For vintage aficionados and collectors, one of the biggest challenges is finding reliable and trustworthy dealers to purchase from. Let’s face it, with out seeing the person face to face, or having a physical location to march into and demand better service, shopping online can be a leap of faith.
We would like to offer a few tips to make your vintage clothing shopping trip safer and less stressful. After all, shopping should be fun!
1. Check the store’s return policy. If one is not clearly given, email and ask! Any good seller will offer some sort of return policy. Many eBay sellers do not offer any kind of return policy. But do not complain! You get what you pay for. If you are lucky enough to score a $20 1950s full skirt dress, don’t expect much else to come with it. So ask first!
2. Find out who the store is affiliated with-organizations, other vintage stores, etc. These can be very telling. If they have reliable and reputable vintage stores on their links pages, chances are they are reliable too.
3. What type of online payments do they accept? If they do not accept credit cards, move on! Credit cards are a good source of protection if you have the unfortunate experience of dealing with someone that is not playing fair. Do they accept Paypal? This is our preferred method of payment. It is fast, easy, reliable, safe and trusted.
But please, before I get rotten fruit thrown at me by my colleagues, do not be unreasonable. If you bought a dress, knowing the sizes and you STILL thought you could get your 40 DDs into a 36″ bust dress, please do not return it because it did not fit. Do your homework!
4. Does the online store answer your emails quickly? Unless there is an emergency, you should receive a response within twenty-four hours.
5. Check for feedback. Often, online stores will have a feedback or comments page. Sometimes, a link to eBay feedback will be provided. Check these out. They can provide valuable information about the seller and their service.
Once you have found a great vintage clothing site that has met all your expectations, spread the word. I know this is difficult, as you don’t want to give away fashion secrets, but finding good vintage with great service is not as easy as it used to be. Happy vintage shopping!