Our wardrobes are jam-packed – the average closet holds 100 items, 22 of which are never worn. The average woman has over $1000 worth of underused (only worn once) or unworn clothing items (tags still on) sitting in her wardrobe. Whether you want to move a few things to make room for the new season’s purchases or go on vacation this year, but your bank balance is telling you ‘NO WAY,’ look inside your wardrobe and consider selling your clothes online.
Before you start, there are three things to consider. Firstly, you have to be clear what you want to achieve – how much money do you need to make? This understanding will keep you focused, and if necessary, ruthless when tackling your wardrobe. Secondly, the selling won’t happen overnight: expect a two-month turnaround. Thirdly, only sell what you can see yourself without; selling then regretting is a horrible experience. Here are my straightforward and easy to follow tips for selling your clothes online.
Ready to sort and sell? Let’s go:
1. Focus on one section of your wardrobe at a time.
Trying to tackle the whole wardrobe at once can be stressful so initially focus on 1 area at a time: summer/winter, work/play, bags/shoes. This process creates some order to process and not leave you feeling overwhelmed.
2. Give yourself enough time.
I’ve done one section of a clients’ wardrobe in 3 hours, but this includes re-styling the clothes as well. Set a stopwatch for 30-minute intervals and see how many items you sort in the time allotted. Understand that this process may take more than just a weekend.
3. Be prepared.
Lay out clothing bags on the bed and label them ALTERATIONS, SELLING, CHARITY. You may come across a designer gem of a dress, but the hem has dropped: put this in the alterations pile. A small outlay to get the hem fixed is worth it in the long run to get your dress sold.
4. Be honest with yourself.
Those items we don’t wear anymore but can’t bear to part with, need to be considered. You can’t wear memories so if you are keeping hold of dress because you had a particularly good night out wearing it, find photos of that night out instead and sell the dress.
How much have you used and worn your clothes? If an item still has the tag on, this shows you didn’t love it enough to cut it off and wear it. Items with tags on sell well; on eBay, they are described as BNWT (Brand New With Tags) which gives you license to price them higher than a second-hand item (no tags and which you have worn).
5. Keep in tune with the seasons when you clear out.
Coats and knits sell great on eBay from November through to February. Summer listings start to creep in around March. Don’t forget festival season as well – headbands, jean shorts, crop tops – all essential festival wear.
6. What labels do you own?
Mid to top-end high street labels like Zara, J Crew, Reiss sell well on eBay, as does suiting and plus sized clothes. During the three years, I have been running The Wardrobe Angel I have found that jeans don’t sell well, however blouses, tops, jumpers and coats do. Any vintage clothing should be taken to a specialist vintage dealer.
7. Designer labels less than two years old sell well.
Sites such as Vestiaire Collective offer a haven for second-hand designer clothes. That said, classics will always sell: Channel bags and jackets and Louise Vuitton bags for instance. Call local resell shop to ask what labels they stock and what their turnover stock is. You want to move your clothes on as quickly as possible, so you need to make some decisions – sell on a designer clothing website (may sell immediately or not at all), sell at a resell shop (could sell in 6 weeks) or put on eBay (could sell in a week)? All have pros and cons.
8. Always check a similar item on eBay before you list your item
This check will give you an idea of how much you can expect in return. Don’t forget the charges! eBay and PayPal both charge you for using their sites as do brick and mortar and online resell shops. As a rule of thumb, whatever your items sell for you will get 50% of the sale price.
9. Take clear photos and list with precise descriptions
Buyers want to be sure they are buying something they will like and will fit. Take clear and well-lit photos of your items, so there are no surprises after purchase. If possible, find the original image from the store you bought the item from, take a photo of yourself in the article, and one of the item alone. Be sure to include a description of the price for the buyer as well.
10. All clothes should be clean and in a saleable condition
No holes, stains or alterations, ironed, crease free and on a hanger. Designer bags sell better with their dust bag so dig that out and press it. Place the clothes for the vintage dealer and the designer clothes for the dress agency on wooden hangers and package them in a garment bag. Present your clothes like presents.
For more help on selling your clothes, contact Stephanie Roper at The Wardrobe Angel and be sure to check out her Ebay page for some great finds!
Guest Post by Wardrobe Specialist, Stephanie Roper – The Wardrobe Angel