Getting Rid of My Clothes and Successfully Selling Them | Tips and Tricks

Sunday, 19 April 2020

All of these clothes are on my Depop and Ebay. Shipping is to Australia only but I will consider shipping internationally if you send me an email or message me on Depop/Ebay. 

Being at home all the time has really encouraged me to be productive. I have gotten into reading and having finished 'The Barefoot Investor", it gave me clarity into the financial outlook of my life and how wasteful I am with clothes. I used to work in fast fashion retail which did not help me at all and only left me accumulated with mountains of clothes I would never wear mostly with tags on. Disgraceful right. 

Every now and then, I would take pictures of clothes and try to sell them - on Depop or Ebay with the hopes of getting some money back with various levels of success so I thought I would put together a few tips I've learnt along the way. 

1 Is it really sellable?

I like to think put yourself into someone else's shoes. How likely are they going to buy the item? Often the only items I sell are either brand new with tags or without the tag but they are branded and therefore, people may buy them. The bralets are from Urban Outfitters and one of the skirts without tags is from American Apparel (are they even here anymore - I thought they went into administration). The items I will put on sale are on trend or classic pieces. That shirt with a hole in it that you haven't worn in 5 years - throw that out or donate it. Donating items is such a great choice and you will have your wardrobe feeling more free. 

2 Take really nice photos to let your product really pop 

By selling your clothes, you need to market and advertise it - make it look really pretty so people are more likely to click and buy. I often use a prop such as flowers for background. I bought a vase with fake white flowers from Kmart for less than $10. If your clothes don't sell, it isn't because your clothes suck but more so your reach hasn't been broad enough for people to consider buying. So at least having nice photos will let your viewer consider purchasing your product. If you're not selling it well- it probably won't sell. I can always tell which products are more likely to sell based on their brand, condition and how I've presented them. I'm right the majority if not close to 100% of the time.

3 Price reasonably cheap 

Think of all your clothes as a sunk cost. That pair of culottes you bought for $80 even though you've never worn it will not sell for $80 believe me. Unless you're an influencer or like Kylie Jenner and your fans will buy it for just below cost price or higher, you will unlikely have success in selling. I like to think that any money I make is a success and a profit because otherwise I'm getting $0 for having my clothes sit there in my mountain of junk. This has definitely taught me the importance of buying a few nice pieces than hoarding a bunch of junk just because it was on sale. 

This is why Ebay is great because of the bidding system- price them relatively cheap (Ebay has this feature where it estimates how much you should start your bidding based on similar items- I use this feature to set my price). There is also a Buy It Now feature where I price the item much higher. For example, those $80 culottes I might price at $20 on the bidding system but $40-50 for Buy It Now. I'm more likely to gain traction through the bids but I am also satisfied if someone did pay the 'Buy It Now' price. 

On Depop, I'll price it towards the 'Buy It Now' price. The reason being is that I would like to make some money (I'll just decrease the price eventually if it doesn't sell) but it is much easier, in my opinion, to be negotiable on Depop as it feels less businessy and more personal and people can personally message you. You can message on Ebay too but it feels a bit corporate. 

4 Be patient 

Your clothes may not sell ever and it's ok. I often go in phases when I'm shipping 5 pieces a week and  think girl, you're a hustler. But then I may not sell anything for months. However, eventually you will start to see sales and it's really exciting but you just have to be patient. I do find a lot more success on Ebay than Depop. I think the main reason for this is you're more likely to go through a sale once you've successfully bidded. As a buyer, you are obliged to go through the sale. Sometimes, I'll get a dodgy one who will never pay be back and I'll just make the sale go live again (Ebay is absolutely useless in customer service if I have any issues - it is definitely a protect the buyer situation even though they should be protecting both). As a seller, you've be notified of the whole process from bids to purchase and when you should ship the item. 

I do see sales on Depop but it is much less common and more sporadic. Even though the majority of items on my Depop have been sold, the majority of them are actually sales from Ebay and I've had to mark them as sold on Depop. 

Also be careful with how much you are selling on Ebay at a time because you may be charged with some big fees for having too many product listings (you're only allowed a limited amount of free listings). This has happened to me and it hits me hard because I don't sell my clothes for much anyway. Depop is better this way because they do not charge fees for listings but they do take 10% of sales if your buyer pays through Depop directly. When I bought a few things off Depop, I wondered why I would pay via PayPal directly or in person (if the person was based in Sydney). Usually I don't care because I would rather make that sale immediately. You can see I heavily believe in the sunk cost concept when it comes to my clothes (my love for economics is coming through). 

Note: In general, I find a lot more success when selling footwear and beauty. I think the reason for this is quality- you really should only be selling beauty if it has never been used (or at least lightly swatched) so most of it will be great quality and it is all branded. It does not have to be high end. I've sold Anastasia Beverly Hills, Too Faced and Fenty Beauty but I have also sold Australis and NYX (which are sold in drugstores). It is also good to sell things that are not readily available. For example, Colorpop is a great brand to sell because it is online only. Things that are limited edition also are great to sell. 
Footwear for me is very easy to sell for the same reason. The condition of the items are excellent (because they've never been worn and are all in the shoe box it came in) and also branded. I've sold Pumas, Timberlands, etc. These items are more in demand than clothes. Nike Air Maxes are going to be more in demand than my $80 Topshop culottes. There is a reason it is called fast fashion. 

So my clothes are all in great condition and branded - why don't they sell as well? 

The reason I think this is because the fashion market is overly saturated. There are just so much clothes out there and many people's preferences is to buy something from the store directly that's brand new unless it's vintage or something along those lines. I also believe size is a huge factor and is very heavily subjective. Just because a skirt is a AUS/UK 14, it may run small and actually suit a 12. Beauty is a one size fits all situation and footwear is rather consistent. For example, I will wear a size 7 1/2 or 8 in sneakers but a size 7 in heels (because I want a tighter fit). It is still subject to brand sizes but overall, it is more objective and consistent than clothes selection. 

A huge drawback to being a buyer in these online situations such as Depop and Ebay is most likely you will not able to return the item. This means it is more important than ever to buy in the right size and think you will enjoy the product. This, in my opinion, makes it easier to buy something like footwear or beauty because the likelihood you will enjoy the product will be more consistent than fashion. 

I hope these tips have helped you or maybe have inspired you to clear out your wardrobe. More importantly, really start to think of the value of your clothes in your wardrobe. Those pieces you wear really often - what gravitates you towards it? When we start thinking of these questions, hopefully it shapes and maybe alters the way we continue to shop clothes (Spoiler: you don't need as much as you think). 

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