Vintage Clothing Boutique Relaunch – 2021
The preliminary start:
I opened up a bag of what I correctly thought was coats and used a simple setup to list a few pieces of vintage. I accidentally shipped the wrong coat and the replacement got lost in the mail. I gave the buyer a full refund ($88). I had also paid her shipping costs to ship the wrong coat I’d sent back to me ($12). Ouch! As of this writing, the coat is STILL “in transit”. Anyway, can’t cry over spilled milk – this was a huge lesson learned! In 4 years of doing V1 of VintageReveries online vintage clothing boutique I never once shipped the wrong item and nothing ever got “lost in the mail”. After this expensive mistake, and from going into the basement being reminded of the quantity of vintage clothes that I still have left, I realized that I needed to regroup.
Reinventing selling vintage clothing:
I realized that I needed to invest in a system and materials so that I could sell this inventory without it taking over my life, and while still holding down a 9-5, 40 hour a week job. I put too much on my Amazon credit card, but these items I consider my best purchases so far:
- The shipping bags – why did I ship only in boxes back in 2012???
- A nice rolling tall clothing rack – with so many dresses, I’m not sure how I lived with something so basic.
- A white backdrop and stand
- The backdrop kit- but it’s too low- at first I bought a 7 foot tall stand, and ended up buying a 10 foot stand. Long vintage dresses require height!
- Large moving boxes for sorting clothing – I bought just enough!
I already had a clothing steamer and shelving. I found some old doors in my basement and set up stations for measuring clothing and for steaming. An old fitted bedsheet works perfect for the steamer station. I found the clear plastic baggies to be pretty useless. Why do twice the work? Also these “standard” size bags don’t fit dresses or coats very well. I might refine this part of the process in the future, but after a small test batch, I decided to pack the clothing in the shipping bags and if the inventory sticker won’t come off it I’ll just cover it up with a “thank you” sticker (which I printed off on the blank Avery labels that I used to create teh inventory stickers).
Lastly, I bought banker boxes to be the “bins” for my processed vintage clothing, and a clothing folder device. I’m not completely happy with the banker boxes, but they’ll do until I can afford plastic bins/boxes that fit the shelving better. Did I say that I don’t know how I lived without shipping bags yet???
This is how it all looked once everything was set up:
Stay tuned! My next blog entries will be about my first experiences listing on PoshMark, Mercari, and eBay… and my challenges with creating a spreadsheet for sales and where-listed that works for me. I might opine further on the inspirational youtube videos and accounts I’ve been watching, and on products that work for me (and don’t). I will also be sharing in-depth about how I set-up e-commerce using Woocommerce and how I further used free plugins to automatically synch to Facebook and Instagram shopping! I may have “dropped” selling vintage for 5+ years, but I’ve kept up to date with WordPress and can’t wait to apply my skills to this vintage clothing project!