Tips for Selling Vintage Clothing Online

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Vintage clothing from different eras can periodically experience a surge in popularity. Many people buy vintage clothing simply to collect, while others buy it to wear. When selling vintage clothing online, it is important to know how to make it appeal to both collectors and fashion enthusiasts. Learn how to sell vintage clothes on eBay now.

Start selling

Write down as many notes as possible, and think from the perspective of the buyer. What would he or she want to know about the item? To learn more tips, visit eBay's selling center. There are also tips for people who rely mostly on mobile devices for selling.

Identify the Type of Fabric and Care Instructions

It is common for the text on care tags to wear away over time. Take the item to a cleaner or fabric store if the material cannot be identified at home. Most buyers who are fashion enthusiasts will want to know the fabric type. If the care tags are still legible, take note of the cleaning instructions.

Clean and Repair the Garment

Whether the item has been stored in moth balls, in the closet, or in a box, it is courteous to clean it before mailing. If it cannot be washed at home, take it to a cleaner. It will also make the item look nicer for a photo. If there are buttons, it is good to have them replaced, or at least replace the thread holding them on the garment. If the garment needs seam reinforcement or any other repairs, take it to a tailor.

Research Unique Facts about the Vintage Garment

Many buyers purchase items for nostalgia purposes whether they plan to wear them or not. Some may be fascinated with the story behind a garment. If it was purchased at a popular store or especially a store that no longer exists, this may attract more buyers. Any history is helpful. Items that are rare or custom tailored are also attractive to nostalgia shoppers.

Measure the Garment

Items today are larger than they were in decades past. For example, a vintage size 14 dress may be closer to a modern size 10. As a rule, older clothing items are smaller, so it is important to take measurements. There are several measurements to take for different types of clothing.

Shirts and Jackets

Measure from the shoulder to the hem, the sleeve to the cuff, and the width around the upper arm if applicable. Lay the shirt flat, and measure from side to side across the chest and waist. For shirts that are fitted around the neck, measure the neckline or collar.


Lay the slacks flat, and measure from one hip to the other at the widest point. Next, measure from one side of the waistband to the other. If there is elastic, measure it stretched and unstretched. Measure the rise, which is from the crotch to the waistband.


Measure from the top of the shoulder to the hem of the dress. Lay it flat. Next, measure across the chest and waist. Measure from one hip to the other. If there are sleeves, measure from the shoulder to the cuff. Also, measure the width of the upper arm.


Lay the skirt flat, and measure across at the waist and hips. Measure it stretched and unstretched if there is elastic. If the skirt is meant to fit tight, measure the bottom hem from one side to the other.


Listing Vintage Clothing on eBay

After gathering all of this information, write a draft of what to include in the description. It is important to paint a clear picture of what the item looks and feels like for the buyer.

Write a Detailed Description

Describe how the item feels when it is worn if possible. Be sure to let buyers know if a major size difference exists due to vanity sizing. Encourage them to read the measurements and compare them to their own. Try to describe the item as if it were being described with no photos available. List the age, original retail price, and place of initial purchase if available. It is crucial to list any tears, stains, or other damage.

Take High-Quality Photos

Choose a room with good light. If possible, ask a tailor or cleaner for the use of a mannequin. With a contrasting or white background, take several high-quality photos. Be sure to photograph any imperfections or damage as well as unique features. Make sure the photos meet eBay's requirements.

Choose a Selling Platform

It is possible to choose an auction-style listing, the Buy It Now feature, or a combination of both. The optimal choice is to offer both, but be sure to set the instant purchase price at the lowest possible acceptable cost. Research similar items and eBay's seller resources to learn about pricing. Also, be sure to decide on reasonable shipping costs.

Post-Sale Tasks

After the item has sold, there are still several things to do to make the transaction a success.

Accept Payment and Pack the Vintage Clothing

Most eBay payment transactions are done via PayPal, which allows users to send and receive money online. However, other payment options, such as money orders, checks, and escrow accounts, may be used. After payment clears, pack the clothing carefully for shipping. Use packaging that will not be damaged in transit to avoid any disputes.

Mail the Item and Give Feedback

After mailing the item, it is good to give the buyer feedback. This increases the chance the buyer will leave you positive feedback. Encourage communication and questions. It also helps to provide a tracking number.

Selling vintage clothing online is a breeze with the right knowledge and selling tools, so get started selling today.

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