Monday, September 25, 2023

The retro clothing boom on the networks

Before we get into the subject of virtual stores, we need to define the term “vintage”, a word that comes from English. The literal translation is “ancient” or “ancient”, but not from a negative point of view, as something is being treated in an old-fashioned or ugly manner. Vintage is actually used to denote those items (mainly clothing but also furniture and accessories, among others) that, despite their age, have appreciated in value, have been upgraded, and are not seen as old or bad.

The birth of “vintage clothing” dates back to the 1990s and early 2000s, when many people, especially music bands, started using shirts or jackets from the old days. Either due to the superior quality or the measurements of the garments (which in the past were generally “plus sizes”), the truth is that it launched a different fashion than the time. It wasn’t about dressing differently or combing your hair a certain way; it was about wearing clothes you’d worn in the past. Back to basics

Charly Garcia Remera Nirvana
Charly Garcia wears a vintage Nirvana t-shirt days after Kurt Cobain’s death

As for the beginnings of virtual vintage clothing stores, they have been around for a long time on the internet. In the United States, buying clothes online has been typical for several years and, over time, has spread to the whole world. In Argentina, it can be said that many of these shops (the longest-lived in this area) arose on Facebook, where there were groups to buy and sell clothes and share both clothes and information about them.

The boom came later, with the rise of Instagram as a social network. Unlike Facebook, which is mainly based on text messages and the occasional photo, the Instagram modality offered great advantages when selling clothes: all content is based on images that can be uploaded together, showing the entire garment and its details, as well as videos, in which you can see everything from tears in the garment to reflective details.

Another important feature of Instagram (which Facebook recently added as well) is the format of the stories. Photos and videos are deleted forever after 24 hours unless highlighted by the account that manages them. These stories have been seen by many sellers as an opportunity to reach a larger audience, but above all to promote offers that do not appear in the publications, with the aim of creating a community aware of the garments uploaded and also to help users get items at a price below their value.

The key to success

But how do you get the clothes? Is it a fraud-free and safe environment? Is it worth starting a clothing sales business? No answer to these questions is free from subjectivity or personal experience, but specialists have suggestions.

When it comes to sourcing clothing, there are two great options. The first is to buy clothes at fairs (e.g., Solano, Parque Los Andes, and many others) where, with time and dedication, you can acquire unique pieces at a very reasonable price and with high profitability.

Los Andes Park Fair
People looking for clothes in Parque Los Andes, Chacarita, and Buenos Aires

The second method has been gaining popularity lately as many users explain step-by-step videos, resorting to buying bundles of clothes. In the north of the country, in Jujuy, to be precise, on the border with Chile and Bolivia, you can see a lot of American clothing at great prices, from American football jerseys to jackets from Columbia or The North Face with the highest economy. Although this is the most economical option, a search for “packages of clothes” in Google brings up several sites that sell these packages and ship them not only across the country but almost all over the world.

In these packages, it is not possible to know the products they contain; only the number of clothes inside, the sizes, gender, or age are indicated (there are packages that contain only “female” clothes as well as only “men’s or even clothes for babies and children), and in some cases, the value of each garment in relation to the whole package is indicated to show that they are profitable and that from a well-sold bundle of clothes, 2 or 3 more can be bought.

Business owners should also address the issue of security in their businesses. The vast majority have a section on their Instagram called “Customers” or synonyms for it, where they repost stories uploaded by buyers when their clothes arrive in the mail, as well as send out shipments or, in some cases, give away clothes to singers or influencers. On the other hand, there is also the delivery location modality, previously established and coordinated with the seller (sometimes involving additional costs for the product due to mobility, time, etc.), to have the product at the moment and not run the risk of being deceived. In addition, some others have their own websites that show all the products in stock, and their purchases are in turn controlled through the system (e.g., Tienda Nube or Shopify). Finally, some of the most prestigious and well-known vintage clothing stores have opened stores to the public, such as Urban Luxury (with more than 11 stores open) or Juan Perez Vintage (based in Recoleta), where you can not only see and try clothes to buy but (in the case of Urban Luxury) also include the possibility of selling clothes or exchanging them for another.

With all that said, it seems fair to say that selling vintage clothing is a profitable business and that you can do a lot with a little, but the reality isn’t quite as close. Although many sites have managed to thrive and establish themselves as their creators’ way of working, many others have failed, suffered huge losses, and had to close their accounts. The truth is that business is not about buying and selling more expensive things; it is not a handrail; it is something beyond; It’s about knowing how to sell, building trust with the public, building a loyal community, offering better and better clothes (it doesn’t have to be more diverse, just better brands and clothes), striving to be a good site and not just one of the bunch; it requires commitment. Sometimes luck is not on your side; the clothes don’t sell, and the publications lose their impact.

However, the successful cases seem to show that the key is to pay attention to the tastes and preferences of the clientele, to look for really valuable pieces, and to treat this as a job and not a hobby. Sometimes an old bag can be the beginning of an empire.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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