How To Sell Clothes On eBay: Getting Started
Clothing is the number two most popular (best selling) category on eBay. FYI, electronics is number one. Yet, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked “Can you sell clothes on eBay”, I’d be super wealthy!
What people are really asking with this question is, “Can I really make money on eBay by selling clothes?!”
Some folks assume they won’t be successful selling clothes on eBay because there’s already too much competition. Others worry they won’t be able to find or afford to buy inventory. And, then, there are those who are concerned because they aren’t fashionistas.
If you are willing to put in some effort you absolutely can make money (even a living) selling clothes on eBay! Used clothes, your clothes, as well as thrift store, garage sale, and big box retailer clothes – ALL can be sold on eBay and you can reap the profits!
Over the 20 plus years I’ve been an eBay top rated seller, I’ve learned tons of tips and tricks about how to sell clothes on eBay and I’m sharing them with you for FREE!
Ready? Let’s get started making money on eBay!
The Best Way to Sell Clothes On eBay
Another question I’m often asked is, “What’s the best way to sell clothes on eBay”? That’s really a number of questions rolled up into one.
Within that question lurks the following questions:
- What Clothes Sell Best On eBay
- How To Make Money Selling Clothes On eBay
- Is Selling Clothes On eBay Worth It
- Where To Find or Buy Clothes To Sell On eBay
- How NOT To Sell Clothes On eBay
That said, the best way to sell clothes on eBay is to rise above the competition. Now, that may sound silly because it’s such a basic concept. But, there are thousands of sellers out there who haven’t the foggiest idea of:
1. Product Photos
– Why product images have to rock and how to take great photos
2. eBay Marketplace Research
– View average selling prices
– Find the best performing keywords and categories for your listings
– Track products to gauge market demand and seasonality. View average selling prices
– Determine the most effective listing format—fixed price or auction-style
– Easily monitor your competition
3. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
– Driving more shoppers to your listings
4. eBay Shipping
– Shipping costs can eat up your profits if you don’t know how to calculate them
Even if your goal is just to make a few extra dollars per month take some time and read over the tutorials above. put your best foot forward and you’ll be surprised at how well you do!
Is Selling Clothes On eBay Worth It
There’s an extremely emotional component to selling clothes on eBay. IMHO, it’s never been more eloquently described than in Jessica Pishko’s essay, Selling My Clothes on eBay Saved Me, One Rating At a Time.
Jessica’s story touched me deeply because I can relate to her statement, “I desperately wanted to believe that I could transform myself”. In the book I’m writing, I talk openly about how I was a single mom and in an abusive marriage when I started my eBay journey.
Now, 20 years later, selling on eBay enabled me to help 2 of my kids through college and become a successful entrepreneur.
Also, like Jessica, I consider each email, letter, social media message, and picture I get from customers a gift. Their notes are filled with inspiration, motivation, gratitude, and love.
I’m going to shoot straight with you. Selling clothes on eBay takes effort. You have to source them, research them, take pictures, write descriptions, ship them, etc. However, you have to do that with any product you are selling on eBay (or anywhere else for that matter).
But, if you become a trusted source in your niche or even in the general category you have a ‘forever’ client base. People will always need clothes. So, you’ve got a never ending supply of shoppers.
When the economy tanked in 2007, eBay antique and collectible dealers lost their shirt. But eBay clothing sellers saw an increase in sales.
With clothing there’s always a steady supply and demand. Plus, you get to be a part of your customer’s special life events, helping them to make beautiful memories. What’s not to love about that?
What Clothes Sell Best On eBay
Honestly, this is my favorite question about selling clothes on eBay! Why? Because the kind of apparel items that can bring big money are endless and so interesting!
Here are some niche areas that bring in the cashola on eBay:
1. Vintage Clothing
Take for instance the bright red vintage slip I used as the featured image of this tutorial. It was part of an estate so I paid very, very little for it. Yet, after some eBay research I find that a fair asking price is $59.00! If it sells at this price my profit margin will be BIG. Really BIG!
Researching Vintage Clothing
2. Complete Ensembles
Putting together complete outfits and selling the whole ensemble is a growing trend and the markup is hefty. If you’re the creative sort this is a prime opportunity for you to bank the bucks!
When sellers have clothes that aren’t high ticket items as an individual piece they match them with other items (including jewelry) to create a ready made outfit.
A number of sellers keep mannequins in various sizes just for this purpose. They dress the mannequins in the outfit, snap some photos, and voila!
3. Ugly Christmas Sweaters
Yes. You read that correctly. Ugly Christmas Sweaters. Did you see the Shark Tank episode where the Tipsy Elves guys got a deal? Well, they’ve done over 6 MILLION dollars in sales since that deal.
The point of bringing up Ugly Christmas Sweaters is to illustrate that following trends and tapping into the right niches can pay off – BIG TIME!
Click to read my tutorial on How to cash in on the ugly Christmas sweater craze.
4. Skip The No-Name Brand Rule
Name brands are still high on the profit making charts but you can get away with a “no-name” if the item is an authentic “vintage” item. If it’s not an authentic vintage item then stick to brand names and consider the “Skip The No-Name” strategy to be an actual “rule”. 😉
BTW, handmade clothes can be big time money makers but you must include a great title/description/pictures for this to hold true.
How To Make Money Selling Clothes On eBay
At first this question seems like a “Really?” Everybody knows that to make a profit on anything you have to buy low and sell high.
While that’s certainly true, it’s only half the story.
Unless you know what the market value of an item is then there’s no way for you to accurately “buy low and sell high”. This is where my beloved and trusted WorthPoint comes in to save the day and help us all make more money!
I don’t buy anything for resale on eBay until I’ve researched it through WorthPoint. Period. End of story.
Click the banner below to get your FREE trial with WorthPoint!
Where To Find or Buy Clothes To Sell On eBay
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Your own wardrobe, Family and Friends
- Work, Church, and Clubs
- Yard & Garage Sales
- Thrift Stores
- Retail Clearance Sales
- Antique & Vintage Stores
- One lady I know goes through eBay listings to find the gems that can be bought for very little money but sold for a big profit. Meaning, she finds listings with poor quality photos, weak descriptions, etc. She buys from these sellers, does a better job at listing the items and brings in the money!
How NOT To Sell Clothes On eBay
Along with “Do’s” must come “Don’ts”. A great example of “Don’t” is …
I had a good friend that loved shopping for clothes at thrift stores. Her goal was to stock up inventory so that she could become a “clothing” seller on eBay.
She would buy EVERYTHING that she loved – thinking how cute or pretty the items were that she thought would be perfect for eBay.
The problem was she never looked at the labels. She only cared about the style of the items that she felt SHE would wear so that must of meant that everyone would like it too.
Also, she only bought clothes that were in “her” size. Her theory was that if it didn’t sell, she could wear it herself.
This type of shopping is all great if you are shopping for items for only yourself but this is not the greatest technique to shop for items to resell on eBay.
What has happened to my friend? Yep you guessed it. She has ended up with a spare room in her home loaded with clothing items. That room has literally become her personal closet.
Her plan was to create inventory to list on eBay but unfortunately this plan has not worked because 98% of the listings she put up on eBay did not sell. This caused a lot of frustration. That’s when she came to me for an eBay consultation.
I advised her to go through the clothes and determine their value as an individual item. If an item’s worth wasn’t very high, the strategy was to toss it in a box. This accomplished two things:
- Created boxed or bundled lots which gives a much higher selling price than trying to sell low value items one at a time. Because these were her personal clothes they were all the same size. This makes a terrific boxed lot.
- Quickly moved a large amount of inventory.
Back in the day, eBay consignment clients used to bring me trash bags full of clothes. I would make boxes, label them with sizes, and go through the same process my client/friend did.
So, you see. There are all kinds of ways to sell clothes on eBay! Even better, there all kinds of ways to make money by selling clothes on eBay!
Have questions? Need help? I’m here for you!