More Than Just Old Things: Terms You Need to Know as a Reseller

Something I have been noticing on many listings when I browse on Poshmark and eBay is that there is a relaxed use of some terminology related to the age of an item. I am guilty of this myself, when I know something is old but not the exact date, I’ve used vintage. I mean, even knowing the correct doesn’t make it easier to describe an unknown. But words like “vintage,” and “antique” are more than just synonyms for “old,” they actually carry more meaning.

For example, in the field of archaeology (my college major), something is considered to be “historic” when it has reached the age of 50 years old. This means every year new items are considered to be a history. Similarly, something “Antique” is generally agreed to be 100 years or older in age.

“Vintage” is probably the most incorrectly used term in fashion reselling. Turns out it is not as much of a catch-all term as we think. The use of vintage in fashion is actually much more correctly used as it is with wine. The value of vintage fashion really comes from knowing the full context of what has been produced. This means when listing an item as vintage, it is best to know the exact era. Bonus points for maker, fabric, or any other relevant information. This differs from “Retro,” which is anything that resembles a previous style, no matter how much time has passed. 

The word “Estate” refers to property that was previously owned by a person. It may sound morbid, but some people actually prefer buying items from estates. These items are considered property assets and need to be sold off to liquidate the estate. Estate items may also be considered to be vintage or antiques, but could also be a brand new with tags handbag they never used. The point here is that you are telling your buyers some of the contexts of how the item was procured.

Using these terms in the right way can help you to target buyers that are looking for specific types of fashion. Accurate listing descriptions means more sales (and fewer return requests!)

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