I’m only sorta kidding when you hear me say I’ll wear something once, then sell it on eBay. After all, wardrobe is the latest mood-enhancer and I like to feel good!! In my closet there are definitely some vintage pieces (and classic Anthro) that I will never part with, but otherwise I assess my wardrobe seasonally and sell the things that are no longer on rotation. It’s about that time for a Spring Cleaning!
As a general rule of thumb, if the piece hasn’t been worn by me in 2 years, it’s gotta go. Your personal style can totally change from year to year, so be sure to check in with what still speaks to you. If the piece has never been worn (yes this happens) it definitely has to go! It will move on to someone who can give it the love that you could not.
I made my eBay debut as way to make some extra cash while downsizing my closet in 2001; then it helped fund my wedding in 2009 when I helped my former boss empty a warehouse full of designer labels. Ahh good times. Currently, this sweet process of wardrobe recycling finances my healthy shopping habit- I sell a few pieces and then use those funds to buy a few pieces, you get the idea.
I consider myself quite the eBay expert at this point. My listings have varied over the years from a vintage fur coat to a used fridge. Ha- no seriously. But the majority of my eBay listings are previously loved clothing, shoes, or accessories. Without further ado here’s my basic roundup on how to sell…or should I say re-sell.
1. I often buy with the intent to eventually sell. This just means I take really good care of my purchases. For higher priced designer pieces, remove the tags and save them. Not because you are going to pass them off as “new with tags”, but because you can use them to reference style, retail price, etc. And it’s always nice to give your buyer the original extra buttons that came with that Cartonnier blazer. Read care labels and follow them. To make denim last longer: wash jeans inside out, only putting them in the dryer for a brief period on low, then let them air dry.
2. Be “seasonal” when selecting pieces to list. If you want to make back as much money as possible, don’t list your hooded wool duffel coat in July. Store it where you will remember to list it when the timing is right.
3. Prepare your items to sell! This may mean weeding some pieces out to donate rather than sell. Examine your items with a SUPER critical eye. Note any and all defects, marks, stains, etc. No one wants to be bothered with a disgruntled buyer. Selling on eBay is all about having a good reputation with positive feedback; buyers will keep coming back if they are pleased with their purchase.
4. Before setting your price, compare compare compare! Do your research and see what similar items are selling for. Look up the designer, and narrow down by style name (if you have it), color, and size. I like to price competitively, so if my item is in better condition, I start the bidding a bit higher! And if you aren’t very attached to a piece, list it as such: to this day I can be still be surprised that the old jeans I listed for $9.99 ended up going for $40. Oh the thrill of the bid!
5. Use the title space wisely. Please don’t put “Gap Pink Cardigan.” How is anyone going to find your listing? Use as many descriptive words as possible…the neckline, the closure, the sleeve length, the texture, the shade of color…these are all details that can be relevant. Again if you saved the tags, you may have a style name in your hands that will increase your item’s value!
6. Pictures- must be clear, with a simple background, documenting multiple views (the designer label, front, back, closeup of a flaw, etc). I’ve learned that pants photographed flat either on the bed or on the (clean) floor sell best. The pics don’t need to be fancy (you can so use your iPhone) to get bidders, but they must be legit.
7. Put yourself in the buyer’s position and ask what you’d want to find out from the description. Item condition is important. Have you worn this item too many times to remember, or just once? Where was this originally purchased from? What was the original retail price (only include this if you know for sure). Take measurements and disclose! This will save you the time of answering 20 emails asking same sizing question. And if you do get questions, answer them promptly.
8. Here’s a FAQ…does the buyer pay for shipping? 99% of the time- YES! Unless you are offering free shipping, which I usually reserve for a highly coveted item. Don’t let shipping be the reason why you are afraid to sell on eBay. Make sure the buyer has paid you in full for the item before sending it. I only accept Paypal as payment and I use USPS Priority Mail. The packaging is free, you can print out your shipping label and schedule a pickup online, all of which means no trips to the post office for you. Yay!
9. Send your items off with a swift once-over of the lint brush, and safety pin your tags on for safe keeping (if you have them.) I like to fold sweetly and wrap in tissue or plastic with a little thank you note. Tip: if you plan on leaving your item in the mailbox for pickup and it’s raining/snowing, make sure the item is covered appropriately. No one wants to receive their highly anticipated win only to realize it’s wet ‘n soggy with a color bleed stain from blue tissue paper!
10. Is online selling not your thing? If you aren’t the type of person with patience or time on your hands to devote to the eBay process, and you would rather an expert (ahem!) sell your items for you, let’s discuss what I can do for you with a fashion-focused VIP Day. Or, you can take your goodies to a resale boutique. You most likely won’t make as much money back but you can get quick cash in hand or store credit; not bad for lower price point items.
That’s 10 fundamentals of selling…enjoy, and if you’re like me, have fun buying on eBay too! I’d love to hear any tips you might have for consigning/re-selling/swapping. Visit my shop right here!