How to Sell Clothes on eBay
September 13 2019
An eBay business account is right for you if you’re looking to buy and sell clothes in large quantities. If you just want to offload your old clothes and aren’t going to sell many items, then you’re better off with a personal account. The main difference between personal and business accounts is the selling fees you will be charged.
Whilst eBay selling fees will be covered in greater detail below, it is worth knowing that there is no listing fee for personal sellers: with a personal account, you will only be charged a final value fee once your items have sold.
For business accounts, there is an insertion fee that applies even if the item doesn’t sell in addition to the final value fee. Although it’s cheaper to sell through a personal account, bear in mind that you are required to have a business account before you can resell clothes or post large numbers of items for sale.
Certain eBay selling fees apply regardless of the type of account you have. All users are charged a final value fee for each item they sell on the site. For those selling clothing, this fee is set at 10% of the final value of the sale including the postage price. (Note that business accounts selling other product categories will be charged different fees, so check the eBay Final Value Fees if you’re looking to sell anything other than clothing.)
There are a number of optional extra features that incur fees regardless of whether the item is sold. Sellers can post items with a reserve price, meaning that the item won’t be sold unless the bids reach a certain amount – the minimum amount for this is £50 and eBay will charge you 4% of the chosen reserve price up to the value of £150 per item.
Auctions can also be posted with a Buy It Now price. This enables buyers to purchase your item before the end of the auction at a fixed price and costs the seller an additional 50p.
Sellers can choose to enhance their listings in a range of other ways. For £2, subtitles can be added to a listing in order to make it stand out from the other search results on eBay (subtitles are included as a line of text beneath the listing).
You can also improve the way your listing appears in the search results by adding a gallery of larger product images. This gallery will be shown when users mouse over your post and is free for users selling clothes, shoes, and accessories. The fee is £2.50 for users selling other product types.
If you want to list your item in more than one category, the extra listing fee for the second category is 35p. Sellers can also schedule their auctions to begin at a certain time with the eBay Bidding Scheduler tool. This is free for the first 1,000 items posted each month, but costs 6p per listing after this point. In addition to the standard 7-day listings, you can set an auction to run for a special duration. A 1- or 3-day auction costs an extra 35p. Shorter auctions can be effective when you’re selling a very popular or exclusive item, helping you to create a bidding frenzy.
Business account users can sign up for an eBay Shop. This provides you with a number of free listings and fee reductions as well as other benefits. There are several packages available. Each package provides you with a different range of benefits and monthly subscriptions start at £25 per month. You can find out more information about eBay Shops here.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of eBay accounts and selling fees, it’s time to start selling some clothes! The first task is to conduct some research. Unless you’re simply looking to sell old clothes, you’ll have to choose what sort of clothes you are going to buy and sell. Start by searching eBay for different styles and brands of clothes to find items that are selling at a decent markup. You might find, for example, that a particular pair of trainers are in high demand at the moment and are selling at a high price.
The next step for resellers is to find a place to buy your items at a lower price than you plan to sell them. This might be achievable within eBay itself – look for clothes that are selling at a broad range of prices, then simply buy low and sell high. Sometimes you can get lucky on an auction and then sell the item at a much higher Buy It Now price. If this isn’t possible, then you might consider buying from online clothes wholesalers or purchasing branded clothes that are on sale in stores.
Once you’ve got the item(s) to sell you need to research the market. Spend some time looking at how other sellers are pricing and describing similar items. Use high-quality existing listings to guide you through the process of creating a description. Decide what price you’re going to sell at based on the range of prices out there on eBay at the moment.
So you’ve got your clothes, understand the market for them on eBay, and have some idea of how you’re going to describe them in your listing. Before going on to create your listing you need to take some clear, high-quality photos of your items. If you’re selling darker clothes, find a plain white background to use as a backdrop (for lighter clothes a darker background would be more appropriate).
Ensure that the lighting is adequate. Natural light is always better, so pick your photo spot accordingly. Take photos of all parts of the clothing so that buyers have a complete view of the item on sale – this could include close-up images of any embroidery or labels for branded clothing. For second-hand clothing, make sure that you take pictures of any faults to avoid any problems with buyers reporting you to eBay.
For a detailed guide on how to take photos for eBay, check here.
Now that you’ve taken some high-quality images of the clothing you wish to sell, you can move on to the listing stage. You can list an item for auction by clicking the “sell” button, which can be found at the top of every page on eBay.
The first step is to choose descriptive keywords for your item. Provide as much information as possible. For example, if you’re selling a pair of trainers you should at least list the brand, product name, and size. At this stage, you will be asked to select a similar product from a selection of items that are already being sold on eBay.
Having selected a similar product, you will need to select the condition of your item from the following options: new with tags; new without tags; new with defects, or used. Next, you provide further information about the item. Pick a title, upload your photos, provide the item specifics, choose a price, and set a delivery fee.
Choosing a title is an important part of the process. This is the text that will appear with your listing, so it should attract users’ attention as well as accurately describing the product. Just make sure that you’re not misleading any potential buyers! Check with other similar product listings for reference. You could choose to go with the most common title out there for the product you’re selling; alternatively, you could try and make your listing stand out with a unique title.
When setting the price for your item, you also have to select a format. This could be a standard 7-day auction – for this sale format, you will need to ensure that the opening bid you select is appropriate for the item based on your previous research. Alternatively, you can post your item at a fixed price with the Buy It Now option.
Think carefully about the delivery fee. During your research, you may have noticed that some items are listed with free postage whilst others charge for delivery. The choice is up to you, but you should consider the effect that these two options could have on a potential buyer. Strangely enough, some people will be willing to pay more overall for items that are shipped for free! In addition to specifying a delivery fee, you also need to choose how you are going to deliver the item from the available service options.
Finally, you need to write a description of your item. As with the keywords, you should provide as much information as possible to help potential buyers. Even though you have already provided the item specifics, you should describe the condition, material, colour, size and brand of the item as a minimum – these are the details that eBay recommends providing, but you should also list any other important information. Think of the description as your sales pitch: as well as providing the full details of your product, you should also use this space to persuade users to purchase it.
You will be notified of the outcome once bidding on your item has finished or someone purchases it using the Buy It Now option. The buyer will then pay for the purchase via PayPal – you’ll receive an email to let you know when the money is in your PayPal account.
Once you’ve received payment for the clothes, you should arrange to have the item delivered as soon as possible. Choose some packaging that is an appropriate size and type for your item.
For t-shirts or smaller garments, you may wish to use a polythene mailing bag. If you’re delivering a pair of shoes or a larger item of clothing, then a box may be more suitable. Boxtopia stocks a wide range of different boxes, or you can make your own bespoke boxes with our calculator.
More fragile items or clothing with fragile elements may require special consideration. Ensure that you protect your items during transit using appropriate protective packaging. If you’re unsure about how to go about this, check out Boxtopia’s blog post on how to package fragile items.
Having packed your item for delivery, you should print the label using eBay’s Print Postage feature. Attach this to your package so that it can be seen clearly during delivery. Once you’ve sent the item, it’s a good idea to send the buyer a message on eBay to make them aware that it is on the way. Include tracking information at this stage if available.
An essential part of your customer service is to provide feedback once you have received payment. Leaving a positive comment can encourage buyers to purchase from you again in the future – satisfied customers will also be more likely to leave you favourable feedback, which is invaluable for any eBay seller. All being well, the process will have gone smoothly for you and your buyer. If not, you can open up a dispute through eBay’s Resolution Centre.
Hopefully you’ve found this article on how to sell clothes on eBay useful. If you want to find out more about selling on eBay, then check out our guide on how to make more money on eBay.