In the many booths I’ve had at the many markets I’ve worked, there is always someone who comes along and treats me like shit because they want to pay a dollar per item. I’ve been called “out of my mind” for pricing a 40’s swimsuit at $140 and been practically spit on for wanting $50 for a 50’s prom dress.
I overheard this conversation while showing my vintage collection at the Art Crawl a few months ago. “Why is vintage clothing so expensive?” said the older woman, holding up a 40’s beaded top priced at $795. “Because they know how much we want it” said the younger woman. Both women then took turns holding up pieces so they could loudly make fun and denounce their price tags. I was outraged.
This blog post is dedicated to those two lovely ladies and their bad nineties haircuts.
I will break down how I price vintage clothing in a list, just for them.
1. I find the tag and decipher the age of the piece. If the brand is highly covetable (ie Christian Dior) and the age of the item is older than 40 years, I know it will be more expensive than an 80’s easy-to-find polyester dress.
2. I take the cut, style, fabric and condition of the item into consideration. Again, an 80’s polyester dress will be significantly cheaper than a 50’s silk shirtdress.
3. I decide if the item is easy-to-find. I shop everywhere for vintage, so if I come across similar items in every thrift store I go to, I don’t expect people to pay much for them because they could/would find it themselves! Most of the time I don’t even buy these ‘easy’ items, because I like to specialize in hard-to-find, special clothing.
4. I get online and research similar items. I then decide on a price that is cheaper than the internet price.
And there you have it!
x’s and o’s on this Valentines Day!