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‘Groovy and Glitzy’ Rose to the Occasion

Top-rated Seller prospers selling glam vintage clothing on eBay.

From hippie fashions to old-time Hollywood glamor looks, the Designer Rose Boutique has been clothing people in vintage finds since eBay got its name.

Since 1999, owner Janilyn Rose has been a dedicated eBay buyer and seller because curiosity got the best of her.

“My mom and I wanted to see what the excitement was all about [regarding eBay], so we started buying and then selling just about anything we could find around the house,” she says.

“Because of the extensive work and time involved [in selling online], most people gave up and just asked me to sell the items for them, which is where my business started”

They began a mother-daughter partnership called Second-Hand Rose, and listed personal belongings and toys. Making sales was such a thrill for the women that they listed more dolls, teddy bears and other collectibles.

Her mother did most of the work. Rose was her assistant while she attended college and trained to be an eBay education specialist, which allowed her to teach others to sell on the popular marketplace.

“Because of the extensive work and time involved [in selling online], most people gave up and just asked me to sell the items for them, which is where my business started,” Rose reports.

Vintage wardrobe doors open

She soon discovered her niche in vintage clothing and opened her own eBay store, Designer Rose Boutique. The first thing she sold was a high-end vintage mohair coat that belonged to her grandmother, though that sale made her a little nervous.

“It accidentally went live on auction before I was ready, and I panicked because Mom was already asleep and I couldn’t get her help,” she explains.

Since then, Rose has been selling clothes from her own closet and continues to sell for clients, as well. Her experience and solid selling record soon led to a door of opportunity that would expand the boutique’s offerings.

Old-time Hollywood

“I became starry-eyed over all the beautiful glitz and glitter of the amazing gowns”

“After I established a reputation, I was given the opportunity to have the exclusive for selling the personal wardrobe for actress and dancer Ann Miller,” she notes.

The star’s unique style of clothes sold out on Designer Rose Boutique, a success which drove the seller to find similar one-of-a-kind items, she says. Her boyfriend, Mike, works for Hollywood studios and told Rose about the wardrobe sales they hold. On that tip, she attended her first sale.

“I became starry-eyed over all the beautiful glitz and glitter of the amazing gowns,” she says.

Thanks to that tip, Rose has been able to offer designer gowns that had been worn by stars. She also sources clothes at yard sales, thrift shops, estate sales, flea markets, auctions and even other sellers.

Designer Rose Boutique not only specializes in glamorous gowns from old Hollywood, but also in the “groovy, funky” styles of the 1960s to 1980s, Rose adds. She tries to mix up her inventory with some new and current designers to please varying fashion tastes.

By offering so many one-of-a-kind pieces, being able to place a price on them can be tricky, she admits. For about a year now, Rose has changed her pricing strategy from auction style to Buy It Now or Best Offer.

“I found that I have been more successful doing things this way,” she says. “It gives my customers the opportunity to purchase the items immediately without having to wait for the auction to close, as well as make their best offer if my price is not to their liking.”

“You have to get yourself out there first. Then word-of-mouth is where you will gain the best advantage”

Staying in the spotlight

Rose understands the value of social media and networking for her shop. In fact, she acquired the Miller wardrobe because her neighbor—aware of Rose’s work on eBay—had access to the collection and wanted help selling it.

“You have to get yourself out there first,” Rose says. “Then word-of-mouth is where you will gain the best advantage.”

To put herself out there, Rose always networks and hands out business cards. She keeps her shop involved with local events and charities, and stays active with marketing campaigns on Facebook and Twitter, and utilizes search engine optimization.

It can often be a lot of work for just one gal, but she is satisfied with having a career that gives her the freedom of flexibility. Plus, she gets to shop for unique clothes, which is something Rose has enjoyed doing since her teens.

eBay shines brightest for seller

Unarguably, there have been many changes in eBay that have caused some sellers to look for other marketplaces. Rose, too, has taken note of all the changes, but at this point continues to sell on eBay because it’s worked best for her over other options.

She provides free shipping on a majority of her listings, and has noticed an increase in search rankings

“I think that because I have established a reputation and taken the time to accurately research, describe, photograph and professionally ship my items, I have had very little issues, so I am better off than most,” she continues.

She counts herself lucky, but has had to jump through some hoops that seem unfair for sellers, she says. But to take advantage of all the benefits, such as Top-rated Seller discounts and a boost in search results, she went along with the changes.

She was happy, though, when eBay began favoring free shipping. Rose used to charge for that, she explains, but was opposed to it. Now she provides free shipping on a majority of her listings, and has noticed an increase in search rankings, and believes it is working to her advantage.

Unless a better option presents itself, you will find Rose walking her dog, Brandy, to the post office with eBay shipments in hand on a regular basis.

Visit Designer Rose Boutique.

About the author

Sarah Brown
Sarah Brown is a freelance writer who writes about e-commerce and small businesses. She recently graduated from Chico State with a journalism degree and is also a budding online entrepreneur, having launched two Web businesses and her own line of handmade products. Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.



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