For several years before I retired, I had a plan. I was going to sell vintage clothing online to make a few extra bucks and to productively spend my time. And for a while, around two years, that’s exactly what I did. The problem was that I really did not enjoy selling. What I wanted to do was collect and write about fashion and textile history.
So I gave up the etsy store and began spending my time researching and writing, care taking and mending. And I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
A while back I mentioned that one of the things I love about Instagram is that almost everything posted there is for sale. The problem is that I post photos of my vintage collection and finds there, and it’s quite often that someone asks if the item is for sale. I somehow feel like I should not be teasing people showing off some of the great things I’ve found over the past twenty-five or so years of collecting.
Even here on The Vintage Traveler, I get emails all the time asking if an item I posted about is for sale. As you have probably guessed, my answer is almost always “No,” but there are times that I have agreed to sell an item to a reader. I have one rule that determines whether or not the item changes hands – the prospective buyer has to want the item more than I do.
I know what it is like to really want something for my collection. I’ve written plenty of those almost begging emails myself, so I pretty much know how to judge item desire in others.
If you see something here or on Instagram that you feel you can’t live without, it never hurts to ask. But you have to convince me that you need it more than I do, and that you will take good care of it. And be prepared to hear, “No.”
See that cute little cat skirt? I pulled it out of the Goodwill bins and posted a photo on Instagram. The skirt was felt with the kittens sort of embossed onto it, and contrary to what my photo might lead you to believe, was in pretty rough shape. The kittens were fading and peeling, and there were holes in the felt. The skirt was for a little girl. Still, I put it in my shopping cart to make a decision about it later.
Finally, I decided that I really had no need for it so I put it back in a bin. Very quickly, one of the three shoppers that had been stalking me, hoping I’d discard it swooped in to get it. That was good because I hated the thought of those kittens in a bale of rags.
By the time I got home and checked my messages, two people had already asked about the skirt. I felt really bad about having to tell them that I didn’t even buy it! I think my days of leaving something this great in the Goodwill are over, especially if it has a kitten on it.
I’m in the process of going through my vintage sewing patterns and books, and I’ve decided that I really do need to sell some. So starting in November I’ll reopen the old Fuzzylizzie Vintage etsy shop for a few months to offer them. There will probably be some fabric as well. I’ll be sure to announce the opening when it happens.
And seriously, if you sell vintage, you need to be on Instagram. Just don’t make it entirely about what you are selling.