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How To Sell Used Clothes Online

12 min read

So you want to start an online clothing store. How’s that work? In this guide, we’ll walk you through each step — from writing a business plan to picking a marketplace and connecting with customers. And don’t worry, you don’t have to be committed to launching a full-time business. Learning how to sell used clothes online is a smart move whether you’re looking for a little extra cash or a complete source of income.

Selling used clothes online can be profitable for a number of reasons: people have started to think about sustainability, and generation Z is interested in vintage fashion. Therefore, it is better not to waste time but to choose a platform to sell online, create an online store and start your business.

First, let’s take a quick look at the used clothing market. This is a really important part of starting your business. By analyzing the market and shoppers you’re targeting, you’ll have a good starting point for creating successful business strategies.

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The Used Clothes Market: An Overview

Selling used clothes online is a great way to join the growing ecommerce market. In 2021, online retail shot past $4.9 trillion while online fashion sales surpassed $110 billion—that’s a lot of money, and you can easily take a cut by selling used clothes.

Here are three things to keep in mind as you learn how to sell clothes online.

Gen Z is leading the charge

People born in the late 90s and early 2000s are big second-hand clothes shoppers. In 2020, that demographic helped boost overall interest in vintage fashion and increased sales of used items from popular brands like Champion. Use their interest to your advantage by marketing your business on social media (we’ll talk more about that later).

People care about sustainability

Care for the environment plays a major role in the sale of used clothes. One report from eBay’s U.K. offices shows that customers are buying used designer clothing at higher rates—so quality over quantity is probably a good business strategy.

The used clothes market is Booming

In 2019, the used clothing market grew 21 times faster than traditional retail. And that trend is set to continue: Experts say the sale of second hand clothes will triple by 2029.

How To Start an Online Clothing Store

The stats are clear: used clothes make money. So how do you start an online clothing store? The first step is creating a business plan.

Making a business plan to start an online clothing store

Creating a road map for your used clothing store is a good idea whether you just want some extra cash or a full-time job. Here are three things to plan before you start selling.

1. Where will your products come from? You might start by selling your old clothes, but then what? Thrift stores are a great place to find used clothes for resale, but you can also look for used clothing wholesalers. These are typically big warehouses full of second-hand clothes that you can purchase then sell for a higher resale price.

2. Do you need a license? It’s important to make sure you get all the necessary licenses before starting a business. Licensing requirements will vary depending on your location, but some states require entrepreneurs to secure a resale license before launching their online store.

3. What marketplace will you use? You’ve got your license and some used clothes to sell—so where do you post your products? eBay is a great place to start.

How To Sell Clothes on eBay

You’re probably wondering where to sell used clothes. One of the best options is eBay. Here’s how to sell clothes on eBay.

Step 1: Make Ecwid and eBay accounts

eBay has over 180 million global buyers—that’s a lot of shoppers at your fingertips. The best way to start connecting with them is to set up two accounts: one for Ecwid, one for eBay. With your Ecwid account, you’ll list products, track inventory, and help customers. With your eBay account, you’ll show your catalog to millions of buyers.

First, make your Ecwid account. This will serve as the hub of your used clothes store, making store management easy. Plus, syncing your eBay and Ecwid accounts lets you sell on eBay’s international sites, opening up new markets for your clothes. You can sign up for Ecwid here (it’s free).

Next, make your eBay account. You’ll just need an email address and some basic info like your address and name. Now you’re ready for step two.

Step 2: Take pictures

One of the most important parts of learning how to sell clothes on eBay is understanding product photography. Customers rely on high-quality images to understand what they’re buying, so it’s important to get this step right.

Here’s the good news: you don’t have to be a pro photographer to take good pictures. Just keep three things in mind during your photoshoot:

Good lighting is key. Bad lighting makes it hard to get a clear idea of the exact product you’re purchasing, but it also tends to make the seller look unprofessional. Avoid bad lighting by shooting your pictures in front of a window or outside.

Simple is better. Don’t be afraid to give some branded flair to your product pictures, but don’t go overboard. You can stylize that picture of your vintage jeans, but sticking with a simple background helps the image look professional and minimizes distractions. Try shooting against a white sheet or a plain wall. Remember, customers are interested in actually being able to see the product.

Show all the angles. One picture is good, five is better. Potential customers want to see all sides of the product you’re selling, especially if it’s used. Second-hand clothes tend to show signs of wear even when they’re in great condition, so be sure to get pictures of any defects.

Step 3: Post your first product

You’ve got your accounts running and some great product photos, now it’s time to post. Exciting!

So how do you actually list a product? It’s simple. From your Ecwid dashboard, select Catalog, then click “Add New product” near the top of your screen. The system will take you through the easy process, but here are the most important parts of the listing:

The pictures. eBay lets you include up to 12 photos—more than enough to photograph your listing from a variety of angles.

The description. A good description will mention any defects (rips, stains, etc) and hopefully get shoppers excited about buying your product.

The delivery options. Adding delivery options is important, so let’s go over that a little more in-depth.

Step 4: Set up delivery

As you get ready to sell clothes on eBay, it’s important to think about how your customers will get their orders.

You’ve probably had a product mailed to your door, but you may have picked up an online order too. With Ecwid, you can offer both options: delivery and local pickup.

When it comes to selling clothes online, delivery is usually the best option.

Ecwid makes order shipment easy by connecting you with prepaid shipping labels. These labels are cheaper than rates at the post office and we’ll automatically add the buyer’s address. All you have to do is secure the printable label to your package and send it off. It’s that easy.

Time to Market

Learning how to sell clothes on eBay isn’t really helpful if you don’t connect with customers. Thankfully, developing a marketing strategy is easy. Here’s how to get started.

How to sell clothes on social media

Learning how to sell clothes on social media doesn’t mean you’ll actually process orders through Instagram or Facebook. Instead, you’re using social media as a marketing tool. Here’s how to sell clothes on social media.

Use hashtags. Hashtags are the bridge between you and people who care about what you’re posting. Take advantage of this tool by using hashtags that do more than label your photo: Posting vintage jeans for sale? Add tags that relate to vintage aesthetics. Think about the demographic that’s probably interested in buying your product and focus hashtags on them. (You can learn more about using effective hashtags with this article.)

Post regularly. Social media is very fast-paced. It’s easy to get lost in the noise if you’re not active. Try posting each time used clothes are added to your store so shoppers know when there’s more inventory.

Engage with comments. Effective social media accounts engage with followers and interact with comments. Keep an eye out for questions—commenters who ask questions are interested in what you’re posting, which means they might make a purchase.

How to get repeat buyers

So you learned how to sell clothes on eBay and now someone made a purchase! Awesome! So how do you get them to buy something again?

Make them happy. First and foremost: make their first shopping experience ideal by responding to questions, fixing anything that goes wrong, and shipping their order quickly.

Follow up. With a good shopping experience as a baseline, try following up with past shoppers. Using the Ecwid dashboard, you can send customers quick messages thanking the customer for their business. This will help them remember your store the next time they’re shopping for second-hand clothes.

Get Started Today!

And you’re off! With the help of Ecwid and eBay, you’re ready to start an online clothing store. Selling clothes online is a great way to earn some extra cash—so don’t wait! You can launch a used clothes store today with Ecwid and eBay.

If you want to sell new clothes online, you can learn more with our complete guide to selling new clothes online.

In any way, now’s the best time to get started.

Do you want to learn more about selling clothes online?

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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