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Tips and Tricks on Selling Clothing Online

Updated on June 23, 2019
Kimberly Martis profile image

Kimberly Martis is a Dutch Caribbean freelance writer. She writes about culture, beauty, tv-shows, music, movies, odd jobs and fiction.

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There are many different ways of making money online. One way to earn some extra money is by selling your clothing online. So, if you have a closet full of clothing that you don’t wear anymore or never worn before then selling clothing online may be for you.

Clothing

When selling clothing online you should first decide which items you are going to sell. After that, there are a few steps to take before you put your clothing up for sale. First, you should make sure that they are clean. Washing them or getting them dry cleaned is a part of this. Don’t spray perfume on them as this doesn’t count as clothing being clean! Besides that, perfume only masks smells and doesn’t take them out of the clothing. And the buyer might not even like the smell of your perfume. If there are stains on the clothing that you can’t get out than the item is not suitable for sale.

Information

When selling clothing online it’s important to give your potential buyers as much information as possible. Some platforms have standard formats that you should fill in. Others just have an open field. Make sure to always let the buyers know the size of the item. If the size is not a regular size you should also let the buyer know this upfront. Every little detail is important as the potential buyers can’t touch the items or see them in person.

Be honest

Be honest about the state that the clothing is in. If you are selling an item that is missing a button you should let your potential buyers know this. This way the buyer will know what they can expect and decide if they think the item is worth the money. You should also be honest about how many times you’ve worn the item.

Platform

There are a lot of platforms where you can sell clothing. The most popular ones are Depop, eBay and Craigslist as they are well known. There are also local platforms that allow you to (only) sell clothing in your own country.

Checklist

When choosing a platform to sell on there are a few things to check.

Terms and conditions

A lot of people don’t read the terms and conditions as these are usually very long. Yet it is very important to check them as this can make a big difference in your online clothing selling adventure.

Platform fees

You should check if the platform is asking fees for each sale that you make. If you think the fee is too high you can decide to choose another platform.

Subscription

Some platforms ask for you to subscribe to them in order to sell items through them. A subscription to a selling platform may be free but there are also subscriptions that you need to pay for. This can vary from a one-time payment to a payment every month.

Selling area

It is important to know which selling area the platform supports. Especially when you want to sell your items internationally.

Multiple platforms

Offering your clothing on multiple platforms increases your chances of making a sale. When you’re putting items on sale on multiple platforms you should always delete them right away from the other platforms when you have made a sale. If you don’t do this there is a chance that the same item will be bought multiple times. If that’s the case you will have to disappoint one of the buyers as you only have one item to sell. Besides disappointing, the buyer canceling a sell brings additional administration with it and on some platforms you as a seller might have to pay a fee for not being able to deliver.

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Pricing

There are different elements that you need to keep in mind when pricing your items. Since your items are second hand (even if they have never been worn before) you should keep the prices low. Of course, a low price for a designer item differs from that of a non-designer item. But whatever the item may be the price can’t exceed the original pricing.

Shipping costs

When sending the items with DHL, UPS or another packaging company you will need to pay shipping costs. These can be pretty high. Make sure that you calculate this upfront and either include them in the selling price or let the buyer know that there will be extra costs for them to pay on top of the selling price. You can also offer to pay the shipping costs yourself. If you do this you need to be aware that this may cut into your profits.

Tip: if you give your buyers the option to pick up the clothing at your house than you will not have to worry about shipping costs. When choosing to let the buyers pick up the clothing at your house it is best to have someone with you at home for safety. As you never know who your buyers are and safety comes first!

Platform fees

Some platforms ask fees for you to be able to sell through them. Some platforms only ask for a (small) percentage for each item that you have sold. Other platforms ask for you to get a subscription to sell through them. Make sure that you include these platform fees in your selling price.

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Pictures

Pictures are very important when selling clothing online. When you are trying to sell clothing but don’t add pictures of the actual clothing nobody will buy the clothes. Therefore, it is important to add pictures of each item that you are selling.

Clear pictures

Make sure all the pictures you upload are clear. Blurry, vague and dark pictures will not show the details and beauty of the clothing. To make sure that your pictures are clear you should take the pictures with enough lighting. Natural (sun)light would be best for this.

Background

Your clothing will look best against a neutral background. To reach this you could hang them on a coat hanger against a neutral colored door. You could also lay them down on a neutral-colored floor. If you have some extra time and really want to go for it then you can take the pictures outside. In this case, it would look best if someone is wearing the clothing. This will also give the potential buyers a clear image of how the clothing will look on one's body.

Tip: match some items and take pictures of them as a set. This way potential buyers might buy more items at once as you have already shown them how the items may look when put together.

Shipping

Packaging

When shipping the items, you should make sure that you package them well. The package shouldn’t be too big as this will cause unnecessary shipping fees. But the package shouldn’t be too small as it would not be a good look as the items may arrive wrinkled. Therefore, it is important to pick the right size of the packaging. Another thing that you need to think of when packaging the items is that the package should be water-resistant. If you just wrap the items in ordinary wrapping paper they may not arrive in a good state.

Label

When putting a label on the package always make sure that the label is readable. And this means not just for you but also for others. If you want to be sure of this you can print the label. This way you eliminate all misunderstandings. Nowadays a lot of platforms offer you the option to print a label that they provide. If this is an option it's best to use the provided label.

Time

Try to ship the items as soon as possible. If it takes a long time before the item gets to the buyer, he/she might get irritated. And an irritated buyer will most likely not buy any more of your items nor recommend you to friends and family.

Tip: write your buyers a thank you note. Just a short simple note that thanks them for their purchase. This goes a long way and your buyers will appreciate it.


© 2019 Kimberly Martis

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