Author Topic: Cleaning out the closet with eBay  (Read 3925 times)

lexde

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Cleaning out the closet with eBay
« on: March 22, 2017, 08:17:24 PM »
My spendypants SO has a nasty habit of tossing clothes. If his polos get "bacon collar" and bunch a little in the back (starch + iron fixes this) he throws them in the garbage. $50 Polos. I think that with his clothes and my clothes combined I can pull in an easy $300-400 that I can throw towards my debt.

I've rescued several of his clothing items as well as working on cleaning out my own clothing that I do not wear anymore, and I want to start selling them on eBay. I just have a few questions for anyone who has actually done this:

  • Can I still be successful without using a fancypants mannequin? I'd have to get two since it's mens' + womens' clothing and I don't have room or a desire for more "stuff" - that's the point of doing this!
  • Should I list all of my items at $.99 as an auction and just calculate shipping? Or is there a better starting price?
  • Should I bother with buy-it-now or just do auctions?
  • How can I ship shoes (women's heels) if I don't have a box for them? I don't want them to get damaged.
  • Can I ship clothes in basic manilla envelopes or is that super frowned-upon? What's the least expensive way to ship these items?

Thanks in advance!

dreamer8887

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Re: Cleaning out the closet with eBay
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2017, 09:00:59 PM »
I haven't used eBay as a seller, because I couldn't be bothered figuring out answers for all the questions you have. I recently discovered Poshmark which is like eBay but only for clothes. There is a flat shipping rate, no matter what you sell. They take a higher commission I think, but for me it's a hassle free way to sell. Mind you, I've only got 4 items listed and they haven't sold yet, but I've purchased 3 things and it's been straightforward. Thredup would be another option.

Goldielocks

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Re: Cleaning out the closet with eBay
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2017, 10:52:46 PM »
Flat pack shipping is what i have seen.

According to this -- a polyvinyl envelope for first class, or a manila envelope with an inner tyvex envelope around the clothing is best.  Add a light cardstock / cardboard to keep rigid if needed.   This system (a clear or tyvex inner bag with a flat durable envelope outer) is used by HSC.


http://www.ebay.com/gds/Cheapest-Way-to-Ship-Clothing-/10000000177997183/g.html

hyla

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Re: Cleaning out the closet with eBay
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2017, 11:03:56 PM »
No mannequin is fine - just put the clothes on a hanger against a blank wall.  The main thing is to make sure your photos are not blurry, colors are accurate, and you have photographed the item from all angles (front, back, close up shots of the tag, and pictures of any damage).  Also, it is very helpful to list actual measurements of the clothes (sleeve length, length, pit to pit width etc.) since sizes vary so much between brands.  Ebay buyers don't expect beautiful marketing.  They just want to know what they're getting.

If you are selling a lot of clothes, it might be easier to list them all as auctions ending the same day, so that you only have to go to the post office once or twice.  If you have everything listed as buy it now, you could potentially be making a lot of trips to mail things.

Envelopes are fine to mail clothes, but I think tyvek envelopes are nicer than manila ones.  USPS has flat rate tyvek envelopes available (usually not in post offices, but you can order them for free on their website), or you can buy blank tyvek envelopes at an office supply store and calculate shipping for each item based on weight.

lexde

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Re: Cleaning out the closet with eBay
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2017, 05:01:09 AM »
No mannequin is fine - just put the clothes on a hanger against a blank wall.  The main thing is to make sure your photos are not blurry, colors are accurate, and you have photographed the item from all angles (front, back, close up shots of the tag, and pictures of any damage).  Also, it is very helpful to list actual measurements of the clothes (sleeve length, length, pit to pit width etc.) since sizes vary so much between brands.  Ebay buyers don't expect beautiful marketing.  They just want to know what they're getting.

If you are selling a lot of clothes, it might be easier to list them all as auctions ending the same day, so that you only have to go to the post office once or twice.  If you have everything listed as buy it now, you could potentially be making a lot of trips to mail things.

Envelopes are fine to mail clothes, but I think tyvek envelopes are nicer than manila ones.  USPS has flat rate tyvek envelopes available (usually not in post offices, but you can order them for free on their website), or you can buy blank tyvek envelopes at an office supply store and calculate shipping for each item based on weight.

Thank you for all of this information! I had no idea flat rate tyvek was available so I'll be ordering those today. Thank you!

Any idea how to ship shoes without the shoebox they came in? That's where I'm feeling stuck. Bubble mailer maybe?

AMandM

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Re: Cleaning out the closet with eBay
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2017, 07:41:15 AM »
I'd wrap the shoes in something clean (tissue paper, bubble wrap, reused packing paper, plastic shopping bags) with some tape to hold that in place, and then put them in one of the PO's free tyvek envelopes. I have happily received shoes mailed that way.

ETA: A friend who sold clothes on Ebay found that used clothes were very hard to sell. There were just so many out there that prices were too low to be worth it to her (she was trying to run a business, not just pick up some extra cash).  But this was several years ago, and I don't know what kind of things sge was trying to sell or how she priced them, so it may be quite different for you.  I would think that looking at ended listings would give you a pretty good sense of what sells and at what price.  Good luck!
« Last Edit: March 23, 2017, 07:46:04 AM by AMandM »

redbird

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Re: Cleaning out the closet with eBay
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2017, 07:43:32 AM »
You could put the shoes in any box. You don't need a shoe box. What I probably would do is wrap them individually in bubble wrap, put them in a box, and then fill in any empty spaces around the shoes with loosely balled up paper so they won't move around. Things moving around in a box is honestly what causes the most damage during shipment. If you can make it so the items won't move around, then it'll more likely get to the other person exactly as it was when you put it in the box.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Cleaning out the closet with eBay
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2017, 07:56:35 AM »
I once purchased an item that by the seller was put in the cheapest envelope. The item was metal, quite heavy and sharp. When I lifted the envelope out of the mailbox, it was empty and had a hole in the side. The seller had to sell me a new item, as I had already paid for it and he was obviously to blame for bad packaging.
So my message: just pack the items in a way that they don't get damaged. Otherwise you'll need to give the money back.
Cheap shirts that I purchase from China as usually wrapped in a simple plastic envelope. They have arrived in one piece.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Cleaning out the closet with eBay
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2017, 10:12:12 AM »
If it were me, the "non-brand name" stuff, I would donate and get a receipt.  It's not worth the hassle.  Ebay charges you even if it doesn't sell.

LovesToTravel

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Re: Cleaning out the closet with eBay
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2017, 11:03:36 AM »
I haven't used eBay as a seller, because I couldn't be bothered figuring out answers for all the questions you have. I recently discovered Poshmark which is like eBay but only for clothes. There is a flat shipping rate, no matter what you sell. They take a higher commission I think, but for me it's a hassle free way to sell. Mind you, I've only got 4 items listed and they haven't sold yet, but I've purchased 3 things and it's been straightforward. Thredup would be another option.

I second Poshmark -- it's so much easier than eBay.  The whole listing is created within the app - including snapping photos of the items.  I've sold about 25 things there in the last year.

Cadman

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Re: Cleaning out the closet with eBay
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2017, 11:20:02 AM »
The eBay app is pretty easy to use, too. What I do is use it to snap the photos right there with my phone, and fill out the basic info. I can do a bunch in a row, then turn to my computer where the drafts have already loaded and complete the descriptions there.

If it doesn't sell, you only pay insertion fees, but with x-many free listings per month, and with frequent "500 or 1000 free listings" emails, I don't think I've ever paid an insertion fee.

Lots of people are going to pay with PayPal, so don't forget they take a cut. But you also will get a shipping discount through ebay, so keep that in mind if comparing to other services.

I like to save all the tyvek and padded envelopes I get in the mail throughout the year, and re-use those for selling clothing or smaller items. Plus you can ship 1st class mail for light clothing which is probably cheaper than a flat-rate Priority envelope.

<I see bender and I were responding at the same time. Great minds think alike! ; ) >

Aggie1999

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Re: Cleaning out the closet with eBay
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2017, 03:08:48 PM »
No specific advise on selling clothes on ebay but some general selling advise:

- I always do auctions that end on a Friday. That gives me the weekend plus Monday and Tuesday the following week to get things shipped out. If you do a lot of stuff Buy It Now then people will be paying every day and you will have the hassle of shipping things out every day.

- My rule on starting price is it needs to be high enough to be worth my time. For the most part this is $20 plus shipping. If it's an item I know will go for more than $20 I'll just start the auction at $0.99. Otherwise starting price of $20.

Realize there is no realistic seller protection on ebay. If you get a buyer that wants to scam you then there is nothing you can do. Ebay does not question buyers and treats sellers like crap. Just gotta factor that into your cost of doing business.

lexde

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Re: Cleaning out the closet with eBay
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2017, 07:18:12 PM »
Thank you all very much for the responses!

It sounds like eBay may not be what I want to bother with, so I guess I'll try listing on facebook groups and craigslist first and then will move on to craigslist and/or donation.

Case

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Re: Cleaning out the closet with eBay
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2017, 09:25:22 AM »
My spendypants SO has a nasty habit of tossing clothes. If his polos get "bacon collar" and bunch a little in the back (starch + iron fixes this) he throws them in the garbage. $50 Polos. I think that with his clothes and my clothes combined I can pull in an easy $300-400 that I can throw towards my debt.

I've rescued several of his clothing items as well as working on cleaning out my own clothing that I do not wear anymore, and I want to start selling them on eBay. I just have a few questions for anyone who has actually done this:

  • Can I still be successful without using a fancypants mannequin? I'd have to get two since it's mens' + womens' clothing and I don't have room or a desire for more "stuff" - that's the point of doing this!
  • Should I list all of my items at $.99 as an auction and just calculate shipping? Or is there a better starting price?
  • Should I bother with buy-it-now or just do auctions?
  • How can I ship shoes (women's heels) if I don't have a box for them? I don't want them to get damaged.
  • Can I ship clothes in basic manilla envelopes or is that super frowned-upon? What's the least expensive way to ship these items?

Thanks in advance!

If you don't have luck with ebay/craigslist/etc... donate to Goodwill.  It goes to a good cause, and you can right it off on your taxes.

ltt

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Re: Cleaning out the closet with eBay
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2017, 11:29:46 AM »
Very difficult to sell stuff on ebay these days. About the only clothing items I've been able to sell are my daughter's designer jeans.  And, even then, clothing items might go for about 20% to 25% of original price.  Ugh.  I've had someone not pay me for another item.  I've sold a few items here and there, but nothing which will even make a signficiant amount of money.  Really not worth the hassle. :(   

Dicey

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Re: Cleaning out the closet with eBay
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2017, 12:30:07 PM »
If you don't have luck with ebay/craigslist/etc... donate to Goodwill.  It goes to a good cause, and you can right it off on your taxes.
Just be sure to put your receipts in the right order before you attempt to write anything off ;-)