Monday, February 8, 2010

Getting Started on Etsy

I initially started Selling Vintage on Etsy back in May after being laid off from my sales position at a local Los Angeles magazine, (yes, I'm one of those statistics which fits in well with checking cliche after cliche off my list of things to be, do, feel), and so to supplement my income I started Selling Vintage. First I took a booth at a local antique mall and then eventually I took to the internet. When this comes up in conversation with other lovers of vintage the response I often hear is one of 'I thought of doing that, is it easy?' or 'how do you get started?' - but it took the question coming to me as a blog comment from Linda over at A La Carte to get me to write a response to this question often posed.

Usually my response is 'it's easy, just go to Etsy and follow the directions'. And well, that is basically what you need to do to get started. You can register for an Etsy account here. But before you do learn from my mistake and think about what you want to call your shop, your username will ultimately become your shop name. I ultimately wound up starting a brand new account after having already gone through the motions of posting items to the incorrectly named account.

Once you get your account set up you can login to Etsy and start selling - seriously, it's that easy! It may take some trial and error but eventually you'll get used to the layout and can easily share your pretty vintage goods with the world.

When you login to your account look to the top of the screen where you'll see a shopping cart and to the right, about center page, you'll see YOUR ETSY, click on this to get to your account and start selling. Then you'll see a navbar on the left hand side, you'll just have to play around with these different features as you go along but they're all pretty self-explanatory. The one you need to be concerned with initially is ADD NEW ITEM. Go through the motions and list your item for only $.20!

When listing:

Be sure to describe the item as best you can and use words you think people may search for when they are looking for something similar to what you are selling.

Take full advantage of the key word section, you'll click down to Vintage first and then narrow it further and further. Use words that describe the style, the color, the designer or similar designers, what the item is, where it's made - anything that you were not able to mention in your text.

I cannot stress this enough - TAKE GOOD PICTURES. I bought two large pieces of foam board from my local art store to use as a backdrop and I always go outside to take my photos since my house is lit for mood not photography.

You can add up to five pictures, if you can use them all. Get creative and have fun! And always be sure to photograph the label or logo if there is one.

Shipping is trial and error and sometimes you lose a little money on shipping. I always try to be fair but list my shipping a little high so that I am covered and able to ship Priority Mail with Tracking. Tracking is important and so is packaging, be careful, buy bubble wrap and pack your items well. I recently, so far only once, shipped something and had it chip in the process. That made me feel real bad and the biggest bummer was I was so sure I had done a stellar job packing that one - not the case.

Another note on shipping, make a trip to the post office and take advantage of the FREE Priority Mail boxes. I don't usually send items flat rate which is what these boxes are intended for, instead I wrap them in brown bag paper from Office Depot. The rate is usually cheaper than flat rate, I only use flat rate when something is really heavy. If you don't feel like visiting the post office initially you can order your FREE Priority Mail boxes on their website.

Marketing is a whole other beast but start following the official Etsy Blog, Storque for ideas and tips. And I'll write something on that... next time someone asks!

Thanks for the question Linda, I hope this is enough to get you started and wish you the best of luck. Let me know if there's something I didn't cover that you may be wondering - that goes for everyone.

Happy Selling Vintage!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"Louden" Hand Painted

Finally, I've decided to list for sale these gorgeous hand-painted small china plates that I've been holding tight for months now. I love them so, the warm orange flowers and bright green leaves tied together with black stems just pop against an ivory backdrop. But if I held on to everything I love nothing would ever leave my humble abode and things really need to start moving so reluctantly I'm ready to let them go.

Not wanting to make the CatherineHolm mistake I hit the web early this time and found the maker of these plates, Alfred Meakin England has been operating since 1875, the ink printed logo on the bottom of these plates signify a production date from 1930 onward. Having been in business for over 100 years there are several logos you can look out for by this manufacturer most of them pre-1930 but a few have been created since.

You can see the logos and information on the company at the website Antique Dynasties.

As for a value I guess they're worth what anything you don't see a lot of is worth - whatever someone is willing to pay. Selling on eBay is a platter of the same design for $14.95. Maybe I should just buy it and become a "Louden" collector!!

; )

See my Etsy listing for this item here.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Fiestaware Identifying Marks

Any lover of the thrift knows to scoop up Fiestaware if found on the cheap. The rare find being an exciting score for it's vibrant colors, distinguishable style, and if you know how to spot vintage, its lucrative possibilities. New or old Fiestaware is a welcome and uncommon thrift store find, it just so happens the latter won't bode well for resale.

As it typically stands I'm one to find out how to recognize a valuable piece post sale and a not so valuable piece post purchase. And so it goes with the recent score of Fiestaware mugs and saucers. They sure are pretty but a SwagBucks search later and I discover I could head right over to Macy's to complete a nice little breakfast set.

Take a look at this logo, it's an ink printed logo and the letters are all capitals. According to the blog Discount Fiestaware this is a tell tale sign that my Fiestaware is not that rare bird created before 1973. What you're looking for is an ink print in lower-case letters or an imprint.

Something else to look out for when buying Fiestaware are the colors. There were fourteen colors total before production temporarily halted in 1973, but the six original colors introduced in 1936 are: Cobalt Blue, Light Green, Ivory, Red, Turquoise, and Yellow. And it's those original colors that are most sought by collectors.

As for my newly acquired Fiestaware, I'll give them a spin on eBay but from the looks of it these vibrant pieces will be keeping me and my morning coffee company for a some time to come.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Year, New Happenings

Before I say anything else I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year. It's a little late, a whole week and a half, but I've been MIA and this is my first post of 2010. I should probably make it good!

The holiday season had me happily running to the post on a daily basis. Between that, my own holiday shopping, a decent couple of weeks off, and an attempt to organize, I am backed up on listings and will be posting new stuff to Etsy this week. I will also attempt to utilize eBay more. If anyone has eBay suggestions please do share as I'm terrified of not getting my products worth but eager to expand my options and move my product a little quicker.

Finally, I am so excited to share with you a new venture that has fallen into my lap - Consignment sales! I was recently passed a client from a great friend, and now have the opportunity to sell some fantastic vintage couture pieces. Beside the sheer excitement of having some of these pieces in my home I'm thrilled to see how this venture works out. To see photos the 1930's Chanel dress, velvet Dolce and Gabbana, Badgley and Mishka cocktail dress and more visit SellingVintage on Facebook. And if you're not already a Fan become one! I'd love to have you.

Here's a snippet of my favorite outfit.

Stunning don't you think! The shirt is mine, should I buy the skirt? I have no idea where to wear this but it doesn't hurt to have something pretty in your closet!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

DIY Christmas Tree in Action

Remember that cute little DIY Christmas Tree project I learned from Martha Stewart's show? I've been passing them out to friends as part of my holiday gift and they've been such a hit! Check this one out, it looks so good incorporated into Morgan's holiday decor.

Christmas Countdown a.k.a Wish List

Dear Santa,

A bathroom should never be boring, and because mine is so small and because I've been such a good girl this year I think I deserve a new modern-feminine shower curtain, even if it is a hefty $98.

It's available at Anthropologie. Look I even made it easy for you!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Count Down a.k.a. Wish List

I recently picked up a copy of Elle Decoration UK. The magazine wasn't inexpensive but I fell in love with these amazing retro "TrimPhones" while browsing at the magazine stand. It comes in four colors - this pretty turquoise, a powder pink, red, and white.

Not only am I dying over these phones but I'm insane over this magazine. I think my entire Christmas list could be filled from decor pulled straight from these very pages!