Vintage clothing is super sought-after as fashion trends go. Finding a unique, vintage piece that’s one of a kind is nicer than having the same piece so many other people have. If you can curate a good collection, you can make a nice profit when you buy and sell vintage clothing for profit.
Many people don’t have the time it takes to source pieces. It’s pretty time-consuming, and you need to have a good eye for potential. With the damaging impacts of fast fashion emerging, many people are seeking eco-friendly alternatives for clothing. For those reasons, starting your own vintage resale business is a great way to hustle and make extra money.
Before you get started, follow these tips to make the most out of your time and investment. Something you always need to consider when beginning your own business is the return on investment. Whether your investment is time or money, you need to know that the return will be worth it.
Buy And Sell Vintage Clothing For Profit
- Where to source vintage pieces
- What kinds of pieces are valuable
- How to price pieces
- Platforms for selling vintage clothing
Where To Source Products
One of the most important things to know when starting your reselling business is where to actually find products! Finding vintage pieces that are good quality can be hard when you don’t know where to begin your search.
One of the most obvious places to source products from is the thrift store. Thrift stores are jam-packed full of clothes and hidden with valuable pieces.
Important: The key to finding valuable items is to thrift often. Thrift stores are constantly filtering through donations. Because of this, the best way to find items before other people do is to be a regular customer.
Take advantage of your local flea markets for finding vintage treasures. The good thing about flea markets is that sellers often already have a curated collection. This can save you a lot of time sourcing vintage clothes.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that vintage clothing at flea markets may be pricier. These sellers are also trying to make a profit. What you can do is barter with the seller for a better price, or ask them to bundle multiple items for a discount.
Estate sales can be gold mines. These are the best places to go to find quality pieces in excellent condition. Oftentimes, estate sales will post pictures of items they have online, so take advantage of that to see if anything worth going for. Remember, we’re all about return on investment.
What Kinds Of Pieces Are Valuable
So now you know where to go to begin looking for vintage pieces to sell. But, what do you actually look for?
Knowing this information is crucial to having a successful buying and selling business. You need to know what sells before you buy it. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a lot of…. junk.
First things first, look for anything name brand. As discussed in the 8 items to buy and sell for profit, name brands sell easier because people are familiar with them. When you sell a name brand, you already know you have a market.
Anything vintage designer will fetch you a decent sale as well. It is rare, but the more often you thrift, the higher your chances of finding something valuable.
Some other brands to look for:
- Calvin Klein
- Vera Wang
- Ralph Lauren
- Anne Taylor
- Banana Republic
- Michael Kors
- J. Crew
You get the idea; these are all brands that people are familiar with. Remember, whenever you’re sourcing items, check the quality. No one will want a Prada handbag for a high price if it’s in terrible condition.
Let’s get a little more specific about brands and items to look for when you buy and sell vintage clothing for profit.
Levi’s Jeans $50-$150
Vintage Levi 501s can easily sell for over $100, depending on their condition. They’re so sought after lately that there’s a great market for these jeans. Vintage Levis denim jackets are also trendy and valuable.
Leather Jackets $50-$250
A quality leather jacket that’s already broken in is definitely worth money. Motorcycle and bomber jackets are the types of styles you should be looking for. Scoring a vintage leather jacket that’s real and already broken in is worth real value.
Cowboy Hats $50-$100
Vintage cowboy hats from popular brands are worth good money. Some of these brands include:
1920s Beaded Dresses $100-$250
These will definitely be hard to come by. Just know that if you find a vintage beaded dress, especially one from the jazz era, it will be worth a lot of money. Remember, the condition is still everything when sourcing items. If a dress is beyond repair, it may not be a good investment!
Leather Shoes – Price Variable
The value of vintage leather shoes will come from the branding. Remember, with vintage. The brand is still everything! If you can find vintage designer shoes, you are golden. Leather shoes such as vintage cowboy books can sell for a huge potential profit. Styles of shoes to look out for:
- Leather wingtip oxfords
- Cowboy boots
- Mary Jane shoes
- Doc Martens
The price will vary depending on the condition on the brand of the shoe.
Antique Purses $30-$100
A beautiful antique purse can be worth a good chunk of change! There are certain styles you should look for in order to find something valuable.
- Antique gold mesh purse
- Jewel bordered purse
- Beaded / embroidered purse
While these purses may be hard to come by, you’ll never see one if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Again, keep your eyes peeled for something designer. You never know when you might get lucky.
60s Mod Dresses $40-$90
Get your groove on and search for some 60s mod dresses to resell as part of your business. While these dresses may not make you as much money as other items, you can buy them cheaply.
These dresses are fun and colorful, perfect for making a big fashion statement. This is definitely something your clients are looking for when they buy vintage clothing!
Vintage belts or even rare belt buckles are easy sellers. For a nice leather belt that’s broken in, you can price it anywhere from $30-$80. Again, it all comes down to brand and condition.
Unique vintage belt buckles can sell a little more than just the belt band. Look for belt buckles encrusted with stones like turquoise.
How To Price Pieces
When learning how to buy and sell any item for a profit, the most important thing to keep in mind is pricing your items.
You never want to price your items too high, or you might lose customers. You also want to be honest with the value of a product you’re selling. If it’s in rough condition, it’s going to sell less.
Another thing to consider is pricing too low. If you price too low, you may end up losing out on more potential profit.
The best way to go about pricing your items is checking out eBay. eBay will show you exactly how much a piece actually sold for. That is the easiest way to determine a piece’s worth. You may see something and thing it’s worth $100, but if other buyers will only pay $50 for it, then that is how much it’s worth.
How To Price With eBay
For example, let’s look at how much we could sell a vintage Stetson for. Start by searching on eBay.
Here are all the results that come up. I’m not really interested in any of these because they haven’t sold yet.
Scroll down the page until you find the “sold items” filter and select it. This will show the most recent items that have sold under your search term.
Here we are. We have two great examples of Stetson hats that sold for $150 and one that sold for $300! That’s a great sale price. Now you know you should probably price around $175. The key is to price slightly higher and expect buyers to haggle down to the price you want.
Another way to price is to search your item on Etsy. This way, you can see how other sellers are pricing their items so that you can be in a similar range. You don’t want to price too high when you buy and sell vintage clothing for profit, or you will lose customers to other shops!
Platforms For Selling Vintage Clothing
Now you know what to buy, where to buy it, and how to price it. Now, how do you get your items in front of an audience for sales? Easy, this can all be done online! There are so many platforms at your disposal for selling vintage items. There are plenty of people in the market to buy vintage items.
When you use Depop, you can set yourself up with a little store. Depop is especially good for vintage fashion, and you can get away with pricing items slightly higher than some other platforms.
Depop does charge a 10% commission of your sale, which is lower than some other sales platforms, but still something to consider. Good news is, when you sell an item, Depop will generate a shipping label for you. This makes selling items hassle free. Simply pack it, and send it off to the buyer.
Poshmark is another great platform for selling and buying second-hand. Like Depop, you can sell items and generate a shipping label through the platform.
Something to consider is that Poshmark takes a 20% commission off sales, which is quite high. Also, buyers on this platform are looking for good deals and will often ask you to bundle or lower prices.
Something Poshmark and other similar platforms offer is the chance to give an item “free shipping”. This means when the item sells, they use some of your sale profits to pay for the shipping label. This makes your item appear more appealing to buyers who don’t want to pay for shipping. You’re also competing with other sellers who offer free shipping, so it’s usually a good idea.
Of course, you can always sell items on eBay. The only thing is, it’s slightly more confusing than using these easy app platforms like Poshmark and Depop.
eBay takes a different percentage from different sale items, but you can expect around 10% commission fees. They make the selling process smoother by suggesting keywords for your item and finding the right price. Other platforms don’t do that. They will also generate a shipping label too.
The great thing about selling on Etsy is it’s a good marketplace for vintage clothing. A lot of buyers will go there with the intention of finding specific vintage clothing items.
Etsy allows you to create an online shop that is appealing to buyers. You can build your following and reviews and act as your own “store” essentially.
Etsy does charge $0.20 per item listed, so if it doesn’t sell, then you’re out $0.20. They also charge a 5% commission fee, which is much lower than other platforms.
The RealReal is the place to go for selling those upscale vintage items you found. So, if you are lucky enough to land something designer, consider going here to sell it. Buyers on The RealReal are specifically looking for these designer pieces.
The platform makes it very easy, and they take care of pricing and listing your item. This is a good idea if you want to be more hands-off, however is your intention is to buy and sell vintage clothing for profit, you should want to be more hands-on.
The RealReal can price the item how they want, and reduce it for a sale. They will then take a large commission, so you may only get 50%-70% of the actual sale price.
There are plenty of other online sales platforms such as Mercari, LetGo, Bonanza, Tradesy, etc. These are all great options. You need to scour them and find the market for the pieces you are trying to sell.
With all these things in mind, you can become a successful vintage clothing reseller! It takes time and effort, but don’t give up!