If fashion is your passion, then you may have a closet (preferably a walk-in closet) full of clothes. Cool streetwear, favorite designer items, and the best vintage t-shirt you found at the thrift store. Or a bit closer at home when your mom finally handed over her (in)famous little black dress and not to mention that great oversized leather jacket that you've "borrowed" from your father for the last couple of years. You love them all and can't bare the thought of selling them. But babe, it's time for a reality check. If you haven't worn or even thought about wearing some of these items, it's time to let them go. Whether you donate them or let your little cousin rate your closet, there is no wrong option here. But I have another option for you to consider: selling them online.
You will not get rich but gain some extra space in your closet and some extra cash to fill those empty spaces again. Sound like a win-win situation to me. So let's get into it!
When selling clothing online, you should first decide which items you will sell. This may sound easy, but it can be a daunting task, especially when you get easily attached to stuff. Therefore it's essential to take your time and pick your items wisely. Because sold is sold, and there is no way back! 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. The item is not suitable for sale if there are stains on the clothing that you can’t get out.
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 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 detail is important as potential buyers can’t touch or see the items in person.
Be honest about the state of the clothing. If you are selling an item missing a button, you should tell your potential buyers. This way, the buyer will know what they can expect and decide if they think the item is worth the money. It would be best if you also were honest about how many times you’ve worn the item. Of course, this doesn't mean that you have to mention that you've worn that miniskirt to that great beach party on holiday in Thailand, but you may want to mention that you've worn it more than once if asked.
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. Local platforms also allow you to (only) sell clothing in your own country.
When choosing a platform to sell on, check a few things.
Terms and conditions
Many people don’t read the terms and conditions, which are usually very long. Yet, it is crucial to check them as this can make a big difference in your online clothing-selling adventure.
You should check if the platform asks for fees for each sale that you make. You can choose another platform if you think the price is too high.
Some platforms ask you to subscribe to them to sell items through them. A subscription to a selling platform may be free, but you also need to pay for subscriptions. This can vary from a one-time payment to a payment every month.
It is essential to know which selling area the platform supports, especially when selling your items internationally.
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 being disappointing, the buyer canceling a sale may bring additional administration. On some platforms, you, as a seller, might have to pay a fee for not delivering.
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.
You must pay shipping costs when sending the items with DHL, UPS, or another packaging company. 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 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, safety always comes first!
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. And some platforms do not ask for anything financially at all. If you decide to use a platform that asks for fees, you need to make sure that you include these platform fees in your selling price.
Pictures are essential when selling clothing online. Nobody will buy the clothes when no photos of the actual clothing are available. Therefore, it is necessary to add pictures of each item you sell.
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 photos with enough lighting. Natural (sun)light would be best for this.
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 extra time and want to live out your supermodel dream, you can pose in the clothing for the photos. It would be best to do this outside to benefit from the natural lighting. This will also give the potential buyers a clear image of how the clothing will look on one's body. And you may gain some cute pictures to post on your Instagram. Oh, and don't forget to do your hair and make-up if you decide to model the clothes yourself because a look isn't a look unless it's a look. If you know, you know!
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.
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 packaging. Another thing you need to consider when packaging the items is that the package should be water-resistant. If you wrap the items in ordinary wrapping paper, they may not arrive in a good state.
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.
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 more of your items or 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.