Selling on Ebay (more funds for new fashion)

So, once upon a time, I thought I was a hippie boho chick. Not permanently, mind you. But for as long as I could make it work for me. I quickly decided to leave this trend when I saw photos of middle-aged women still clinging to the gauzy fabrics, floral headbands, bell bottom pants, and tunic tops, posted all over the reviews section of my favorite brand- Free People. Not that this look was universally UNflattering for these more mature women (though some of them looked like they had Rip Van Winkled since Woodstock and just now woke up), I just knew this was not the way I wanted to represent myself as I grew out of my early twenties and into my closer-to-30s.

The good thing about buying brands with a cult-like following is that these pieces tend to hold their value. Especially if lightly or never worn. As my new obsession for the menswear for women and preppy with a twist trends grew, I realized that my pretty- but no longer for me- Free People pieces could have a quick turn-around into funds for Jcrew purchases.

There are several things I have learned while attempting to make successful and financially rewarding Ebay postings. I will share several of them with you here.

  1. Whenever possible, obtain the original website photos of the item, and their original description (measurements, fabric, etc.). Often, people will write you asking for measurements anyway, so this will just save you time. The original website photos are clean and professional, and draw people to your item.
  2. Obtain the original brand’s specific name for the item (i.e. Free People Curtain Call Tunic- as I have this item listed right now). You might find it hard to believe, but cult followers of a brand do search for a specific item by name. This will make your item easier to locate for those who are looking for it specifically.
  3. Search and see what similar items, by the same brand, seem to be going for on ebay at the moment. This will help you to set your price point.
  4. Starting an item at $.99 minimum bid does increase response, however, if the item is quite valuable, you may want to set a minimum bid at the price you wouldn’t object letting the piece go for. You can always list it numerous times if you don’t sell your item on the first try.
  5. Set a “buy it now” price, close to the original price of the item. Consider $20-50 less if the item is in perfect condition. A buy it now option is perfect for those who are looking to receive a piece quickly- i.e. for a vacation date or special event.
  6. If items are no longer sold by the brand- put something to the effect of- “hard to find!”, “rare!”, or “sold out” in the title. This helps stress the fact that your listing might be the potential customer’s only chance to buy the item they’ve fallen in love with.
  7. Wait to list items for specific seasons- bathing suits, coats, etc.- just before the season that they are ideal for. This will help ensure you get the best price for your item, as most people don’t plan very far ahead wardrobe wise- what’s in this year, might not be in the next.

These are the things I’ve found most helpful as I have explored the world of Ebay selling.

One thing to remember- whether buying or selling on Ebay, make sure to check the potential seller/buyer’s Ebay score, to determine a history of good business practices and avoid a bad deal.

If you have other tips for selling on Ebay, I’d love to hear them!

For your viewing pleasure, here is my most recently sold Ebay item. I must have been drunk when I thought I wanted these G.I. Jane hiking boots. Now, they have a good home where they will be appreciated. (originally purchased at Urban Outfitters for around $80-90, sold for $70)

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