May 24, 2018 | By Lourdes Linares
While it’s an understatement to say that the internet has changed business, antique dealers, including vintage clothing dealers, have had to massively regroup. Ebay has been a blessing for many to buy and sell, create businesses and make some extra money, but the popularity of the service and amount of items available has seriously devalued many things. While cities used to be a hotbed for top quality vintage, access to websites like Ebay and Etsy have given people – some that metropolitan dealers used to buy from – the ability to sell their items at a fraction of the cost sans big-city rents. And at a time when aspirational fashion has been replaced in the hearts of consumers with a quick fashion knock off, people are much more willing to scour sites like Ebay and Etsy (which now contain well known online vintage stores, like Mama Stone Vintage, that sell solely online) at the chance of finding a vintage deal rather than pay the price for a piece from a well edited store in the city. This buying trend has led to the recent closings of several NYC vintage mainstays including The Marmalade, Beauty Crisis, Love Saves the Day, Atomic Passion and Sweet Ones. Other stores like Screaming Mimi’s and even American Apparel have embraced the Internet to sell vintage and keep their businesses thriving. However, with over 200,000 vintage clothing and accessory listings a day on Ebay alone, a well edited point of view may be even more important in the virtual world to attract and keep customers coming back. Vintage is at a high point of popularity across an increasingly broad section of the population, and just like the trend of fast, disposable fashion, people want vintage pieces at virtual garage sale prices. While the four figure gowns will continue to sell, just as vintage clothing stores and shows will continue to survive, a large part of the business has moved online with every DIY to professional vintage dealer offering pieces to the global economy.
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