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11-07-2005
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Labeladdict2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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How to start a vintage business
Does anyone have serious input as to how to start collecting to open a consignment and/or vintage shop? I've been thinking about this seriously lately. I have a great eye for vintage and people are always walking up to me asking "where and how did you get that!?" Maybe I should be a personal shopper or something.

Thanks.

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11-07-2005
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.francesca's Avatar
 
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a lot of people i know sell vintage on ebay. it's a relatively cheap way to start your business up (no rent, minimal fees), and you don't have to leave your house (except to shop, which isn't really work, now, is it? ) you could also go down to another local consignment shop and try to start up a relationship with them, where you get a certain percentage of what you sell, etc. in terms of how to start collecting, i guess if you have a good eye you already know how to start collecting. you will probably have be willing to travel a bit to find things if you don't live in a particularly hip spot for vintage clothes. otherwise, get some capital from somewhere (day job, whatever) and just shop for awhile to get some surplus, find a photographer you like to take some pictures for you and you should be set!

i hope this is helpful. i don't have firsthand experience, but i do help my friends with photography quite often and go shopping. they like it and although it's hard to part with things oftentimes, they've really gotten good at saying goodbye.

good luck!

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11-07-2005
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Labeladdict2's Avatar
 
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thank you Francesa...great ideas, especially about Ebay. I never thought about that.

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11-07-2005
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a vintage boutique, thats how i started off right after highschool

it was a 'different' time and i had enough money to start up an almost 'outlaw' tiny boutique, i just painted the walls and start bringing things in from all over the place..
i used to visit Paris and London and thrive for hours in vintage clothes.. from jumble sales to portobello stands, to salvation army..

its an easy thing to do, you just browse, take things to the cleaners and try not to stock too much. You could 'specialise' on a certain era, or have an eclectic mix..

just try to travel a bit, if you start a real tiny shop, you wouldnt like bringing in things that other vinatge lovers have already spotted in the area

e-bay sounds also good, but it may be quite packed with great vintage offers
personally i prefer to buy vintage when seeing up close, i like to feel the fabric, examine the cut and try things on.. old school

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11-07-2005
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I think, not 100% sure, adorevintage has an online vintage business. If you check her profile you can find her website.

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13-07-2005
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Hey Label, I think we're in the same boat!!

Lena,could you tell me a bit about [your] vintage boutiques?? Because I've been wondering about opening one as well, considering I travel a lot. and how I love vintage fashions. It's also partly school work. I have to write a business plan for some shop that I "own", and after serious thought...might as well hit 2 birds with 1 stone.

I would love it if you could tell me about your experiences. Any advice and tips!! Especially
how
you got your store known around town.
how many people you employed.
etc...

thankyou

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13-07-2005
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AdoreVintage.com Guide to Starting Your Own Vintage Store
Hi Missy! Thanks for mentioning me. :-)


If you want to open up a store it is not hard. I manage shopping centers and the process is very very easy. Usually you fill out an application, agree on rent and length of lease, you pay the deposit, the lease is drafted, you sign and TADAH! you have yourself a store!

I hope that was helpful! I wish you the best of luck with your vintage endeavours.

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16-07-2005
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bb doll, it was a small boutique thing, it was just me and another girl who was there at the shop fulltime..

we did nothing to get the shop 'noticed' but since it was in the 'trendy' area in town, it became 'famous' for as long as it lasted.. there were no vintage boutiques around
only one month after opening, a stylist came in (from the best national monthly fashion magazine at that time) and presto, got my first editorial page..

agreed on he simple procedure of getting a space, terms and details vary from country to country.. but make sure its on a busy area and there are no vintage boutiques around.

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16-07-2005
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i agree at getting space on a busy street. i know in the us there is a saying "location, location, location" jaja, ok so it's three words, but they are very important.

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16-07-2005
  10
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Would you be a sole trader or a partnership ??? If your a partnership then you will need to draw up some terms and conditions.
You could always purchase a franchise, expensive at first but the benefits are fast.
What about getting a small market stall and setting up there maybe ??

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23-07-2005
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I'm going to be doing the same thing in a short time. Personally, I'd suggest getting a booth at a well known "antique mall" on a busy street (making good amounts of money is all about location-at least where I live). I'm a big antique mall shopper who has fallen in love with vintage clothes and accessories but it's hard to buy them online (I have seen some really nice online vintage clothing boutiques with vintage dior, etc. *drool worthy* believe me...and also can be quite expensive.)

If you do decide to open a store or get a booth at a mall I would also suggest having a bit of furniture for sale in it. My friend's friend owns a gorgeous antique shop with a guy here near where I live. She sells lovely vintage clothes and he sells antique/vintage furniture. The furniture really moves and he makes quite a profit off of it. Just a suggestion. You can make some cash off the furniture from the same era the clothes are from and also sell the things you love to sell.

I agree with Lena on the Ebay thing being so full of vintage already. You also really don't seem to get the prices you deserve to get for the items online at ebay.

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23-07-2005
  12
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great feedback LLaura, so good to have you back at tFS

love that you are taking the step further, wishing you all luck with the antique booth, you should visit Paris for buying for your store..

you'll go nuts if you see the antique accessories/clothes/furniture at StQuen flea market...

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01-08-2005
  13
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my shop is gonna be a partnership i decided. it's easier to manage!! i think my friends are gonna finance me :p

i found a lil space in a mall off the main street in the city. 30sq m. too small? too big? i really like the antique furniture idea....its's really smart!! Lovely concept LLaura!! Thanks Lena and everyone for the tips and advice!!

Now I'm off to do my cash flow projections.....I've got to estimate how much $ ging in and out of the business for 12 months!! How long did it take you guys before you started making profit??

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01-08-2005
  14
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I know someone who just opened a vintage store. He started out selling vintage tees on Ebay.....while working a minimum wage job. Then he quit the job, took all his savings and used it to open up a shop in a trendy area outside of detroit. I guess its that simple. I haven't been to the shop, but I heard its doing really well.

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04-08-2005
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How wonderful this thread is. And what timing! It seems I am not the only one who is thinking about opening a vintage store/booth. My problem with a booth in a antique mall is that I can't be there. Or at least I have never seen the sellers at their booth unless they are stocking it that day and I like being able to be at the store and helping people find what they are looking for a fielding their questions. I am definately not planning on opening a store soon but I was targeting probably in a year. Here are some of my questions:

- Where would be the best places to find my stock?
I usually shop on Ebay and I am guessing that would not be the best place to hunt for merchandise because the people on there are also seeing a profit margin

- How much is usually needed for a start up?

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