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When my wife and I were newly married, she committed a serious relationship faux pas…she talked to me about one of her past loves all the time! About all the time they had spent together, the wonderful gifts she still had (she even got her favorite jacket from this past love of hers), and how much her family supported her relationship. Eventually she introduced us…and that’s how my own personal love affair with thrift stores was started! I was wandering down the aisles a few weeks later and found a beautiful fleece jacket from The North Face. I had been in the market for the exact same jacket for months, but they were just out of my price range – and here was one in my hands for the sweet price of only $6!! But of course, it was 2 sizes too small! It was such a good deal, however, that I just couldn’t put it back. I had the wild idea that maybe I could just find someone who happened to have one two sizes too big and trade them…obviously that wasn’t the best plan…but what did happen was that I discovered the wonders of eBay! The jacket sold for $40 plus shipping a week later, but, instead of heading out and buying myself a jacket in my size – with my newfound money-making power, I headed right back to the the thrift store to see what else I could find! Since then, selling used clothes on eBay has become not only a fun hobby for us, but an extremely lucrative one. Used clothing puts around $1500 in the bank every month and accounts for almost half of our eBay sales!
We always advise new sellers to start with what they have around their own house and then move on to clothes! This is because there are so many clothing items available to source, and the start up cost is minimal. For example, there are many eBay sellers who turn $3 shirts into $20 sales by the dozen. Sounds impossible? Well it’s a lot easier than you think! So let’s break down our experience to help you hit the ground running with the best side-hustle there is!
WHERE TO SOURCE USED CLOTHING TO SELL ON EBAY
Luckily for resellers, there is a plethora of places in which to buy used designer clothes for way less than their internet value. Although we have always favored thrift stores, many people have awesome luck at yard sales, estate sales and auctions, and closeout racks at the mall (known as Retail Arbitrage). Any day of the week though, we can walk into our local Goodwill or Savers and find at least a dozen items that we can triple or even quadruple our money on! Many people are intimidated when it comes to combing through thrift racks – claiming that they don’t know anything about clothing. Well, neither did I when I started, but it didn’t stop me from taking a go! As they say – if you really want to do something, you’ll find a way…and if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse! Knowing only 10-15 brands that typically sell well is sufficient enough to start your eBay business! We commonly share lists of our favorite brands and best sales in our Monthly Sales Updates, so be sure to check them out!
PUT IN YOUR DUE DILLIGENCE
Believe it or not, what most sets really successful eBay sellers apart from the rest is…wait for it…research! And the best way to do research is to use eBay. You can check listings that have already sold using the Completed Listings function on eBay, and learn from and follow in the footsteps of other thriving stores! Your research should go towards finding answers to three main questions:
- What keywords should you use in the title?
- How should you price your item?
- How can you take the best picture of this item?
If you find answers to the above 3 questions, you will have a buyer come along, guaranteed! Everything on eBay that’s priced right will sell eventually.
QUALITY LISTINGS OVER QUANTITY
Many sellers live by the mantra “List, List, List!” Unfortunately, their listings are evidence of their one-dimensional motto. In other words, they’re terrible. When selling on eBay, quality over quantity pays off in the long run. Do your best to improve your items (wash them, iron them, etc.), take good pictures, and ship promptly.
Also, never forget to include the most important part of a clothing listing- measurements! Since every brand’s sizes fit slightly differently, we include several measurements for every clothing item we sell. This has allowed us to decrease our number of returns and, more importantly, maintain a 100% positive feedback score!
For pants, we include three measurements:
- Rise (Measured from the crotch seam, up the zipper to the top edge of the pants.)
For jackets, shirts, tops, etc. we typically include the following four measurements:
- Armpit to Armpit
- Shoulder to Shoulder
- Sleeve Length (Either shoulder to cuff or armpit to cuff.)
- Overall length (Measured from the collar seam to the bottom hem.)
THE BOTTOM LINE
After only a couple months’ work on eBay, we were making enough that my wife was able to quit her job and spend her days at home with our baby. We have, more than a couple times, found clothing items for under $10 that have gone for almost $200! Selling used clothing on eBay has allowed us to work for ourselves on our own schedule. Not to mention that the free time has allowed us to travel and pursue other hobbies we enjoy. Maybe one day we’ll apply all that free time to eBay and grow it into a full time business, but for now, we’ll keep leisurely combing racks at our local thrift store and enjoying the extra income. So get out there and get busy!