Discussion in 'PUBLIC VFG News - Announcements and events' started by Jonathan, Mar 1, 2019.
The Fashion History Museum will be there!
Hope it all sells for you!!!
Yes, hope it goes really well!
I would be happy with half of it selling!
Good luck Jonathan! I'll be interested to hear what sells for you.
1930s so far -- other dealers were swarming us asking for 1930s!
I never try to guess trends, I only bring what I have and see what sells. I sold all but two pieces of 1920s/1930s stuff I brought. Also more recent stuff sold well - 1990s/2000s stuff (the line between vintage and last season is blurred). For some reason blouses/tops flew off the racks - I had a lot of white cotton blouses from various eras, and they all sold. However, I don't think I sold one late 60s cotton shift, or early 60s cocktail dress, and prairie anything with ruffles or lace inserts or tiered skirts were total duds - didn't sell one Gunne Sax like thing at all. Shoes were also pretty much a bust. Period lingerie lingered - sold about half, but no interest in period bras. Hats sold only if they were cheap - no interest in spending more than $20.00 each, however, I had a ton of them and sold half of what I brought. Still sold coats from all eras and for good prices, mostly 70s/80s (the cold weather helped.) Menswear was iffy - again only cheap stuff sold. I had a Commes de Garcon jacket, and Yamamoto and Miyake jackets and suits that were priced between $75 and $200 and nobody even tried on a jacket - it had to be $20.00 - 40.00 or no sale. All the dealers were commenting that sales were brisk but buyers were cheap - $20 is what people wanted to pay. Fast Fashion prices, but vintage goods! Having said that, we actually made more money at this sale than any other Toronto Vintage sale and we came back with less than half of what we brought. I had a couple of good sales - an Edwardian wedding dress, and a couple of 'look but don't touch' pieces that hung on the wall, like a 1930s silk evening dress, so not everything was cheap...
Thanks for that report! I wonder how Amy did at the Chicago sale?
Thanks Jonathan - glad you sold more than half at least!
Good to know about the 20s/30s stuff - I wish I could find more!
Glad it was a good show for you. It's on my bucket list.
Glad you did OK, Jonathan. Cheapskate buyers can be so annoying, but at least you sold plenty of stuff!
(My sale here in Chicago isn't until this upcoming weekend...)
Duh...good luck, Amy! Hope you get a better crowd as in less cheapskates!
Thank you, Jonathan.
Linda, as a collector and buyer I can certainly appreciate your comments. We all love a good deal on a special piece of vintage clothing! And your comments are always appreciated here.
As a seller, may I just add that there is a great deal about this end of the business that buyers today do not know or understand. Most sellers today do not find their inventory laying around on racks in thrift stores, those good old days have been over for a long long time now. And even if we do find anything, thrift stores in my area have inflated prices that leave little (if any) profit margin. Finding and purchasing really decent inventory is often a long and sometimes frustrating process with lots of bumps (and money lost) along the way. And we now have to pay MUCH higher prices when we do find saleable items as people today are more aware that old clothing has value. Often they ask ridiculous high prices for things worth less than they are asking, or not worth anything at all. Many house calls that we make, (if we are lucky enough to get one today) often taking an entire day to complete, and sometimes driving 50 miles or more, we leave empty handed. We may have to spend $50 on a lovely antique or vintage dress that we will have for years before it sells or comes "back in style" with buyers and collectors. The turn over rate can be very very slow. And we have to do all the cleaning, washing, mending and ourselves. Rarely is anything "rack ready" as you find it in a thrift store.
Having inventory "sitting around" and not being worn is not a shame and is not sad (to me). Many think of it as seeing artistic and historic value in something and preserving it by taking it out of the stream where it would be ruined as a costume, child's play dress-up, eaten by insects/pests, or simply tossed in the trash or sold by bulk weight and sent to a third world country to be shredded for mattress stuffing. Many of spend years or an entire lifetime researching and learning about fashion and clothing, most of us self taught. It may be sad to think that we keep a garment from being worn, but we often think if it as preservation of important fashion history.
The vintage market is flooded with newbie and opportunistic sellers now, and I am sure some will try to rip off buyers. But the bulk of us have been doing this for decades and are not looking to do that. What we do is has resulted from decades of often back breaking work, and learning, investing a lot of time and a LOT of money for what today is a meager return.
I think Jonathan's prices he quoted seemed reasonable.
And may I say Linda I adore all of your jackets and sweaters that you share with us!
So true - I stopped even going to thrift stores 15 years ago... eBay killed thrifting because suddenly EVERYBODY was a dealer! We are fortunate in getting things from the raw source only because we get a lot of donations and things we don't want for the collection, most donors are happy to let us sell it because they don't know what to do with it otherwise. Some donors want their stuff back - we make sure everyone knows that if we aren't accessioning it, it's going up for sale to raise funds to care for and grow the collection.
Great jacket, Linda!
And well said, Barbara.
My favorite selling stories are not about my profit margin - which is really rather small by the time I factor in all of the fees involved - but from individual buyers who shared their story with me. The young woman who had been searching for years for a 70s tiered hippie dress that her mother had worn and loved when she was a little girl. The 40 something man who was thrilled to be able to give his wife a duplicate of the Betsey Johnson body con dress she had worn out in her younger years - he said her figure was just as good as it had ever been, and this was his way of letting her know what he thought. The woman who had always wanted a Bernhard Altmann cashmere sweater when she was in high school, and couldn't afford one.
There's a certain amount of matchmaking that is one of the best parts of what we vintage sellers do IMO. I hope the person who came next after you and bought the second jacket was as thrilled to have it as you were with yours.
Linda, I get what you are saying but I have to say that I do feel we are "preserving" and not simply keeping it from others. If one is serious about finding vintage at affordable prices, I say you still can it just takes a lot of patience and a lot of time.
In my case I am still doing this as we have to earn our living this way, so it is not a 2nd income or hobby for us.
Preservation I feel is very important as many younger people do not really have an appreciation, they often have a don't care attitude. I know that you yourself do that is crystal clear by what you show us from your collections. But I do see that a lot of younger people are beginning to treat vintage like they do new "throw away" clothing. When you love these things you "respect" them and want them to last. I take great care in keeping everything I can safe and of course one day when what is left here with me and the time comes that I can no longer do this or am no longer on the planet, these items will then get out onto the market for another generation who I sincerely hope will grow to appreciate the quality and styling of these amazing garments from the past.
Interesting thread and great comments. Thank you, Jonathan, for your report and observations! I always love to read the trends that others are experiencing at shows as I don't do them anymore. One thing I love about being a member of VFG is the love and appreciation that our members have for what they do. It's so obvious that we are not in this for the money alone. We, of course, do like to make a reasonable profit for the time and effort that we invest in our business and I don't think that's anymore than any other business person would expect to do. I mostly find my inventory now from private estates who often contact me when they are disposing of vintage items. I have several friends who do estate liquidations and they often let me know when there are clothing items in the sale so that I can be sure to come to the sale first day. Thrift stores used to be wonderful places to find vintage clothing years ago before, as others have noted, everyone became dealers wanting to make a fast profit. I hardly ever visit thrift stores anymore looking for vintage items as it it often a waste of valuable time for me. For most of us, we do try to put a lot of research and effort into presentations of our inventory and take great care to preserve the items we offer for sale. I do like to think that we are interested in trying to promote an appreciation and love for vintage fashion and also to educate others as to the wonderful world of vintage fashion as well. I am so appreciative of each and every one of my fellow members who are so willing to share their knowledge with others, not only in the trade but on the public side as well. I continue to be amazed at the wealth of knowledge that exists in this organization and thank my lucky stars to be a beneficiary of their generosity.
I hope my sympathy for Jonathan's challenges with low-balling buyers at the Toronto show wasn't taken the wrong way!
It can be so frustrating--as I am sure all vintage dealers know!--when the time, effort and love that we put into sourcing our inventory and preparing it for sale feels disrespected by a customer's response. That said, I do understand Linda's point, as well.
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