Starting to sell vintage clothing - where to find suppliers and where to sell?

Jul 10, 2012
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Hello, firstly, I'm new here and this website seems a brilliant forum for all wholesale related discussion. I am looking to start a new business, selling vintage style clothing.

I am looking to invest around £1000 into this venture, with the majority of this investment spent on stock. My first step is to find a wholesaler that specialises in this sort of stock. I have done some research, and I have a few wholesalers in mind, however I have little experience in dealing with wholesalers, which is why I have joined this forum, to seek help. I'm wondering if anyone on this site has ever traded with wholesalers which sell vintage clothing.

I am going to start of small, and I'm going to initially limit the choice of products I plan on selling, I may even just sell men's clothing to begin with, as that is where my knowledge lies. In which way do you guys believe is the best method to sell your stock, ebay? etsy? The way I see sites like ebay, customers know what they are looking for when visiting these websites, so unless you are selling a well known, branded product, the chances of a high volume of customers coming across your stock is slim. So I'm wondering whether I should start by setting up a website, and perhaps invest in some advertising?

If anyone has any experience in starting up an independent clothing company, any advice or feedback will be appreciated.

Thanks alot guys,

Jonny
 
May 26, 2009
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Hello, firstly, I'm new here and this website seems a brilliant forum for all wholesale related discussion. I am looking to start a new business, selling vintage style clothing.

The way I see sites like ebay, customers know what they are looking for when visiting these websites, so unless you are selling a well known, branded product, the chances of a high volume of customers coming across your stock is slim. So I'm wondering whether I should start by setting up a website, and perhaps invest in some advertising?

If anyone has any experience in starting up an independent clothing company, any advice or feedback will be appreciated.

Thanks alot guys,

Jonny

Hi Johnny,

so are you saying you want to sell unbranded...ie unknown brand clothing or vintage branded?

I don't think it matters at all if branded or unbranded? I do think however price comes into it and the use of auctions to get started... I had stock of unbranded polo shirts...Sold like mad off ebay but couldn't shift them on ebay as wanted just short of £6.99 each. However, as soon as put a few up at auction for a relatively low starting price a few seemed to shift + there seemed to be a fair bit more interest...although didn't reach the prices I wanted. However, I've seen other sellers with unbranded polos and they are selling hundreds daily purely down to the price. I think with ebay, you have to remember your competing with so many other sellers and prices you have to have other strategies esp if just starting out to get recognised.

With regards to vintage clothing, I think if you set up shop and have everything BUY IT NOW with no major branded names then you will be stuck. You might need to put a few brands intot he shop to get some footfall, and I would definitely put up some auctions every now and again.

Alot of peole seem to use the word vintage in their ebay title description to drive sales for clothing when much of it is neither vintage or retro etc. What is the actual stock your selling. Is it vintage 2nd hand or new men's wear with a vintage/heritage look?
 
Apr 24, 2007
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Hello Jonny & Welcome to TSC!

For vintage clothing wholesalers, look for US based suppliers.

As you only have 1 grand to invest in stock, eBay is basically your only option as you can't stock a full online shop with that money. You'll be able to purchase only 10 or 20 items in small quantity, different sizes.

Good Luck with your business venture & Enjoy your stay on TSC! ;)
 
Jul 10, 2012
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Thanks Dave,

From what I've researched, all 'vintage clothing' wholesalers sell second hand clothing. I will look to get some brands in, mainly for footfall, but I want to focus on more independent vintage labels.

I'm going to start off small, this will be my first ever experience of running a business, so I want it to be as low-risk as possible. Long term however, I would love my business to be recognised as a cool, trendy company. I plan on my business to be associated with music, and I'll try and target music fans, the theory being that independent music fans shy away from big companies and focus on independent companies.

I think my biggest challenge will be re-investing in more stock once the initial stock has all gone.
 
Jul 10, 2012
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Hi Andy,

I also believe ebay is my only option to begin with. I plan on using ebay as a tool, to see what items sell, and most importantly, what items do not sell. If I get enough interest, I may look to run an online shop, away from ebay.
 
Dec 13, 2012
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Hi Jonny,

Start small at first, only get things you know will sell.

Look at fashion in the high streets and that should give you an idea of what is selling at the minute.

Also getting a good supplier is key. I have been using a company from South Yorkshire called Glass Onion Vintage for the past 3-4 years and they have helped me so much in my shop.

Buying one or two products in bulk can help too. Costs you less per piece so more of a profit margin. I did this with Levis Denim Jackets last month and they have been flying out.

Hope this helps,

Lucy
 
Hi Jonny,

I know this is a fairly old post but have you tried [Staff Edit: You need an advertising membership to post links]. They are one of the best in terms of price for buying vintage clothing in bulk, probably the best wholesaler I have used. They stock a lot of vintage denim (Levi's, Lee, Wrangler etc.) and also a lot of sportswear. I'd advise always asking for a price list and shopping around for the best prices. Also start with small orders initially until you have established a customer base. If you need anymore information, glad to help.

Regards,

Rob
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Mar 17, 2019
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Have you completed a feasibility study to determine expected level of success?
 
Hi Jonny,

I know this is a fairly old post but have you tried [Staff Edit: You need an advertising membership to post links]. They are one of the best in terms of price for buying vintage clothing in bulk, probably the best wholesaler I have used. They stock a lot of vintage denim (Levi's, Lee, Wrangler etc.) and also a lot of sportswear. I'd advise always asking for a price list and shopping around for the best prices. Also start with small orders initially until you have established a customer base. If you need anymore information, glad to help.

Regards,

Rob

Hi could you let me know what the website is that you mentioned please. I am unable to see the link. If you could even private message me it that would be great. Thanks !
 
May 4, 2020
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Hi Jonny,

I know this is a fairly old post but have you tried [Staff Edit: You need an advertising membership to post links]. They are one of the best in terms of price for buying vintage clothing in bulk, probably the best wholesaler I have used. They stock a lot of vintage denim (Levi's, Lee, Wrangler etc.) and also a lot of sportswear. I'd advise always asking for a price list and shopping around for the best prices. Also start with small orders initially until you have established a customer base. If you need anymore information, glad to help.

Regards,

Rob
Hi rob,
Would you please be able to private message me or email me to tell me the name of that supplier please? It won’t show up on my feed
many thanks
Jamie
 
hi there, could you direct also me to the name of the supplier?