Back in September I moved from a two bedroom apartment with two closets the length of my bedroom to a 10×10 with nothing but one measly closet. What was the fashionista to do with all her collectibles? I needed a plan. I had been holding on to a few dresses I’d been wanting to try to sell on ebay for awhile and decided to see if anyone bit. It was much easier than I expected, and the thrill of getting some money back for items I no longer wore got me hooked. Tracking views, watchers, and bids on ebay became as natural and easy as checking my Facebook and Twitter feeds.
After a few items started to sell I realized I had a solution to my clothing problem. I needed to go through my exploding closet and try to sell things that I knew would just sit there for the next year but normally had trouble parting with.
Remember that New Year’s dress you only wore once? Or that purse from last season you are over? Or that shirt that just didn’t fit quite right?
Over the past six months, I’ve made hundreds of dollars back in the clothes I’ve purchased over the years, and even though it goes right back into new clothes, I don’t feel as guilty buying the things I really want moving forward. Recently, my friend entrusted me to start selling her clothes for her at a 50% commission, and now I’ve got a little side business going!
Here are some tips:
- Start your listing price at least 50% off the price you purchased it for. I did well with items from Forever 21 (yes, you can sell that stuff!) at about $5, Express at $8-14, and J. Crew from $15-30.
- Only list the number of items per month ebay allows you without a listing fee (I think it starts at 50). This keeps you from unnecessary fees you will owe ebay for trying to sell too much at once!
- Even though you think it won’t sell, there is someone out there that might want it. Don’t get frustrated if something doesn’t sell in your first listing. You get a certain number of listings per month and can relist an item as much as you want.
- After listing something a few times and it still doesn’t sell, reduce the price.
- For shipping, I suggest charging a USPS flat rate and keep it domestic. For light shirts and clothing, you can use a USPS flat rate envelope you get at the post office, but I also created an account with the USPS and started to order packages of flat rate padded paks. They ship them to you for free and fit most items of clothing so take advantage!
- Once you sell around 80 items and get 100% positive feedback, you become a top-rated seller and can list up to 200 items a month for no listing fee. Ebay does charge a final value fee (around 10%), and they will lift that at this level if you offer a 1 business day turn around and free returns. I haven’t taken advantage of this yet but may do so in the future.
- You don’t have to accept returns, but if someone sends you an email about an issue with an item, work with them to either give them a full or partial refund. It will help in keeping positive feedback.
- If you have designer clothing (i.e. Nanette Lapore), I’d suggest trying on a fashion selling site like Poshmark first. You’ll still be successful on ebay, it just might take a bit more time.
It’s been much easier parting with my items that I’ve only worn a few times through ebay. My closet, though still over flowing, is much more manageable with the pieces I wear most often.
You can see my ebay page here. Drop a note in the comments below if you have any questions!