How to successfully sell on eBay

I’m a complete and utter clothes hoarder. I have been since I started making my own money when I got my first job at 17, and it’s continued throughout my twenties.

I got to the point where I couldn’t open my wardrobe or fit anything else on the rail, and my mum would always tell me to try selling some of it on eBay, because in truth I wear the same jeans and tees most days, and half of my clothes were unworn gathering dust.

I’d always refused to sell my clothes on eBay, preferring to simply throw old clothes into a bag and drop them at a charity shop. Giving my unwanted clothes to charity was the easy and lazy option, and once that black bag was tied, the clothes were no longer my responsibility. I was very much of the out of sight, out of mind mindset.

But since I’ve moved out of my parents house and actually had to start paying for things like rent, council tax and electricity, I wanted an easy way to make money quickly, and so I decided to try eBay. I started my eBay sellers account on the 24th May, and since then I’ve sold 36 items and made over £560, which I’m pretty proud of. So keep on reading for my top 5 eBay seller tips.

1) Good photography is key

The first thing I notice when scrolling through eBay or a similar clothes selling app is the pictures. If somebody has taken their time with the picture, I feel more inclined to trust them as a seller because they have taken that extra time to get a good shot. Always take your pictures in natural daylight against a plain backdrop. Use a plain white surface if possible (I always use my bedroom door, because it’s plain white and has nice hooks on the back to hang things), or use a wooden background for a more contemporary image (works especially well for light-coloured items).

2) Anticipate time-wasters and fussy people, and be ready to deal with them

The downside of eBay is the illiterate and technically challenged people that use the site, and they will always message you no matter what you’re selling. You will get people offering you £4 for a £20 dress, and you will have people message you ‘wots the lwest amount u will accept?’. With these people, you have to be ready to answer their questions, so know the exact size and measurements of your items, know the exact fabric it’s made from, and have a minimum price in mind that you’re willing to accept. Don’t undersell your items and panic-accept the first ridiculous offer you get. Hold out for a human being who actually understands how eBay works.

3) Incorporate postage fees into the item price

Psychologically, we are less inclined to buy an item if we see there is a £4 delivery fee on top of the price. For some reasons we see that extra few quid and we instantly start to debate if it’s worth that delivery cost. Always try and add a few extra pounds onto the item price and list the delivery as free, as this way you aren’t losing out, and buyers are more likely to buy your stuff.

4) Think carefully about action and buy now

When I first started selling, I was very inexperienced and listed everything as buy now. I wondered why none of my items were getting watchers, until I realised that people prefer to think they are getting a bargain. If you are selling something like a phone or furniture, definitely use buy now, and you are more likely to this way for bigger and more expensive items. But for clothes, always use auction (with offers accepted), and always list your item as low as possible to get initial interest and bids.

5) Post your items the next day, and use tracked delivery

I’ve been lucky so far in that all of my buyers have been satisfied with their item, and have received it quickly. I would always recommend posting things the same day or the next day, especially if you want to keep up your great reviews. Use signed for delivery always, as eBay will always side with the buyer if an item ‘goes missing’, and tracked delivery ensures that you have postage proof.

Remember, selling is always the more accountable and long-term beneficial solution to getting rid of unwanted clothes. Be wise, and keep on, reading the signs of your wardrobe.

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