I love clothes, and i love to keep up with the latest fashion trends. I’m also a student, who only works part-time so when i discovered selling/buying clothes online it was a bit of a life saver to my wardrobe (and my bank balance). It’s an easy way to make money as long as you take the time to do it properly! I’ve been doing this for about 5 years now so here are some tips i’ve picked up over the years.
Avoid using adjectives in the title
Don’t write “beautiful”, “stunning”, “amazing” in your listing. It’s off putting and doesn’t come across as very professional. Equally, don’t type in caps lock and avoid using any punctuation. If i see, **STUNNING ZARA DRESS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL** , i’m going to avoid it like Primark on Christmas Eve.
You want to include as much detail in the title as it will allow you so include: the make, what is is, the size*, if it’s new BNWT (brand new with tags)/ BNWOT (brand new without tags), the main colour and the print (if applicable).
* Stick to the size printed on the label. If it’s a small from Zara then say it’s a small from Zara and either provide measurements or offer bidders to contact you for measurements. Don’t label it yourself, it causes confusion and if you’re wrong it will turn buyers away. If buyers ask what size would it fit, send them measurements and let them decide if it would fit them.
Take good quality photographs of your items.
From multiple angles, with good lighting are key. Some people hang up their clothes and others don’t, i don’t think it matters either way but try to make the photograph as visually appealing as possible. Make sure not to include anything in the photograph that you aren’t selling, ie- don’t take a picture of a whole outfit if you’re only selling the top.
If you’re still unsure try searching the kinds of things you plan to sell. See how other sellers have photographed them and then re-create them yourself.
Take the time and list them properly, including lots of detail
From the fabric, colour, print and care instructions, people will filter their search down and if you haven’t filled these out when listing they will go into the ‘uncategorised’ section, which no one will bother to scroll through.
They say the best time to sell an item is Sunday evening from 6pm-10pm because more people are buying at that time. My advice would be to create drafts for the listings earlier so it’s just a case of clicking “list” to make the auction active. The best length of time is a 7 day auction- i find people lose interest in a 10 day auction.
Protect yourself in your selling practises
My advice is to write a draft of this and save it in a word document so you can use it over and over again.
Write a quick disclaimer that all of your items are sold as photographed, you are as honest as you can be and for the buyer to allow slight colour change due to lighting.
This is a good place to put in how long the buyer has after winning the auction, to when payment is due (i normally say 48 hours).
Then you can explain postage, if you want to sell internationally & how long it will take you to post the items & if you offer combined postage- this gives you a plug to direct your potential bidders to look at your other auctions.
Invite potential buyers to contact you & ask questions- and be super polite if they do!
If there is a mark, stain, rip or discolouring then say so. If the buyer is unhappy with their purchase, the buyer is protected by eBay and by PayPal (if you use this method of payment). Basically, eBay will refund their money from you if the buyer is unhappy- unless you resolve the issue. If you’re dishonest, chances are you’ll end up out of pocket and with bad feedback.
Find a celebrity who wore it
This will attract more people to your listing. If you can find a celebrity who wore it (include a picture if you can), chances are you will get more people bidding on it. You can’t manipulate the search terms or eBay will remove your listing. For example, if Taylor Swift wore the same top as you’re selling you can include “as seen on Taylor Swift” in the title of your listing. However if Taylor Swift hasn’t been pictured wearing the same top you’re selling you can’t include “in the style of Taylor Swift”. 90% of the time this is seen as search and browse manipulation and your listing will be removed.
Be prepared to sell
This sounds self explanatory but you’d be surprised how many sellers cancel/don’t post the item you’ve won because they feel “you’re not paying enough for it”. It’s a bidding site so if you start the auction at 99p, you have to be prepared to sell it at that price. Low starting prices attract more bidders but sometimes, things will only sell at 99p.
Keep a proof of postage for ALL transactions
I’ve been stung with this once- don’t make my mistake. I sold a pair of adidas gym leggings for £18. When i went to post them i said i didn’t need proof of postage (because i was in a rush), two weeks later the buyer insisted she hadn’t received these leggings and eBay refunded her from my account. I couldn’t put in a claim to Royal Mail because i had no proof of postage. So i was out of pocket, still had eBay fee’s to pay and i had no leggings. eBay, generally, is always on the buyers side so you have to take extra measures to protect yourself. eBay’s buyer protection is active for 1 month but PayPal protects their buyers for up to 6 months- keep your receipts for 6 months.
Don’t be put off, this is rare- in the years i’ve sold on eBay it’s only happened to me once. Just be aware.
Your postage charges are not your profit
Don’t increase your postage charges to make a profit. Your postage charges are to cover your packaging, posting and sometimes sellers include listing fee’s too- if you’re going to include listing fee’s then i’d put a little note in the listing explaining this. When you post an item, the price you paid to post it is on the label so your buyer will see this. If i pay £4.20 p&p and this postage was £1.20 i’m not going to be pleased. It’s bad selling practise and people will give you negative feedback for it- which you want to avoid at all costs.
If you’re new, buy first
When you open an eBay account your feedback score will be zero. Buyers will be more cautious bidding on your auctions with a low/nil feedback score. If you buy, say 10 things, on eBay before you list, you will already have built up your feedback score and will likely attract more bidders.
You don’t have to splurge, there is lots of jewellery you can get from China/Hong-Kong listed on eBay and most of it is under £1, or you can bid on auctions yourself to get some experience.
Hopefully you’ll feel a bit more confident after reading this and you can go and make yourself some extra cash. eBay also offers a help page which will provide more information for selling items.
Let me know in the comments how you get on, or my social media which is linked at the very top of my page. Also feel free to link your eBay pages so other viewers can have a look.