VFG Code of Practice

An item may be described as vintage if it is at least 20 years old at the time that it is offered for sale.

All VFG members undertake to observe the following:

Code of Practice

1. Members are expected to provide the following for each item listing:

  • The approximate date of manufacture displayed in the title or description.
  • The name or construction of the fabric (e.g. jacquard, satin, etc.) and fiber content, if known (e.g. cotton, silk, etc.), displayed in the title or description.
  • Photographs of any clothing labels or maker’s marks.
  • Condition of the item. Any flaws, damage, major repairs or alterations should be described and, when possible, photographed.
  • Pertinent item measurements. For garments, bust/chest, waist, hip and length are the minimum. The VFG has provided a sample Clothing Measurements Chart .
  • Attention to item presentation. This includes neat, steamed or pressed garments, and clear, well-lit photographs showing the item from several angles.
  • Description of pertinent construction details, where appropriate (closures, finishing, etc.)
  • Accurate, appropriate key words (e.g. mod, hippie, swing, etc.)
  • Clear, concise and professional terms of sale.

2. Members shall not attempt to confuse or mislead customers, or falsely describe any goods offered for sale.

3. The VFG discourages the practice of modifying undamaged vintage items for resale purposes.

4. Members shall apply standards of fair dealing on all selling venues.

5. Responsibility for all claims or statements of authenticity lies solely with the member.

6. Members are expected to present intimate garments (e.g. lingerie) in a tasteful manner, and refrain from overtly suggestive poses or descriptions.

7. Members have no authority to act on behalf of or speak for the VFG, unless expressly authorized by the VFG Board.

8. Any text borrowed from the Label Resource and other VFG sources is limited to 75 words and must be fully credited. Text and images copied from any outside source, including any VFG Resource, must be properly cited. Please check Guidelines.

9. Selling PDFs or other reproductions of patterns or instructional booklets previously published by another party, and not in the public domain, is illegal. The VFG does not condone copyright infringement.

10. Sellers of fur and other products from animals that may be threatened or endangered as specified under CITES , must provide information to show that resale of the item is not prohibited by law.

Best Selling Practices

Welcome to the VFG Guide of Best Selling Practices. This list has been compiled by VFG Trade Members and we encourage incorporating the following practices in your business.

Describing Your Items

  • Proper fit is important when purchasing clothing online. Be sure to provide as many measurements as necessary. Always include bust/chest, waist, hip and length measurements. The VFG has provided a sample Clothing Measurements Chart .
  • Provide the fiber content of the fabric (e.g. silk, cotton, polyester) and weave (e.g. chiffon, satin, twill) to the best of your ability, along with weight, feel, drape, etc., if appropriate. Familiarize yourself with fabric types and terminology. The VFG Fabric Resource provides a wealth of information.
  • Item descriptions and photos should provide as much information as possible, including construction details, such as a metal zipper, pinked seams, shoulder pads, etc.
  • Provide a clear description of any flaws or alterations and post a photo when possible. Free online photo editing software can be used to easily create split/multiple photos. Try Picasa , Mosaic Maker or Zippy Photo Stitcher .
  • Avoid using phrases such as “vintage condition” or “good vintage condition” to imply that a vintage item may, by definition, have flaws. This provides no useful information to the buyer.

Dating Your Items

  • Be sure to date items accurately and place them in the proper categories. The better you can pinpoint the era, the more trusted you will be as a seller. Never use “vintage inflation” to sell an item (e.g. referring to a 1950’s garment as WWII era, or a 1940’s Victorian style bracelet as Victorian).
  • Use key words appropriate to the garment. These may include terms that describe a style or design, such as Mod, Art Deco, Op Art, etc. Be sure that the terms are period appropriate. An example would be the use of “Mod” to describe a 1960’s garment which exhibits Mod features, while using “Mod Style” for a 1980’s garment which may exhibit similar features. The VFG’s Fashion Timeline can provide helpful tips.

Photographing Your Items

The VFG’s Code of Practice requires sellers to show photographs of any labels present. Labels can help corroborate the date estimate and increase buyer confidence. In the absence of a designer label, showing the union label, size tag, or any other tags or labels present can be helpful. In addition, we recommend sellers do the following:

  • Make your photographs as clear as possible, and use ample lighting. You may find that a camera with macro capabilities provides good close-up shots, or that you feel most comfortable using a tripod. Here are some resources for photographing Clothing and Jewelry .
  • Be sure to show a garment from different sides or views, providing all key angles (e.g. full length, half-length, etc.) and close-up details, along with any flaws and alterations. For jewelry, include a photo of the back and closure. For shoes, include a photo of the soles. For hats, include a photo of the underside.

Selling Your Items

  • Provide a condition report of the garment and its wearability. Many sellers use a chart for defining such terms as “excellent” and “good”. The VFG has provided a sample Condition Chart .
  • Develop a set of clear and professional terms of sale (Shop Policies). You may want to take a look at the shops of VFG member sellers for ideas.
  • Be sure to check your spelling and proofread all listings.

If you have any questions about selling vintage, stop by the Vintage Fashion Guild Forums , where friendly volunteers are available to assist you.

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