Where To Sell Home Decor – Have you ever wondered what it takes to start a business selling vintage decor online? Do you have more Blenko and Bitossi pieces than you can hold and feel the urge to start listing pieces on Etsy, but don’t know where to start?
Whether you’re interested in starting your own business or just curious about what goes on behind the scenes at an online home decor store, we’ve got the scoop from vintage seller Christina Gerstner of @thewhitepeppervintage about all things selling vintage decor online.
Where To Sell Home Decor
When Christina plans to sell on Instagram Stories, she posts a sneak peek at some of the treasures she plans to sell. In this case, she had a retro floral theme with paintings, napkins, lampshades and boxes.
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Christina: I started selling vintage decor in 2011, a year after my son was born. I thought for sure that I would eventually return to my career as a Montessori teacher once he started school, but I ended up turning my favorite hobby into a full-time profession. What started as a way to get rid of some excess vintage that I had lying around turned into the best job ever.
Christina: It didn’t take long before I got my first sale (maybe a few weeks) and then it just took off from there. Etsy was engaging and easy to use, and I am very grateful for my beginnings on their platform.
Christina has a collection of embroidered American maps that she keeps hanging next to her desk. When her collection grew too large, she sold some of them on her online vintage decor store.
Why did you choose to sell on Instagram and Etsy as opposed to a store or flea market?
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Christina: I actually tried to sell a brick and mortar antique candle holder, but for several reasons it was not successful. First, my son was young at the time, and it wasn’t ideal to drag him away from home to stock up and set up a booth at an antique mall. Additionally, it became apparent that my inventory was not getting nearly the amount of exposure there when it was online.
It was disappointing because I wanted to be able to offer large items like rugs and furniture in person so I didn’t have to store and ship them, but it worked out in the end. I learned how to pack furniture and make good use of the storage space in our home.
This is one of Christina’s favorite collections. She finds these hands in different sizes, colors and materials, and they make a striking image when grouped together.
Although Christina is known for filling a vignette with colorful finds, she occasionally sees the benefits of keeping her layouts simple and clean.
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Christina: My workload depends on how much I’ve sold and how behind I am on the IPO (I have a pretty full inventory, so I guess I’m always behind on the IPO). But on average I would say 35-45 hours. Of course, that doesn’t include time spent on social media, which is significant but necessary. It’s like any other job – you have to put in the time where it counts to be successful.
Christina: I always start by offering new shares on Instagram. It is less time consuming and I enjoy it more. It’s nice to be able to sell things to my followers that I know they will appreciate. I have a running list of requests that I’m always working on, and when I find something, it’s ideal to sell directly to people I know instead of going through Etsy.
Christina always buys items for resale that she would like to see in her own home. It’s a cohesive look that online decor customers can instantly recognize when viewing her homes and her sales.
Christina: EVERYWHERE, but I try to get as much as possible for free and from local sources. Not a shopping trip goes by that I don’t have at least half a trolley full of free boxes. I get styrofoam peanuts and wrapping paper from Facebook Marketplace (people who have recently moved often give them away for free or charge very little for them), and there are a few local businesses that store the supplies for me after they unpack their inventory.
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Our local paper sells unused newsprint for very little, so I pick up several rolls of it a few times a year. I get free Priority Mail and Flat Rate boxes and envelopes sent right to my door by USPS.
Whatever I can’t get locally or for free, I buy online: wrapping paper from Sam’s Club, stretch paper from Walmart, packing tape (which I go through a lot) on eBay, poly bags from Amazon, and on rare occasions custom boxes from UPS. I’m starting a packing and shipping series on my Instagram stories soon for anyone interested.
Christina resells items she finds at flea markets and estate sales, but occasionally sells vintage jewelry from home that she no longer wears. This collection features items she sells from her kitchen.
Christina: I usually don’t buy anything to sell unless I can at least double or triple my money. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of things I love because I can’t make enough of them. But because I sell so much, an item has to be worth my time. I also look up current bid prices on other marketplaces and usually try to compete with them.
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Small vintage flower paintings are Christina’s weakness. She is always drawn to the intricate details and vibrant colors they bring to her home.
Christina: Is it weird to say that I like to buy things that speak to me? Sometimes I see things, either strange or ordinary, that I feel drawn to and must have. When I get that feeling (and as long as the price is reasonable), I rarely hesitate.
I also try to buy things that I would like to have at home. I find I’m more excited to sell something I love than something I’m not crazy about.
Finally, I never hesitate to buy things I know there is a market for, such as brass candlesticks or original art. Quick and easy sales are hassle-free.
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Christina had originally bought these vintage shirts, dresses and skirts to wear herself, but ended up selling them on her Instagram stories.
Christina Gerstner is a vintage seller who loves what she does. “I do the best thing ever – I shop for hours and pass on the treasures I find to those who share my enthusiasm for them,” she says. Her front porch is often filled with packages like these that are sent to happy customers. The home decor industry is expected to accumulate $664 billion by 2020, making it a niche worth exploiting. Despite its constant popularity, it continues to grow every year. One of the best things about the home furnishing industry is that it covers a wide range of products. It can include furniture for the living room or art for the wall.
As a store owner, you have the flexibility to limit yourself to a certain type of product or expand into other areas within the niche. The furniture industry alone is worth billions and constitutes only a small segment of the interior design niche. If you’re starting a business, check out Hatchful’s free home decor logo maker to create artwork your customers will love.
Because of its potentially expansive nature, it is better to dropship than wholesale home furnishings. Since the home decor niche has so many different subcategories, you’ll be better able to fill out an entire collection that ranges from furniture to wall decor or rugs. Buying inventory for so many different segments within the niche would be expensive. You’ll be better able to test a wide variety of products to help you determine which items sell best for your home decor store, so you can focus on those sub-niches in your store. The high cost of certain home furnishing items can lead to early store closures if bulk purchases are made. Dropshipping home furnishings proves to be the safest option.
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There are various distributors who offer a selection of different home goods and accessories. Some of these home decor items include sofa cushions, artificial flowers, wall stickers, tapestries, wall clocks and many more products. With the rise in popularity of DIY products and with people taking home decor into their own hands, home decor is in growing demand. Distributors tend to offer home decor along with other furniture which may include curtains, tablecloths, armchairs and so on.
The main manufacturers of home furnishings are located in China. The home furnishings produced by the manufacturers are in demand in North America, Western Europe and South America. The production depends a lot on the type of product. The goods can be traditional home furnishings, but can also be made uniquely by using textiles, fabric and other non-traditional materials. A lot of
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