Going travelling? Want some extra cash? Then eBay is a great way to make some mullah by selling your old clothes… let’s face it we’ve all got a lot. It can be a/ a ball ache and b/ difficult to master, so here are some tip tips.
As a fashion blogger I not only bought a lot of clothes, and I mean a lot, I also got sent tons of freebies too. If I’m honest even when I was at my most prolific I probably only regularly wore about 15% of my wardrobe. Some stuff was too small, and no amount of running or wishful thinking would remedy that, some stuff too big (from the college years), and some stuff unworn, unwanted or unfashionable.
I found that I was quite ashamed of the amount of clothes I’d accumulated and only worn once or not at all, I had so much stuff that even if I wore a new outfit each day it would take me years to get round to wearing all of it. Disgusting consumerism at its worst. So getting rid of it was cathartic, there were a couple of things that I couldn’t bear to part with, but on the whole it felt good.
After eBaying 100s of items over the course of a few months I had made over £2000, which was probably only a fraction of what I’d paid for the clothes (oh, the shame), but more than I’d have if they were still hanging in my wardrobe. I picked up plenty of tips too – I’ll give you the first one for free. Don’t list 30 items at one time because when it comes to posting it’s a nightmare. Especially if you don’t have a car…
DON’T GET CAUGHT OUT ON POSTAGE
EBay will suggest a postage rate but 100% of the time it’s less than the Royal Mail charge so you end up paying the extra and losing out on cash. Make sure you amend the postage costs so you don’t end up out of pocket. Use other courier services like Hermes to try and get a better rate too.
USE THE APP
It’s a really nifty little app as far as they go, you can snap and even edit pictures straight from your phone which saves sooooo much time. It’s easy to use and it has a very handy draft and schedule feature so you can create listings whenever suits you and save them until you’re ready to go live.
HONE THOSE PHOTOGRAPHY SKILLS
Please, for the love of Beyonce, snap your garms in natural daylight! Taking photos by the yellow light of a 60w light-bulb makes everything look like crap. Take close-ups of fabrications, pockets, special features (or holes and stains) and anything else that the buyer might want to know. A picture is worth a thousand characters so use all 12 pictures.
To avoid unhappy customers, bad feedback and returns (remember eBay will side with the buyer 99% of the time) be fully transparent and decribe and photograph any tears, stains or marks. Be honest about postage times and anything else you can think of that will cover your back.
ALWAYS START AUCTIONS ON A SUNDAY
This is the busiest eBay day: Sunday, late afternoon to evening. There’s just no point ending your auction at 8.45am on a Tuesday because no one is on eBay at that time and you’ll get a crap price. If you’re busy on Sunday just prepare your listings as drafts and simply go live on Sunday or you can schedule them (but sometimes this costs 35p so saving as drafts is always good).
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE LISTINGS
If each listing is 35p and you’re selling 100 items then that’s (wait a minute… wait a minute…er) £35! Add on to that your selling fees and eBay are taking a nice percentage. Always take advantage of the 100 free listings offers and free weekends to save those insertion fees. £35 would last you 2 days in Laos.
WRITE BETTER DESCRIPTIONS
This used to be my job, seriously, I wrote product descriptions for Urban Outfitters and Warehouse before I was a traveller – at this point I reckon I’ve written descriptions for over 10,000 items so I’m pretty damn good. Always pimp your keywords – add search terms like ‘boho, ‘festival’ and ‘blogger’ into titles, write ‘check out my other items’ or similar on the end of each product so buyers know you’re selling more and be as descriptive as you can listing wear, any faults and sizing. If in doubt nick your description from the shop you bought it from. That Topshop dress has already had a description written for it – a quick Google search later and you’re golden.
THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES
I actually hate eBay with a passion – I hate it! Sometimes when at the post office, yet again, I’d lock eyes with another person holding a similarly large sack of parcels and we’d have a fleeting connection. The eyes said ‘help, eBay’. Seriously though eBay is annoying becuase there are always some buyers out to scam you, sellers have no rights and fees are high. The positives outweigh the negatives though and there are millions of people using eBay so you’re more likely to sell.
Here are some great alternatives that I use alongside eBay;
Depop is a favourite with bloggers and comes in the form of an app, it’s kinda like Instagram with shopping. Pros of Depop are that you can easily communicate with buyers, build up a following based on your profile rather than the things you’re selling and you can leave things up for as long as you like until they sell. It’s also really easy to use.
Car Boot Sale
Another alternative is the good old fashioned car boot sale – I’ve never personally done one but I have shopped at many, I think this is best for lower-priced items and lots of them. You probably won’t get the true value of an item, but on the plus side you can shift a lot of stuff in just one day. This is a UK phenomenon, in The States it’s called a ‘yard sale’.
If you have a lot of designer items, you lucky thing, then I’d suggest selling on Vestiaire Collective where you’re likely to find the right buyers and get a better price.
Main Image: The Girls girls having a yard sale. Photo credit: HBO