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Getting Top Dollar for your Vintage Clothing

Vintage clothing is popular at estate sales in Tacoma, Gig Harbor and Olympia so if you are looking to sell your vintage clothing, here’s what we recommend.

But first, let’s be clear about the definition of vintage items. Vintage items were made in the 1920s or later, but not within the last 20 years. Vintage should not be confused with antique, which are items that are more than 100 years old.

Prepare your Items

Preparing your items for sale is always a good first step. Start by hand-washing or dry-cleaning items, if needed. Once they are clean, organize them into like categories such as coats, dresses, skirts and shirts. This will give you a good idea of the items you have and will help make it easier for buyers to find what they are looking for.

Price it Right

Here’s where you need to be cautious about your emotional attachment to the items. Personal preferences vary significantly, and just because you love something, doesn’t mean others will.

To ensure an objective approach, experts recommend you use these variables to help determine the price of your piece:

Garment’s Era

Just because a garment is old, doesn’t mean it should be more expensive. Take into consideration current trends, availability, and quality of the garment.

Season of Sale

Buyers want to buy in-season – they don’t want to wait a few months to wear the piece.


Just because a piece resembles something you would see on or doesn’t mean it’s valuable. Instead, price the piece according to trend. Not sure where to start, WGSN, Trendstop, and Fashion Information are great resources.

Material and Condition

The materials that make up your piece have a significant impact on its value. Vintage clothing items made pre-1940 were made from natural materials, while synthetics like polyester, acrylic and nylon were invented in the 1950s, making those made from natural fibers more valuable. Of course, the condition of the garment is also a critical consideration when determining value.


It’s simple economics – supply and demand will determine how much an item is worth.


Just because a garment features a well-known designer name doesn’t mean it should be priced higher. And beware of fakes – if you have documentation that the garment is, in fact, made by the designer, the better.

Once you have taken these into consideration, check out this article. It does an excellent job discussing some of the most valuable vintage clothing items and accessories.

Partner with an Expert

Getting an expert on your side is particularly helpful when selling vintage clothing, especially if you have several pieces to sell. Selling items one-at-a-time can be time consuming, and a hassle. Honest Estate Sales will work with you prepare, evaluate and sell your vintage clothing.

For more about our process and to get started, contact us today. We offer a free in-home consultation.

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