Have you ever wondered how vintage is priced? Why is one dress worth over $200 and another only $30? Well, the simple explanation is that there’s no simple explanation. Every vintage seller takes into account so many different variables to arrive at the price they think is fairest for that item. The price of the item is just the beginning.
- Time & Travel : Vintage sellers can travel all over the country in search of the best vintage garment for you. Yes, sometimes it can be found at the Goodwill down the street. But in order to amass a collection big enough to sell and earn a profit, sellers dedicate lots of hours (& money) to travel long distances to that remote estate sale or spend an entire day shopping at 10 thrift stores.
- Cost of the Garment: Well this one is fairly understandable. The cost of the garment is factored into the price. And depending on how valuable it was to the previous owner, a seller sometimes has to fork up a pretty penny to secure that one of a kind piece. But it’s all worth it so it can continue its life with another owner.
- Washing and Restoring: You know that quintessential “vintage” smell? We, for one, don’t mind it all that much but it’s understandable that you don’t want to smell like a musty old attic! So respectable vintage sellers always wash the garments before passing it on you (which usually involves hand washing hundreds of pieces). And they also take the time to repair any holes or rips that have occurred through the ages so you don’t have to.
- Research: Knowing how to distinguish a 1940’s dress from a “1980s does 1940s” dress takes hours of dedicated research. Sellers pour over books and websites to learn about the different zippers used over the decades, when Nylon was invented, the evolution of the sewing machine and stitches and so many more little details that date a garment.
- Date: Research is important because the rarity of a garment also determines its price. A dress from the 1930s is now extremely rare and therefore more covetable, which drives up the price. Just like a really good wine, the older it gets, the better it is!
- Posting, Measuring & Tagging: So once a garment has been found, cleaned and researched - the *fun* starts! And when we say fun, it’s not. But it’s necessary to sell the garment. Lots of time is spent photographing, editing, describing and marketing just one piece. All in hopes that you will find it, love it and enjoy it just as much of the seller does.
To be clear, there’s no complaining here! Anyone who gets into this business does it for the love of the hunt and the joy it brings to our customers. Yet,it’s helpful to understand all the work that goes into just one garment so you know you paid fair value.