Just imagine: you got out thrifting, looking for the perfect vintage jacket, and boom – you finally find it. How great is that feeling!? But now that you have your new inventory item that’ll bring a 2x listing price, you will want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to preserve it. If nothing else, let’s not ruin it, right?
It’s always fun to find and wear vintage clothing, but you also want to maintain the integrity of the material so you can flip it for profit. For most this is a hobby but for serious resellers, delicate and vintage clothing is a job. You want to treat it like a business.
Gone are the days where shopping means buying something new. With sustainability being so important to customers, shoppers now looking for that feeling of newness in a different way, whether through renting, resale, or reclaiming old vintage finds.
No matter if you’re selling or buying used items, chances are you’ll need to give them a bit of a refresh so that they look and feel as good as new. But, you have to be careful not to ruin the delicate laundry in the wash.
That’s why we’ve compiled some of our favorite laundry tips for resale – highlighting taking care of your delicate, vintage clothing.
The best thing you can do if you are worried about damaging a piece of delicate or vintage fabric is to opt for hand washing and air drying. Hand washing may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be – in fact, you can wash your clothes by hand in any sort of bathtub, sink, or bucket. Just don’t forget to clean and sanitize whatever you are using first!
When washing vintage clothes by hand, always make sure to test for dye bleeding and shrinking by moistening a small spot of your garment’s fabric in a non-obvious place with your soap, detergent, and water at the temperature at which you intend to wash it. Allow the liquid to sit for a few moments before blotting the spot with a white towel. Embroidery and other embellishments should also be examined.
If you allow the test spot to dry, you will notice puckering if the fabric is prone to shrinking – this will let you know if you should continue with washing your clothes by hand or if you should opt for dry cleaning.
If your test spot dries fine, then you should be good to go with your handwashing process, ideally followed by air drying on a clothesline or drying rack. Just be sure to be sparing, careful, and mindful when washing anything for the first time.
If you’re really worried about maintaining the integrity of your vintage clothing, you may consider dry cleaning instead. Certain delicate fabrics that benefit from dry-clean-only services include, but are not limited to:
This can be expensive if you are reselling at high volumes. Adding an extra expense will eat away at your profit. Instead, try passing this cost along to the customer. Intentionally price your garments $4-$6 more so you can wrap in the price of having the garments professionally dry cleaned.
Presentation is everything! Retailers have known this for years but most resellers don’t put enough time and effort into preparing a quality presentation.
When it’s time for your inventory to find a new owner, our best tip is to refresh your item well before reselling it. Make sure to remove pilling, cut off loose threads, and steam it. If you are sending it to a professional cleaner, you don’t have much to worry about here.
You could finish off by using a discreetly scented fabric spray to give the garment a fresh scent. Some other tops are to include a thank you card with your branding, wrap the clothing in gift wrap, or include some sort of bows or ribbons to decorate the present inside the packaging.
When selling your clothes, you will generate more demand for your listings with great photos and a detailed description. This is Sales 101.
Always write the specific brand and model name in your listing. Specify which material the garment is made of, especially if it’s an exclusive material like wool or silk. Mention both size and measurements and describe the condition of your garment in detail. Do mention if there are stains and where they’re located, as well as loose hems or threads.
Remember to put some extra effort into taking nice photos, too. Place your garment in front of a neutral background and in daylight for best results. Here are some photo apps that might be helpful!
We would definitely recommend steaming your clothes in between washes and hanging them in a well-ventilated area overnight to remove odors and to make your garments feel fresh and crisp again. To be frank, outside works really well for this if you can. While it might feel counter-intuitive, fresh air is fresh air!
Steaming will help in between washes and the steam process is much safer for garments needing delicate treatment.
For denim, we would recommend using a fabric spray or to put them in the freezer once in a while.
You can now choose which items get which treatment! We will no longer charge a hang dry fee. Instead, this Delicates Bag is a $25 flat-rate bag that you can stuff full of your delicate laundry.
The Delicates Bag is for your wash & fold garments that need gentle wash and low-temperature or air dry. For some people, it’s a few pairs of their favorite jeans. For others, it’s workout gear and leggings. However you decide to use this delicates bag, rest assured that the garments in this bag are getting specialized and separated treatment from the rest of your order.