31 March 2010
photo from last summer
I've received several questions over the past couple of weeks that I thought I'd take a second to answer. I try to answer your questions right away and but I know that sometimes they slip through the cracks and before I know it, days have passed and they're still sitting in my inbox. So sorry! While I'm at it, are they're any other pertinent questions you'd like to know the answers to? Leave them in the comments and I'll add them to this list. Thanks!
How tall are you?
This question came up multiple times after posting the photos shopping with Andreja at the Chelsea Flea Market. For the record, I’m a not-too-tall and not-too-short 5’6”. Andreja’s just really tall (like 5’11-ish)! I realize walking next to her makes me look like a bit of a shrimp especially since I was wearing sensible flats.
I’m thinking about starting to sell vintage online. Do you recommend Ebay or Etsy?
Looking back, I can’t believe it took me as long as it did to swap over from Ebay to Etsy. I can’t imagine ever going back. I understand why long time Ebay users are hesitant to make the switch after building a regular customer base on Ebay but for new sellers, I would recommend Etsy 100%. I think Ebay is sort of like shopping at a big, messy mall where you are barraged with junk around every corner and it takes hours to find the good stuff while Etsy is more like shopping at a small flea market where the vendors are friendly and you find lots of handmade goods among the vintage treasures.
I was wondering if this shop is what you do for a living, in other words, is is possible to make a living that way? Also, how did you start doing this, and how did you promote yourself to make your shop so well known?
It is possible to make a living selling vintage online. I think the trick to it is, you still have to treat it like a full time job. To be really successful it has to be more than just a hobby. It takes a lot of work and dedication but it's also very rewarding. Most of the Etsy and Ebay shops out there are run by a single person (as is mine). You're the buyer, the merchandiser, the graphic designer, the photographer, the customer service representative, the shipper, the accountant... the list goes on! As much work as it is, I wouldn't trade it for sitting behind a desk even on my worst days.
I started out selling on Ebay (for almost two years) before switching over to Etsy. When I first started out I used every means I knew to promote my shop. At that time it was pretty much Flickr, Blogger and Myspace. Now there's Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Chictopia, Weardrobe... again, the list goes on! Be an active participant in the online vintage community to get your name and face out there. I've been blogging and selling online for nearly three years and my shop still isn't the most popular out there by any means. My point is, I've been working at this for three years and still feel like there is a lot of room left for me to grow. It's not going to happen overnight and it takes work but it's totally worth it!
What kind of camera do you use? What kind of camera does Tom use?
I’m still using the same little that I’ve had for years. I can’t say enough good things about this little camera. It’s been dropped, scratched and abused and yet it’s still working. Sort of amazing! I like it because it’s small enough to fit in my pocket and I the manual setting are easy to change. When Tom takes my outfit photos he uses his . It’s big and heavy and completely amazing. It’s too much camera for me but it’s perfect for all of Tom’s explorations and I love the way the lens gives you that shallow depth of field.
How do you edit your photos? What is your favorite photo-editing software?
I use Photoshop CS3 to edit all of my photos. I haven’t tried any of the other photo-editing software that’s out there so I don’t have any basis for comparison.
(I know some of these are repeats from answers past but the questions keep popping up so I thought I'd better answer them again)
See More: FAQ