Selling clothes on eBay can be a good way to earn some money. With a few simple steps, you can start earning money by listing both used and new clothing.
And if you’re already an eBay seller, extending your product line to include apparel may increase your revenue.
In this article, we will provide tips for success in eBay’s 6th best-selling category. These include the pros and cons, types of clothes that sell best on the platform, and whether or not it’s possible to sell such items for free.
6 Steps to Sell Clothes on eBay
Whether you’re clearing out your wardrobe or looking to start a clothing business, eBay makes it possible with these simple steps:
Step 1: Set up your seller account,
Step 2: Take great product photos,
Step 3: Write detailed item descriptions,
Step 4: Set the right price,
Step 5: Handle and ship,
Step 6: Deal with customers and returns.
Step 1: Set Up Your Seller Account
It’s easy and quick to create an account on eBay. Head to their website, click the “Sell” button and follow the prompts to create your seller profile.
You can read a more detailed guide on our How To Sell On eBay article.
Step 2: Showcase Great Product Photos
Professional-looking images are essential on eBay to sell clothes. Clear, well-lit photos that demonstrate the details and quality of your items can significantly increase the chances of making a sale.
Creatively composed and high-quality photos catch the attention of potential buyers. Use a solid background without distracting or unnecessary elements, and capture different angles, unique attributes, and brand labels.
Transparency is a virtue on eBay, so include pictures of your items’ defects and flaws. This will deflect any buyer complaints of “item not as described.”
You may also use a stock photo from reputable retail stores. However, you should mention explicitly in your product description that it only serves as a reference, not the actual item you’re selling. Don’t post it as your main image.
Step 3: Write Detailed Product Descriptions
Focus on the title, as it’s the first (sometimes the only) part potential buyers will read. Using keywords such as the brand, type, size, color, condition (new or used), and any unique facets will also help shoppers find your listing. Include everything the character spaces can accommodate.
Fill in the Category (eBay Clothes, Shoes, and Accessories), Condition, and Item Specifics filters. These will help eBay’s algorithm to add your item to search results.
In the description section, provide all the information buyers need to purchase confidently. They can’t touch the items, so use explanatory phrases and describe how they feel when worn.
Fitting is also impossible; therefore, you should furnish accurate measurements in multiple metrics, e.g., XL / xx inches / xx centimeters. Shoppers typically look for these clothing dimensions:
- Pants and Shorts – waist, leg opening, length from crotch to hem
- Skirts – waist, hips, length from waist to hem
- Dresses – waist, hips, bust, hem (a.k.a. sweep), length from shoulder to hem
- Tops (Jackets, Shirts, T-shirts) – shoulder to shoulder, bust, armholes, length of sleeves, front and back neck drop, length from shoulder to hem
Finally, highlight attractive attributes like closures (zipper, button, hook), high-end materials such as silk, or if it’s a collectible. The more details you offer, the more likely buyers will trust your listing and make a purchase.
MORE: eBay listing software
Step 4: Set the Right Price
To attract buyers and make a profit, take the time to calculate the balance between pricing your items competitively and ensuring you earn a fair amount.
Research similar items on eBay to get an idea of the market value. Consider factors like brand, condition, and demand. Higher prices may discourage potential buyers, while too low could undervalue your items.
Lastly, choose either Auction or Buy It Now as your buying format. Use your eBay search results as a benchmark, which you can find in the Show More > Sold Items filters. This will help you decide which format will deliver the best price.
Take note of other helpful information as well, such as average selling prices, market demand, and shipping options.
Step 5: Handling and Shipping
With many options to handle and ship clothes on eBay, a newbie could be overwhelmed. To simplify these processes:
Handling Before Shipping
When listing your item, eBay will require you to include the handling time. This is the number of days from when a buyer pays for it to when your carrier scans the shipping label.
We recommend shipping out your package within 24 hours. In that case, your handling time option would be 1 Day, and eBay will tag your listing as Fast ‘N Free. This will attract more buyers and boost your sales.
However, if you’re not confident of shipping within the 24-hour window, choose the next shortest time. Not meeting your committed handling time will negatively impact your seller rating and result in a dissatisfied customer who could leave a negative review.
Packing and Shipping After Handling
Ensure customer satisfaction by packing your items securely and using appropriate packaging materials to protect them during transit.
Some quick but reliable shipping info:
- You can ship to both domestic and international buyers,
- The buyer or seller can shoulder the payment,
- The Standard Shipping (1-5 days) option gives you an overview of shippers and allows you to choose the cheapest,
- Purchase and print shipping labels to get a discount,
- Get tracking information directly from the carrier because eBay updates are sometimes delayed.
Protect your profits by carefully calculating your shipping costs. Use the eBay shipping calculator before listing your items to factor it into your pricing. Weigh them on a scale in their respective packaging to get an accurate number.
Unless your customer purchases a box of clothes, you can safely opt for USPS First Class for items up to 15.99 ounces. For heavier items, USPS Priority Flat Rate envelopes or boxes are your next cheapest choice, and you don’t need to weigh your package.
Ship items promptly and choose a reliable shipping carrier for timely delivery. Communicate with the buyer throughout the shipping process and provide them with tracking information. A smooth shipping experience can lead to positive feedback and repeat customers.
Step 6: Dealing With Customers and Returns
Respond to customer messages promptly and professionally and provide necessary assistance or clarification.
If a buyer wants to return an item, be understanding and work with them to find a resolution. Follow eBay’s return policy and process the return quickly to maintain good customer relationships.
Upon a customer’s receipt of your item, leave buyer feedback on eBay. Buyers need to build a reputation on the platform as much as sellers do.
Handling customers and returns calmly and carefully will help you build a positive image and increase your chances of repeat business.
What Clothes Sell Best on eBay
Selling shirts on eBay is a safe way to start, but other types of clothing are also in demand, such as:
- Vintage apparel,
- Designer clothing,
- Men’s clothes (#2 best-selling item in 2023),
- Complete outfits (top, bottom, accessories),
- Ugly Christmas sweaters (seasonal).
Used clothing tends to sell particularly well on eBay. Just ensure they’re clean, pressed, odor-free, and wearable.
MORE: How to spot eBay scams
Pros and Cons of Selling Clothes on eBay
eBay is a great platform for selling clothes. However, there are advantages and disadvantages of selling clothes on eBay, which are as follows:
|Easy to use platform||Fees if you cross 250 listings|
|You can reach a wide audience||Each sale and return has a cost|
|You can list any type of clothing||Competition is high, with eBay listings outnumbering buyers by seven times.|
It’s crucial to weigh these factors and consider if selling on eBay aligns with your goals and preferences.
MORE: eBay statistics
Tips For Selling Clothes On eBay
Wondering how to sell clothing on eBay and ensure success? Here is some advice from seasoned sellers:
- Ensure there is market demand for your item. Search eBay for what people buy.
- Be mindful of seasons. Don’t waste time and effort selling swimsuits in winter.
- Modeling clothes turns off eBay shoppers. Mannequins show off clothes the best. Next would be laying them down on a flat surface on a solid background, preferably white or black. Hangers should be your last resort; use only the wooden ones to elevate your items’ value.
- Iron or steam any apparel before taking photos, as the slightest wrinkle will reduce its value.
- Crop your images before uploading them to the eBay app. If possible, add text that indicates measurements.
- Always use natural lighting for your photoshoots. Artificial light and camera flash don’t capture the fabric’s natural colors.
- If your home is smoke and pet-free, add that bit to your product description. It will earn you plus points for guaranteeing that your clothes smell good and don’t include the occasional animal hair.
- “Free Shipping” appeals to buyers more than “seller pays for shipping.” And it allows you to quietly add the fee to the selling price. Plus, eBay promotes Free Shipping listings better than regular ones.
- A clothing item that can’t sell for at least $15 is not worth your time and effort.
- Buy Now gives you more profit than Auction, which forces you to post a lower starting price to kick off bidding and allows buyers more time to pay.
- Stock up on packaging materials. There’s nothing worse than delivering late because you run out of packing tape.
- Add personal touches to your packaging, such as a pretty ribbon or a thank you card, but don’t invest a fortune in them.
Remember to constantly update your inventory and adapt to market demands. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to eBay success.
More InformationCheck our comprehensive guide on eBay tools that can help you optimize pricing and listings, edit photos, automate inventory management, and much more. With these tools, you’ll be well on your way to being a pro in no time.
Selling clothes on eBay will get you top dollar for your wardrobe, and that’s just the beginning. Once you master the process, you can turn it into an additional income stream or a full-blown business.
If you are up to stocking inventory, scheduling photoshoots, cleaning and ironing, packing and shipping, and delivering customer service, you’re a perfect match for a clothing enterprise.