vintage clothing to resell

Where to Find Vintage Clothing to Resell?

Where to find vintage clothing to resell?

For anyone starting the process of selling vintage clothing and accessories, many questions will naturally arise during the journey. However one of the biggest questions, and maybe the most important one, remains. Where do you source vintage clothing to resell?

Sourcing vintage clothing comes in many shapes and sizes, with everyone having varied options for what works for them. When starting out as a reseller or vintage clothing business, finding vintage clothing often can be the biggest source of pain. It may take years for some businesses to find their perfect method for sourcing, with a lot of trial and error along the way.

Each to their own, there is no one-size-fits-all policy when it comes to sourcing vintage clothes. Many variables must be taken into account, such as the sizes, styles and brands of vintage clothing you wish to sell. Through trial and error, you will then begin to carve out a system of what works for you.

For those starting out, a push in the right direction is sometimes all that is needed. In this blog, we will take a look at some of the best methods for sourcing vintage clothing, to help anyone who is looking to get started in the world of vintage.


Where do vintage sellers get their clothes from?

Vintage Wholesalers

Vintage wholesalers can be the perfect starting point for those who are looking to begin their journey in the world of vintage clothing. Whether you are looking to sell vintage clothing online or have a physical brick and mortar, a vintage clothing wholesaler can be seen as the best starting point.

What is a vintage wholesaler?

A vintage wholesaler follows the same principle as any other wholesale business, although in this case, it refers to vintage clothes and accessories. Vintage wholesalers will often receive clothing in huge quantities from all over the world. The clothing will be a mixture of many aspects, vastly ranging in era, size and style. From here wholesalers will either sort and grade the clothing or sell it blind.

As a wholesaler, the items for sale will be at a much lower price as opposed to buying from a store. Wholesalers often require a minimum spend, which will vary from business to business. In general terms, the more stock you buy from a wholesaler, the cheaper the price becomes.

For this reason, vintage clothing businesses tend to use vintage wholesale companies. Buying at a wholesale price leaves much meat on the bone for profit to be made on each item purchased. Of course, it isn't as simple as buying the stock and selling it instantly. Often any clothing purchased at a wholesaler will need to be laundered, washed, steamed and sorted. For those selling online, you would need to photograph each item and list it online. So this is something to remember and consider.

vintage wholesale store


How to know which vintage wholesaler to go to?

Within the UK, many vintage wholesalers are offering their services to businesses and resellers. However, with many offering a minimum spend, how do you determine which will be the right wholesaler for you?

Location - For many people your geographical location will probably play a part in deciding which wholesaler to attend. Generally, more vintage wholesalers are located in the North of England. Whether by chance or due to cheaper business leases, this is simply the way it is. So depending, on your location, search for vintage clothing wholesalers in your region, or be prepared to travel further afield.

Reputation - By looking at the reputation of a vintage wholesaler, you will quickly get a good idea of whether it is a good fit for you and your business. Read online reviews, check out their social media, ask other people in the industry. All of these methods can help you to get a good understanding of which wholesalers have a solid reputation and which don't.

Pricing - Every wholesaler will set their pricing differently. There can be many variables on pricing, for instance, the price they are paying for stock on their end. Wholesalers will often run deals on stock, especially blind bales or sealed sacks, so look out for these deals on wholesaler websites.

Stock - Ensuring the wholesaler has the specific stock you want is probably one of the most important factors. Look on a wholesaler's website to see if the stock they have aligns with your business. Also, get in contact with them to let them know what you're after. Any reputable wholesaler would be more than happy to tell you if they have what you're after.

By taking time to assess your options, you can be sure to find the right vintage wholesaler for you. As you become accustomed to a particular wholesaler, you can then begin to build a relationship with them, which can lead to better stock and big savings down the road.


Charity shops

For those who are new to the world of selling vintage clothes online, charity shops can often be the starting point. Charity shops are often the barrier to entry for many sellers due to their ease of accessibility. Every town and city throughout the UK will have an abundance of charity shops, selling goods at reduced prices.

When it comes to sourcing vintage clothing items, you can expect to search long and hard within each charity shop. Expect competition to be high, especially in densely populated areas, with many other people frequenting charity shops for the exact same reason. However, despite the competition, there is still an abundance of vintage clothes to be found.

As you begin to get a feel for the charity shops in your local area, you will begin to get an idea of which ones are the best for you. Usually, everyone has one or two favourites in their area.

As you frequent charity shops more often, you will also begin to build relationships with the staff. This can work in your favour, as staff may begin to see what you like buying and let you know when something new is going onto the shop floor.

For an added tip, we suggest going to areas with much less footfall to find vintage clothing. Retirement towns or villages are often considered hotspots for finding goods for your vintage clothing business, with much less competition than in a city.

Whilst charity shops may not provide a big abundance of stock for your vintage clothing store or website, they provide a solid starting point. Whilst searching through charity shops you will begin to learn more about which brands or styles are popular, increasing your knowledge and experience in the world of vintage clothing.

inside of a charity shop


Sourcing Online

Sourcing for vintage clothing online is one of the most common methods for acquiring stock for a vintage clothing store or website. The World Wide Web has given buyers almost unlimited access to source and find stock. Of course, in today's digital world it can be highly competitive to dig out these deals, but don't get disheartened as there is enough to go around for everyone.

A great starting point for sourcing is to look at online selling marketplaces such as Ebay, Depop or Etsy. On these marketplaces, you will find a wide variety of sellers, ranging from reputable businesses to people looking to clear out their closets. The margins can be found in buying from people who are just looking to get rid of old clothes, many of whom might not know its potential resell value.

When looking for vintage clothing online it can be difficult to know what to search for, which is why you should determine what type of vintage you want to sell. Before sourcing online have a think about it. If you are going to sell vintage clothes, what do you specifically want to sell? Determining a specific era, style or even gender, can narrow the goalposts for you to focus on a specific niche. Ideally, you will pick a specific niche that excites you, something you are passionate about selling. This will certainly make things a lot easier.

Honing in on one a particular era or style can make things a lot easier when it comes to sourcing online. Instead of a scattergun approach, you are able to narrow your focus on a particular sub-set.

Once again, purchasing via online marketplaces will not get you an abundance of stock quickly, but it is a great reference point for starting out. When looking for high-end, exclusive, or vintage gems, online marketplaces can be a goldmine at times. Of course, to benefit from this approach, it requires a lot of searching combined with screen time, which may not be to everyone's taste.

someone using their laptop to look at a website


Car Boot Sales

Car boot sales are one of the most popular past times in the UK, for buying and selling items. Due to their sheer popularity and scale across the UK, you can expect to find anything or everything, which includes vintage clothing.

Car boot sales have become synonymous with getting a bargain, which everyone seems to love. Typically hundreds of sellers congregate in a field to get rid of unwanted items, whether they are moving house, downsizing or having a clear out. As people no longer want these items, you can expect to find items for often next to nothing.

However, once again, due to the sheer amount of deals to be had, expect hot competition. Professional buyers notoriously turn up at the crack of dawn to get first dibs on the best items. It is common for buyers to flock to a new car that arrives and peer inside to see if there is anything of substantial resell value. So expect to be up against other professional sellers when looking for vintage clothing items.

Due to the size of a typical car boot sale, you can expect to walk away with at least something. However, expect peaks and troughs, some weeks may be great whereas other weeks may not. It is all part of the experience and simply part and parcel of sourcing stock. If you remain resilient and stick with it, you will reap the rewards.

car boot sale


Ready to start buying and selling vintage clothes?

We hope by reading this article you have gained some insight into the world of buying and selling vintage clothes.

Depending on your stage of the journey, each option suggested will come in handy at some point. For those starting out, charity shops or car boot sales may be the perfect starting point. Whereas for more established sellers, or those looking to buy in bulk, vintage clothing wholesalers may offer the perfect opportunity to get stock in large quantities.

Of course, there is no right or wrong answer to sourcing stock. It is simply down to personal preference. We suggest trying out a range of different methods, to see what works for you.

If you are interested in buying stock from a reputable vintage wholesaler, why not take a look at our vintage clothing wholesale stock? Alternatively, if you would like to visit the warehouse, please feel free to arrange a vintage handpick. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. One of our team will be more than happy to help.

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