On Selling Vintage And Sucking At Social Media

I started selling vintage online seven short months ago, after my “partnership” in my brick and mortar was unexpectedly and unceremoniously terminated. Thrifting is a time and energy consuming skill, but if you manage the curatorial aspects of your physical storefront well enough, turning those vintage and brand name finds into cash isn’t rocket science: De-wrinkle it, price it, hang it, and wait for eager tourists to walk in and buy it.

Selling vintage clothing online successfully is a bit more labor intensive than East Village Retail 101. And by that I mean it’s completely fucking insane.

The process is as follows:

Steam garment. Take pictures. Edit photos. Take measurements. Find similar item on eBay or Etsy. Highjack most frequently used associated keywords. Write Google optimized title + cheerful product description. Note brand, condition, material, approximate size, etc. Tag with thirteen different phrases (Etsy). Fill out six or more item specifics (eBay). Price. Calculate shipping. List.

Repeat all of the above for every single thing you’re selling. NUCKING FUTS. But it works.

Are there shortcuts? Sure. You can slap a shitty Instagram photo up there, ballpark the size, claim it’s amazeballs and hope for the best. That’s a stellar way to rack up Bibs or Tucks or Threadflip hearts or whatever.

Alas, if you actually want to make money while you’re building your resale business / brand, cutting corners isn’t an option. The only way to compete with the big vintage dogs on Etsy and eBay is to work your ass off. Do your keyword homework and optimize titles and tags for Google so shoppers can actually find you. Anticipate and answer any questions they might have in your descriptions so there’s no reason for them to not buy what you’re selling.

Here’s where I stand, seven months in:
Etsy: 306 sales, 323 admirers, 94 positive feedback
eBay: 130 sales, 112 positive feedback

Not too shabby for a one woman show. I was even starting to feel proud of myself. Until yesterday, when I starting futzing around with the social media component of my online vintage selling endeavor.

I hate social media.

I could say I hate it for its vastness of promotional fluffery, self-congratulatory crap and general meaninglessness. Its Shitter effect, if you will. I’d be lying.

The truth is I hate social media because I’m not good at it. I hate it because it triggers the same sense of dread I had when I started on eBay and Etsy; that Uh Oh feeling that creeps up whenever we’re outside of our comfort zone, marooned in the icky newness of change, not knowing jack shit.

Up to this point, my social media “engagement” has been a spammy barrage of product links. Barf. Even I wouldn’t follow my tweets.

I’ve turned over a new leaf in the form of a new name – Rockford Peach is now Soho Boho, because the latter’s dot com was available and an eight letter URL is an internet gemmy poo. So I’m embracing that icky newness attached to social media, and I’m going to do my darndest to populate Soho Boho’s feeds with unique and entertaining web nuggets. Mostly by ripping off Reddit. Just kidding. Kind of.

Follow / Like me so I don’t feel lame every time I look at my Hootsuite dashboard? The pimping out will be mutual.

A big fat MWAH to you all, and #thankyou for reading.

Comments

  1. says

    I totally love your style (of writing, of thrifting, of telling off prissballs!)
    I also sell vintage thrift finds on eBay store Johannak2–I have it connected to my blog: Second Hand Second Thoughts (http://secondhandsecondthoughts.blogspot.com/).
    I’m starting a vintage equestrian apparel and art boutique: (www.hippik-hippique.com). Changing the look of the website in the next week so don’t judge me too harshly.
    Yeah–I’m a professional writer, but when it comes to the blog and all, I’m totally at sea. I usually read yours for a bit of a charge. And of course a good hoot.
    Write on, sistah!
    Sarah FK Coble

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