If a year spent wearing clothes that could easily pass as pyjamas (and vice-versa) has motivated you to clear out and organise your wardrobe, you’re not alone.
Thousands of us capitalised on the increased browsing time of our fellow Australians in 2020 and 2021, seizing the opportunity to make a little extra cash by selling pre-loved goods online – and fashion is one category that’s gone from strength to strength on eBay. In fact, at least two pre-loved women’s fashion items are sold every minute on the platform, with pieces from beloved Aussie labels like Zimmermann fetching an average of $187 a pop.
But if the bag of clothes and shoes sitting on the chair in your room is starting to resemble a pile of cash in your mind’s eye, slow down a second: there are ways you can ensure you get the right price when selling your pre-loved fashion online.
We chatted to Brooke Eichhorn, eBay’s Head of Luxury and Consumer Selling, to gather some expert tips for finding your pre-loved fashion a new home – and making bank in the process.
KNOW WHAT BUYERS WANT
You could be forgiven for assuming international brands are the big money-makers when it comes to selling pre-loved fashion online, but eBay search data suggests Aussie shoppers like their looks home-grown. In fact, only one of the top 10 best-selling labels searched on the site isn’t Australian (what’s up, Zara?), while Aussie labels like Country Road, Gorman, Zimmermann, Spell Byron Bay, Camilla, PE Nation and Witchery are some of the most in-demand on the site.
If you’re mentally checking any of those labels off your to-sell list, you know what to do.
“Even if you don’t think it’s worth much, selling your pre-loved items is a sustainable way to give something new life,” Eichhorn says. “[But] Luxury items like handbags and high-value sneakers really hold their value.”
PAY ATTENTION TO TRENDS
“eBay is a cultural barometer, and we see what’s happening in pop culture – including fashion and designer collaborations – reflected in sales. For example, last year we saw activewear take off as we entered our first lockdown and even silver chains spiked mid-lockdown thanks to Normal People heart-throb Connell Waldron,” Eichhorn says.
While you don’t have to become a fashion/sports/TV/music/ DIY/succulent propagation expert to sell your pre-loved items online, you could reap higher returns on your fashion listings if you pay attention to what people are talking about in a group chat or on Twitter.
Eichhorn adds that listing your items at the peak of certain fashion trends can be lucrative, too.
“Last year, we saw spikes in bucket hats and bike shorts driven by influencers sporting ‘90s looks. If you have something you no longer need but [shoppers] are dying to get their hands on, make sure you jump on it before others do!”
SELL FOR THE SEASON
“It will come as no surprise that [fashion sales are] seasonal, with warmer winter fashion selling well during the colder months and cooler summer fashion when it’s warmer,” Eichhorn says.
The lesson? Don’t be surprised if that chunky knit isn’t exactly sought-after when it’s 35 degrees outside.
If you really want to give your pre-loved fashion the best chance of achieving the highest possible selling price, Eichhorn advises scheduling your listings to go live in the evening, between 7pm and 9pm, when most shoppers are free to browse without distractions.
“If your items are up for auction, make sure they end during that period to get the most people bidding at the last minute,” Eichhorn says.
NAME YOUR PRICE
You don’t need to be an economist to figure out what your pre-loved fashion is worth – you just have to be realistic. You can make items available via an auction or “buy it now” price based on tomes of sales data.
“It’s a good idea to look around at similar items and what they have recently sold for… Take the item’s materials, condition and overall demand into consideration when you’re working out its value,” Eichhorn advises, adding that you can always revise the price or make special offers to watchers if an item isn’t selling as quickly as you expected.
CAPTURE YOUR GOOD SIDE
If you want to ignite a buying frenzy for your pre-loved fashion, ensure your listing does it justice by including a variety of pictures that highlight quirks, imperfections and the overall condition of your items.
“In addition to a white background, it’s best to hang clothing on a coat hanger and take a few photos from different angles, as well as close-ups on any detailing and fabric patterns. You can take photos of shoes or handbags in a bathtub to get a clear background,” Eichhorn says. (Genius!)
It’s a big no-no to use catalogue or stock images of an item if it’s used as it’s rarely an accurate reflection of the condition of your item.
“[Rather], if you have a certain style you want to convey, try merchandising the clothes by pairing them with matching items, making clear exactly what’s for sale.”
Turn your designer fashion and handbags, kitchen appliances, and tech into profit by selling them on eBay. It’s super simple to sell and ship – no printer or trips to the post office necessary.
Words by Kristen Amiet