Our wardrobes are jam packed – the average wardrobe holds 100 items, 22 of which are never worn. The average British woman has over £1000 worth of underused (only worn once) or unworn clothing items (tags still on) sitting in her wardrobe. Whether you want to move a few items on to make room for the new season purchases or you want to go on holiday this year but your bank balance is telling you ‘NO WAY’, then look inside your wardrobe: that’s money sitting right there!
Before you start there are 3 things to consider. Firstly, you have to be clear what you want to achieve – how much money do you need to make? This will keep you focused, and if necessary, ruthless when tackling your wardrobe. Secondly, the selling won’t happen overnight: expect a 2 month turnaround. Thirdly, only sell what you can see yourself without; selling then regretting is a horrible experience.
Ready to sort and sell? Let’s go:
1. Focus on one section of your wardrobe at a time. Trying to tackle the whole wardrobe at once can be stressful so initially focus on 1 area: summer/winter, work/play, bags/clothes.
2. Give yourself enough time. I clear out 1 section of a clients’ wardrobe in 3 hours but this includes re-styling the clothes as well. Set a stop watch for 30 minute intervals and see how many items you sort in the time allotted.
3. Be prepared: lay out clothing bags on the bed and label them ALTERATIONS, SELLING, EBAY. You may come across a designer gem of a dress but the hem has dropped: put this in the alterations pile. A small outlay to get the hem fixed is worth it in the long run to get your dress sold.
4. What are your sticking points? Those items we don’t wear any more but can’t bear to part with. My business The Wardrobe Angel, specialises in decluttering wardrobes and I know how hard it can be to let clothing items go but think of your goal: car, holiday, house deposit, wedding. You can’t wear memories so if you are keeping hold of dress because you had a particularly good night out wearing it, find photos of that night out instead and sell the dress.
5. Be honest with yourself. How much you have used and worn your bags and clothes? If an item still has the tag on, this shows you didn’t love it enough to cut the tag off and wear it. Items with tags on sell really well; on eBay they are described as BNWT (Brand New With Tags) which gives you license to price them higher than a second hand item (no tags and which you have worn).
6. Keep in tune with the seasons when you clear out. Coats and knits sell great on eBay from November through to February. Summer listings start to creep in around March. Don’t forget festival season as well – head bands, jean shorts, crop tops – all essential festival wear.
7. What labels do you own? Mid to top-end high street labels like Zara, Whistles, Reiss sell really well on eBay, as does suiting and plus sized clothes. During the 3 years I have been running The Wardrobe Angel I have found that jeans don’t sell well, however blouses, tops, jumpers and coats do. Any vintage clothing should be taken to a specialist vintage dealer.
8. Designer labels less than 2 years old sell really well. Sites such as Vestiaire Collective and Buy My Wardrobe offer a haven for second hand designer clothes. That said, classics will always sell: Channel bags and jackets and Louise Vuitton bags for instance. Ring local dress agencies to ask what labels they stock and what their turnover of stock is like. You want to move your clothes on as quickly as possible so you need to make some decisions – sell on a designer clothing website (may sell immediately or not at all), sell at a dress agency (could sell in 6 weeks) or put on eBay (could sell in a week)? All have pros and cons.
9. Always check an equivalent item on eBay before you list your item. This will give you an idea of how much you can expect in return. Don’t forget the charges! eBay and PayPal both charge you for using their sites as do dress agencies and online dress agencies. As a rule of thumb, whatever your items sell for you will get 50% of the sale price.
10. All clothes should be clean and in a saleable condition: no holes, stains or alterations, ironed, crease free and on a hanger. Designer bags sell better with their dust bag so dig that out and iron it. Place the clothes for the vintage dealer and the designer clothes for the dress agency on wooden hangers and package them in a garment bag. Present your clothes like presents.
The Wardrobe Angel eBay page – I’m an Above Average Seller. Check out the descriptions, photos and terms & conditions I use to successfully sell.