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How To Sell Clothes Online

in Rants

Lady selling clothes online

Selling clothes online is a lot easier than you think.

You have the potential to make back hundreds – even thousands – of dollars from selling your clothes. By selling your unwanted clothes online, you’re reaching a way larger audience than you would by selling locally. And you’ll get more bang for your buck compared to hosting a garage sale or exchanging items at your local thrift store.

Even though you aren’t donating all those old clothes to Goodwill or the Salvation Army, you’re still a good person. By selling your unwanted clothes online, you’re recycling, reducing carbon emissions and waste, and you’re not contributing to the toxic and destructive culture that is fast-fashion.

You may consider selling your clothes online for a couple of reasons:

  • You want to make back some of the money you’ve spent on clothes you don’t wear anymore
  • You’re looking to start a side hustle selling handmade and vintage items
  • Your dream is to own and run a consignment shop or thrift store

Whether you’re looking to start your own business or make a few extra dollars on the side, you’ll see selling clothes online is actually pretty simple!

Tips for Selling Online

There are a couple of tricks that will make selling clothing online a more hassle-free process. These tips aren’t completely necessary, but they might make things run smoother for you.

Shipping labels

Lady putting together shipping labels

Using a prepaid shipping label can make shipping sold items quick and easy.

When you use an online marketplace to sell clothes, they’ll sometimes give you the option to use your own shipping method or ship with the marketplace/purchase a shipping label.

If you use a prepaid shipping label, you’ll pay for the shipping on the app/website, print out the label, and tape it on your package. Then all you have to do is drop it off at the post office.

Thereafter depends on which postal service you use. Most postal offices have a kiosk or drop-off area specifically for packages with a prepaid shipping label. The post office will scan the prepaid label and update the tracking information within the marketplace app you use.

Packaging/Shipping Kit

Picture of packaging and shipping kit

You may want to put together your own shipping kit.

You can save some money by purchasing your own packaging – and it looks more legitimate and professional. It’s pretty cheap to buy packaging in bulk and you can choose whatever look and material you want too.

It’s especially nice to pack your item in the comfort of your own home because you have your own shipping kit. Then all you have to do is drop the package off at the post office. Plain and simple.

Taking Quality Photos

Taking high quality images is a must

Taking quality photos of your items is pivotal for how fast your clothing will sell.

You don’t need a fancy camera or a ring light – but of course they wouldn’t hurt. That being said, good natural lighting and a plain white wall background will get you far!

You should also look at your favorite successful online shops for photo inspiration. Taking your own photos makes your shop look more trustworthy and legitimate. Plus, you can get in trouble for using stock photos of your items from other websites.

Online Marketplaces for Selling Clothes

The easiest way to sell clothes online is using an online marketplace. Typically, they’ll charge a small fee for using their platform. But it is the easiest, fastest, and most efficient way to reach a way larger audience than you could by yourself.

Facebook Marketplace

Selling clothes on Facebook Marketplace can be great for those who don’t want to deal with shipping costs or the post office. But you do have the option to ship items if you prefer.

Facebook Marketplace is especially great for selling everyday clothing and it’s super simple to use, since virtually everyone has used Facebook before.

Fees

The selling fee is 5% per shipment, or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less.

Etsy

Etsy is an excellent platform for selling vintage clothing, handmade items, jewelry and accessories, old trinkets – you name it. I’m sure you’re probably familiar with it as it is super popular.

According to a 2021 statistic, Etsy reaches 96.3 million active buyers. So your chances of selling are pretty dang high.

Fees

Etsy charges a listing fee, transaction fee, and a fee for payment processing:

$0.20 Listing fee + 6.5 % Transaction fee, 3% + $0.25 Payment Processing fee

Etsy charges a flat fee of $0.20 USD per listing, regardless of whether or not the item listed sells. Listings expire every 4 months, but you can set the listing to automatically renew and be charged the $0.20 flat fee.

Additionally, there’s a commission fee and standard payment processing fee. Etsy charges 6.5% of the total order amount in your designated listing currency. This fee applies to the total cost of the item, along with shipping and gift wrap (if you charge your customers for those). You will see the charges itemized separately on your Payment account.

When you make a sale through Etsy.com, you will be charged a transaction fee of 6.5% of the price you display for each listing plus the amount you charge for shipping and gift wrapping.

Depop

Depop is another online marketplace that’s great for flipping clothes, where the focus is mostly vintage clothing items. But it’s also great for designer clothing, handmade items, etc.

Something to consider: The demographic on Depop is significantly younger than Etsy and eBay. According to this 2021 statistic, 34.6% of users are in the 10-19 age range and 48.4% of users are in the 20-29 age range.

Fees

There is a 10% Depop fee charged on the total transaction amount, including shipping cost.

You have unlimited posts at no extra cost.

eBay

You can also use eBay to sell your clothes online.

eBay is best for selling well-known designer brands. If you’re looking to sell low-end pieces or vintage clothing, I would suggest looking at Etsy or Depop.

Some things to consider: 61.4% of eBay users are male, so that may or may not be beneficial to you as a seller. And then you have to ask yourself, how many of those men are buying clothes on eBay? The top selling products on eBay are mostly electronics. However, if you’ve used eBay before and you’re comfortable and confident selling clothes there, take my words with a grain of salt.

Fees

eBay charges 10-15% of the final value of your sale.

Each month, you get 250 free listings. If you exceed 250, there’s a $0.35 insertion fee per listing.

Parting Thoughts

Man packaging a box for shipment

Are some items worth selling?

Taking your own photos, writing out listings, packing, and shipping takes time and effort. If the item your trying to sell is only worth $10, and you’re paying a fee(s) for selling the item, is it really worth selling? It’s up to you – but something to consider nonetheless.

Think about what kind of clothing and accessories you plan on selling

Where would your items sell best? If you sell handmade pieces, Etsy might be the best fit for you. If you sell designer clothing, perhaps eBay or Depop is the right place.

Anyone can sell used clothes online

You don’t need to be selling Louis Vuitton or designer handbags to make a few dollars. As long as you have a phone camera, natural lighting, and access to the internet, you can sell clothes online and make some extra cash. 
Author image of Daniel

Daniel is a Certified Public Accountant (AZ), Charted Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC), Certified Tax Coach (CTC) and a Registered Investment Adviser (Series 65). He’s worked for large accounting firms like Deloitte & Touche to the small family businesses. Through it all, Daniel loved finding solutions for businesses. He founded the Biz Owner Guide, to share and reach with a larger audience that are looking for guidance on business development, tax, compliance, accounting, finance and more.

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