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Tips and Tricks on Selling Clothing Online

Updated on December 11, 2021
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 ways of making money online. One way to earn some extra cash is by selling your clothing online. So, if you have a closet full of clothing you don’t wear anymore or have never worn before, selling clothing online may be for you.


Clothing

When selling clothing online, you should first decide which items you will sell. After that, there are a few steps to take before putting 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 clean clothing! 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, the item is not suitable for sale.

Information

When selling clothing online, it’s essential 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 always to let the buyers know the size of the item. If the size is not regular, you should also let the buyer know this upfront. Every little detail is vital as the potential buyers can’t touch the items or see them in person.

Be honest

Be honest about the state of the clothing. If you are selling an item 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, Vinted, 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, check a few things.

Terms and conditions

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

Platform fees

You should check if the platform asks for fees for each sale that you make. If you think the price is too high, you can choose another platform.

Subscription

Some platforms ask you to subscribe to them 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 essential to know which selling area the platform supports, especially when selling 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 various platforms, you should permanently delete them right away from the other outlets when you have made a sale. If you don’t do this, there is a chance that a buyer will buy the same item 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 sale brings additional administration with it. On some platforms, you as a seller might have to pay a fee for not delivering.


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Pricing

You need to keep in mind different elements 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 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 must 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 your profits.

Tip: if you give your buyers the option to pick up the clothing at your house, you will not have to worry about shipping costs. When letting the buyer 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 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 essential when selling clothing online. Nobody will buy the clothes when trying to sell clothing, but no photos are added of the actual clothing. Therefore, it is essential to add pictures of each item you sell.

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 images are clear, you should take the photos with enough lighting. Natural (sun)light would be best for this.

Background

Your clothing will look best against a neutral background. You could hang them on a coat hanger against a neutral-colored door to reach this. You could also lay them down on a neutral-colored floor. If you have some extra time and want to go for it, 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 they 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 crucial 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 others. If you want to be sure of this, you can print the label. This way, you eliminate all misunderstandings. Nowadays, many 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, they might get irritated. And an annoyed 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.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Kimberly Martis

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