Meet TROUVAILLE VINTAGE

We invited Constanze from Trouvaille Vintage, based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands to talk about how she sells vintage clothes online.

TROUVAILLE VINTAGE

In general, I think there is no moment where I am not buying vintage clothes for Trouvaille Vintage. I am always “on” and on the lookout for pieces – I love to mostly buy stuff on vacation though, to make sure that my inventory is from all over the world.

When buying the items, I usually pay attention to that I can add a triple or quadruple margin to my items ( so the buying price will be 3 or 4 times more expensive than my initial cost), as I have to pay a lot of VAT here in the Netherlands and also income tax is very high. Usually, this means that blouses can’t be more expensive than 10 euros when I buy them, so I can make some profit.

I have I bought some items as “image pieces”, so I won’t make any margin off them, but I wanted them to shape the style of the shop and give an edge to it.

TROUVAILLE VINTAGE

What’s important for me is that the clothes are not broken, dirty and too common. My promise is to find special pieces so that’s what the focus is on always. Trends don’t matter much to me. I see a lot of shops selling Adidas track jackets and 90s Tommy stuff or Y2K stuff, but I don’t pay much attention to what’s hot at the moment. I want my customer to have stuff they can create a unique wardrobe with.

The amount of clothes I buy also makes me face a huge backlog at the moment. I just don’t manage to shoot them all, which sucks, but since I do everything alone that’s just how it is. I usually spend 3 hours per day on stuff relating to the shop. On the weekends it’s more (7-10 hours). That’s all next to my full-time job in advertising.

When I buy an item I immediately put it into my inventory log. I give it an SKU number, describe it, note down the brand, when I bought it and where and for how much. Then I have columns for when I uploaded the items to which platform. Is an item uploaded everywhere? Then it’s marked yellow. Is it sold? Then I mark it blue. And red for items that I decided to keep for myself and wear, but just in case I wanna sell them at a later stage.

Then I have a spreadsheet with my customer information, that I make sure to save on my mac, not on Google Drive, to be safe with the GDPR.

Whenever an item gets sold I transfer it to my sales overview and calculate how much money I have to put aside to be able to pay taxes at the end of the year.

When I shoot items, I put a selection together of which ones I wanna shoot that day and try to style them with each other. In general, I try to style super simple so that the items stand out and so that everyone sees that you can wear them with simple jeans and it looks cool too. I usually see which items I think are most important to sell fast, e.g. because of seasons etc. Before shooting them I steam iron them so they don’t look too wrinkly. Then since I shoot outside, I only hope that the weather is ok ;), and it’s not always an advantage. I wear the items and my friend takes pictures, also quite unfortunate since I would like to take pictures myself to create my own vision of what I want them to look, but I can’t afford a model, so I have to be on the pictures and have to leave the photographing to someone else.
TROUVAILLE VINTAGE
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When I am done shooting I upload the images to my mac and create a folder for each item named after its unique SKU, so later I can find the pictures if I need to. I don’t do much post production on them, but usually just balance out colors to make the items look as close to reality as possible. Then I upload them to Etsy and TPH and a bit later to Instagram. Insta is a bit more random, I try to post once a day and then always randomly pick an item that fits into the feed that day.

hmmm, I think that’s it 🙂

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