually occurs after a couple of days to a week. SO if you're expected a cheeky misguided message welcoming you back as soon as you log off you will be dissapointed. BUt it is worth playing the long game for that discount. 

2. Finding items that are not on bid

Both of the outfits above were found not on bid, one on ebay and one on etsy. I paid £35 for the first dress and £20 for the other.

That is might I say incredible for what it is. I love both of these dresses dearly and I believe they have both become summer necessities. Finding items that are not on bid / but make an offer allows you to haggle down the price. Never fear an Etsy seller either, although it is not a bidding site usually a nice enough seller will give you a slight discount if you ask nice enough. But please do not insult them, as a depop seller myself, the amount of hounded messages I receive a day and insulting price marks is laughable. 

 3. Search for colour or shape

The searching process is arduous and sometimes lady luck shines in your favour. But searching for '70's dress' or '80's top' will result you in a lot of tat. You should ideally de select reproduction pieces which are usually pre selected. Also searching '60's dress' and selected a line or 'blue' . Sizes are not always correctly listed as many postings have been quickly made. It is a longer journey but sometimes selected size 10 when you are looking for an 8 can be helpful. Vintage sizing is also not the same. Many sellers will have measurements to the clothing rather than a size or they will merely guesstimate. I highly advise you to measure yourself before you buy any vintage item online, especially around the waist and bust as these two areas are different to modern sizing. 

Let me know what you think about my two vintage dresses and leave any tips below to help any other vintage hunters!

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