Are you ready to make more money from your vintage clothing auctions? Want to stand out in a sea of competition? Avoid some common money-draining mistakes by following these 7 Pro seller tips.
Follow the Leader: Know what’s hot, and what’s working for top sellers. Use whatever methods you already enjoy to stay current on retro clothing trends. (Follow fashion blogs or magazines, etc.) There is always a new spin on old clothing. This season it might be 1990s floral rompers, but next season it may be 70s stovepipe jeans. Stay current, and give buyers what they want by stocking the trendiest vintage clothes.
Watch and learn from top sellers. Which of their items sell for mind-blowing amounts? How are their photos or titles different from yours? How are they presenting themselves/what is their brand? Aim to learn insights rather than copy anybody. Find what works and customize that to your own brand.
Creative Copy: It’s a fact of sales: People buy on emotion and rationalize with logic. As a seller, it’s your job to engage your customer’s emotions to help them get excited about your clothes. When you truly understand this, your sales will skyrocket. Use bold, descriptive, and conversational text in your auctions. Paint “word pictures” to transport your customers from their computer screens directly into your clothing. What will it be like to wear that gorgeous mint condition 1970s Boho dress? How will they feel? How will the world respond to them? What celebrities or movies/TV shows have been rocking that look? What kinds of clothing and accessories would really compliment the outfit? Write as though you were telling your best girlfriend about your newest thrift score.
Devil’s in the Details: In addition to bold, descriptive, and conversational text, you must add some clear details. Below that effusive, emotion-wrangling text, add a bulleted list with the details of your clothing. Add as many identifying features as possible including, but not limited to: marked size; measurements for bust, waist, hips, and length; fabric content (if it’s not marked, make a best guess and be sure to mention that in the auction), info about trims and closures, and any flaws. Be honest!
Tempting Titles and Sexy Subtitles: After you’ve written your auction copy, it’s time to create a title-subtitle combo that will grab your customers by the collar and practically scream “Stop what you’re doing! This auction will change your life!” You only have a few seconds to grab the attention of potential buyers, and this is where you make the kill.
- Title – This is mostly a summary of the item and isn’t too flashy. Use either “vintage” or “vtg”, the decade, brief description of the item with 3+ keywords, and size. Be sparing with all capitalized words. Use them only on 2-3 really key words. E.g., “Vtg 60s Mod GOLD Ethnic Print BOHO MINI Dress S/M”
- Subtitle – Here’s where you get creative and use some more keywords. This text is smaller and a few more all-capitalized words are acceptable here. Just keep in mind that too many all caps words are just plain difficult to read. E.g., “MELLOW GOLD Daydream Believer. EMPIRE Waist/MEGA Color
Pair the title and subtitle with a killer thumbnail image, and watch your auction views soar.
Model Behavior: Using a dummy to display your clothes may save some time, but it’s costing you serious income. It’s your job to convince potential buyers that they will look and feel amazing in your vintage items. Using a model to display your wares is the key difference between hustling to make sales and a true selling superstar. Take a look at the hottest sellers in the eBay vintage clothing category for countless examples. There is lots of information online that teaches how to take a beautiful product photo, and addresses everything from cheap pro-look lighting to backgrounds. Follow these tips and use a live model!
List Lots of Auctions: Experience shows that stores with a high quantity of auctions make more sales. There is a twofold benefit here. First, it lends you credibility as a serious seller: you know what vintage is hot and you have lots of it to offer. Much of what makes a seller popular is the cool factor. Anyone can list a handful of auctions, but the truly cool seller seems to have an endless supply of vintage clothes to choose from.
Second, multi-tasking is a time sucker! Do similar tasks in large batches – like listing many auctions at once – and you will save time. Aim for 20 or more live auctions at all times.
List Consistently: The cool factor comes into play once again. Strive for brand reliability: make your product – your auctions – consistently available. The most popular of vintage clothing sellers know they aren’t a couture house. They don’t have the global brand recognition and rabid followers, so they can’t afford to be “out of stock” for any length of time. Develop brand reliability and give your customers what they want by keeping your store consistently stocked.
There’s nothing mystical about becoming a wealthy power seller. Once you find your niche and develop your brand, the rest is perseverance and a little trial and error. Faithfully follow these 7 simple yet powerful tips and watch your online sales explode.