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other buyers buy my stuff and resell :-(

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by TrickVintage, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. TrickVintage

    TrickVintage Registered Guest

    this isn't actually a question about a vintage piece.

    i'm just asking for advice and guidance. i sell on ebay. i have no model, i just use a mannequin. i include tons of pics in my listings, provide very accurate measurements and ship quickly.

    i recently sold a fabulous vintage gauze jumpsuit for $14.99. i knew it would be resold because the buyer's email addy was that of an ebay seller.

    sure enough - it's now relisted. the bid is now twice what i sold it for and 6 days left on the auction.

    i'm so disheartened :-(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((
  2. BijouVintage

    BijouVintage Alumni

    Many of us have had that experience.

    Maybe raise your opening bid to something you would be comfortable with. For instance, would you have felt better if the dress went for $24.99? That is a reasonable opening bid for vintage and you should not be afraid to try and sell it for what its worth.:drinking2:
  3. crinolinegirl

    crinolinegirl Alumni

    It happens to everyone and don't forget, you are buying from other people and reselling at a higher mark up as well! :USETHUMBUP:

    A good rule of thumb is to always price something to cover your initial outlay, work put into it and make a profit, that way, you will always be happy with the price you realize for an item.

    I've sold very expensive things and then I've seen them being resold at even a higher price and I think to myself, they obviously have a niche customer base that they cater to and I don't.

  4. missproper

    missproper Alumni

    I agree. Theres always a chance that vintage will be resold, so definitely make sure you're okay with your opening bid price :)
    If it's something really special, sell it for what you think it's worth! :headbang:
  5. Agreed. We all sell things every day that we ourselves have bought for a lower price. I have purcahsed poorly displayed items off of eBay that I thought had so much poetential and resold for higher and have had my own items purchased and resold for even higher. Personally I don't have any issue with this.

    I agree that you must always start at YOUR minimum price. The minimum that you'll be comfortable selling it for. Definitely start a little higher and factor in a profit for yourself from the get-go :beach:
  6. Elsewhere

    Elsewhere VFG Member

    Also consider this -- you may be selling the items for less, but you also invested less in it to begin with. They're likely not making as much of a profit as you are, in the end.
    We're all part of the food chain. Do what makes you happy & don't worry about what other people do.
  7. gaildavid

    gaildavid VFG Member

    Yes, we have all been there and continue to be there. I was going to say the same as Kristine......it's all about profit-margin.

    And I still make "mistakes" now and then.....just last week, for example. Someone gave me a fabulous pair of Zodiac boots from the 70's....in fantastic shape.....and I thought they would go much higher than my opening bid. So I started low expecting a bidding war.........mistake! Although I had many many watchers, they went for the opening bid. :powwows: I am sure the winner will probably resell them at a much higher price.

  8. vintagebaubles

    vintagebaubles Administrator Staff Member

    I agree with what everyone else has said. On eBay these days you just can't count on anything going higher than opening bid--gone, for the most part, are the days of multiple bidders and bidding wars. Start at what you think your item is worth, and what will give you an acceptable profit. You can always lower the price, but you can't raise it once you've got a bid and once you've sold it.
  9. JulieW

    JulieW Alumni

    When I sold on ebay my opening bid was what I would be happy selling something at, none of those $9.99 auctions for me.
  10. Leisa

    Leisa VFG Member

    I concur with everyone about starting your bidding at a price you'll be happy to get.

    As far as other sellers re-selling my items, that's cool with me. Like Kristine said - it's the food chain concept.

    If I pay $3 for a garment & sell it for $20, I'm okay. If the buyer sells it for $40, I figure it's because she or he has better marketing skills or a stronger customer base. It can also be a simple matter of timing. We all only need that one right buyer to be looking for any particular item.

    I do have things that I start at $9.99 - sometimes even less. I still make a profit, so that's half the battle.
    I also believe that by having some low starting bids in my mix, I just might attract more buyers.

    I should add that if anyone wanted to hire me to do what I do w / ebay & pay me the wage I earn now, I'd laugh in their face! I'm a self-inflicted slave driver! LOL

    Stil - ebay ain't what it used to be for vintage clothing sellers, but it still gets a ton of traffic.
  11. amandainvermont

    amandainvermont VFG Member

    Right - and some sellers have worked really hard for their loyal following - and garments that we couldn't sell for 99 cents - they can move out for $19.95. What is really painful is when you have a gorgeous vintage dress that is sold, then altered (usually cut and hemmed into a mini) and then resold without mentioning the alterations.
  12. The Vintage Merchant

    The Vintage Merchant Administrator Staff Member

    i agree w/everyone also, and will also say that one of the reasons i'm so happy on Ruby Lane is that i price how i like, and am always happy with what we receive that way.

    i understand that ebay can have fabulous results, but i find it much MUCH less stressful to sell via set price, rather than gamble.

    btw, i, too, have sold merchandise that i have seen my buyer turn around, mark up, and sell. doesn't bother me a bit, as i'm receiving what i wish for when i set my price; and as Leigh says, if someone else has a niche market, or a wealthier client base, good for them. BUT, i am always happy with the return we get when selling the way we do.
  13. sarah-jane

    sarah-jane VFG Member

    Can only agree. The key is to focus on your business, and not stress about what anyone else is doing. Make sure you're happy with your profit, wave your sold items goodbye, bank a little cash and move on. As long as you're happy with what you make, who cares if someone can sell a piece on for 3 times what they paid you for it. You're happy, they're happy, it's win win.

  14. Agree with all the others. Every vintage dealer buys and sells to other dealers - I buy some of my best stock from other dealers, and sell back to them too.

    Sometimes I sell things for below what I paid for them - I've just put a 1930s dress into my shop that I bought two years ago for my wedding. I paid US$400 for it, didn't wear it, dry cleaned it ($35), spent two hours mending it and it's now in my shop for less than what it cost - but my client base won't pay as much as I did, and in a retail shop you can't hide damage like you can online - and I won't put damaged or dirty stock out for sale.

    I have so many winter coats, that I'm selling them all for a flat $80 at the moment: many of them I paid more than that, but I like to move stock - the more I sell, the more I can buy and at the end of the day it's my goal to have happy customers and continue doing what I love for a living.

    As a dealer, I encourage you to look at the big picture and not fuss too much about individual sales or you'll go mad - it's all swings and roundabouts - what you lose on the swings, you'll pick up on the roundabouts. But I agree that you should set the minimum price you'll be happy with, but even so you'll sometimes find that you've sold things for less than they're worth.

  15. dorotheascloset

    dorotheascloset Registered Guest

    all you can do is start at the price you want AND keep working at building yourself up to the point you get the following that other seller has. everyone starts lower on the "food chain" and keeps building up. learn from the sellers getting bigger ticket prices and work and work! it will happen.....it just takes time ane effort! it sucks in the mean time....best way to deal with it is at least to start your prices at what YOU NEED to feel comfortable about covering costs and overhead.


    Its ok. Really. And there will always be someone who can buy at a higher price than you and sell it for more. Don't sweat it.

  16. Shiloh

    Shiloh Registered Guest

    First off, this thread is very informative! Thanks for posting it. My bf sells a lot of older videogames and such and we have seen the same thing happen with our stuff. We still made a profit but sometimes it really is hard to see somebody make more. I keep telling him to list things at the price he'd like best but he is a believer is pricing lower to entice people to bid more. That's why I like Etsy since it's a fixed price venue. I have yet to try eBay except for one modern coat I sold. I thought it'd go for at least $20 and it went for $10 so I learned my lesson really quickly XD If you don't have a large base on a site like that, you won't get the good prices as often.
  17. scillas

    scillas Registered Guest

    Interesting thread – I'm new to selling vintage too – after many years of buying ;-)
    I made a small webshop about 8 months ago, so I sell for fixed prices and sometimes really have a hard time pricing things. I've learned some lessons too during my first time, but I try to think of it just that way – as a learning process.

    I think now that how quickly things sells is a good indication if I got the price right – if it sells very, very quickly, I tend to price similar things a little (or a lot) higher next time. (like a gorgeous green Marimekko 70s jacket/blouse that was gone within 12 hours :wacko: And retro-textiles that people use for sewing, and that initially sold at a pace that I just cold not keep up with. Now a little more expensive and a little slower, but not too slow))
    If an item does not sell/sells very slowly, but I can see that people watch it/visit the item, I consider lowering the price of similar items the next time.

    Also, I have stuff with a very small price because I like the idea that my customers can find a bargain among pricier stuff . Ususally I also have a few more expensive designer stuff (mostly scandinavian silver jewelry) that is quite sought after, and that I put at a high selling price. It may take some time to sell, but I can see that it generates traffic to my site, and not so seldom a visitor will become a customer buy buying something completely different than the item they googled and found my site through. As jewelry doesn't take up any room, and it doesn't loose value, I don't mind that it doesn't sell that fast.

    That in contrast to things, that you really want to "move": I can totally follow Nicole on the winter coats – have a few of them myself and they take up a lot of space, so for winter I will price them quite low and just try to get rid of them.

    But that is a balance too, I guess – I have the hunch that if you price things too cheap, people tend to think that it is of a lesser quality – I had some nice dresses, that I priced too low, i think now – they did not sell! Now I took them of, but for winter I will price them a little higher and see if that helps.
    Well, I guess what I was trying to say was: I think that whole pricing-thing is really a skill in itself – that's my lesson until now :)
    Trickvintage, hope you will be able your stuff at prices that make you happy – but I know the feeling !
    And thanks to you all for sharing – it is great to hear the experiences form others – experienced as well as inexperienced sellers!

    Now off to watch the world championships – have a nice weekend :hiya:

    Sille in Denmark
  18. TrickVintage

    TrickVintage Registered Guest

    i want to thank everyone for their replies.

    even though i've been doing this for years, i can't seem to get the higher prices others get.

    i do this because i love anything and everything vintage, love making people happy and need income.

    i'll keep plugging away !
  19. TangerineBoutique

    TangerineBoutique VFG Member

    I have been a dealer for many years and vintage is how I make my living. Don't fret if you never make it to the "high end" niche just focus on getting the price YOU need to get.

    Figure out what your mark up needs to be and aim for that. A great deal of the vintage I bring to shows goes to other dealers who often have much higher overhead than me. As long as I get my price I'm thrilled when they do well with my items, that means they will continue to buy from me. If you do feel as though you need to up your price point and can't seem to get there then you might consider hiring a model or putting time into a blog. It takes time to groom a clientele so don't get discouraged.

  20. It's easy to forget that the higher priced sellers often have higher overheads - for example, on my street there are now six other vintage traders, and although I'm the most expensive, if you add up their figures and mine, you can soon see that they're ahead - eg:

    - higher rent and overheads.
    - higher wages because I pay my staff properly.
    - pay specialist wholesale prices for stock from collectors and other traders (lots more time sourcing stock too).
    - costs of cleaning, mending and ironing
    - lots of time spent on free consultant activities like emails, public requests for advice (I estimate at least 20 hrs a week)

    - sweetheart deals on rent
    - pay staff cash in hand or below usual wages
    - buy stock from charity shops or in bulk from overseas
    - no cleaning or mending costs

    So whilst my shop looks to be flourishing, I have no doubt that the business model of the other shops will generate more turnover - buying a $5 dress and selling it at $65 is much easier than what I do, but I can't do it: I have to pay respect to the garments.


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