I recently interviewed the lovely Maryanne Bridges who runs House of Maryanne Vintage. Her clothes are amazing as is her passion for vintage and running her own business on Facebook. Check out the interview below and the cute behind the scenes pics from the lookbook.
1) Why did you choose to sell on Facebook?
I was selling through eBay and had established a Facebook page in order to capture my customers. I started putting up "teaser" photos showing the Facebook members items that were to be listed that week on eBay. The members starting asking if they could pre-purchase before i listed them on EBay. IT grew from there. And so i guess it was really customer instigated.
2) Do you feel that traditional market-places like eBay are too expensive and hard to maintain?
Yes. I feel really out of control on eBay. I hated the feedback system (even though I had over 1500 feedbacks 99% positive.) It felt like the system was all for the customer and not supporting the sellers at all. The relationship between customer and seller was distant and fractured. On Facebook, you can be 'friends' and i feel like the relationship is closer and more easy-going.
3) You used to have an eBay shop- how do you feel your business has grown since moving to Facebook?
I have more return customers and it is easier to grow a reputation. It is easier for happy customers to recommend you to their loved ones. I can reach out to my customers all at once now.
4) What are the downfalls associated with selling on Facebook?
It does feel out of control. Facebook keeps making changes (i.e.: the algorithm associated with who sees your feeds) and this changes how/ when you can access potential customers. There is no way of holding people accountable for non payment of sales. Facebook falling out of favour and people moving onto the next big thing. The security of Facebook means that people not on Facebook cannot access your store.
5) Would you ever consider starting a traditional brick and mortar store or do you believe that the costs associated would not be worth it?
I have thought this through. I would love to have a shop and do the fit out and change the window dressing and the whole creative side. I would also love to be able to meet customers face to face and establish a more real-world relationship with them. I feel like at the moment it is less the cost and more the time associated with having a physical store. Also, i don't think i could handle sitting at a counter watching everyone walk past and not sell anything for a whole day (or longer, god forbid!). Selling online means that i can get other things done and even if i don't make sales that day, at least i have ticked off other jobs. If you have a shop, you have to just be there the whole time.
) What is the best part of running your own vintage store?
My customers are so lovely. They are very supportive. The Feedback makes it all worth it.