How to Make $1,000 This Month Selling Your Clothes on eBay

When closing closet doors becomes difficult and dresser drawers are overstuffed, it’s probably time to purge. But convincing yourself that you no longer need that slinky dress you wore one time three years ago is only half the battle. Often, it’s determining what to do with all your old clothing treasures that’s even harder.

Typically, we make three piles: donate, give to friends/family, and consign. The last pile, however, just might be worth way more than you think. And selling its contents on eBay will likely provide a far better return. (It’ll also make parting with your items a bit easier!)

Consignment shops do the work for you. You drop off your stuff, and the retailer handles the resale process. It’s pretty nice, but the convenience factor comes at an enormous price: normally between 25 and 50 percent of what someone else deems your things to be worth. And while eBay does take a portion of what you earn through sales, it’s usually only 10 percent of what you decide the price tag should be. A little more work and a lot more monetary return for you.

But, you think, isn’t selling on eBay complicated and time consuming? It doesn’t have to be. Follow these easy steps to start and streamline your eBay business. It’s time to cash in on your clutter! I recently cleaned out my closet and made $1,000 selling all my old items! While most item sell for about $20, the cash adds up quickly with these simple tricks:

1. Set up a seller account.

Setting up your account should take no more than five minutes. Select a username; enter and confirm your name, address, and phone number; and specify an automatic payment method for paying your seller fees.

2. Set up a PayPal account, and get verified.

PayPal is how to handle financial transactions when selling your items. Set up an account, and make sure to also get “PayPal Verified.” This increases your credibility on eBay, raises your sending and withdrawal limits, and allows you to sell internationally. To get verified, all you have to do is log in to PayPal, enter your bank account information, and follow the site’s simple directions for confirming it.

3. Know what your stuff is worth.

Do your research! Certain brands—and certain products—retain a lot of value. For example, hot J.Crew items that sold out quickly might resell for quite a bit, even if they’re used. Same goes with items that gained popularity on blogs. (Remember back in the day, when Blair made red Hunter rain boots a chic closet staple? They’re still going for over $80 on eBay!) A quick search on eBay will give you a good idea of what you’ll likely get for your inventory, and might encourage you to move a few items from your other piles.

4. Don’t underestimate the power of an iron.

Clothing should be clean and (appear) tidy. Tip: Iron or steam while watching a movie or television show to make the task more enjoyable! Posting an item that is wrinkly shows potential buyers and bidders that you don’t take care of your clothing, and makes them think twice before buying.

5. Set up a “shooting” area.

Good photos are key to making sales! Find a white wall that gets good natural light, and install a 3M hook that can withstand some weight. Ditch the white plastic hanger for a wooden, velvet, or sequined one.

6. Photograph and edit.

No need to bust out the DSLR anymore! Smartphones have come a long way, and so has their photography quality. Use a photo-editing app like Snapseed to both take and edit the photos. Increase the exposure for brighter and more appealing images! (But make sure not to over filter, which skews the coloring of your item and makes the photo less crisp.) For each listing, snap photos of item’s front, back, brand/size label, and materials label. You should take pictures of any damage or well-worn spots. When finished, place the items in storage containers and keep them in a dry location.

7. Download the mobile app and list your items.

The mobile app is the quickest way to get your stuff up on eBay. When you open the app, click the “sell” icon at the bottom of the screen, and follow directions. Make sure to be completely honest about your products. If there’s a small stain on the sleeve or a pull in the material, mention it in the description.

8. Price appropriately.

You can choose to list your items for a “Buy it Now” price, or put them up for auction (starting at $0.99 or at a predetermined minimum). Decide what you’re comfortable with, and refer back to #3.

9. Once an item sells, ship it quickly.

Use old packaging materials to cut down on costs, and include a tracking number on all shipments. (To save time, use the self-service kiosk at your local USPS!) Enter the tracking information into your eBay account and respond politely to buyers’ questions.

10. Watch your PayPal account grow!

Follow these easy tricks, and you’ll be well on your way to a side hustle (and making money) in no time!

 

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READ: 7 Questions to Ask When Cleaning Out Your Closet

 

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  • Jaqui

    POSHMARK is great too! Super easy!

    • In my experience, Poshmark is too elitist. People spam a lot and unless its a designer bag, no one wants it. You really have to have a “following” to get sales, AKA be a huge blogger or play on the app/website hours a day.

      eBay has worked better for me personally. Just wanted to share my experience!

      • Thanks for sharing your experience!

      • LA Woman

        THANK YOU WORKS FOR ME BETTER TOO!!
        Poshmark to me is just ghetto! I mean they will make post with a customer’s pic and info or another sellers the if they have an issue saying “DON’T SELL TO THIS PERSON” OR if it’s another seller they say DON’T BUY FROM THEM and say they have fake or irregular stuff I mean it’s unprofessional and low class. Elite is hardly the word the girls are fat and sloppy for the most part as well modeling clothes about to rip who wants a stretched out garment it’s comedy and yes they are on there all day I mean for what I saw the same stuff weeks at a time but I just can’t get over the catty little games and the stuff they say to people it’s weird very odd behavior if their intentions are to make money.

      • Flandy Orton

        How well can it work?

  • this is perfect timing! I have a pile of clothes waiting to be “dealt with”… I haven’t sold on ebay before so will try this out!

    • James Jean

      Beginners who don’t know how to find a supplier for eBay, and don’t know which products they should sell online. eBay “Power Sellers” dirty trick to increase traffic and boost eBay sales and Profit. Check it out
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  • Alyssa Loring

    I’ve been cleaning out my closet and listing things on ebay and Poshmark. It helps to show photos of the items on, too!

  • I have a friend who sells on eBay often and she says that items get a higher price if you save the tags – you can cut the tags off – but display the tags in photos.

    • Totally agree! Triple points if you happen to have the original packaging.

      • susan

        Do you mean price tags? ….So they see what you originally payed?

        • The bag that the item came in, if you ordered online. 🙂 But yes–price tags help, too! (Arguably more.)

  • Tracy

    How do you decide what to estimate for shipping costs? Do you usually just factor in a quick ship box from the post office?

    • Hi Tracy!

      This is such a great question. Typically, I keep my shipping costs around $4.99, unless it’s a piece of jewelry or something large/heavy, like a coat or a bag. (Then I’ll charge up to $9.99.)

      Everyone has their own feeling on shipping costs, but I kind of feel like lower shipping costs attract buyers. Personally, I don’t buy online unless shipping is free or pretty minimal… so I try to keep that in mind.

      Depending on where I’m sending to, some packages end up costing more than that $4.99… or less. But to keep things easy, I usually ’em all the same. It seems to even out in the end!

      Oh, and I only use USPS Flat-Rate boxes for extremely heavy things. Otherwise, I use my own makeshift packaging. Tip: Put everything in a plastic bag to avoid water damage!

      Hope this helps!

      xx

      Kelly | Kelly in the City

  • LOVE this article, girl! I am definitely giving this a shot.
    Katharine
    http://www.paytington.com

  • I started doing this with clothes and other items when I moved last year and the return has been amazing!! Definitely a great article!

  • Jo

    I love this article! I’ve always wanted to sell on ebay but I’m afraid of the legality issues. Is there anything I should be particularly aware of, if not, I will follow your steps and start selling. Thanks!!

    xo Jo

    http://www.whiterosesandcoffee.com/

  • Wow! This is a great idea!
    Amanda
    http://www.affordablebyamanda.blogspot.com

  • Danielle Leach

    I took your advice and started my own eBay page! Thanks for sharing the tips! Day one down and so far two sales!

    http://www.ebay.com/usr/ellepaigeandhenry?_trksid=p2047675.l2559

  • Bren

    In regards to selling internationally, are there any hoops to jump through for export regulations on clothing? I don’t mind shipping internationally as long as I know it isn’t a huge hassle. Thanks for answering my question 🙂

    • Sarah Nunez

      I send it as a gift, because the taxes the buyer will have to pay is a lot.

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    • Tiffany Davis

      Be quiet Bella batali everyone knows your a man

  • Greta

    Such a great post, thank you! I will definitely be using this advice.

  • Grace

    How do you make your post stand out? I went in to do a search for “dress” and a ton of clothes from China showed up on my feed.

  • This is a great idea. I’m going to tell my girlfriend to do this! Seems like a similar strategy to this video actually.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yik0zFl71kE

  • Gemma

    This is such a great post! Here is my blogpost, check out my ten tips to optimise selling potential on eBay https://gemmalynsey.wordpress.com

  • LA Woman

    Poshmark has immature bitches average 19-25 years old and just so rude if you ask a question or ask to see a picture of whatever some will even call you a loser if you don’t buy it after. They also say rude things about other sellers and customers they will make post with the picture of the buyer or other seller it is do unprofessional and low class. They also put stuff up not for sale to show it off like it was Pinterest which is annoying and a waste of your time f you see it and go to try to get it I mean it’s do unmanaged it’s a free for all the girls trade stuff to one another all day people who go on there don’t stay too ,long that’s why they basically like I said sell to each other or trade all day it’s not worth it AND unlike ebay they can dut false info and pics with no repercussions! Also they will sell for instance a lotion that is 3/4 done that can’t be sanitary.

  • I’m using http://www.wuanto.com to find the most Popular clothes on Ebay. It’s my secret weapon!

    • Thanks Antoni! Wuanto is an awesome eBay tool!

  • Rachel

    Random question, but where did you find your awesome hanger in the photo?

  • Sandy

    Not nearly as easy as it sounds list 50 items and you MAY sell 2 or 3
    You will pay 15-20. % to eBay and paypal. List things low to get “lots of bids” be prepared for it may sell with one bid. I’ve been doing it for 3 years

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  • Surely these tips will help me to give new ideas for my business too. I will definitely try for this.

  • Sariya

    Very nice information about ebay.

  • Along with all the official guidelines of eBay it is needed to prepare the product images properly. Otherwise it wont be possible to attract the customers as well as to increase the sales.

  • Lily

    What’s your suggestion on a return policy?

  • Great Blog, Kelly. It is so important to have large beautiful photography when you’re
    selling clothing. Visually showcasing the latest collection and styles
    will entice your visitors to shop further into the site. Hire a
    professional photographer to provide striking images of all your
    products.

  • Knitting90

    Hello I wanted to thank you I followed your advice in this article and have done exceptionally well on my first ebay sale- some items goingfor 5 times their original listing price – much appreciated

  • Dannis Thornton

    has anyone sold vintage/upscale clothing that looked perfect only to have the buyer email that the item has body odour that went undetected until the buyer wore the item? How can you ensure the clothing you sell will have NO ODOUR?