10 Tips for Selling Preloved Clothing During ‘Second Hand September’

Second Hand September is Oxfam’s campaign to raise awareness of sustainable fashion, with thousands of people committing to purchasing only second-hand items for the entire month. If you are thinking about selling some of your preloved clothing and accessories, September is the time to do it.

With growing consumer interest in buying and selling pre-loved clothing in line with Second Hand September, the trends team at online discounts platform, Wethrift, has put together some handy tips on how to maximise your profits when selling your pre-loved clothing on online resale platforms

1. Do market research before setting your price

It’s always a good idea to scope out the market before you set your price. Doing a quick search across eBay for people listing similar products will help you to benchmark how much to list your item for. You can guarantee that any potential buyers will be doing their own research too.

2. Be strategic with your timing

If you are setting your pricing to the auction model for a high-demand product, set your listing to end on a weekend, or an evening between 7-9pm, maximising the number of bidders. If you set your listing to end in the middle of a working week day, you will receive a lot less engagement. 

3. Postage 

If you’re not sensible with your postage and shipping, this can eat up a large proportion of your profits, especially if you’re selling low-value items. Weigh your items in the packaging that they will be shipped in, and factor this in when setting your price.

There are many useful tools such as the eBay Fee Calculator where you can calculate your fees and profit margin. Free shipping can entice potential buyers, but be mindful that this will reduce your profit margins. 

4. Take good-quality photographs 

An essential for selling your clothes and accessories online is the photos. Ensure that when you’re photographing items, the quality of the image is high resolution and clear. Always make sure that the lighting is good, and try to avoid taking photos against a messy backdrop, as this may be off-putting to potential buyers. 

When reselling clothing, consider modelling the item yourself or on a mannequin if you have one, so that prospective buyers can get a clearer idea of how it fits. Take photographs from all angles – the front, from behind and the side. If your item has any standout features, take some close up shots. 

If you are selling a designer brand item, take a close up photo of the brand tag, logo and its original packaging and include these within your listing. 

5. Be detailed on your listings

As well as your HQ photos, you’re going to need to write up a detailed description of the product that you’re selling. Be specific about the product, the brand, the size and the materials. Also list any unique features or selling points of the product. Make suggestions on what kind of outfits the piece would work well with, to help prospective buyers to visualise the look. 

When setting your listing title, be detailed. Include as many keywords as possible, including the product type, brand, size, colour, as well as any additional relevant features that you think a potential seller might search for. 

Put yourself in the mindset of the seller, and think about what you would be entering in the search bar to find a similar product. Optimise your listing to make your product searchable to your buyers.

It is important to be honest and list any damages or faults with your items. If people feel that they’ve been mis-sold, they will complain and request a refund. Plus, nobody wants the hassle of having to issue refunds and having their seller reputation tainted.

6. Keep an eye on trends and seasonality

Being mindful of trends is a great way to time when you list certain items. For example, if a designer bag is trending on social media due to a celebrity being spotted with it, then would be an ideal time to list the product for sale. Capitalise on the trend and when consumer interest is at its highest and always keep seasonality at the forefront of your mind when selling.

7. Deliver good customer service

Good customer service is a key element of being a successful second-hand seller. Answer your messages promptly, and always aim to be friendly and informative as possible with your replies. If you tell your customer that the item will be posted on a particular day, keep to your word and keep them updated. 

8. Be flexible with your returns window 

If using a platform like eBay, you can set your own returns window. Setting a generous returns window of 30+ days is a great way to entice potential buyers.

9. Ask buyers to leave a review

Reviews are essential if you want to establish yourself as a successful seller on online resale platforms. Politely ask your satisfied customers if they wouldn’t mind leaving you a review. This will help you to build up credibility and trust, meaning more potential buyers will be likely to buy your items. Star ratings out of 5 will be displayed across your listings and profile

10. List items regularly 

Improve the visibility of your seller profile by listing items regularly. The more ads you have live, the more likely that people will visit your seller page.

The team at Wethrift have conducted a study on resale sites for designer fashion items. For more information on the study and the full ranking of the resale platforms analysed, go to: https://www.wethrift.com/articles/designer-discounts/  

Chris Price