The first time I used eBay I got so confused. It took so long to upload my too-small H&M playsuit that I gave up in a huff. I think I spent about half an hour just trying to upload photos and give it a title. Ain’t nobody got time for that. My sister’s boyfriend, a seasoned eBay pro, then pointed out that I should a) download the app and b) just use my phone to take the photos. Helpful hints indeed. Duh.
I was pretty skeptical when I started selling. I only uploaded three things to start off with: the H&M playsuit, a polkadot blouse and some denim shorts that haven’t fitted since about 2006. After checking up on my views/watchers manically every ten minutes for a week, I was delighted when I sold all three, but disappointed at having only made £5.
After some research and about four months of practice, I went from selling a couple of ill-fitting things a week to raking in a grand total of over £700 in six months. By just selling clothes that collected dust and I actually probably never liked, I paid for flights to Thailand, expensive travel jabs, and lots of Christmas presents. I think I have well exceeded £800 of sales across the 10 months since I signed up. If you take out about 2 months of not being in the country to sell things, probably about 2 months of not listing due to a new job and stress, that isn’t bad going. Oh, and I’m still selling away, even today, as I write this, the bids are still coming.
I sell a lot less now, as my initial mammoth clear-out eventually all got snapped up. I do now immediately sell clothes when I get bored of them. More room for new stuff and some funds to go towards them. Win win.
These are now my top three eBay rules:
One of the most important things to remember is that images sell. Take nice photos. Try to do them all in the same location to make your sales look more uniform. Pick a nice, clean, plain background like a white door or wall, add a vase of flowers if you fancy, just make it look presentable and enticing. I hang my stuff on a big white shelving unit, with a few pretty little trinkets or candles in the background. Nothing too fancy, and certainly not time consuming.
Take a picture of the label, if there is one, showing the brand and size. If you are selling shoes, photograph the sole, so people know the condition. It’s worth being honest so you don’t have to deal with complaints or buyers opening a case against you. If you don’t mind having a photo of you up on eBay, then take a photo in a mirror of you wearing the clothes, with jewelry and shoes if you can be bothered. Seeing how they fit can make a big difference, as most clothes obviously look better on a body than a hanger. I always use a wooden hanger, just to add to the uniform look of the photos. Little things like this can mean buyers who have purchased your bits before may recognize you as a seller and splash more cash.
Writing a title may seem quick and easy but you need to put effort in. A colleague asked me for some tips once after I had mentioned my surge of selling success, saying she was making virtually nothing on really nice, in-style clothes. Turns out she was selling them under titles like ‘Dress Black Small’. Erm, not ideal. Try to put the brand, colour, size, style, and other relevant words. I hate seeing things for sale listed as ‘Topshop Urban Outfitters H&M’. WHERE IS IT REALLY FROM!? Oh, it’s from Primark. Don’t do that. By relevant words, I mean ‘casual’ ‘office’ ‘night out’ or even ‘urban’ ‘80s’ ‘indie’, whatever style you attribute them too. Clever buyers search using words a lot of the time, so it can get you a whole lot more views. If you’re selling vintage, mention it, and put a couple of sizes if it can be worn baggy or tight.
3- Listings: time and type
If you are selling only clothes, which is what this post mostly caters to, then try and sort them out into collections. Selling too much at once can be costly when you consider paying the fees that eBay charge, even if you get free listings. It can also mean a long, boring, usually frustrating trip to the post office. I once tried to post ten things and nearly left the post officer in tears. (It was Christmas. It was hectic. People were mean.) If you have loads of jumpers, then list them all together, and mention in the description that you have other similar items and will combine postage if people win more than one thing. Also try listing on a Sunday evening, as this is widely known to be the most productive time. If I have something that doesn’t sell a few times, I do try and list them on a weeknight and for unknown reasons it can do the trick. Don’t end things when people are at work or at 4am. It’s logical, right?