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Ceil Chapman dress..help!

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by pjonesnc, Aug 6, 2004.

  1. pjonesnc

    pjonesnc Registered Guest

    Hi all,
    Please forgive my ignorance, but I know nothing about vintage clothing or the process of selling it.

    I have a Ceil Chapman dress that was given to me several years ago by my husband's aunt. Being curious about who had made it, I got it out of my closet the other day and researched her online. I had no idea that there was so much history in this dress, I just knew that it was lovely and that when I tried it on (once), I felt like a million bucks!

    It is a light mocha colored, satin taffeta (I think), knee length dress with pleating around the waist, bust, and drop shoulder. My aunt was a fanatic about her clothing, so it is in excellent condition, it looks like it could have been made yesterday. I don't have the measurements, but it's probably a modern size 6-8.

    My question is this, I have no idea what price to ask for it or how to go about selling it myself on ebay or such. What, where, or who is the best place to get an estimate on the value? Is selling this type of thing on ebay easy if you haven't done it before? There seems to be a big difference in the price that her dresses sell for on ebay and the price that they sell for in a vintage store online. How do I know what it's worth?
    Thanks for your help, I don't have pictures because I have no idea how to do that either. I need to get my step-daughter to help so I can post them here. :)
  2. bartondoll

    bartondoll Guest

    Welcome Peggy!

    And what a wonderful item to pull out of your closet.

    Ceil dresses are very collectable, and the VFG President, Anne, probably has the biggest collection of Ceil Chapman
    garments in the world, when she comes online she will be able to fill you in on all sorts of info.

    One thing I would recommend is wait abit to sell this. The summer market slump is still hovering and sales all over should pick up in a couple of weeks.

    As soon as you have some help with pics, yes, post them!

    The prices on Ebay generally are lower than on-line vintage
    stores, however, some of the items you see on the on-line
    sites, the seller may have had to pay a fair amount for, so they are upping their price to cover expenses.

    I have never sold a Ceil, so I think I'll let someone else
    chime in here.

    Good pics and presentation are important in your listing, so
    do some research and maybe study various listings that
    have done well (check the completed listings)

    Looking forward to seeing this dress!

  3. ellenm

    ellenm Registered Guest

    I can't wait to see it. Ceil Chapman dresses are about my favorite to drool over when they are shown here on the VFG.
  4. pastperfect2

    pastperfect2 Alumni +

    What a find! I just wanted to chime in that clear pictures with a plain background are a big help when it comes to sales. If you should decide to list on ebay, be sure to take accurate measurments and show several views of the dress - front, side, back, bodice closeup, that sort of thing.

    While the online stores do often ask more than what an item may realize on ebay, you have to factor in several things: the cost of doing business on ebay is substantially less than setting up and maintaining an internet site, much less a bricks and mortar store, and it may take quite some time for the online site to actually sell the item. So it may well be worth your while to sell it on ebay an realize your profit much faster.

    As to a starting price or a reserve, I would imagine if you can post some photos, you will get a lott of feedback .

    Anne has noted that Ceils are still selling well, but not as consistently in the higher end of their range.

    If you have not sold on ebay before, and don't plan on doing it much, there are now businesses that will handle it for you , but for a fee of course.

  5. artisannes

    artisannes VFG Member

    Wow Sue - that's some intro!

    Well yes, the price that Ceil's are fetching currently on eBay is erratic - the prices have definitely dropped but there are some that still reach pretty heathy figures.

    I'd need to see it to be able to take a stab at giving you an idea of what I think it may reach.

    Mocha and a pink oyster mocha in silk taffeta do appear to be favourites of her. Is yours anything like one of these?

    <img src=http://members.aol.com/artisannes/is.jpg>
  6. pjonesnc

    pjonesnc Registered Guest

    Ya'll are just a fount of knowledge!
    Thanks so much for all this info-I may just decide to let someone else sell it for me..I am clueless about this whole thing! I don't want to make a killing on it, just get a fair price for it.
    I will get the pictures online this weekend. Is it ok to wear it for the pictures? I don't have a mannequin and you really can't tell anything about how it looks, otherwise.
    Thanks again!
  7. artisannes

    artisannes VFG Member

    Did we cross post Peggy - I don't know if you managed to see the pics above?
  8. pjonesnc

    pjonesnc Registered Guest

    The one I have is very much like the one on the left, except it has much more pleating across the bust and shoulders, and a banded type detail that comes down from the bust, across the waist, then to a vee in the lower back to the zipper.
    My dress has a form-fitting skirt with just a slight flare in the back (two extra small panels in the back that widen slightly as you get closer to the hem).
  9. bartondoll

    bartondoll Guest

    Sounds delicious! Can't wait to see it!

    And yes, you can model it and if you don't want to show your
    face on the internet (some people don't) just have the pics cropped to chop off your head! :D

  10. camelbackcat

    camelbackcat Alumni +

    You are so lucky! If you aren't accustomed to selling Vintage on Ebay, why not take the plunge with a Ceil?? We will be happy to help you with selling tips,photo tips etc. If anyone makes a killing on the dress,it should be you!!
    You may be very pleased with the results!
  11. Drool, Anne! ...and wow, Peggy! Warning: this is the kind of beginning to a vintage-clothing story that results in later, vintage-clothing addiction. :)

  12. gaildavid

    gaildavid VFG Member

    What a super start to vintage clothing!!!

    Welcome, Peggy.......And I agree completely with Steph ;)

    There are so many here who will help with the process of listing it. Joey is right....you should be the one making the profit. Congratulations and good luck. Amazing start! :)

  13. Hi and welcome - what a great thing to have!!

    I would add to the previous advice (though i might be being a bit too practical : ) among the oohing and ahhhing- if you don't have an ebay id, i would make sure you bought a few things on ebay and racked up a few positive feedback first before you list it - some folks no matter how much they love something (me included unless i know the person off ebay) will not bid unless you have at least a couple feedback ratings so they know what you are like to do business with : ) start it while you are figuring out things about the dress...that way by the time you are ready to list, you'll have a "reputation."

    i can't wait to see it either : )
  14. pjonesnc

    pjonesnc Registered Guest


    It's taken me most of the day to figure this out, but I think I have PICTURES! I don't know how to post more than one attachment, so I will put one on each message.

    Also, I took the measurements and came up with 36-29-41.

    Here's hoping this works....:)
  15. pjonesnc

    pjonesnc Registered Guest

    Well, this is getting scary...I think ya'll have created a monster! :)
  16. pjonesnc

    pjonesnc Registered Guest

    I meant to say also that there are no stains on the back..I had just had a sip of water and then smoothed the back of the dress. I didn't realize that my fingers had a little water on them. I will have to take more pictures of the back.

    This is the picture of the label. I took some closer pictures of the bodice and back detail, along with a few inside out pictures, but don't know how to send more than one. I don't want to take up a lot of space here.
    Thanks for your help!
  17. pjonesnc

    pjonesnc Registered Guest

    Well, here's one more anyway. The bodice is so pretty, and you can't really see the detail in the full picture, so here's the bodice...
  18. bartondoll

    bartondoll Guest

    Peggy, it is lovely! Rich warm mocha and that draping is
    so indicative of Ceil Chapman!

    I'm curious to see what Anne, and the other Ceil 'people' have to say about it.

    Oh...for posting pics here if you use the "post reply" small
    grey button just to the bottom right of this forum and click on it, when the reply box comes up above where you type,
    is a row of icons starting with a "B", "I", "U", etc., if you click on the yellow square one, it is for inserting a pic and all you do is put the url in the box that comes up. That way you can
    put more than one pic in a post.

  19. pjonesnc

    pjonesnc Registered Guest

    Thanks Sue! I knew there had to be an easier way to do this!

  20. artisannes

    artisannes VFG Member

    It's a very pretty Ceil, very classic and a good size - lots of Ceils are tiny.

    It does however need to go to the dry cleaners. I'm not saying it is dirty (although you need to check that the water hasn't left a water stain) but it does need a good pressing because the skirt is very creased.

    Most of us here tend to think that it's best not to show a dress on a live model because some buyers prefer it to look a little more impersonal. It seems even though people like to buy vintage they don't always want to be reminded that a garment is previously worn.

    That dress would be a breeze to cut out though - so you could wear it for the pics and then be disappeared - I'll do it if you want. I just did this one really fast to show you what I mean - it's not perfect - just an example.

    <img src=http://members.aol.com/artisannes/no.jpg>

    <img src=http://members.aol.com/artisannes/yes.jpg>

    It is a good color for the fall

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