Don’t like the idea of having to list your $100 PUG dress for 99cents on ebay? Wary of trying to sell to the general public on Gumtree? Not sure where to look for quality secondhand petticoats and tops?
Maybe you should consider doing what I do, and buy and sell on specialised Facebook groups.
Unlike general selling platforms such as Ebay, Facebook allows you to join groups that specialise in buying, selling and sometimes swapping clothing of particular styles or brands. Depending on the brand or clothing style, there may even be nationality-specific groups you can join. This makes it easier, as all purchases and sales are with other people who also live in your country, making payments and postage a simpler affair. Group size may vary from a few dozen to over 10,000 members. After clicking “join group”, you will have to wait anywhere from a few minutes to a few days to be approved and thus able to use the group. Asking Facebook friends who are already in the groups to “invite” you will speed up the process.
For the Australians (and New Zealanders), try groups such as Australia Rockabilly Clothing Buy Swap Sell Australia, which allows any brand of clothing and accessory as long as it fits the general “rockabilly” theme.
For brand specific groups, you can try pages such as PUG Buy Swap and Sell Australia, which is an Aussie-specific group for items purchased from Pinup Girl Clothing; or PUG Swap and Sell, which is open internationally. Keep in mind that conducting sales or purchases on international groups will involve changes of currency and more complicated (and expensive) postage options.
For your interest, the following are other groups that I am a member of and which I have used to sell or purchase items for my wardrobe:
Pin-up/Rockabilly Official Buy Sell Trade Australia
Pinup & Rockabilly Buy/Swap/Sell Australia
Official Pinup & Rockabilly Gear Australia, Buy, Swap and Sell
Erstwilder Buy, Swap, Sell
Hell Bunny Buy/Swap/Sell/Trade
Hell Bunny For Sale!! Australia
So what do you need to know to sell on one of these sites?
All will have appointed admins whose role it is to keep the group running smoothly and enforce rules. These rules can usually be found in a pinned post at the top of the group page, and differ from group to group. Some groups will have very particular rules about what information must be attached to photos of items for sale, while others are more flexible. Here you will also found rules about how often you may “bump” your sale posts, etc. If you”re unsure of something or have a problem, private message one of the admins for help.
A typical well set out sale post will have information about the brand, size, colour, condition (new, gently worn, etc), household (whether you smoke or have pets), asking price and postage cost. Photos of the actual item, in addition to “stock” photos, are usually appreciated. It is recommended that if you are buying or selling, you use Paypal for your own security and peace of mind, as non-payment/no parcel arriving issues can be lodged with Paypal for investigation. Below is a sale post I have posted at the time of writing.
Purchasing an item?
Make sure you communicate with the seller promptly after posting “sold” by private messaging them to confirm how and when you will make payment. Ensure that the seller has your correct postal address and ask them to confirm when they have posted your item and provide you with a tracking number if they are posting within Australia (all Australia Post parcels now have tracking numbers included free of charge). You can also negotiate paying a bit more for postage in order to have signature on delivery.
Swapping is allowed on some sites, whereby a person posts the item they have (item A) and details of what item they’d like (item B), seeking a person who has Item B and is willing to swap it in return for Item A. This usually involves more expensive items, such as dresses or skirts from Pinup Girl Clothing or Wheels & Dollbaby.
Terminology to know for using these groups includes:
- Bump = typed in the comments box of your post, this brings your post back to the top of the page. There are usually rules about how often you may do this.
- Sold = first person to type this on an item has the right and commitment to purchase
- NIL = Next in Line – people type this to indicate that they are next in line to purchase if the person who typed Sold passes for whatever reason
- Sold Pending…(eg. measurements, more photos) = Person is committing to purchase, pending further information as requested
- BNWOT = your item is brand new without tags
- BNWT = your item is brand new with tags
- pp = “plus postage” means the cost of the item does not include postage. Listing how much you’ll actually charge for postage is usually preferred (eg. $40 plus $8.50 postage)
- PM = private message, which is done by hovering your mouse over a person’s name and then clicking “message” to send them a text within Facebook. Be aware that if you are not Facebook friends with a person, your message to each other will usually go to your “others” inbox
- Swap only = the person is not willing to sell their item for cash, as they are only interested in swapping it for their wanted item
- Local pickup = rather than paying for postage, you can arrange to collect the item from the seller in person
While there is no guarantee that you won’t have problems with bad buyers or sellers on these sites, the fact that they are smaller and more specialised that other selling platforms, with admins and mostly real names, makes problems unlikely. People are quick to notify admins of any problem individuals, which helps protect everyone else in the groups from con artists.
Items that sell best are:
- from recognised brands
- in good condition eg. no marks, stains or tears
- cheaper than buying new
- sold out online
I myself have successfully bought and sold on these pages for many months, with no problems of any sort so far, and I recommend them as a relatively easy place to source and sell items for your pinup or rockabilly wardrobe.
Don’t forget you can get 15% off your purchases at The Pinup Gal by using my code: VGblog15 ! (Returns on items purchased using discount codes is for store credit only)