All VFG members undertake to observe the following:
Code of Practice
1. Members shall, at all times and regardless of location, conduct themselves in a professional and courteous manner.
2. Members shall adhere to the VFG’s Statement of Social Media Professionalism.
3. Members shall not attempt to confuse, mislead, or otherwise falsely describe any goods offered for sale. An item must be at least 20 years old to qualify as vintage and at least 100 years old to qualify as antique.
4. Members shall not modify or alter undamaged vintage items for resale purposes. If a damaged vintage item has been altered or “upcycled,” it must be clearly mentioned in the listing.
5. Members shall pay particular attention to item presentation.* Garments should be pressed or steamed, backgrounds should be clutter-free, and photos should be clear and well-lit. Items such as lingerie, swimwear, etc. shall be presented in a tasteful manner.
6. Unless expressly authorized by the VFG board, trade members have no authority to act or speak on behalf of the VFG.
7. Any text borrowed from the Label Resource or other VFG resource 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.
8. The VFG prohibits copyright infringement of any kind by trade members. Members will use only their own original photographs and words in their listings unless they have written permission from the original copyright holder or the item is in the public domain. Additionally, selling PDFs or other reproductions of patterns, catalogs, or other previously published works that are not in the public domain is illegal.
9. 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.
VFG trade members will adhere to the following when listing vintage fashion items for sale:
1. All listings must answer the following:
· What is being sold?
Sellers should provide a clear and accurate description of the item being sold. The description should include identification of the item plus information about construction details (zipper type, seams, shoulder pads, closures, etc), the presence or lack of any and all labels, and mention of any unique features, patterns, or colors.
· Who made the item?
Photographs of any labels and/or makers marks must be included in the listing and the designer/maker name should be mentioned in the written description. In cases when there are no labels or maker information, it should be mentioned in the item description. The VFG provides a Label Resource and a Featured Designers section to assist sellers in researching designers and makers.
· When was the item made?
Sellers must provide accurate dating for the item being sold. The VFG offers various resources and articles to assist sellers in properly dating their items including a Quick Tips for Dating Vintage resource .
· What is the item made of?
For garments this means accurate identification of fabric and fiber content and for jewelry this means identifying any metals, gems, or stones. When not noted on label and not readily evident through sight or feel, fabric/fiber content can often be determined through a burn test or use of the VFG Fabric Resource . For any item being sold, if seller is unsure of exactly what the item is made of, they should still provide a best estimate of the content and note that it is an educated assessment.
· What is the condition of the item?
Sellers must provide a comprehensive description of the condition of the item being sold. The condition description should include mention of any condition issues, inherent flaws, or known item alterations. General terms such as excellent, good, or very good are subjective and, on their own, are insufficient when describing condition. Additionally, the term “vintage condition” should be avoided to imply that a vintage item may, by definition” have flaws. Photographs of any condition issues must be included in the listing. The VFG provides a Clothing Condition Chart to assist sellers in providing appropriate item condition statements.
· What are the full measurements of the item?
Without exception, all listings must include full and accurate measurements of the item being sold. The VFG provides various Clothing Measurements Charts to assist sellers in providing the required measurements.
2. VFG members will develop clear and concise policies that, at a minimum, specifically address terms of sale, returns, and refunds and are also in compliance with all applicable laws. These policies should be easily accessible to all buyers and potential buyers.
3. VFG members will refrain from using inappropriate keywords or “keyword spam” in listings. For example, if an item is from the 1960s and is in the mod style, then mod would be an appropriate keyword. If the item is from the 1980s but appears to be in the 1960s mod style, then “mod style” and/or “1960s style” would be the appropriate key phrases. The VFG Fashion Timeline is an excellent resource for keyword assistance.
4. Prior to publishing, VFG members should take the time to carefully proofread and spell-check each listing.
5. Listing photographs must be well-lit, in-focus, and purposeful. Members should provide ample photographs to show the item from various angles and also to highlight any unique features, condition issues, or alterations.
If you have any questions about selling vintage, stop by the Vintage Fashion Guild Forums , where friendly volunteers are available to assist you.