for the love of vogs

where the MotleyFlue gather

building on a budget


Late last year when Madame Shirley set her 50 by 50 goal, I told her that it was totally do-able. She declared that she may have to go bankrupt in order to reach her 50th pair by October 2013. I told her that if she scouted eBay, the FlueMarket, and etsy, she could actually reach her goal and not be ultra poor. Shopping for vintage Vogs is a great way to build your collection on a budget. When I vintage shop, I set strict rules about buying:

a) Set a price limit. Overpaying for a used pair of Vogs is never a good thing. Believe me, there’s an eBay seller that has some killer vintage Vogs. However, I’d never buy from him because his prices are too high. For example, he has a pair of Hi Choice | Hopes for under $300. I bought mine for under $90. Setting price limits is important.

b) Don’t buy it just because it’s cheap. Anything I add to my collection has to really add to my collection. If I know I’m not going to use it, there’s no point in buying it.

c) Make sure it’s going to fit. I’ve been around Vogs for a while now and I have a sense of how certain families will fit. This can get tricky with the older styles. For fit info that’s out of my purview, I always consult with the dealers. They always give good advice.

d) The Vog has to have some life left. Though Fluevogs can last many years, used shoes are still used shoes. Some people abuse their Vogs more than others. Be sure that the Vog you’re investing in is in good condition. Don’t be afraid to ask the seller questions. When I bought Margie, I knew that there was a lot of scuffing and such. However, the shoe itself was in great condition. After refurbishing, Margie has lots of life left!

e) It has to be worth the $$ spent. This is related to my first point. Again, I bring up some of the eBay sellers who list some great vintage stuff. While vintage definitely has its value, $300+ for used Vogs is a bit steep – especially since you could likely get new Vogs for that much or less. At the end of the day, I like to feel like I paid a fair price.


Someone’s loss was my gain. I’ve been wanting these F-Shoes for a while. Luckily, a kind soul listed these on eBay for $50. They were in perfect condition and fit wonderfully! They are my go-to weekend-in-jeans Vog.

In looking at Shirley’s new collection, I count around ten pairs that she purchased for under $100 (including a gorgeous one-of-a-kind sample). She didn’t even have to take any of them to a cobbler for refurbishing! In my personal collection, I have at least four pairs that were under $75. Vintage Vog shopping is a great way to build your collection.

Another great way to build your collection is to sell your Vintage Vogs. A few months ago, in order to streamline my collection, I put three pairs of Vogs on the FlueMarket. Luckily, all three pairs sold. Letting them go felt like I was putting good Fluevog karma into the world. Of course, I used the money to put a brand new pair of Vogs on layaway. The Hopes | Promise are the latest addition to my collection:)


I had been wanting a pair of heart-heeled boots for ages! An eBay seller listed these used for almost $300! Luckily, I found these for under $90. All they needed was a coat of leather lotion and the heel needed to be re-enforced by a cobbler (a $7 repair).

As I had mentioned in this post, I’m all for refurbishing Fluevogs. It’s a budget-friendly way to build your collection while helping reduce waste. In fact, I know a lot of people are into re-cycled fashion. Shopping for and/or selling vintage Vogs is a great way to do that. Vogs last forever (well, almost!), which is why collecting them is so great. However, I like to keep a consolidated collection. When something isn’t getting the wear it deserves, I have no problem sending them out into the world. That way, someone else gets to build her collection while I re-build my own:)

For those of you who are on a tight budget and have been loving Fluevogs from afar, please don’t lose hope. There are ways to own a pair or two and still have $$ left for rent and bills!

For the love of Fluegasms,



Author: jlrondilla

Joanne L. Rondilla, is a scholar, writer, and educator (not necessarily in that order). She received her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in Ethnic Studies and her B.A. in Art Studio and Asian American Studies at UC Santa Barbara. Her research focuses on beauty, race, gender, the body, and colonialism. She is the co-author of "Is Lighter Better? Skin Tone Discrimination Among Asian Americans" (with Paul Spickard) and the co-editor of "Pacific Diaspora: Island Peoples in the United States and Across the Pacific" (with Paul Spickard and Debbie Hippolite-Wright). Born and raised in Dededo, Guam, Joanne considers the San Francisco Bay area home. Outside of the academy, she has more than twelve years of work experience in the cosmetics industry as a skincare specialist and make-up artist. While she's not an Imelda Marcos fan, Joanne does love her Fluevogs!

3 thoughts on “building on a budget

  1. this may not work for those whose shoe size is more common than mine (i’m at the end of the spectrum), but i love to put my favorite vogs on my amazon wishlist after trying them on at the store (to make sure of fit), and then i watch the price around the end of the season. i’ve scored some of my favorite vogs that way, including the promise, which didn’t go on sale through fluevog but which did on amazon. i missed out on the faraday when they went on sale on amazon because i didn’t try them on at the store until after the sale began. they went like hotcakes.

    • Agreed. I have scored some excellent deals on amazon, including my BBCs. I do find that with amazon, it’s really luck of the draw. For those with common sizes (especially size 7), you really have to snatch the amazon deals fast. However, I do find that those with common sizes have great luck with the FlueMarket and eBay. Shirl is a common size (6.5-7) and she’s managed to build a great vintage collection at good prices.

      • very true. i’ve gotten only a few deals on ebay and fluemarket versus lots on amazon, simply because my end-of-spectrum shoe size doesn’t come up for resale that often. also, many of the styles i would kill for were never made in my size in the first place *sad face*.

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