Thursday, 22 September 2011

Change of direction for me

Sorry, but specs now sold

Sorry, but nightshirt now sold

Pink knickers now sold

Sorry, but green blouse now sold

Sorry, but salmon nightie now sold

Sorry, but apron now sold

Sorry but bloomers now sold

Sorry, but blouse now sold

Sorry, but jacket is now sold

Sorry, but scarf now sold
As you all may or may not know, when we first came to France, we started out as book dealers, doing the markets and organising book sales 2 or 3 times a month in ex-pats communities, selling English books to anyone who wanted them. We made a comfortable living: would never be rich but earned enough to pay our way (taxes!). Then, Mr Plod decided to prosecute us for using English words such as 'BOOK SALE' on a poster - a crime here in France - and we were forced to close down and go on the dole. (Note to self: send a 'Thank you' card to Mr. Plod for the enforced 2 years paid holiday...)

Then, a new scheme for small enterprises came into being and yes! I could do the books if I wanted, plus go back to my first love, antiques and vintage. So, I started scouring the vide greniers and brocantes to buy stock, and started selling antique stuff, plus some selected magazines and books in French on Ebay and Etsy.

Then this spring, Laposte finished their economic postal service and with one blow, knocked my book business away. You see, a lot of book buyers in Australia, Japan and USA don't mind waiting a little longer for their books if the postage can be reasonable - and books are heavy items which now cost more to post, but Ebay and Amazon limit the postage that can be charged.

Fortunately at the same time, I found a couple of reliable sources for vintage and antique French clothes - maybe not with known labels as these are usually snapped up by the fat purses from Paris - but nice vintage blouses from 1960s to antique 19th century linen nightshirts (great for wearing over jeans) lacy bloomers, and petticoats. I have to remind myself that in France, many women made their own clothes, or had the village seamstress run something up for them, and so many don't have many labels at all - just sweet little stitches and an eye for style from the latest magazines...

Of course, I have always sold a few vintage clothing items: mainly linen, scarves, hankies, bags and a few hats, but I am SO excited by my new direction - I even found Lady Godiva, my dummy, at such as low price I thought that it must be here goes...I made a little start a couple of months ago with just a few things - my Ebay shop is here...and any comments/tips/hints from vintage ladies will be most welcome!

In the meantime, I will still have my brocante items and a few selected books, but I am rather looking forward to something new - onward and upward as they say!


  1. Good luck, you have some beautiful items for sale.

    Sft x

  2. Sft - thanks - that's very kind of you to say!

  3. What an interesting post. I feel for you about book selling, of course. I've had such problems with postage! Like you I have had to change and last year sold (and gave away) 95% of my book stock. I now only have 300-400 specialist books and my beloved 'collectables' which increase every carboot and flea market!. Wishing you every good luck with your lovely vintage clothes. Jane x

  4. Jane - I really do think that the way to go in book selling, is to specialise.

    It is so difficult to compete now, what with people selling books at a penny - I think I will have to get rid of about the same percentage of stock too - only trouble is, I'm in France! Oh well, at least they will keep us warm - they're insulating the loft floor!



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