A Beginner's Guide to Selling Your Clothing Online
Maybe your closet is too full? Or perhaps your style preferences have changed? You know you need to weed out your closet, but does it sort of feel like just throwing money away to donate everything? If you are someone who has wanted to sell some of your clothing online, but don't want to be a full time reseller, read on to learn the basics... with a few extra tips that not many people are talking about!
Join an online marketplace
Choose a platform to sell your clothing on. There are a lot of choices here with different reasons to choose one over the other. Some of the most common are: Depop, Poshmark, eBay, and Mercari. They can all be found on the app store and downloaded directly to your phone.
Joining a platform like the ones listed above is key, because there is a built in audience for what you are trying to sell and their search engines will allow your items to be found and viewed by those interested in them.
Evaluate your articles before deciding to list
Carefully check over your item to make sure there are no flaws. Any minor or major defects will need to be included when you list. Remember that anything too worn out or damaged will have less of a chance of selling. Overall you will want to have an honest evaluation of the condition before listing (i.e New, Excellent, Great, Good, Fair, etc).
Take clear photos
Remember that your buyers can’t try something on or even feel what the fabric is like. Good photography is important to attract the right buyer to your items. You should aim to display each piece in an appealing way, but most importantly in an accurate way. Be sure your photos capture the correct color and fit of each item. You can place the clothing on a hanger against a blank wall (make sure it is a nice wooden or velvet hanger as opposed to a wire or plastic one!), model the article to show fit, lay the item flat on a clean plain surface--or do a combination of all! You should be able to do all of this with your smart phone.
Create a listing on the marketplace
These reselling app have made the listing process pretty simple! Most of them will have an icon button that says "list an item" or "start selling." Once you click the button, you will be guided through what information is needed to sell your item.
The basic steps of creating your listing on any platform will be:
-Upload your photos. Each marketplace allows a different number of photos. Depop allows only 4 photos. Mercari and e Bay allow 12. Poshmark allows 16.
-Write a description using concise key words so that buyers can find your listing. Remember this is how buyers will find your item, so think about your key words the same way you look to buy something online.
-Fill in necessary descriptors required by the app, such as brand, size, color, etc. These descriptors are part of the listing form and will be offered in a drop down menu for you.
-Decide on a price. Do your research to know how similar items are being priced. An easy way to do this is to use the search function in the app you are choosing to list on.
-Enter shipping info. All of these online marketplaces will create a shipping label for you! You can choose whether you want the buyer to pay for shipping costs, or it you want to offer free shipping to them (meaning you will pay for the cost out of what you charge them). When your item sells, you simply print the label out. The app will ask you prompt questions about the item's weight and size to help know what the label will cost.
-LIST! Your item will be live on the marketplace and available to the billions of people who use these apps to search and see 24/7 and around the world. Make sure to turn your notifications on, so you can quickly answer any questions a potential buyer might have and to see when you have made a sale!
The extra steps that not many people talk about
Measure your items. From brand to brand...modern to vintage, sizing can fluctuate. A size 10 for a vintage article could be the same as a size 2 for a modern piece. Adding measurements will give you buys more security in knowing how something might fit. Check out my sizing guide for ideas on what measurements to include in your listing. Measuring tapes are inexpensive to acquire and are handy to have around for both buying and selling online.
Weigh your items. Most online marketplaces will generate a shipping label for you--but in order to know what type of label (first class vs priority) and how much shipping costs, they require you to input how much the item weighs. The only place this doesn't apply is Poshmark, where there is just one set price for shipping anything up to 5 pounds. I recommend using a food scale for this because most clothing items weight under 2 pounds and first class shipping is calculated by the ounce. You can buy them at most grocery stores, Wal-Mart/Target and online.
Keep your listings fresh. After 90 days on any marketplace your listings start to lose relevancy in the search algorithm. In order to keep your listings fresh, fully repost the listing and delete the old. Even if the old listing has lots of likes/watchers I have found that it is better to get new eyes on the listing then to let it continue to sit.
Follow these steps and you will be on your way to turning your unwanted clothing into cash! You will also be decluttering responsibly. Instead of shoving clothing into bags and donating them to a thrift store (where only 10% of clothing gets re-homed), you can put them into the hands of those who actually want them!
Drop any questions you might have below!
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you,I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.