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Established, Profitable, Home Based Online Vintage Clothing Business
ETS Corporate are pleased to place on the market this online home-based vintage clothing business which was established in 2009. The turnover reached over £100,000 last year, with a profit to a working Owner of over £25,000 pa.
The business is operated from home and is fully re-locatable to anywhere.
The Freperie is a thriving e-commerce store, established in 2009, to offer savvy shoppers’ access to luxury vintage and designer clothes, shoes, and accessories at a discounted price.
The Freperie sells vintage designer clothes, shoes, and accessories. Because of the nature of these items they are often unique and individual. Bulk buys are very rare and of the 1500 stock items currently available only an estimated 50 are duplicate items.
The best-selling items of clothing are often high-end labels like Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton.
The best-selling bags are frequently Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Fendi, and Christian Dior.
The Freperie stocks clothing for men, women, and children however the women’s clothes sell better than the men’s, but this is largely due to inventory. Of the 1500 stock an estimated 200 is for men.
Their focus has not been on growing inventory for children’s clothing, but they have considered the potential to expand into vintage designer clothes for children.
Below is a list of trading websites:
Shopify – www.thefreperie.com
eBay (represents 87% of turnover) - https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/the-freperie?_trksid=p2047675.l2563
Etsy - https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TheFreperie
Vestiaire Collective - https://www.vestiairecollective.com/members/profile-5445023.shtml#sell
Because of the nature of vintage resale, the products are unique. Quite often there are only 3-4 other sellers that will have a version of any product on offer, so differentiation comes from advertising and reach.
Their strategy has been to focus on the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, with some contemporary items from the 2000’s onwards. This offers an eclectic mix of styles that are being revisited on today’s catwalks (e.g. Gucci GG, Fendi FF, Diorissima, and Louis Vuitton Murakami) and separates them from sellers that focus on 1940s -1960s vintage, or sellers that focus on contemporary designer items.
The Owner believes the business has reached a tipping point where it can either scale down to fit into her lifestyle again or go full throttle and scale up to cement its position in the growing UK market. The Owner has had many queries about consignment selling as there is little available in the UK outside of London, queries about selling on behalf of larger resellers, and queries about buying out more stock from closing stores etc. but with a tech start up, a master’s degree, and a healthy consultancy business she doesn’t want to be the factor that holds The Freperie back from what it can achieve.
In today’s climate she believes the right person will be fully engaged in growing the business, utilising Social Media to promote themselves and the brand as a singular entity. There is huge potential in connecting with stylists, shops, and bigger brands to create a distinctive UK based version of what we see exploding in the USA resale market which is predicted to disrupt e-commerce and eclipse the retail market by 2020.
Created as a side interest by the current owner the explosion in ‘sustainable fashion’ has seen a consistent increase in sales. 2018 saw sales break through the £100k mark whilst the Owner continued working full time as a management consultant.
• Created in 2009 and started selling on eBay as a means of testing the UK /EU market for signs of interest in vintage designer resale. The American market was already blossoming (Shop Linda’s Stuff, Nasty Gal etc.), and the owner believed that the trend would spread to the UK and EU countries.
• 2011 Grew the eBay presence to a store front on eBay increasing traffic and sales whilst learning about the impact of SEO, brand strength, social media marketing, and e-commerce as a distinct trade to retail commerce.
• 2012 Achieved ‘Top Seller’ status – a mark of excellence on eBay that only those with consistent output achieve. This has been maintained to date, including the 100% positive feedback.
• 2012 Researched and identified reliable sources for consistently authentic, and good quality stock offering the flexibility to buy from the internet and resell on the internet too removing the need to have to travel to buy stock.
• 2014 Opened stand-alone Shopify storefront to create brand strength and attract traffic that bypassed eBay or other reselling platforms.
• 2016 Sales in excess of £50k
• 2017 Expanded to Etsy to offer the vintage portion of the inventory to the demographic of shoppers that preferred Etsy over other platforms.
• 2017 Sales reach £75k
• 2018 Expanded to Vestiaire Collective after observing bigger brands like Rebag, The Luxury Closet, and Xupes move some of their inventory to this platform.
• 2018 Sales reach £105k
• 2019 Earned ‘Trusted Seller’ kite mark on Vestiaire Collective
• 2019 Approached by ‘LayBuy’, a New Zealand finance company to partner with them and offer their payment gateway as a means of offering customers the option to spread payments over 6 weeks.
• 2019 Approached by The Love Magazine to borrow a Chanel suit for a photoshoot recreating the famous ‘Valley of The Dolls’ test shoot with Judy Garland.
• 2019 Social Media presence – 12k followers on Facebook, 2k Instagram, 1k Twitter, 500 Pinterest – 15k total
The following skillset would be useful for a Buyer:
• Knowledge of stock sourcing – the seller will provide the database she has built and still uses to source stock.
• Knowledge of using the major sales platforms – access to all the current sales platforms will be shared (eBay, Etsy, Shopify, Vestiaire) but a buyer will need to familiarise themselves with how to use these to promote and sell.
• Knowledge of Social Media marketing – Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all offer a step by step guide to setting up social media campaigns, so this is a low-level skill to master.
• Knowledge of Google Marketing, having just started using Google to promote the website and brand this skill isn’t embedded yet and the new owner can learn via Google tutorials or opt to hire an external marketing manager to progress this.
The unique selling points of the business are:
• Over 1500 items in stock
• Eclectic mix of designer vintage, couture, and contemporary designers
• Affordable price point
• UK based- many stores are US based so there are very few UK based stores with the same sized inventory.
As the business trades from eBay, a share sale is the best option for a Buyer.
In 2016, the turnover was £60,098, with an operating profit of £45,124. This level of profit was largely due to low purchases of stock.
In 2017, the turnover was £90,771 with an operating profit of £28,724.
In 2018, the turnover was £101,509, with an operating profit of £18,286.
The turnover for the current year is on course for £100,000+.
There are 1500 items of clothes, shoes, accessories and an inventory is available on request.
Purchase value last estimated at £47k for 2018 accounts. Resale value £200k
There are also 40 railings for storage of clothing which are 2 years old and purchased at £2400.
Relocatable to anywhere as it is an online business
Other business interests
Full training, handover and support will be given, along with an operational manual.
The Owner would be prepared to accept part payment of the business on completion along with staggered payments post-completion provided the Buyer has a good credit history.
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