How to Make Customers Love You (and Buy Your Vintage Clothing)

by Sammy in 2 Comments — Updated August 28, 2023

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Networking and playing with the vintage jewelry collection of MaeJean Vintage, the #1 vintage jewelry seller in my e-book. 

Last week I spoke with Lara of Locapoxie Vintage about how she should be marketing her online vintage shop to improve her sales.

Lara was an awesome girl and based in an equally awesome town (Asheville). After sharing some of my social media marketing tips with her, I decided I’d do the same for you with these three key ways to sell more vintage by personalizing your online & offline interactions … the smart way!

Keep reading for my tips – inspired by my own best business practices as a vintage fashion spokesperson and business consultant.


p.s. Need more help figuring out your shop’s social media strategy? You can schedule a call with me on Clarity by clicking the button below. With every 15 minute (minimum) call, you get my e-book about online vintage shopping FREE!

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1.) Personally Message Shop Admirers & Customers

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Messaging an admirer of my Etsy shop to show my appreciation for her interaction. 

Traditional marketing rule #1:

80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your customers. It’s the entire reason author Tim Ferris of the acclaimed Four Hour Workweek decided to start doing less and living more – because instead of wasting time looking for new business, he followed the 80/20 rule!

Follow the 80/20 rule by getting to know your customers with personal messages and interactions on social media.

*Message them a personal “thanks!” for their purchase
*Ask if you can “hunt” for anything they are looking for
*Empower them with questions about your shop – Ask, “What could I be doing better to help serve you?”
*Invite their contributions via blog posts, sharing photos of them wearing vintage, or “guest curation” spots in your shop

Social Media
*Become their friends on Facebook
*Follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest
*Interact with them personally on all outlets of social media
*Tag them when updates to your shop are made
*Digitally introduce them to other vintage lovers in your community

2.) Share Your Life on Social Media

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Teaching a high school in Harlem about the wonders of vintage fashion and the history of 20th century American style. 

Traditional marketing rule #2:

There’s nothing unique about social media until you begin sharing your own unique life story. In other words: Share yourself!

If I shared links to my site all day long, no one would follow me, let alone listen to the link-spam I’m sharing.

What people want is a person they can be inspired by, whose presence in their life is a motivation to live their own lives to their highest potential.

Which is why I share personal aspects of my life via social media, from teaching a Harlem high school class about the history of 20th century fashion (shown above) to the vintage outfit I’m wearing out on a first date.

Some Ideas:

1.) Share behind-the-scenes photos of your recent visit to an estate sale (business-personal)
2.) List turn-of-the-century dinner recipes for that party you’re planning for the debut of this season’s Downton Abbey (social-personal)
3.) Express concern that you’ve struggled making your shop goals this month and ask for help from your audience (personal-personal)

Expressing your true authentic self (with some filtering, when appropriate) will encourage people to not only listen to you then, but again when you share links to the vintage clothing you’ve tirelessly curated, cared for and listed to sell.

Too shy to talk about yourself? Talk about others instead.

Remember that we can leverage others to leverage ourselves. By celebrating those who live their highest potential around us, we not only motivate them (praise is the best encouragement) but in turn, receive the same feedback from them in thanks for our selflessness.

3.) In-Person Networking is Key

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Meeting founders Ken & Greg of the acclaimed Vintage Martini (based in Dallas, Texas) and Nicolasa Barka of Fashion Passion Vintage (from Delaware, on eBay) at the Manhattan Vintage Show.

Traditional marketing rule #3:

Every business relationship becomes collaborative and mutually beneficial after meeting in person.

When you have the opportunity to interact face-to-face, the anonymity of the Internet is replaced with something tangible – an emotion, an experience, a sense of enlightenment about who this person truly is and stands for.

One word describes it all: Connection.

Connecting with other vintage sellers and your customers face-to-face takes the most time but can potentially reap the greatest reward. Why? Because connection makes everything personal, and what was once just a casual acquaintanceship is now a real McCoy friend.

For Example:

1.) I can easily ignore an acquaintance’s message on Facebook – but when my friend and vintage seller Nicolasa Barka of Passion Fashion Vintage – whom I met in person at the Manhattan Vintage Show a few weeks ago – messages me, I write back within 24 hours because I consider her a friend.

2.) I can easily buy vintage from any seller on the Internet, but when I want a particular garment I check in with my good friend Carla of Carla & Carla Vintage first. She recently gave me a piece of ’50s crinoline to wear in this outfit post on the site at a deep discount.

3.) I can easily recruit just about anyone to work with because of my presence on the Internet. But when I want to ensure that my event will be well-planned, executed and professionally presented, I work with friends in the industry like Kate Goldwater of AUH20, the East Village thriftique my first Lipstick Affirmations Instagram campaign for more self-love event took place last Friday.

When a personal connection is made, we feel obligated to communicate with, purchase from and work alongside those who are closest to us.

The more “personal” you make your connections the more resources you have. And in turn, they have you as an equally valuable confidant and comrade in the awesome industry of vintage fashion.



Online: Where to Buy Vintage Fashion Online
Sales: How to Get Cheap Vintage Clothing
Careers: How to Work in the Vintage Fashion Industry 
Lessons: 3 Things I’ve Learned About Life from Vintage!!


Need help marketing your online or brick & mortar vintage store? Schedule a consulting call with me today!

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 Want to sell vintage clothing online? Learn from the pros.

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Get an excerpt of my e-book, The 100 Best Vintage Shops Online, for FREE here! 

2 thoughts on “How to Make Customers Love You (and Buy Your Vintage Clothing)”

  1. Great tips! You’re such an inspiration Sammy, keep spreading the vintage love :)

    • As are you! You have been a regular commentor these past few posts. Must go back and through and properly reply. Thank you ;-) #power


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