When it comes to the world of fashion, it’s no secret that the industry is growing at a rapid rate. In 2019, it was estimated that the U.S. apparel market generated approximately $362 billion in revenue and could be worth nearly $475 billion by 2023. Additionally, eBay’s best-selling category is clothing—no surprise there. “Clothing” is also the second most popular search, following electronics, on eBay. This is good news for clothing sellers and it means you should have a large buyer pool to increase your potential profits. But it also means it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle.
Important principles to understand when selling on eBay include marketing, photography, shipping, and more. With that in mind, our details below will walk you through how to sell clothes on eBay and turn a profit.
How to Sell Clothes on eBay
The proliferation of sites like eBay makes selling clothes online easier than ever. Selling your used clothing is as simple as listing it online. But if you want to turn selling clothes on eBay into a money-making business, you need an understanding of the following:
Understanding the fundamentals of photography is a skill anyone can acquire and it’s an important aspect to successful selling on eBay. Sure, you’ve seen thousands of photos on eBay that don’t look professional, but it’s very likely those items won’t sell the same way as a professional-looking photo. Great product appearance adds to the appeal for buyers. An important thing to remember when selling clothes is that your potential buyers want to see what it looks like on a person. As we all know, clothing looks different on the rack, when they’re flat and unfitted. To help, consider taking a photography course to grow your skillset. Can’t afford a course? There are plenty of books and magazines geared towards helping you learn photography. There are even workshops (online and in-person) as well as YouTube videos available that are completely free. Check out our article filled with helpful tips on how to boost your online sales with eye-catching photos to get you on the right track.
eBay Market Research
The first step in starting a business is understanding the market. That doesn’t go away just because you’re online. To effectively price your items and approach selling, you’ll need to know:
- Average sales prices
- Market demand for your items (consider the season)
- Keywords and categories that are working for others with similar items
- Effective listing formats (fixed price or auction-style)
SEO & Marketing
Next, getting to know the SEO (search engine optimization) world is important for success on eBay. Because SEO is always evolving, it can be intimidating to dive into articles surrounding this subject. SEO includes algorithm updates, developing metrics, and a good understanding of SERPs (search engine results pages). But not to worry, to sell your clothing on eBay you won’t need an in-depth understanding of those topics to reap the benefits. Instead, focus your attention on keywords and how to optimize your listing to include the most relevant terms. There are a lot of sites you can use to find keywords, such as Ahrefs or Ubersuggest. Google Adwords is also a popular resource for sellers. Infuse your listings with keywords, but keep it natural so others can easily read your posts. For example, if you’re selling a pair of Lululemon yoga pants consider including the following keywords: Lululemon, flare yoga pants, yoga pants on sale, Lululemon black yoga pants.
Shipping is a hassle for many sellers, which is why you need to keep those costs in mind when listing items. If you can, check with all of your local shipping facilities to get an idea of shipping costs for different regions. Plus, be sure to read up on auction lot shipping methods before you make your first purchase.
What Clothes Sell the Best on eBay
Simply knowing how to sell your clothes on eBay isn’t enough–you also need to know what to sell. Nearly all items can sell on eBay, but some categories convert better than others. The following categories are the most popular on eBay:
- Vintage clothing
- Ugly Christmas sweaters
- Handmade items
- Brand name items
- Complete sets
While you’re likely not selling too many ugly Christmas sweaters, you might want to focus on a single category. For instance, if you make handmade items that should be your focus for selling. However, it’s important to note, most people are online in search of brand name items at a discounted price.
Where to Buy Clothes to Sell on eBay
There are lots of places to find clothing to resell on eBay and other similar sites where you can do the same. We recommend reading through our detailed guide for buying returns and overstock on eBay to get you started. Whether you’re selling clothing of your own or something owned by a family member, there’s typically a buyer who will be interested. It’s also a great idea to turn to thrift stores, clearance racks, or vintage stores to find hidden gems ideal for reselling. But if you’re looking to turn your online resell hobby into a business, consider buying directly from the retailer. Retailers sell their returns and seasonal items by the pallet at a much lower price. When you buy returns from Amazon or Walmart, you save thousands on quality products. In other words, you could acquire dozens or hundreds of brand name items for bottom dollar.
Believe it or not, many retailers sell their returned items by the pallet or truckload. They don’t have the shelf space for these items, and it often costs more to store them. So, they end up selling them for incredibly low prices (often 30 cents on the dollar). Many of those items go to off-price stores such as Ross or TJMaxx. Small businesses and startups can also buy returned items directly from the retailer. In doing so, they acquire quality pieces that people want – directly from the retailer or brand – and sell them for amazingly low prices–which is incredibly appealing to buyers.
Anyone with a resale license can purchase return pallets from Amazon, Walmart, and other retailers. Pallets can be found at auctions and online marketplaces such as B-Stock’s Amazon Liquidation Auctions.
Start Selling on eBay Today
If you’ve been wondering how to successfully sell used clothes on eBay, you now know that it takes an understanding of SEO, photography, and a knowledge of where to source your products. It’s possible to sell your items or some pieces you thrifted, but to kickstart your reselling business you’ll likely need to purchase directly from the retailer.
B-Stock operates the world’s largest network of liquidation marketplaces made up of today’s most well-known retailers and manufacturers. On B-Stock, you can buy customer-returned, overstock, and liquidated inventory from reputable retailers. Retailers love the ease of liquidation through B-Stock marketplaces, and you should too.