There is one never-ending dilemma of being in college: constantly having no money while also wishing for a trendy wardrobe to keep up with everyone else. Being a broke college student and being fashionable shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.
When I was in high school, I started buying and selling my clothes on eBay. It was a small thing I did on the side to earn some extra money and refresh my closet. It was pretty successful, too. I bought my junior prom dress (a hot pink Lilly Pulitzer number, oh how times have changed) for $75 brand new with tags still on and sold it for $100 while being truthful about having worn it and tags missing.
So, now I am ready to share my wisdom with you. Here are five tips for selling your clothes online.
Find the right marketplace.
Now buying and selling aren’t just limited to eBay. Students at my university have created several Facebook pages devoted to selling items to people in the area. These marketplaces are great because it has already narrowed the pool to your target market, and it will make shipping much more manageable.
See if your school or town has one of these pages (it will probably be something similar to “… marketplace,” “…free and for sale,” etc.) and if not, eBay is tried and true. eBay will give you more profit than Poshmark and other similar sites on your sold items, too.
Be honest but smart with your photography.
The most important part of selling clothing online is the pictures. You will need to provide honest photographs of the clothes. If there’s a hole, rip or stain, you need to show it. It is also important to be savvy with your photography though; make sure to use lighting that shows off the colors and fabrics. Appealingly position the piece of clothing. Make sure it isn’t scrunched up.
The best solution is if you have a dress form, but otherwise, a neutral background will work. Make sure it is ironed otherwise the photos will reveal this and seem less attractive to buyers.
Understand the buyers.
Consumers of secondhand clothes know that they aren’t getting a brand-new product. However, the closer you can get to making your listing feel like a new product, the better. To make the item seem new could mean styling the photography a certain way or sprucing up the item description.
Additionally, pricing matters here. Secondhand consumers want a bargain. If you price your item for what you bought it for, even if it still has tags on, it’s not likely to sell. It is helpful to take a look on eBay at listings that have already sold; this will help you get an idea of what similar items are selling for at any particular time. Brand name items will sell for more.
Give a solid description.
Of course, you have to be honest. But the more detail you can give, the more likely it is that customers will appreciate the time you put in and avoid asking pesky questions. Elements of the description should include: any defects, sizing, true color if not well represented in the photo, brand, measurements, in-seam, materials/fabric, etc.
You’ll want to especially include any additional selling points, like new with tags (NWT) if your item is brand new and still has tags. Also consider NWOT if the item is never worn but is missing tags.
Yep, even here it is important to maximize the use of the search engine. You will want to think about the keywords that buyers are searching. Rather than labeling your listing “Blue Dress,” give more description something like “Blue Lace Free People Dress Sz. S NWT.” Now there is a much wider range of searches that your listing will appear under.