Hey all! I am following up one of my previous posts about selling on eBay for some extra cash-o-la. I wrote that post in mind for the newbie who wants to know how to list an item from A to Z on eBay’s website. However, I realized that post it is missing some important information that have, personally, caused me lots of painstaking experiences in selling on eBay. But all the better, so you don’t have to pull your hair out like I did! Today, I will walk you through some extremely important tips for selling your old clothing and shoes on eBay.
First, why should you sell your old stuff on eBay as opposed to yard sales and consignment stores, or even Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark, Thredup, Tradesy, etc.?
Reason is simple. They have one of the largest marketplaces for women AND men’s fashion clothing. With 167 million users a year, eBay just simply can’t be beat. Take a look at the top selling categories on eBay.
(Before I jump in, this post is directed towards those of you who are looking to sell clothing and accessories. Of course, you can sell a TON of other stuff on eBay, but for the most part, 85% of what I sell is clothing and shoes, so I am sticking with what I know.)
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Tips for Selling on eBay + Free Listing Cheatsheet
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links that I could make commission off of. All opinions are my own 🙂
1 | Designate a Space in your Home for Pictures
Clear a space in your home with decent daytime light. Pictures with natural lighting ALWAYS look better in pictures. Only use artificial lighting in dire situations (I avoid this because artificial lighting appears more yellow in images).
For clothing items, I like to use hanging mannequin dress forms. You’ve probably seen them at clothing stores. They are inexpensive and look ten times better than photographing the clothing laying down flat. To use them, I screwed a hook into the wall with the best lighting in my office. See below for a picture. 🙂[insert picture]
If you don’t have the money for a mannequin, simply clear a clean space on your bed or your floor that gets decent daylight. Lay out the clothing down and try to even out any wrinkles.
2 | Take As Many Pictures As Possible
Your pictures will obviously tell a story about the clothing or shoe items you want to sell. So, make sure to get EVERY possible angle. It’s common for me to have at least five to six photos of one item. You may also want to get photos of the following, if necessary:
- Clothing Labels
- Branded Boxes (only if these will be shipped with the item)
- Close Up of the Shoe or Clothing Material
- Any defects or wear-and-tear
3 | Prepare and Plan Your Packaging Before You List
Now, before you go straight to listing your item, I strongly recommend that you stop what you’re doing and go to the store. Or, simply go online and order some boxes or poly bags and packing materials. I ALWAYS package the item, weigh it and mark the package dimensions in order to get a proper estimate on shipping when I go to list it. Trust me, it will be much easier this way if you plan ahead!
Boxes are generally cheap to purchase from Wal-mart, Staples, Amazon, etc. However, if you have a box laying around that fits your item, go ahead and use it! Just make sure any prior shipping labels are ripped off or will be covered with the new shipping label.
If you don’t have any boxes or shipping supplies, here is a list of products that I use:
- Shipping Boxes – Best for Shipping Shoes (without the store shoe boxes)
- Poly Bags – Best for Shipping Clothing
- Packing Tape
- Packing Material – If Necessary (I also use cheap xmas wrapping paper in a pinch!)
In addition to recording the package weight and dimensions, it’s also a good time to take note of any item measurements. For instance, you may need to measure clothing lengths, widths, etc (I do this with the clothing laying down flat). For shoes, I always try to get an accurate measure of heel heights and any platform height too. Keep a notebook around specifically for your eBay items, or if you will be following my blog in the coming weeks (…and why wouldn’t you! hehe!) I am currently creating a worksheet specifically for the eBay planning stages. So stay tuned!
4 | Draft a Robust and Detailed Description of Your eBay Item
This is probably one of the most overlooked steps in listing items for novice…and yes, even some intermediate sellers. Don’t be this person….
While the information is definitely succinct, it doesn’t add much trust in the seller. I don’t know about you, but I like to see more information so I can make a better, more informed decision as to whether the item is suitable for what I need. Below is an example of what my typical detailed descriptions look like:
>> If you want a template for the detailed description like this one, scroll to the bottom of this post for a free download + an eBay Listing Cheatsheet PDF! <<
5 | Research Same or Similar Items on eBay
Before adding a sales price to my item, I do a quick search to determine how similar items are currently priced and how much others have sold for. For instance, if another seller has already sold the same or similar pair of shoes (in the same/similar condition) for $19.99, then I know I can probably sell mine around the same price.
To search for completed listings, type in the appropriate item name in the search bar and hit ‘search’. Then, on the left-hand side, scroll down to till you see a section called ‘Show only’. Select ‘Sold listings’.
You may also see average sold prices and recommendations when you list your item. However, prefer to conduct a manual search with my own eyeballs 👁👁, hehe.
6 | When to Sell as Auction-Style or Buy It Now to Maximize Profit
Ah…the age-old eBay question. I already touched on this in my last eBay post, Yardsales Are a Waste of Time. Earn Cash with eBay Instead, but it is super important detail that I must go over again.
Here’s the rule: Only sell an item auction-style if you know the item is rare and highly sought after. All other items should be sold as Buy-it-Now.
I’ve personally only listed items for auction a handful of times. One of those items was a beautiful Herve Leger sequin dress. After researching online, I knew the dress was no longer sold in stores and I couldn’t find any eBay listings matching the exact dress either. I ended up listing it as an auction for seven days and it sold for over $500! This was definitely an exception for me. But, hey, if you have a lot of rare clothing and shoes, list them as auctions and have fun! Just make sure to know the eBay rules if you have to cancel the listing.
7 | Consider adding a “Best Offer” Selling Feature
So you’ve done your research and you think you know what price you want to list at. But, what if your item doesn’t sell after weeks or a month? Sometimes it just takes…well…more…time, and other times the price needs to be lowered to get more buyers interested. This is usually the case if you have a lot of views, but not a lot of people who are watching the item.
I almost always integrate the “Best Offer” feature when I have items that haven’t sold within a months time. When you do this, you will certainly get lower (and often times lowball) offers. But, I love this feature because you’ll get a better idea of what a buyer is willing to pay. You can also counter the offer if you have a higher price point in mind and leave it up to the buyer to accept or withdrawal.
8 | Leverage “Free Shipping”
A lot of buyers, myself included, will be more attracted to an item with free shipping. Most of the time free shipping will win, even if another item is the same cost or a little lower when you combine the shipping costs. This is more so sales psychology, but it can have a slight effect on how quickly an item will sell. I personally, don’t use this too often. Most of my eBay store items are old shoes and clothing that aren’t sold in stores any longer – meaning there isn’t much competition. However, if there are a lot of items currently being sold by other sellers, I recommend you use the free shipping option to stay a strong competitor.
9 | Get More Buyers with the Global Shipping Program
I love that eBay makes it easy to ship internationally! Don’t skip this item if you want your listing to be available to more buyers.
Basically, when a buyer who lives in an eligible country buys your item, you ship it just as you would any other item. When you go to print the label, a US address designated for the Global Shipping Program will be filled in. Once the package is received at that destination, the shipper will then mail it to the correct foreign address. Super. Simple.
10 | Allow Buyers to Return Items
This can be a tough one. But, as a reputable seller, I believe in returns. Yes, it can be a headache, but I really only deal with a return with one in every 20 to 30 or so listings. It’s a personal choice, but I think it does go a far way with buyers that want to put their trust in your store.
If you decide returns are for you, just make sure to list the item so the buyer is responsible for the return shipping. You’ll also want to make remarks in your item description stating terms the item MUST be intact and in unused/altered condition to receive the refund.
11 | Answer Buyer Questions and Ship Items ASAP
This may go without saying, but you should be prompt when a potential buyer asks a question. And also when shipping items after payment is received.
eBay can and will track how long it takes you to ship. Basically if you wait longer than a day or two, eBay will take notice and mark it against you in your seller rating. But, if you’re prompt at shipping and answering buyer questions, there is not reason why you won’t have a great reputation with eBay and buyers alike. See here for information on eBay feedback scores, stars and your reputation.
(This download is for your personal use only. Please do not distribute without my permission.)
eBay is surely the way to earn some money from old clothing and shoes, but you want to do it the right way to maximize your profit. For a free eBay listing cheat sheet and access to my description template, click the link above!
I hope this post has been useful and insightful into selling your old closet items! If you have any questions regarding eBay selling, please leave them below and I’ll do my best to help you guys out. Or, you can also get information through the eBay Community. Happy eBay selling!