Wednesday, 19 October 2011


I sell things for clients on eBay. My tips for successful selling? Feast your bargain hungry eyes:
  • Do your research. How much are similar items selling for? Branded goods sell better than non branded goods.
  • Great photo. This means good lighting, clean floor or carpet and a backdrop clear of clutter. You can add up to 12 photos but just make sure each photo adds something new and shows a potential customer the real detail of the garment.
  • Competitive pricing. With the economy the way it is every penny counts so starting with a high bidding fee may put customers off. Your customers also have to pay postage and packaging, so bear this is mind when listing your items. But don't under sell because after taxes and listing fees you won't be left with a lot.
  • Descriptions which actually describe. This is your chance to really sell your item: fit, cut, quality, washing instructions. If you were on a market stall shouting your wares what would you say? Your customers can't feel or touch the item so your words have to do it for them. I give customers tips on how to style and wear the item they are bidding on.
  • Packaging. I used to just pop items in the post but now I hand wrap each one, add a business card and thank the customer for shopping with me. I want my customers to feel like it's Christmas when my package arrives through the door. A Wardrobe Angel Christmas!
Let me know how you get on. Til next time ...x

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Shop staff - the font of all knowledge

Shop Assistants

I always keep my eyes peeled when out shopping, especially where staff are concerned. They convey so much info about the brand they work for. So…what can you learn from shop assistants?

1.       Shop assistants generally get a uniform allowance or a certain percentage off clothes to wear as uniform. This allowance isn’t a bottomless pit so staff have to make their clothes last. Look at the wear and tear on the clothes they are wearing: bobbling, piling, holes, tears, shrinkage, loose threads. The staff have worn and washed, worn and washed. What better way to see the quality you are about to invest in?

2.       Same applies if you are visiting a footwear retailer look for the feet of the staff: scuffs, cracked leather, and gaping soles. Each staff member has probably spent the best part of 8 hours a day on their feet so the shoes will be a kiss and tell testament to their quality.

3.       If you are a regular shopper and visit the same shops you will get to know the staff. See how the staff style their clothes: do they dress up or down? What footwear and accessories do they use? How do they style their hair? This is all inspiration for you and it’s FREE.

4.       If the staff members aren’t wearing the clothes from the retailer they are working for you have to ask yourself - why not? Some companies have uniforms (M&S, supermarkets) but high street fashion retailers will more often than not ask their staff to dress in line with their mission statement. If the clothes aren’t being displayed for free (i.e. on the bodies of the staff) this could boil down to a number of reasons – quality, fit, expense, value for money. Think carefully about putting your hand in your pocket and paying for them.
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Til next time...x

Sunday, 9 October 2011

One Black Dress

music courtesy of

Shelling out cash for Cashmere

Cashmere. Fabric of the rich? Twinset and pearls? A luxury? Or just another item made accessible by and for the highstreet?

About 7 years ago a cashmere sweater was £100 at M&S and this grand old year of 2011 they are £45 (or £39 in the sale if you get your skates on and make a trip to the mid-seasons). When M&S started producing cashmere jumpers they had a clear plastic sleeve over them and retailed on a special hanger to further perpetuate that sense of luxury and sheer fabulousness. I only remember these details because I was working for M&S at the time and fell over myself to get my Mum one of the first highstreet cashmere jumpers for her Christmas present (with my staff discount. Gotta love retail for the staff discount). Now they are are on normal hangers, less than 50quid and in the sale.

The price of 'lux' fabrics can be perceived as a barrier to entry for consumers. £50 for a jumper? But you can go to Primark and get 3 jumpers for that price! They might just not last as long as you had hoped. Queue bobbling and pilling like the acrylic the jumpers are made from is going out of fashion.
And the care of  'lux' fabrics can also be a right royal pain in the bum. Dry cleaning can end up costing as much as the jumper itself after a few trips to the cleaners. So the expensive luxury item becomes a really expensive luxury item.

But the highstreet has cottoned on to this. Whistles is striving to make its silk offerings handwash instead of dry clean. The M&S cashmere jumpers in question can be machine washed instantly making them more accessible to the masses.

Not so luxury now.