Selling clothes is a great way to get started on eBay. However, with so many different brands and garments, it can sometimes feel overwhelming.
After almost two years selling clothes on eBay I've put together this guide to help others get started in the field.
Picking up clothes to resell on eBay is a great introduction to reselling as they are affordable (most items can be purchased from charity shops and carboot sales for £1 – £2), small (easy to store and easy to pack) and always available / always needed.
- Where To Buy Clothes To Sell On eBay
- What Clothes To Buy To Sell On eBay
- How Much Should I Sell Clothes For On eBay?
- How To Photograph Clothes To Sell On eBay
- Writing A Killer eBay Description
Where To Buy Clothes To Sell On eBay
There are a number of places you can source clothes to resell on eBay, sometimes it is all about thinking outside of the box. Some of the best places to find quality clothes are right underneath your nose.
Friends And Family
A perfect example is friends and family and yourself, we have cleared out our wardrobe much time before and listed the clothes we no longer wanted on eBay.
Friends and family will be the same, a lot of the time they will pile up clothes into a bin liner ready to go to the charity shop but save them taking them to the shop and ask if you can have them for free or even a small fee.
A lot of the time they will be thankful that they don't have to take them to the charity shop and are out of the way so it is a win-win situation.
Charity shops are great as a lot of the time it is organised and so much more pleasing to look through. You can see properly what you are looking at and find things much easier.
The only downside to more high street charity shops are that they can be a little pricey at times.
I find car boots most profitable when mums and dads are having a big summer clear out of all the kids' toys and clothes, getting rid of lots of stuff they have been hoarding all year. They also go through wardrobes and have a good spring clean of all the old stuff.
There are plenty of sellers at car boots that have loads of clothes and you can fill a bag for £5 and so on, they are great if you want to fight another 10 women and scramble around on the floor.
Retail stores probably aren't the first place you'd look when searching for clothes to resell on eBay. However, thanks to limited store space you'll find many stores can heavily reduce the prices in sales.
Be sure to look out for outlet branded stores and discounted retailers such as TK Maxx too. These places may be slightly more than charity shops and car boot sales. However, you'll be buying a new product which also justifies a higher selling price on eBay.
If you have heard of sniping than this is similar, look for potential good clothes and good brands but the listing has got poor quality photos and a rubbish description.
These can be bought cheap in an auction or buy it now and re-listed with better photos and details for profit.
You just need to remember to add the price of postage onto your item price when deciding if it is worth buying.
The advantage is that you can do your research while looking at the item, whereas it can be more tricky when you are in a shop or at a car boot.
What Clothes To Buy To Sell On eBay
If you already love clothes, shopping and have an eye for the good stuff this is your time to shine. Always look for quality over quantity and remember fashion in high street stores change quite rapidly.
So by the time, it has made it's way to the charity shop it won't be in fashion any longer. But this can also be the best thing as you can find plenty of vintage clothes that are now in fashion.
Look for large sizes, unfortunately, there isn't much of a market for the larger lady and gentleman and much of the time if there is people can't always afford it.
Clothes making there way to charity shops or on a crazy sale that are large sizes are often sought after as they are rare.
If you're able to invest in a mannequin then buying and selling ladies dresses on eBay is going to quickly become a piece of cake.
Around November you're going to be selling party dresses on eBay with many looking for an affordable piece for the Christmas festivities.
In summer, ladies are going to be looking to buy dresses to wear over the summer. You want to be buying in the reverse ideally.
So, around Christmas time you'll find people will clear out their summer wardrobe. This then gives you around 3 months to get these items photographed, listed and sold.
Fancy Dress Outfits
Fancy dress outfits are expensive, and in most cases, we only wear them once. So, buying them second hand for a more affordable price is a great option.
This opens up a great market for us as clothes resellers. We can buy fancy dress outfits from car boot sales, charity shops etc. and sell them on eBay for a profit.
How Much Should I Sell Clothes For On eBay?
The best way to know what your clothes are worth is research, just as you would any other item.
Obviously, with clothes, it can be hard to get the correct name for a dress and find the exact same listing but you generally get an idea.
Find something very similar looking by the same brand and same condition, like looking for your nearest competition and work with that.
How To Photograph Clothes To Sell On eBay
The best tool for getting a great picture is light, lighting can also be the hardest part to arrange. Many people have spaces set up with lights, you don't have to get the really expensive professional lights but at least a lamp without the shade.
Use a photography booth, we have a little pop-up studio for smaller items, the box comes with 4 coloured backgrounds though we always used white.
The studio is great to use to get a plain background, especially great for folded clothes. The box also helps direct the light to the right places making photos look brighter and clearer.
The best thing you can do is prep and style your clothes to give them the best chance of looking good. You want to show the garment at its best angle and in the best condition.
This won't just look good in the photos it will make for a better listing and make you look more professional.
These are my tips to help you photograph your clothes to make them look listing ready…
Wash, Iron, Press
Even if they smell okay, don't underestimate a good wash. Make note of the care label and wash appropriately, there is no good paying for a vintage blouse and ruining it the washing machine.
Be aware some items may need special care such as dry cleaning. Always iron your clothes, get rid of the wrinkles and this is also great if you spot any damage to the item.
Dressing the piece of clothing can be anything from hanging on a hanger or doing a shop-bought fold. Some sellers have mannequins for men, women and children to properly display the clothing.
Personally feel like each piece of clothing is different, some items look great on a hanger, some look better folded or laid flat.
Items such as jeans and trousers will look better with a shop fold of laid out to show the length, the material and also the fit. Jumpers, t-shirts and shirts can look good folded, hung or on a mannequin – if you have a mannequin to hand I would always to advise using it unless the garment doesn't fit.
Dresses, long items and gowns are always worth displaying on a mannequin to show off the garments best feature which is the detailing or fit.
If it helps you work out what looks good just search for a garment on eBay and see which grabs your attention the most and if it isn't the one nicely modelled on a mannequin or hung well on a hanger I'm shocked.
Taking The Photos
You can get great photographs using your smartphone or the best camera available, there is no right or wrong tool.
Take more photos of the garment than you think you need, it is always best to have more than less. Photograph every angle, hem detailing, arm length, neckline and any pattern or detailing on the garment.
If it helps to portray the proportion of anything or size use a tape measure. Lay the tape measure around the waistband of the jeans or even along the sleeve to show the sleeve length.
Remember to photograph all the labels on the garment from the designer label, buttons if they have a special print on them, care labels and size labels.
Also to make an extra detailed listing, take measurements of the garment and note them down for the listing so you don't have to answer a million messages about the inside leg of a pair of jeans.
A great tool to use to your advantage is photo editing, now you don't need anything extremely posh and fancy, just in photos on your Mac or PC.
Now I'm not talking about using your favourite filter from Instagram on all the photos, I am talking about editing the lighting if an image looks a little dark or just cropping out the dirty clothes pile on the side or simply turning the image the right way around.
Don't overdo the editing as the listing will look overdone and also you are giving false impressions of the garment to the customer and that will only lead to trouble.
Writing A Killer eBay Description
You've tempted the potential buyer to your listing from a thousand others thanks to your beautiful photos. Now, it's time to wow them with your description.
There are a lot of questions potential buyers have when purchasing clothes. This is why many resellers struggle. Because, they don't provide enough or the right information which only leads to the buyer buying the item, and later having to return it because ‘it doesn't fit', ‘it's not what I expected'.
You can avoid all of this by writing an informative decision that answers every single question a potential buyer might have about that item.
- Fabric breakdown (Cotton, wool etc…)
- Brand label
- Specific Size (petite, tall etc.)
- Size (12, 14, Large etc…)
- Colours featured (burgandy red, blue…)
- Sleeve length
- Pit to pit length
- Collar size
- Shoulder seam to hem
- Excessive wear
- Logo locations
- Wash Instructions
It sounds a lot, but the difference between achieving a buyer for your clothing item that doesn't go on to return it is right here!
While storage isn't going to help you sell clothes on eBay it is definitely something you will have to think about.
There are so many different ways people store their clothes for eBay reselling because at the end of the day you want to clothes to be protected but not take over your house.
I have heard of people using airtight bags in which you use a vacuum to suck the air from, this is a great space saver and does really protect the clothes. The only downside would be in you are frequently in and out of the bags it would be a lot of work to keep using the vacuum.
This is a popular choice as it is easy to keep everything in order, once it is photographed it can be added to the rail and easy to get to for messages or to pack up once sold.
This is a great idea if you don't plan to have too much at one time or if you have plenty of space to have a rail or two to hold stock.
Really Useful Boxes
As we had so many available this was how we stored our stock for a long time. We separated off into children and baby, women's, men's, shoes and then bags.
These were great to use and you could fit so much into a 32-litre box and they stacked, as we didn't need to get into them often they were easy to stack in one corner and leave them.
Chest Of Drawers
When we stopped buying clothes and slowly emptied down our inventory we transferred our stock into drawers.
We had the large set of 3 draws and used those with the clothes separated off again. Children and baby in the top draw, women's clothes in the next and men's at the bottom.
As always if you have any tips for selling clothes or you have a great way to photograph and store your items let me know in the comments below or drop me a message on social media.