Maybe you went all in on the last sample sale, making some extra cash or maybe you are making some room in your closet in the name of spring cleaning. In any case, the online resale market is thriving and there are more ways than ever before of making some extra cash.
From finding the right marketplace, to creating a clean and inviting listing, here’s some tips on selling clothes online
1. Choose the name of your store well
Think about what you are going to sell and name your store accordingly. You can use your own name: Christy’s Clothes, borrow a name to sound vintage: Ella’s Carpet Bag, or stick to the brand you are going to sell: Hell Bunny Babes.
2. Pick a niche
You can’t cater for everyone, and you probably shouldn’t! Choose one or two particular types of clothing you want to sell and stick with it as much as you can. I sell plus size and rockabilly clothes, and sometimes I will stray from those two niches – it doesn’t always end well because I don’t have the interest from my repeat buyers.
3. Source clothing
Where are you going to get your inventory from? Thrift stores, your own wardrobe, brand new wholesale are some places you could begin.
4. Take brilliant photos – front, back, labels, any marks/tears/damage
Once you have some clothes, start talking photos. I highly recommend using a good camera to do this. Hang clothes, do a flat lay or model them – there should be photos of the front, back, any detailing (such as fancy pockets, a special printed pattern) and any flaws.
Make sure you take photos of any labels on your clothing, and take detailed photos of stains or tears. To show the size of the marks or damage, put a coin along side it. Below a great overview of how to take professional pictures.
5. Download a measurements/size chart for the brand and include it in the photos
You can easily find size charts online – type in the brand name and ‘size chart’ into Google – it should come up as an image. You can upload this along with your photos. This will save questions from your customers who will want to know things like ‘is this true to size?’ If you can’t find a sizing chart that relates to the exact item you are selling you can always use any of the templates on Sizely.
6. If it is a recent buy, see if you can find an image online – people like to see the clothes being worn or what to teem it with
I recently bought a jacket that I liked, but didn’t like wearing – the faux fur collar tickled me too much. It was recently sold by a chain retailer, so I uploaded these images as well. This way the buyer could see it professionally photographed and gave them some ideas of what they could wear it with.
7. List your items at a popular end listing time
If you are using an auction site, do some research into popular end times for auctions. This may change from country to country. In Australia, Sunday night is a popular end of listing time, and many users are online trying to gain the winning bid. This will drive your price higher than listing it at a slower time such as Tuesday afternoon.
8. Sell yourself
I routinely post ‘Check out my other items’, with a clickable link to my listings in each item description. Customers might want to bid on multiple items for combined shipping, or because they love what you’re selling. You can also use social media to promote sales – Facebook and Instagram are both good options.
9. Write a killer description
Imagine your buyer is only buying from your written description – pretend they can’t see the photo. Describe it in detail. If you’re unsure of what type of sleeve the top you’re selling has, you can really easily research using Google. There are plenty of pictorials describing styles of clothing.
10. Measurements: bust, waist, length
Measure your items for sale – often customers want to know the bust, waist and length of the item. Include this with your item description by either writing it out or use on of the Sizely templates. Some buyers will also want to know the measurement of stretchy clothing (stretched and un-stretched). You’ll probably need some help with stretching the clothes and measuring them at the same time. Include the measurements in your description.
11. Pricing – be realistic. What would you happily pay?
It’s hard to part with clothes you’ve worn and loved. What’s the bottom number that you would accept for it?
Are you under-pricing?
If you’ve said ‘Maybe a dollar, it doesn’t fit anymore,’ consider upping your price to show that you think that little black dress is worth someone’s hard earned cash.
Are you under pricing?
If you bought it three years ago and you want to make your money back, unfortunately this won’t be happening! Try selling it for a quarter of what you paid for.
If you are buying clothes to sell wholesale, consider selling at recommended retail prices, or just below. If you’re selling preloved thrift shop buyers, try doubling or tripling what you paid for it, depending on the outlay. For example, I recently bought a dress for $5. I sold it for $10 – I haven’t made a lot from the sale, but I have doubled my money, and I wasn’t sure if it would go at any cost.
Maybe you have tried to sell clothes in the past and you’ve been unsuccessful – consider lowering your prices. Check out what other sellers are pricing their items for.
12. Postage – factor this in
Postage includes all of the packaging, plus the cost of having it sent. You can charge for this on top, or if postage is included, factor this into your pricing for the item.
13. Interact with customers
Customers will ask lots of questions; happily respond. Even if they don’t buy this time, they might the next.
14. If you are asked a question, update your listing so other customers can see the response
Someone wants to know some crazy measurement, where it was purchased or what they could wear with it? Add it to your description! You’ve done the work, and someone else may benefit from it too.
15. Let the customer know that you’ve received payment
Once the sale has gone through, let the customer know you’ve received their payment and thank them.
16. Get postal
You’ve just sent off the item – let them know. If there is a tracking number, include this too. Sometimes postage or couriers are really slow, so it helps for the customer to know that you have really just sent off the item.
17. Wrap your clothing
Get wrapping! Bubble wrap or plastic bags are ideal, in addition to however you send your products. This means that if the packaging gets wet, the item won’t be damp because it’s been loving wrapped up by you.
18. Make them remember you
In all my sales I include a business card and a little treat. I make my own earrings (bought crafty bits in bulk from eBay) and I tape these in a little plastic bag to my business card. My business cards are from a cheap printing place, and just include my logo and where customers can find me online.
19. Leave good feedback
If the platform you use asks you to leave feedback, make it personal. Thank them for the speed of payment, their friendly manner, something that stood out to you. Don’t ask your buyers to leave you feedback – this can get them offside, and that’s the last thing you want! Some customers will skip giving feedback all together, or don’t know how to, so it’s not worth chasing up.
20. Relist more items for repeat customers
Once you’ve sold some items, remember to keep up the momentum. Previous customers might be interested in what you have listed next, so it’s best to have something there for them to see and hopefully buy.
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