Hand Slap

I have an issue with vendors, whether they’re on eBay or etsy or their very own storefront, who use the word “vintage” when what they really mean is “retro.” I understand that keyword optimization is a likely culprit, because who wouldn’t want more eyes looking at listings? But sometimes it’s apparent that the vendor really just doesn’t know his/her shit. Here’s a quick little lesson for the confused (who I realize are least likely to be among the fine folks reading this post):

vin•tage |ˈvintij|
denoting something of high quality, esp. something from the past or characteristic of the best period of a person’s work : a vintage Sherlock Holmes adventure.
SYNONYMS: classic, ageless, timeless; old, antique, heritage, historic.

ret•ro 1 |ˈretrō|
imitative of a style, fashion, or design from the recent past : retro 60s fashions.
ORIGIN 1960s: from French rétro, abbreviation of rétrograde ‘retrograde.’

Do you see the difference? Do you get it? Vintage infers actual age, while Retro is a modern imitation. If you didn’t know the difference, that’s okay. Now you do. Isn’t language cool? If you did know the difference and were simply keywording, please make sure that your body copy reflects the true nature of the item for sale. If you knew the difference, but didn’t think it mattered to buyers, now you know that it does. If you knew the difference, knew that buyers care, and were simply trying to get a better price by selling to an inexperienced collector, cut it out. Don’t be a pill.

(Grumbles to self over in the corner: I hate wasting my time by clicking for more info on a vintage listing, only to see that it’s obviously a modern reproduction.)

2 Replies to “Hand Slap”

  1. Snob.

    Who cares?! I mean it all looks the same from 10 feet away, right? The modern fibers, seams from the molding process and little tag stamped “distributed by Walmart Corp” are minor details really.

    (dear lord, I hope she has a sense of sarcasm)


  2. So…. the Mary Kate and Ashley bell-bottoms That I just bought at Wal-Mart aren’t vintage???!!!


    I don’t even want to know about my Hanna Montana Disco Ball….


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