As I make the switch from my winter to spring wardrobe, I found myself with the decision to donate or sell my clothes. Over dinner with my best friend, she told me how she has made hundreds of dollars recently selling clothes on eBay. Now I’ll admit, it has been years since I’ve ventured onto the online marketplace and I remember the selling process being tedious and complicated. My friend assured me that with the new eBay mobile app, it takes only a few minutes to list and sell. So I gave it a shot and quickly learned why some of my items were selling and some weren’t. It’s all about marketing folks!
Six tips to successfully sell clothes on eBay
1. Sell for the season: It’s March and my winter sweaters are not selling. Because it’s MARCH. Buyers are craving warmer temps and are shopping for spring and summer looks. Save your cool weather clothes for the end of summer or fall when people are starting to think of layering up, and you’ll likely get rid of them no problem. Right now is a good time to sell skirts, shorts, sundresses and purses.
2. Research similar items: Search eBay for similar items that have sold (and haven’t) to give you an idea of what you should list yours for. You can also check Amazon or the store where you purchased the item to check the retail price. Once you have settled on a reasonable price, lower it by $1. That keeps you competitive, and I bet you won’t miss the buck.
3. Write a compelling description: Companies hire professional writers to describe clothing on their websites, so why not do the same? While you cannot copy a retailer’s description word for word, you can certainly let it inspire you. Describe how the fabric feels, the fit of the garment and an emotion associated with wearing it, like “This soft, form-fitting dress will leave you smitten.” Also, if the exact item you are selling is featured on another website (but no longer for sale), include a direct link so shoppers can learn as much as they can about the item.
4. Take good photos: Nothing sells a piece of clothing better than seeing it on someone else. Create a complete outfit and take pictures from every angle. Selling a sweater? Pair it with skinny jeans and heels to show just how cute that sweater can look. Also, take a photo of the tag, a close up of the fabric, pictures of the item flat on the ground or hanging on a hanger and any imperfections. You don’t have to be a professional photographer – snapping pics from your phone will work. Just make sure your room is well lit and the clothes are wrinkle-free. eBay allows up to 12 photos, so use them up!
5. Offer free shipping: Shipping costs can be a big deterrent for shoppers. eBay is pretty darn accurate on their shipping estimates, taking into account location, weight and size of the item you are selling. So add that onto the selling price, and advertise as free shipping. Buyers will understand the price is a bit higher because shipping is included, but will appreciate seeing a nice clean number. Nine times out of ten, the actual cost for me to ship is lower than eBay’s estimate, so I end up making a buck or two.
6. Give great customer service: Even though you aren’t technically running a business, buyers will be more likely to purchase from you again if you are responsive, friendly and personable. Plus, buyers and sellers have the opportunity to rate each other, so the more positive feedback you receive, the better your reputation and credibility as a seller will be. Answer questions quickly, send prompt shipping confirmations and even included a handwritten thank you note. The extra attention can go a long way.
Check out a few other ways to sell clothes for cash!