Resourceful ideas for making business, fashion and lifestyle a little more sustainable.
Sally is making the most out of the Holiday Season at her vintage boutique but she knows that soon things are going to change for the worse if she doesn’t prepare. For years her shop took a hit after the holidays until she found a few simple hacks last year that increased her retail sales into the new year.
Sally is not much different than the rest of us that operate a retail vintage boutiques. Steady sales throughout the year are nice, but things tend to get hectic around the holidays. If you’re stressed out because you put all your focus on the holiday sales season, don’t miss a huge opportunity to boost your retail sales after the new year, which is typically a slower time of the year for many.
When it comes to vintage clothing, there are three types of buyers: Cherry pickers, Bulk Buyers, and Container Buyers. Understanding how the industry works, is beneficial to knowing what type of buyer you are and how to make the most out of your business venture.
Much like contemporary fashion, vintage fashion has paved a course that caters to all types of styles and subcultures. From Rocker shops that focus only on 40’s and 50’s attire to modern shops that focus on 90’s and early millennial pieces, the term vintage can come to mean a lot of different things depending upon who you are talking to.
Over the past 20 years of working in the vintage clothing industry there was a lot to learn about the different types of buyers that the industry attracts. Each year a plethora of new vintage entrepreneurs come into the market ready to take on the world with their unique taste for recycled fashion. Maybe they made a profit off a rare item they sold on ebay, or just finished taking their final exam in fashion school and are ready to become the number one seller on Etsy, either way they will need to start sourcing clothing.
They will soon learn that sourcing used clothing in bulk is much different than sourcing new merchandise. They will also learn that their is no magic supplier or clothing fairy that get them a steady supply of rare pieces with ridiculous markups. This unfortunately is a rude awakening for some buyers entering the industry and for this reason we thought that we would put together a Vintage Buyer Guide to find out what type of buyer you are. Read more
One of the largest obstacles to making a sale in a vintage clothing store is how the article actually fits. Let’s face it, almost everything is a vintage clothing store is a one-off, it’s not like the customer can get the item in size larger or smaller. Often times taking an inch of of the seam, or a half inch of of the cuff is all it takes to turn over-sized item into the perfect fit. When you offer your clients the opportunity to get their items altered it will amaze you to see how many more items your clients start purchasing.
One of the most important jobs a salesperson has to do is to add value to a sale that the customer is already willing to make. There are many missed opportunities as salespeople commit key errors during the course of each encounter with a customer. Learning to up sell, or add to a sure sale, is a vital skill, and you can learn it!
- Talk with your customer. Sounds pretty basic, right? But so many salespeople simply nod and smile, or hover, rather than chatting the customer up. Talking to the customer will allow you to learn what things the customer is interested in. This will help you turn a little sale into a bigger one.
- Bone up on your product knowledge. The more you know about your products, the more you will know about how different products can add value to the product your customer is buying. Let the customer know how these things can make the product they want better. Read more
When it comes to collecting vintage clothing from the United States the Japanese buyers have been paving the path for nearly 30 years. Since the eighties Japanese vintage collectors have been traveling across the United States hitting up thrift stores, vintage stores, clothing flea markets and just about anywhere they could find old vintage jeans, leather jackets, sneakers or t-shirts.
As the vintage clothing culture became more popular in Japan and the demand grew collectors began to find new ways to locate more product. Because each vintage piece is essentially a one-off it is difficult to determine the actual size and fit without trying it on. One problem the collectors had was finding vintage pieces that were not only the correct size but the way the garment fit had to be perfect as well. To overcome this obstacle they hired hip Japanese boys and girls that were the perfect body shape to match the sizes that they were looking for.