Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Wardrobe Angel - Ingredient Transparency

Last week marked the start of me trying to give up sugar. It was during a particularly awesome wardrobe clearing session with a client in Wales when we stopped for lunch and ate nowt but health on a plate when my client casually informed me that sugar is more addictive than cocaine AND that it is contained within most packaged food. I was sceptical so when I headed home I decided to check some food packets in the kitchen. Have you seen the amount of stuff it is in?? I don't mind all the cakes and biscuits - that's elementary, Watson - it is supposed to be in those tasty and naughty treats but it is even in BRAN FLAKES! And a packet of stuffing for crying out loud! 
Fervent packet checking done, I started to do some research online about sugar and ingredient transparency and found this cracking article from GlobeScan:

“Many consumers globally believe they have the right to know what products are made of and they want companies to ensure their products are safe and effective,” said Eric Whan, Sustainability Director at GlobeScan.

It got me thinking ( and invoking the writing spirit of Carrie Bradshaw it appears!) about The Wardrobe Angel: what makes me and my business tick -what are my ingredients and am I transparent about them? This post is dedicated to my Mission and my Values. 

My Mission:

"To get people in the UK to make the most out of what they have hanging in their wardrobes whether that's about the clothes they own, the budget they have or discovering their own sense of innate style. I want to make the everyday task of getting dressed one which fills you with confidence rather than dread."

What does "make the most of" mean though? All a bit 'make-do-and-mend' isn't it? Here's how I work - I believe in re-styling, re-imagining and re-selling. Re-styling clothes in new and exciting ways, pairing items with things you hadn't considered, re-imagining existing clothes by getting them altered and given a new lease of life and finally re-selling items which are no longer suitable for you but may be suitable for somebody else. Throw in the cleaning of your wardrobe, general de-cluttering and re-organising and that's The Wardrobe Angel experience. I want clients to get clothing miles by looking after their purchases and re-visiting them like they are a welcomed old-friend, to have wardrobes that work for their lifestyle as well as their personality and to enjoy considered consumption.

I also firmly believe in actively encourage sustainability, upcycling and recycling whilst flying the flag for home-grown talent by supporting British Brands. This blog has been a platform on which I have brought some new and under the radar brands to light and I love it! 

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Drug Free eBay Top 10 Tips (read on - it'll all make sense...)

With the sun beginning to finally break through the clouds this month it is the perfect time to clear out your wardrobe and generate some cash from things you don’t wear. Back in 2011 I wrote my first blog post about eBay and I have learnt a lot since then about successful selling, so much so that PayPal put a hold on my account in February: they thought I was a drug dealing money launderer because of all the money going in and out of my account. True Fact! Last year I made nearly £2000 for clients selling their unsuitable clothes.

Here are my updated, drug free eBay Top 10 Tips:

1.      What’s New Pussycat? eBay Pulse used to be a great barometer to check what was and wasn’t selling and sadly, as of September 2012 it no longer exists. In its place there is the most awesome Watch Count (click here for their website). Simply select your country and then search for your key words. They even have an option to see items with zero/fewest bids - great if you need a specific item for minimal cash. I use this function to see why things haven’t sold: it may the description, the starting bid price, a badly pose photo.

2.      Knowledge is power. You wouldn’t go and buy a car without checking out the market and seeing what is on offer elsewhere. Say I am listing a Boden Top size 18, I run a search on the item to see if there are any similar items selling with that description. I check out the listing price, the photos, the description and the delivery time of similar items.

3.      Standing out from the crowd. There are 1000’s of items for sale on eBay: you have to make your listing stand out. List the garment attributes in the title - BNWT (Brand New With Tags), 100% Silk, Cashmere mix, BN (Brand New). I use a mix of capital and lower case letters as well.

4.       Descriptions which actually describe. I did an English degree so I secretly love this part but 1 sentence about your item alongside 1 photo? Would you buy that? If you were on a market stall shouting your wares what would you say? This is your chance to really sell your item: fit, cut, quality, washing instructions. Why are you selling it? When did you wear it? It is races season soon so a dress you wore to Ascot, York or Aintree will sell better with that information included in the description – buyers will know what the end use is.

5.      Givers gain - I always include the measurements of the garment. This also saves you time – the more info you give, the less questions buyers ask.

6.       Phototastic – these babies come before your now wordy and bursting at the seams descriptions. Some buyers, if they really want the item, will buy from the photos alone. Think of your photos as a sequence of events: front, back, sleeve detail, front detail, lining, damage (if any), tags (if still attached), close up of the original price on tag, retailer label showing brand and size. Make sure the photos are turned to right way round before uploading.

7.      Be honest – if you say you’ll deliver in 3 days but you know work is going to be pretty hectic and you’d rather spend your lunch hour on Twitter than queuing at the Post Office then don’t make promises you can’t keep. Bad service = bad feedback which affects your seller ratings.  

8.      Packaged to perfection – Buy your packaging from Wilkinson’s – super cheap and great quality.

9.      It’s all about the timing – As with so many things in life, eBay really is all about the timing. Sunday night between 6.30pm and 9pm is the optimum time to list on eBay: more traffic, more bids, more money. Use the scheduling option on the selling form if you are batch listing. It will cost you £0.06 per item and saves a lot of stress.

10.  Money, money, money – Ah yes, eBay has to pay themselves somehow. They take 15% of your final sale price and PayPal charges a 3.4% transaction fee plus 20p per transaction.

Let me know how you get on! Til next time..x