Sell Vintage Clothing Online: How-to Guide for Fashion Entrepreneurs

Vintage clothing -also known as pre-owned and second-hand clothing - is a booming business right now. According to a report by Thredup, the global vintage clothing market was over US$24 billion in 2018 and will hit $41 billion by 2022. In the last 5 years, thousands of fashion entrepreneurs have started ventures that help source, curate, and sell vintage clothing. And if you have an eye for fashion, you can kickstart a pre-owned clothing business with ease. That said, a lot of entrepreneurs waste a lot of time answering the question, ‘how to sell vintage clothing online’.

Techosquare believes there’s no right and wrong way to start a successful online business but there is certainly a cost-effective and futuristic way. After reading this post, you’ll get a clear understanding of selling vintage clothes online.

Let’s get started!

#1 Select your vintage clothing niche

You can start by selling any type of vintage clothing online but focusing on a niche from the very beginning always helps. This can be done by focusing on a specific style (casual, formal, etc.), price mark (cheap, expensive, etc.) or product type (vintage t-shirts, jackets, accessories, etc). Making a decision on a niche is important because your overall store aesthetics should also match the same.

Deciding a niche for your online vintage clothing store will also help create a comprehensive business plan and make strategic decisions related to branding, targeting, advertising, design, sourcing, and sales.

Ask yourself these questions as you search a niche for your pre-owned clothing shop:

What’s your personal style? : It is significantly easier to source clothing when you know your fashion and what exactly your target audience will love. Check out for what’s being shown on runways and what influencers are talking about.

Is the niche too saturated? : Always do ample research to check if the vintage clothing niche you like is already over-represented. If yes, better lookout for something else.

Does my idea have the numbers? : It is extremely crucial to know what people are buying and how many people are buying. If your country has no market for vintage clothing, then, creating it will take more patience.

#2 Source vintage clothing

If you plan to stock up on more than just a handful of vintage pieces just like popular vintage stores like Wildwood Vintage and Dirty Birdies Vintage, it’s important to have a strong network of suppliers. Both vintage clothing brands today have expanded to wholesale relationships by scouring the thrift racks in their hometowns. FYI, thrift stores can be excellent sources of vintage finds.

If you live in a big city, we advise you to take a day or weekend trip to smaller towns nearby. Thrift stores in such locations are less likely to be picked over. Consider the below tips while starting out to look for vintage pieces in thrift stores:

Go there often and on the right days: A lot of local shops get shipments or put new items in front of their customers on specific days. Plan your thrifting and networking around those days.

Always go with a plan: It is advised to always hit thrift shops with a plan. Planning will help you save time and money by clearly defining the items you are looking for.

Inspect vintage items before purchasing: Thrift stores don’t have the same quality standards as curated vintage stores. Some pieces of clothing may have stains, holes, or any other kind of damage. It is highly recommended to inspect items before purchasing them.

Thrift stores obviously are not the only places to buy vintage clothing. You can also buy it at:
  • Auctions
  • Estate sales
  • Wholesalers
  • Craigslist
  • Consignment shops
  • Flea markets

#3 Select platform to build your online store

Once you have a decent catalog to sell and have your audience, as well as suppliers, figured out, you have to decide where you want to sell your vintage clothes online. An online store must bring below capabilities:

  • A simple user interface so that everyone can easily explore and shop
  • Great experience on mobile devices and desktops
  • Flexibility to add new online store features and capabilities
  • Secure payment processes to accept money
  • Capability to host hundreds of products without additional costs
  • One-time online shop setup fee. Say no to monthly costs!

While getting a clear vision for your online store will help choose the best vintage e-commerce store solution, we recommend checking modern online store launchers like SwiftKart.

SwiftKart is a game-changing e-commerce store builder that aims to help entrepreneurs launch powerful e-commerce platforms at rock bottom cost.

Discover the special offer from the emerging online store builder.

#4 Launch your online vintage clothing store

Here begins the most exciting part of starting a pre-owned clothing store. One of the most important aspects of launching an online store is buying a domain first. A domain name is simply an address to which your website will be 'linked'. Like, is the domain name of the biggest online store in the world. Domain name requires yearly renewal and usually costs less than 50 USD for a year.

In addition to a domain name, you will also need to invest in the below:

SSL certificate - This triggers the secure icon in the search bar and helps build trust. Sometimes, SLL is provided by hosting service providers for free but it also attracts additional cost.

Hosting fee - This is a yearly fee that can cost more or less depending on your site’s requirements.

Some SaaS-based online store solutions save hosting fee but you end up paying more on a monthly basis in terms of monthly upkeep costs and payment processing fee. So, select your online shop builder by keeping a long term vision.

Confused how much will your vintage store cost? Email us at for an exact cost estimate.

#5 Grow your pre-owned clothing store

Once your catalog is correctly uploaded to your brand new website, it is time to launch your vintage clothing store. But the work is not finished yet. It is one thing to launch a pre-owned clothing website and quite another to make it profitable.

First off, make sure that your online store works just the way you want. If you find any glitches, get them fixed ASAP. Proofreading product descriptions, check product images and test core site features before launching.

Done with the site checkup? Below are some important business growth  tips and marketing ideas for making big money from your once-worn clothing website:

Define launch strategy: Having a strong launch strategy will help give your fresh vintage e-commerce store a good start and acquire the initial sales.  Look at the resources and expertise at hand. Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Blogging, Emails, Networking, and Advertising are great ways to kickstart traffic. Start with whatever you are familiar with.

Prepare for tracking and analysis: Google Analytics and Search Console not only lets you track traffic but also plays a crucial role in strategic changes in marketing. Set up both right after the website launch to make sure you capture traffic insights from the very beginning.

Get your social accounts ready: Since you are starting a store to sell vintage clothes online, social media can be the game-changer for you. This means getting familiar with Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Setup official brand profiles to build your initial base of followers and divert traffic to your website. Since Instagram is the biggest social platform right now, here's how to create an Instagram content strategy

Above are the 5 critical steps that will play a crucial role in building and launching a store to sell your vintage clothing online. While there is a lot of hard work and planning involved, selling vintage clothing online can be a profitable business. Follow our quick store launch guide to start an online clothing store to achieve huge profits and success.

Got any queries to ask regarding launching an online vintage clothing store at less than $700? Send them at and we will give FREE and FRIENDLY advice!