Earn/Save Money

Clean Money From Your Closet: How to Sell on eBay Like a Pro

People are always surprised when I tell them the kind of money I’ve made on eBay selling my old clothes and shoes. The very first thing I ever decided to sell on eBay was an Herve Leger dress that I had purchased on sale at the store for $500. I wore it about 5 times, but realized after a year that it was about a size (or two) too small for me, and no matter how much food I didn’t eat I would never be able to squeeze into it again. I threw it on ebay with a starting price of $300. A bidding war ensued and the freaking thing sold for $610. That means that I was actually PAID to wear this child-sized dress, and not in a cheap hooker/private dancer sort of way. Here’s my guide for how to sell on eBay like a pro:

I would only suggest selling your high-end items – I’ve learned that people are generally only willing to purchase something used if it’s designer or truly vintage (i.e.: not zara circa 2004).

What You’ll Need:

1. eBay account This is easy to set up and listing usually costs less than a dollar. If your item sells, Ebay charges a final selling fee of 9%.

2. Paypal account – This is the best/safest way to complete your transactions. You will link this to your eBay account and pay a 2.9% fee to collect your money. It is then free to transfer that money right into the bank account that you link with Paypal.

Here’s How To Do It:

1.Take Pictures: Above is a listing I created for a pair of Louboutin shoes. You want to take pictures of all angles – the front, side and bottom of shoes – and front, back and pic of the size tag for clothes. I also suggest taking a pic of clothing on – so find someone to take your photo in the item so people can see how it fits. The more photos the better, and they only cost 0.15 each to add. View the eBay tutorial on taking pictures here. I find that taking photos in the daylight against a solid background is best, and if there is anything wrong with the item you’re selling that can’t be fixed (like a big scratch or stain), make sure you take a picture of it as well. You don’t want someone giving you a bad review, preventing others from wanting to buy from you in the future. 

2. Figure out how to price it: I usually will search for similar items on ebay first to see how much other people are asking/paying. Ebay also has a feature that will give you an estimate of what your item is worth based on similar sales. Ultimately you want to start the bidding at the lowest price you are willing to let the item go for. If it’s been unworn for more than a year, it’s not worth very much to you anymore, is it? Lower starting prices encourage bidding, so keep that in mind. It may take a couple times of lowering the price slightly to find what gets people watching.

3. Write a great description: I am guilty of copying and pasting other peoples amazing descriptions of the same or similar item and using it as my own. I’ll also troll Google for the product descriptions of the item and copy them. Make sure you detail the condition (ie very lightly used, or in great “pre-loved” condition) as well as any defects, and be clear about the sizing/fit. For example, Louboutin’s run small so be sure to let people know how true they are to size. I also find that including measurements of items really help – like the total length, width, etc., especially if there are no photos of the item on a body. 

4. Play the waiting game: My favorite part. I love checking in online or using the app to see how many people are “watching” my item. Ebay will notify you if there are bids. Ideally you want bidding to start early so a war ensues and the price goes up early in the game (hence a lower starting price). Your item may not sell the first time around, and that’s fine – with such low listing costs, just re-list it until it does, and try lowering the price a little to generate interest. 


5. Ship your item: Never ship your item until ebay informs you that the buyer has PAID. When they do, shoes should be put in either their shoebox or a duster bag if you have one, and ship them in either the flat rate box at the post office or a small box (or envelope if they fit). Clothes often fit in the USPS envelopes (the cheapest way to ship). Otherwise you’ll need to buy boxes and make sure they are packaged with care. Also please make sure they’re cleaned! No one wants a sweatshirt that smells like your grandma died in it.

Leave feedback for your buyer – transfer the money from pay pal to your bank account – and boom you’ve made cash from something you would never likely wear again (like slip-on leapord shoes).


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