How to Sell on Ebay :: Part One
In my last post, I explained to you how to purge your unworn clothing, for good. Hopefully, you have a huge pile of hardly used clothing and you’re thinking, “okay, now what?” Although, I do advocate donating old clothes, sometimes certain items are too good to donate. Wouldn’t it be nice to get $20 from your favorite sweater? Like I mentioned in my last post, I just started selling on eBay about a month ago. I was completely expecting it would flop, but to my amazement, I’ve made $500 already! Here are some of my tips on how to sell on eBay:
I will assume that you are already a little familiar with eBay. If not, it’s very user-friendly so you shouldn’t have any problems :)
First off, if you have a smart phone and/or an iPad – Get the eBay app! It allows you to have eBay right at your fingertips. You’ll be able to post items and return customer queries lightening fast.
When you are listing an item, the first thing you need is a killer title. Do not excessively capitalize words. Please, do use proper capitalization when needed and correct punctuation! This may seem silly, but I promise you, people are instantly judging your item by how the title is formatted.
I tend to compose my titles like so: Item description (with brand) – Size – Condition. So for example: Express Black Cocktail Dress – Size M – Great Condition!
Doesn’t that look nicer than:
~~**ExPrEsS**~~ black dress HOT HOT HOT
Even if it’s the same dress, which one would you want to click on?
I typically only sell things I think are in great condition. Absolutely no stains, no tears and no defects. I don’t want to give a buyer any reason to be unhappy so I make sure the item is it great condition. The number one rule: be honest
I think one of the main reasons people do not have success on eBay is their pricing.
People have asked me how I go about pricing my items. I always tell them to figure out what would be the least amount of money they would accept for an item. Let’s say you have a pair of Nine West sandals that are in great condition, but didn’t fit right so you never wore them. At what price would you feel positive about getting rid of them. If someone offered you $5, would you accept that? Maybe, maybe not. But what if someone offered $20 for them, then would you accept it? Most likely, and you would be excited because you just made $20!
Now I’m definitely not suggesting you price everything at $20, for most things that will be too high. Here is how I typically price items [for a starting bid minimum]:
Shoes – $10 – $30
Dresses – $10 – $20
Cardigans – $10 – $15
Dress Shirts – $9 – $ 12
Casual Shirts – $7 – $10
The one thing that makes a big difference in pricing is my emotional attachment towards an item. For example, I have a pair of Nike running shoes, they are in near-perfect condition. I can no longer wear them for a medical reason but I still love them. Because of my emotional attachment to them, I made the starting bid a lot higher than if they were similar shoes that I just never wore.
You might think the prices I have listed are too low, but you have to ask yourself if you would rather have $12 or no dollars. If you have three things listed at a starting price of $12 and they all sell, then you have $36 [yay simple math!]. My point is, focus on the big picture! And remember, any money you are making is more money than if you donated all the clothing up front. Anything is a profit.
I like to make all of my items available for the Buy It Now option for those who just don’t like to wait. For this number, I like to at least double my starting bid, maybe a little more. You kind of have to feel it out. And yes, I get people who Buy It Now all the time.
Side note: If an item doesn’t sell the first time, I will post it again but I will lower the price. If an item doesn’t sell the second time, it gets donated.
I think a quality eBay description is often overlooked. Potential buyers visualize your items through quality photos and a quality description. A buyer can fall in love with your item or head for the hills. You want to persuade the buyer. You want them to think your item will enrich their life in someway. That your item will make them look and feel fabulous, chic and stylish. That might sound like a challenge, but I assure you it’s easy.
Like I said earlier, you must be honest! If there are any imperfections [which should be kept at a minimum], let them know and take a picture of it.
So how do you virtually persuade your buyer? The first thing that I write in the description is essentially what I have written in the title. You can be more descriptive here since you’re not limited on space. I will mention again that it is “in great condition!” and [if it is true] I’ll say something like, “it has only been worn been worn a handful of times! No defects or signs of wear.” Then in a new paragraph I will start the real description. I use a lot of adjectives [hello, it is a description!] but I try to avoid sounding too cheesy. For example, if I was describing a black women’s button down shirt, I might say something like:
“This black button-down is a feminine take on a men’s classic. Darting along the bust and waist accentuate your figure, while a bit of stretch assures a perfect fit. The sleeves can be rolled up and secured for a more casual look. Each cuff is accentuated with lovely buttons that give you an extra pop of sophistication. This shirt is great for a day-to-night look; Pair it with a blazer for work, then skinny jeans & heels for happy hour! Very versatile!”
Next I will list the measurements. I know this is a hassle [I agree with you] but it’s a necessity. If you don’t list them, people will message you asking for them anyway, so you might as well. For tops, you need measurements for the bust, waist and hips at a minimum. If you’re feeling especially generous, offer up sleeve length and overall length of the garment. For bottoms, you need measurements for the waist, rise, and inseam (or length). The more details you can give, the better.
I typically end my description by letting the buyer know my items come from a smoke free home and that they are welcome to contact me with any questions. If applicable, I will mention the other brands I have listed and tell them to check out my other listings. Shameless self-promotion.
Don’t forget to fill out all the drop-down menus the best you can. Like I said, the more detail, the better!
And BAM, you have an awesome description!
Now all you need are some killer photos! I will explain how to take [and edit] awesome photos for eBay in my next post. Make sure you subscribe to stay up to date! You can subscribe by entering your email address in the little box in the sidebar to the right :)