Friday, October 24, 2008

The Economy Is Vintage As Well!

With all of the newscasters saying "Our economy is in the worst shape since 1932/1934/1931" (you fill in the Depression year), it is a worrying time to be in what is basically a luxury business. I dislike being the gloom and doom voice on this wonderful blog, but will people shell out for vintage goods during this time?

I had a booth at the Manhattan Vintage Show a few weeks ago, and did quite well...but it was by selling dozens of smaller items and a few dresses. The so-called "big ticket" items sat looking gorgeous on the racks. Those same "big ticket" items fill up my apartment, so I sure would like to sell them!

Unlike my alter-ego on my blog, I've been, shall we say, financially limited for many years, so I'm used to doing without, reducing, reusing, recycling, etc. So I cannot afford storage space.

I am planning to do the New York Pier Show in a few weeks, but I woke up to more bad Wall Street news, including circuit breakers tripping on the big board to keep it from plunging any more! (If that sentence makes no sense to you, I just wrote it down from MSNBC.) There is a world-wide panic as I write this, and the circuit breakers keep the board from having a "waterfall effect."

Let's hear from other sellers on this blog (yes, I know it's public, but you can post anonymously) what impact the recession has had, if any, on your business. Any cockeyed optimists out there?



The Dusty Dog Vintage Boutique said...

Cockeyed optimist here! *waving madly*

Yes, it's a bad time for being in any kind of retail business. But there will always be buyers, especially online. Have sales slowed? Sure have. But I still have sales.

As with any slow time, we have opportunites to do things that we often times are too busy to do when things are better. I've been able to do more promotion, write more on the blog,take a good look at my inventory and network with other vintage sellers more frequently. It also affords us a chance to put some things on sale.

So, I guess I'm doing that making lemonade out of lemons thing. I'm thankful for the sales I have and I honestly try not to dwell on the current state of the economy. We all have to remember that it will get better eventually.

Hang in there!

The Dusty Dog Vintage Boutique

Carol@Dandelion Vintage said...

Good topic Elisa.
September was slow. October is doing better. For the past 10 years of selling vintage online, October has always been my busiest month of the year. It's been steady with average size orders, but not as busy as previous years.

It might be a tough time for selling big ticket items, unless it's something to be worn during the holidays. But I think that people like me, who wear vintage as part of their regular wardrobe, they'll still be buying. At least that's what I'm hoping! I think there's still a good market for 'regular' clothing that people need.
I agree with Tara that it just means we have to plug harder to get seen out there, and take the opportunity to make changes where we need it.

I am optimistic!

Anonymous said...

Actually the crash of the's and Clintons admin running out of %%% to run the gov was more scary. (as was muslim extremists attack on embassy and navy ship during that time and 9/11, we're tougher than this. I think this is the perfect opp for vintage clothing, recycle, regreen, repeat the beauty! Yup the media needs something to talk about ---- and this being election year they're going to sound the horns of gloom'n'doom, pushing whatever agenda they or their owners tell them to --- and we do need to learn some lessons (we're terribly spoiled we are)(go back and don't deregulate the banking industry laws that had been in effect since depression, that removal of those laws happened 10 years ago thanks what was that guys name?, freddie/fannie mac, waterfall their mistakes to today, crash boom bang)Those laws were in place for a very good reason! sucks but learn the lesson, this is a great time to buy used not new!!! (and thats just the tip, however diversify jobwise, , don't put all eggs into one basket, research research and research facts, just the facts. (don't listen to hollywad, they're cushioned by 20 mil a picture, bloody ridiculous that) The smart money minders are actually snapping up things when they are at their lowest because they're long term investors. it's scary but workable. We're America, pioneers, can do spirit, yes? (or have we lost it totally?)

turn it around, this is the best time to educate people about buying vintage perfection instead of spending ridiculous amounts on new! And it's eco friendly.

Marge, Born Too Late Vintage said...

Business for me has been the best ever in September and October has already surpassed that! Given I have two stores, one for those that want their vintage already made (Born Too Late Vintage) and a vintage pattern store that focuses on plus size vintage patterns (Born Too Late Vintage Patterns) being versatile has proven very effective.

We're always open to people making offers by haggling and of course deals are just waiting to be made when people are buying multiple items. :)

Hoardmeister said...

Thanks, everybody! I have been selling, slowly, but that's because I have not been listing enough. I put a related post on my other blog, listing some 20s things from other SA sellers that are very reasonable, including Born Too Late Vintage (my favorite...I have absolutely PLUNDERED her store at times!), Wyoming Vintage and Voodoo Vintage.