12 Expert Tips for Selling Used Clothes on eBay

As the 2023 season of Winter Love Island continues, the show’s partnership with eBay has had an undeniable impact on consumer interest and general awareness of pre-loved clothing. In fact, research revealed that 53% of Love Island viewers who had awareness of Love Island’s partnership with eBay, purchased “pre-loved” clothing during the last three months.

With growing consumer interest in buying and selling pre-loved clothing, the trends team at online discounts platform, Wethrift have put together some handy tips on how to maximise profits when selling your pre-loved clothing on eBay.

1. Research the Market Before Setting your Prices

It’s always a good idea to scope out the market before you set your price. Doing a quick search across eBay for people listing similar products, and of a comparable quality, will help you to benchmark how much to list your item for. You can guarantee that any potential buyers will also be doing their own research to make sure they can’t secure the same deal for cheaper elsewhere.

2. Auctions vs Fixed Pricing

Unlike many resale sites such as Depop, eBay resellers benefit from being able to list items under a fixed price, or auction bidding. When it comes to selling a rare product where demand outweighs supply, auction pricing works best if you want to drive up a bigger profit margin on your item.

Make use of the ‘Best Offer’ price setting on your ads. This will allow sellers to make you an offer on your listing, rather than waiting for the bidding to end. You then have the choice to accept or reject their offer, which is particularly handy when it comes to speeding up the selling process, if the price is right of course.

3. Be Strategic with your Timing

If you are setting your pricing to the auction model for a high demand product, set your listing to end on a weekend, or during the evening between 7-9pm, maximising the number of bidders likely to be online. If you set your listing to end in the middle of a working week day, you will receive much lower engagement.

4. Postage

If you’re not sensible with your postage and shipping, the costs can eat up a large proportion of your profits, especially if you’re selling low value items. Weigh your items in the packaging that they will be shipped in, and factor this in when setting your price. There are many useful tools such as the eBay Fee Calculator where you can calculate your fees and profit margin. Free shipping can entice potential buyers, but be mindful that this will reduce your profit margins.

5. Take Good Quality Photographs

An essential for selling your clothes and accessories online, lies in the quality of the photos you upload to tempt buyers with. Ensure that when photographing items, the image is high resolution and clear. Always make sure that the lighting is good, and try to avoid taking photos against a messy backdrop, as this may be off-putting to potential buyers.

When reselling clothing, consider modelling the item yourself, or on a mannequin if you have one, so that prospective buyers can get a clearer idea of how it fits on the body. Take photographs from all angles – the front, from behind, and on the side. If your item has any standout features, such as sequins or jewels, take some close up shots.

If you are selling a designer brand item, take a close up photo of the brand tag, logo and its original packaging and include these within your listing.

6. Be Detailed in your Listings

As well as your high quality photos, you’re going to need to write up a detailed description of the product you’re selling. Be specific about the product, the brand, the size and the materials. Also list any unique features or selling points of the product. Make suggestions on what kind of outfits the piece would work well with, to help prospective buyers visualise the look.

When setting your listing title, be detailed. Include as many keywords as possible, including the product type, brand, size, colour, as well as any additional relevant features that you think a potential seller might search for.

Put yourself in the mindset of the buyer, and think about what you would be entering in the search bar to find a similar product. Optimise your listing to make your product searchable for your buyers.

7. Be Honest with your Descriptions

It’s important to be honest and list any damages or faults with your items. If people feel that they’ve been mis-sold, they will complain, request a refund, and leave potentially damaging reviews on your profile. Nobody wants the hassle of having to issue refunds and having their seller reputation tainted for the sake of one sale.

8. Keep an Eye on Trends & Seasonality

Being mindful of trends is a great way to time when you list certain items. For example, if a designer bag was trending on social media due to a celebrity being spotted with it, or is featured in an upcoming series of Sex and the City, then it would be an ideal time to list the product for sale. Capitalise on the trend when consumer interest is at its highest, and always keep seasonality at the forefront of your mind when selling.

9. Deliver Good Customer Service

Good customer service is a key element of being a successful eBay seller. Answer your messages promptly, and always aim to be friendly and as informative as possible with your replies. If you tell your customer that the item will be posted on a particular day, keep your word, keep them apprised of any updates from your delivery service, and always lead with honesty.

10. Be Flexible with your Returns Window

Another benefit of selling on eBay is you can set your own returns window. Setting a generous returns window of 30+ days is a great way to entice potential buyers, as it gives them plenty of time to try on the clothes and decide whether they wish to return the item.

11. Ask Buyers to Leave a Review

Reviews are essential if you want to establish yourself as a successful seller on eBay. Politely ask your satisfied customers if they wouldn’t mind leaving you a positive review, to reflect the level of service they received. This will help you to build up credibility and trust, meaning potential buyers will be more likely to buy your items. Star ratings out of 5 will be displayed across all of your future listings on eBay.

12. List Items Regularly

Improve the visibility of your seller profile by listing items regularly. The more ads you have live, the more likely that people will visit your seller page and consider you trustworthy.

The team at Wethrift have conducted a study on resale sites for designer fashion items:

In third place was eBay, an eCommerce giant with a staggering surge of traffic each month – 564.4M. However, despite this, eBay’s overall placement in the list could have been dragged down by the site averaging a 1.6 rating, possibly dissuading people from selling or buying from there for a second time.

Visit Wethrift or more information on the study and the full ranking of the resale platforms analysed.

This article was submitted by Wethrift via JBH UK PR.

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There are great tips. These going to be very helpful in my business. Thanks and keep sharing.