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Are you swayed by pictures or words?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by Living*Doll*Vintage, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. I've been wondering this for ages.

    When you shop for vintage, clearly the first thing that tempts you is
    the photo. I'm a very visual person so I base most of my decisions, shopping wise anyway, on what I see.

    I am fascinated by how eloquently some sellers are able to describe their items~ I can almost "feel" the fabric and get a wonderful sense of
    the item.

    Unfortunately, I am rarely so capable when it comes to describing an item. Sometimes the words just come to me and tumble out on the key board, other times I am stumped.

    So I'm curious - as buyers, are you turned off by a short, bare bones description?
  2. ivycompany

    ivycompany VFG Member

    Bad photos turn me off immediately. But then if I like the photos, a good description makes all the difference. If I can tell the seller is clueless, I'm unlikely to buy.
  3. I like nice clear pictures, i think thats the thing that makes me purchase an item, but then i do love to read a history behind the item, if its well written with feeling and especially if it has story to be told, then the words sway me,
    But then some of my best buys have been one picture ,one sentence items.
  4. avamac

    avamac Alumni

    I like both.

    What I HATE...are those auctions...eBay vintage menswear is the worst....that have dozens of pics gleeped off the internet, showing vaguely similar garments on the runway or being worn by celebrities/musicians. Buried somewhere in there is the pictures and descriptions of the actual garment you might bid on.
  5. Sophie8409

    Sophie8409 Registered Guest

    I once deceived by the picture when I checked out a pair of shoes from ebay. I was dismayed... I learned my lessons well. :duh2:
  6. claireshaeffer

    claireshaeffer VFG Member

    I start with a front picture. If I don't like it, I move elsewhere. The next picture I want is the label. It can be at the end, but I want to see it because so many sellers don't describe their items correctly.

    I also like crisp photos of details like the buttonholes; unfortunately close-ups are hard to get with point and shoot cameras. I care more about seeing details than color.

    Please provide measurements--even if I'm not going to wear it I want to know whether it will fit my dressforms. Claire
  7. Thanks for the input.

    I can manage to describe the items, but sometimes the adjectives dry up after "Fabulous 50's scoop neck full skirt silk cocktail dress".
  8. debutanteclothing

    debutanteclothing VFG Member

    This was actually the #1 complaint on my vintage buyers survey - they all said clear, large pics was most important followed by adequate description.
  9. Ookoo

    Ookoo Registered Guest

    I won't click on an item if the size isn't indicated in the title.

    After that, I want good clear photos and accurate measurements. And if the dress is clipped to the model or dress form, I also want to see it flat so I know the true shape.
  10. The Vintage Merchant

    The Vintage Merchant Administrator Staff Member

    i TOTALLY agree, and absolutely will not even go near those offerings at all.

    typically, a photo will get my attention, but the description needs to have enough pertinent info to keep me interested
  11. Like others, I like good photos - or really bad ones where I know a bargain can be had :USEGUN:

    After the pics, it's all about the measurements....and I look for information regarding condition. If there isn't any, or if the seller says something dodgy like "great vintage condition" (which can mean almost anything), I'll email requesting specifics. My biggest issue with buying on ebay has been undisclosed condition issues.

    I appreciate that some buyers like detailed descriptions but I just scan that stuff - the meat is elsewhere.

  12. laughingmagpie

    laughingmagpie Registered Guest

    Pictures are definitely the deal maker.

    In the descriptions I become more at ease about a potential purchase if the seller is giving me clear, detailed descriptions of the condition and construction.

    I will admit there are certain words in the title that push my buttons and I'll open a listing even if the preview picture is less than inspiring to have a closer look. Telling you what those words are will make me way too vulnerable to you sellers ;)... ok, Ginger Rogers is one example. Gangster is another. Yeah, sometimes those gimmicky key words work on me :P
  13. Yeah Magpie, I know what you mean. Sometime though, I'm torn between using those precious few title characters for actual facts vs.
    an attention grabbing catch phrase~

    Damn, where IS that crystal ball I ordered with the magic words and photos?!?!
  14. APrizeEveryTime

    APrizeEveryTime VFG Special Friend

    I do love to see a well-written description that not only provides all the pertinent info but also conveys, without purple prose, the reasons the seller likes it and thinks it's great. When the real love of vintage comes through I respond. Added points in my book if the seller adds a detail or two about the designer or other tidbit about the garment's history.

    But definitely the pictures are the thing. That's one thing I find frustrating about Etsy, the limitation to five photos. It's fine for many things, but in some cases a garment needs closer inspection. Front view, back view, a couple of close-up details and a label, and there's no room to show any flaws. So if you've got a faint spot somewhere and believe in full disclosure, you've got to either dispense with one of the other views or simply describe the flaw and not show it. And as a buyer, if someone says "small spot," I want to see it.

    But I've certainly been game now and then to just try a crap shoot without enough visual or verbal information if the price is right.

  15. TangerineBoutique

    TangerineBoutique VFG Member

    First the picture. I don't need many front, side, back and maybe an important detail. I do want them to be sharp and clear. I HATE when the clothing is just hung on a hanger however that IS a good way to find bargains if you know your stuff. In other words you will not get top dollar unless you display well.

    I try to steer clear of tricks to make a piece look better than real life though. My dressform is an industrial fitting form. Nothing fancy or sexy to distract from the garment. I hate returns and this helps to avoid them although it probably cuts down on sales a bit

    When I buy descriptions are important for closing the deal. Fabric description VERY important, descriptions of details are fine I don't need to see pictures unless they are really unusual. I like to be told if there is any hand work involved ie beading, embroidery, smocking, appliqué... if it is machine done I want to know. Tell me what is going on inside the garment. Is it lined, boned, underlined?

    Finally is it flattering? Some clothing is just cut really well and looks wonderful on the form. Tell me about that.

    Hearing about the history of the style or the designer is always a big plus.

  16. atticville

    atticville Alumni

    Sharon, I'm blanking on the name right now, but one of our very active members help put together a fabu list on the ebay help boards... color descriptios along with catchy words. I printed it out and use the new words on my store lables. Let me know if you can't find it on the ebay vintage forum & I'll search for it. poo for being away too long...
    Also!! Sandra! What a doll of a picture! Are you at the Hootinany Festival in California???
  17. claireshaeffer

    claireshaeffer VFG Member

    If you are using a live model, please be sure that she is small enough for the item.

    I like straight forward descriptions. I don't need or have time to read a lot of fluff.

    Lastly, I don't want to see a magazine photo of a similar suit. That's not the suit for sale. Claire
  18. atticville

    atticville Alumni

    The Second I posted... My mind cleared!...It was ANG!!! She did a faulous list for Ebay... words & color suggestions! It is a wake-up for the brain-dead!! Super useful!!
    Thank you Ang!!!:kiss2:
  19. Velvetsage

    Velvetsage Registered Guest

    Good Pictures

    I like clear photos. I also like sellers who admit when they aren't sure about something, and welcome help from buyers. Of course, that can aggrivate the bargain hunters who want an unmarked Halston for 99 cents, but....I digress. I love sellers who mention little details, and by doing so, give a clue as to era, or manufacturers. Mentioning "ruching" "bias cut" and label details will make the difference for me.

    I am rarely put off by a few moth munches, or broken zipper if they can be lived with, or fixed. I know that many garments do not photograph well, and it can be difficult to zero in for a fabric texture, and some photos will show color variations. As for sizing, the older garments had junior, misses, etc, and nowadays we have xs s m and L with XL. I appreciate measurements. I can wear anything from a size 4 to size 9, depending. Above all, I like honesty. If a garment is suitable for study, or costume only, that may be JUST what I am hunting for at the time. I appreciate when the seller admits to pinning/tucking the garment on the mannequin to enhance things a bit.
  20. You all have no idea how much help you've been ~

    KK, I use Ang's color key all the time. I don't steal from other sellers, but I do read their descriptions and try and find words that fit that I may not have thought of (or even known, for that matter)

    And thanks for the reassurance, Velvetsage, about appreciating honesty. I describe what I see, and if I know the terms use them, but if I don't it leaves the description somewhat sparce. That is when I need to note I'm not as familiar with the item as others and have done my best.

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