In yesterday’s Challenge Recap-Part I, I shared how selling pre-owned clothing has boosted my sales and finances. In Part II, I’ll share my experiences and what I’ve learned about reselling clothes during these past 3 months.
Before I go on, I want to share a couple of current auction listings that end today. Check these out!
REYN SPOONER DISNEY PIXAR RATATOUILLE Men's Shirt Sz M - click here to see listing
REYN SPOONER DISNEY PIXAR CARS Men's Shirt Sz M – CLICK HERE TO SEE LISTING
I bought each of these shirts for $2.50. The Ratatouille shirt received a $79 bid within 24 hours! The Cars shirt also has several bids and is at $64+. Wouldn’t it be nice if all my sales were this profitable?!
1. Brands: After reading the My Dear Trash blog, I made a list of the brands they mentioned. I also went to eBay’s list of Popular Brands. Some were familiar; but many were unfamiliar to me such as Anthropologie brands, which are highly popular and high sellers. Top sellers for me have been:
- St. John Couture & Collection
- Tommy Bahama men’s shirts (larger sizes are best)
- Reyn Spooner
- Chico’s (all)
- Jam’s World
- Fresh Produce
- J. Jill
- Eileen Fisher
- Coldwater Creek
- Ralph Lauren
- Motherhood dresses
- Anthropologie brands
- Ski pants
Other brands that may not be high sellers but are consistent sellers. These are my bread-and-butter:
- Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft
- Lane Bryant
- Hot Cotton
- Studio I dresses (this is a surprise)
- Motherhood blouses
- Banana Republic
- J. Crew
- White House Black Market
- Bill Blass
- Gloria Vanderbilt
This list is not all-inclusive; there are many other brands not on this list that I’ve sold 1 or 2. But these are the ones that have been consistent sellers for me.
Brands that I do not buy are those sold at Wal-mart, K-mart, Target, etc. I have had a little luck selling certain brands from JC Penney and Kohl’s, usually brand new with tags. The BEST brands are those sold at Anthropologie.
*** FOR A COPY OF THIS LIST, CLICK ON PICTURE AT TOP OF SIDE BAR **
2. Style: I have found that spring/summer dresses sell well. Long sleeveless shifts have sold as well as maternity dresses. Pants have been hit-or-miss. Cargo pants and capris/crop pants are selling, but not all. Corduroy pants are not selling right now. A lot has to do with brand name. When I buy pants, I look for quality and good condition. At fifty cents a piece, I will take a chance on a brand I’m not familiar with.
4. Condition: I always try to find clothing in good to excellent condition. Since I buy most of my clothes at thrift stores, I have to be REALLY careful about condition. Although most clothes end up at the thrift store because someone got tired of it, many more end up because there is something wrong with it. Many times I have come home with what I think is a great item, just to discover it has a hole or rip that I didn’t notice. Sometimes I’ve missed a light stain because of the poor lighting in the store. Hopefully, I’ll notice this damage before listing it and definitely before mailing. These items end up in the “discard” pile and go right back to the thrift store.
3. Pricing: When I first started, I listed most items between $6.99 and $7.99, depending on brand and condition. Certain brands would be listed at $9-$10. Now I start most items at $7.50 and will go as high as $14.99.
4. Auctions vs. Fixed Price: Listing clothes at auction is a good way to see which items would sell for more. Good thing for me, too. One of my first listings was for a Basil & Maude skirt, a brand I was totally unfamiliar with but now know sold at Anthropologie. It was a “wild card” purchase that paid off. The skirt sold for $46.00!
5. Listing Process: When I started, I followed Kelly’s listing process. I have since changed my strategy. First 2 weeks, items are full price and listed as auctions. Week #3 I list as fixed price in my store for 30-days, still at full price. I have sold many items from my store. If an item hasn’t sold after 30 days in my store, then I relist as auction item, first at $5.99 then at $3.99. A few times, these last-chance items will sell for full price when they are relisted at auction. Go figure! I sell about 75%-80% of my inventory this way.
My listing process for non-clothing items is different since I keep those items in my store for at least 6 months. Clothing is not something I want to hang on to for more than 6 weeks.
6. Store Inventory: Auctions cost 25 cents to list vs. 5 cents for store listings. Listing 400 items a month as auctions costs $100. Take those same 400 listings, and it costs only $20 to list for 30 days plus $50 for the store … that’s only $70. So why not just list clothes in your store? Because sometimes I just don’t know what an item will sell for. But another good reason is that I do get more sales with auctions than I do with fixed price. We’ll see over the next 3 months how using both types of listings works.
7. When to List: The MOST important thing to know about listing is LIST, LIST, LIST. Listing something at any time or day is better than not. Having said that, eBay data shows that certain days and times are better than others to end an auction:
|Monday||Good||Many folks surf eBay at work|
|Tuesday||Worst||Receives the lowest # of bids|
|Wednesday||Fair||Not as bad as Tuesday. I’ve had better sales than on Thursday|
|Thursday||Poor||Better during spring or summer. Folks may bid before going away on weekend. Has not worked for me.|
|Friday||Fair||Ending before 6 pm may work, but most folks go out Fri evenings|
|Saturday||Good||Weekend days are best.|
Sunday evening is the period of highest bidding. Ending your listing between 8-11 p.m. eastern time (5-8 p.m. pacific) is best.
I prefer – and do my best – to start/end my auctions on Sunday evenings between 6-8 p.m. (PST). That means it is 9-11:00 p.m. on the East coast; folks can still bid before ending their day. My next best day is Monday evenings, followed by Saturday evenings. I’ve also ended listings on Wednesdays with some luck. I’ve never tried Tuesday, but Thursday did not work out at all for me.
I know this is a long post with lots of info, and I’m sure I didn’t cover everything. But in sharing this information, I hope I have helped you if you are thinking about reselling clothes or are just starting out. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. And don’t forget to get your copy of Popular Clothing Brands at the top of the side bar.