How to sell gently used clothes on eBay

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

70_438728000.jpgWhether you’re selling your clothes, your friends clothes, your kids clothes, or some that you bought at a yard sale….the most important first step is to group them together by size and season. Take out anything that has major flaws, wash wear, stains. Try to look at your clothes in indirect sun light from your window. Stains are more easily spotted this way. Some tiny imperfections are ok, just make sure to point these out in your auction and include pictures if you can. A good rule of thumb is to never sell anything that you wouldn’t buy yourself.

You can sell items individually but it is very time consuming. (Not to mention have to pay listing and final value fees for each thing, PLUS shipping individual pieces can really eat up your time). If you have expensive name brands this could be worth it though. But for more common names a group lot is the way to go. (As a buyer I look for groups to buy because it is more cost effective for me, most people are the same way). 

If you have lots and lots of clothes to sell then try to do a group of 20-40 items. Match outfits together and take your pictures that way. From my on experience I can tell you that several pictures of outfits get more bids than a picture of shirts together, then the pants together in another shot. If there are cute details, take close up pictures. Clothing is a very personal thing and since your viewers can’t touch your stuff you want to give them as much detail as you can.

Write a good description. It doesn’t have to be a novel but there are certain things you must include:

How many pieces are in your lot


*Condition. If they are like new say that they are in excellent used/pre-loved condition, or that they look like they’ve never been worn, or worn once. eBay doesn’t like you saying something is “like new” and may close your auction for this. If there is some wear be sure to explain if it’s wash wear, piling, fading, normal wear. Be as specific as you can to avoid unhappy buyers and refunds. These types of clothes would classify as great or good used condition. Also, if there are any small holes or stains you definitly want to point this out.

*Brand names. If I have a huge lot I will name off the popular brands then just say “plus more” for the more unknowns.

  1. Other less fun details that need to be included:

    *Shipping cost. I like to charge a flat rate and include this in the auction, it’s less confusing this way.

    *Return policy, which is totally up to you, but you do need to let them know what to expect. 

    *Taxes, if any.

    *Handling time. I stay at home with my small children, so it’s really not practical for me to say that I can ship within 24 hours…it’s ok, so just say so. My policy is 3 business days, but I usually have it out within 48 hours.

    *If your home is smoke free, it’s always nice to state that.

    Your title is the easiest thing to really mess up your auction. I’ve seen it happen over and over…. you must pay attention to what you write here. Reread it to make sure there are no spelling mistakes. You are only allowed 55 characters, so make it count. 

    A good title would be: 

    40pc Lot Toddler Girl Clothes Fall Winter Gymboree 2T

    It gives lots of info, how many pieces, the fact that it is a lot (group; many people search with the word “lot”), the gender, size and age of the wearer, the season, and a brand name.

    IF your lot is nothing but Gymboree or Abercrombie, etc then it’s a must to get that name in the title. If it’s a mix then it’s not such a big deal, try to put the best one in if you can. 

    You must, MUST include the word “clothes”. I’ve run across titles like this: Boys Blue Sweater

    I swear it’s true. Nobody will find that. If you were looking for a sweater for your son you would probably search “boys 4T sweater”…….which would not pull up that title. 

    If you’re not sure, just type in the words you would use to search by if you wanted to look for what you are selling.

    And I must repeat myself one more time about the correct spelling. There are lots of websites that can be used to find misspelled auctions on eBay. There’s a good chance that only one person will do this, find your auction, and steal your Abercrombie (that you spelled “Abrecrombie) hoodie away from you at your start price (unless you follow my tips in the next step). Don’t let this be you.

    I’ve been doing this for awhile so I feel fairly comfortable with starting auctions at .99 or less. I know that my groups are put together well, good outfits, good condition, and up to date. So I’m confident that I’ll get lots of bids. PLUS a low starting price on a good lot will turn lots of heads. 

    BUT, if you are new and nervous then by all means do one of two things:
    Either start your auction at the lowest possible price that you would be willing to sell them for -OR- Set a reserve price. Mostly I hit home runs but every now and then someone will get a really good deal from me…. but this is more the exception than the rule. Do what you feel comfortable with, and you’ll learn as you go. If you are selling your own stuff verses stuff that you bought from a yard sale to resell then it’s a lot more personal, and emotional. So go ahead and protect yourself with one of those options.

    While it’s true that most of your views on your auction will be during the first 24 hours and last 24 hours, that doesn’t mean that a 3 day auction is ideal. 5 days is better, but I prefer to go the full 7 so that your weekenders get a chance to see it. 10 day auctions cost more, and I haven’t noticed a big difference between my 7 and 10 day auctions.

    There’s lots of debate about what day is best to end on. I’ve heard that Sunday and Monday are the best, but I have luck on pretty much any day but Saturday. I’ve found that the *time* the auctions ends is far more important than the day. Period. I always end my auctions between 9:00-10:00 EASTERN standard time. So adjust yours accordingly. That way all the folks on the East coast are still up, but the people over on the west side have had a chance to come home and check their auctions.


About Author

Leave A Reply