Hooked On Vintage: Lisa Czarnecki
Hooked on MightyMerchant
As if Lisa Czarnecki wasn't busy enough with her work as a real estate agent, she also runs HookedOnVintage.com
, a website devoted to her passion for vintage clothing. Lisa and her husband Joe enjoy scouting for vintage finds everywhere they go, and also take out ads in newspapers, visit estate sales and thrift stores, and plan shopping into their schedule whenever and wherever they travel.
Lisa's website highlights hundreds of high-quality, hand-picked vintage clothes and accessories for men and women, but thatís only a fraction of whatís in storage. "I have hundreds of thousands of more items that I have yet to even put on the website," says Lisa. "The main reason is because I donít have any employees, so all the shopping, all the photos, everything that I upload to the website I do myself."
During the early 80s, one of Lisa's hobbies was antique shopping. It was then that she started collecting vintage clothing. "I just have always had this connection with the past. I feel like I was born in the wrong era," she says. "I finally just had so much stuff that I decided I needed to share these things with other people who have the same love of vintage things that I have."
That was the beginning of her website venture. Lisa ran her first online business, Lilac Cottage Vintage, for about a year and a half, with little success. "With the other site I had to buy Google AdWords to get advertising and I never really seemed to place," she says. "And if I ever placed it was on page 14 or 15. And as far as placing in just a natural search I never placed very well at all."
Lisa decided to switch, and found MightyMerchant after searching six months for a new, high-quality cart. "I did a lot of research because my other website had all kinds of glitches in it ... and the cart was definitely inferior, so it was really important to me to have the number of items that I needed to be hosted for a decent price," Lisa says. "I talked to Jeanie and she sent me a sample back room, like a control panel, and from the time I got the control panel I still looked at other sites but I always kept going back to MightyMerchant."
Now, HookedOnVintage.com ranks #4 in Google. When she first started with MightyMerchant, she says, "I was placing if someone put search words into Google like 'vintage dress' or 'red dress' or 'blue shoes,'" she remembers. "I would come up on the first page, and I was really excited because I didnít have that before!"
Lisa attributes that success to the way her site is designed, with each item having its own page. "My other site wasn't like that at all," she says. "It didnít have individual page titles for each item, and I don't believe it was even spidered by the search engines at all."
Because Lisa deals with a high volume of varied items, she appreciates that the MightyMerchant software makes her job a lot easier. "I love how easy the MightyMerchant cart is to use." She's even walked her husband through the process, and it's easy for him, too!
Lisa spends nothing on advertising, saying, "I get a lot of referrals from my links page and a lot of my customers come in from Google and Yahoo! and a few from AOL." She has just signed up for e-mail marketing, and though she's only used it one time, the response "was noticeable." She does have a newsletter with Constant Contact. She realizes that having a regular e-mail campaign would probably help her business, because she has a mailing list of over 210 people. "That is something I really need to work on more," she says.
Because Lisa is constantly posting new items, Lisa is considering RSS feeds to keep her site on her customer's radar. The feeds could be published once or twice a month, and let her customers know what merchandise is new to the site.
Lisa has some tips to share with anyone wondering how to buy vintage merchandise from an online marketplace. When visiting a site, check for their ranking, and check to see if they have a "compliments page." (HookedOnVintage has a "rave reviews" page.) When looking at an item you're interested in purchasing, always check the description and condition of the item, and remember, vintage clothing sizes run smaller than sizes do today. "What I always recommend is actually getting a favorite sweater, a favorite coat, a favorite pair of shoes," she says, "and measure that item and actually compare it to the measurements of the item" you want to buy.
Thanks Lisa! We hope all of our clients enjoy success like Lisa has found. Let us know if MightyMerchant's software has made a difference for your site.