Unless you’re rich, reselling is essential to affording high-end outfits (bonus: it’s a very green thing to do!). Even just a little goes a long way, and it adds up quickly if you do it right. Here’s what you need to do:
- Get a Paypal account, if you don’t already have one. It’s easy to set up and you must have one in order BST (Buy/Sell/Trade) on Ebay and in Facebook groups. Plus, it’s a great way to keep track of your clothing funds. There’s no better feeling than using your Paypal funds to buy something you love that would usually be out of your price range.
- Get an Ebay account. Again: easy, free, and essential.
- Start limiting yourself to resellable brands (ideally you should opt for items within those brands that will best hold their value – you’ll develop a feel for that as time goes on). A few such brands are Mini Boden, Tea Collection, Janie & Jack, Matilda Jane, and Persnickety. Each of these brands has a highly active BST page on Facebook and a strong following on Ebay. YES, you can still resell other high-end brands – be sure to put the word “boutique” in the title if you’re selling on Ebay. But these are your surest bet for really making a lot back.
- Get those brands on a DEAL. Buy them off Ebay or on a flash sale. Combine vouchers with coupon codes. Each brand has its own best way of buying and I’ll try to highlight that when I showcase the brand in a “featured outfit” post. Use the search box at the top of the blog to see if the brand has been discussed yet.
- Keep your clothing nice. I recommend Resolve Max Gel over all other stain-removers, and sometimes I spray it over with Shout as well. A fabric shaver is also essential – and super cheap (removes pilling) – this is the best one I’ve tried; it’s only $12. Wash your nice stuff on extra gentle with woolite. Tumble dry for no more than 10 minutes before removing to air dry.
- Carry your camera around, if you can. Really good “IRL” (In Real Life) pics of your child in an outfit can really help sell it.
- At the end of each season, photograph each piece and then store. Keep a Word (or other) document on which you list each item, its condition and any flaws, its size and whether it runs TTS (true to size). Always photograph in natural light NEVER with a flash. Lay things out nicely so there are no wrinkles.
- Create two folders in iPhoto (or whatever you use) for storing all those pics. One for “Spring/Summer” and one for “Fall/Winter.” Drag all your pics into those folders so you don’t lose track of them.
- Once last season’s clothing starts becoming seasonal again, start selling! All you’ll need is your Word document and your folder of pics – you won’t even have to get out your bin of clothes. List your spring items in February, Summer items in April, Fall items in August, and winter items in October. Once you see the big brands roll out their new season line, that’s when you need to get yours out too.
- Selling on Ebay: The biggest bang for your buck is usually going to be Ebay. Ebay gives you a huge national pool of buyers and allows them to compete against each other by bidding. It also allows you to relist items that didn’t sell by literally clicking twice. Ebay does take 10% of your sale but it’s usually worth it. Listing on Ebay is free as long as you don’t change the standard settings – a 7 day listing with an auction and a buy-it-now price. Be sure to include as much detail as possible in the title of your listing, so that it’s a hit on as many searches as possible. Consider searching Ebay for your item and/or limiting your results to “completed listings” so that you can see what other sellers are asking and what they’re getting. Your auction will end exactly 7 days after you list an item, so list it during times when people are most likely to be at a computer – in the evening, not on weekends.
- Selling Elsewhere: The only other places worth selling are Facebook BST pages. Consignment is not selling; you’ll keep only a small fraction by consigning. When you sell in a FB group, be sure to use Paypal to send an “invoice” to the buyer – this protects you in the event that the buyer tries to scam you. The benefit of the BST pages is that you sometimes get an immediate sale with no commission taken by Ebay. The very best is to list an item both on Ebay and in the BST – but be sure to take your Ebay listing down if it sells elsewhere.
- Shipping: Purchase a package of poly mailers off Amazon or EBay; these usually work out to about $.10 so you’ll save lots of money. I usually reinforce the seal with packaging tape, and if it’s a really nice item I might double-bag it with a ziplock. Personally I just hand-address with permanent marker and drop the package at the post office, but you can also get a scale very cheaply and do all your shipping via Ebay/Paypal; you’ll just need to make sure your mailman knows to take your packages with him when he’s leaving your mail.
If you follow these steps, you’ll soon watch your Paypal account grow. Every season will be stronger than that last because the money you get from reselling last season’s stuff will enable you to buy more and better stuff that season, which means still better sales next season… and on and on. Here’s a list of some of the best BST groups on Facebook:
- MJ Addicts (Matilda Jane)
- Persnickety Obsession
- Mini Boden Resell
- Janie & Jack Obsessed
- Tea Collection – Buy, Sell, Trade Group
- European Children’s Clothing Resale – *NEW* Group! Join us!
- Mini Melissa BST
- Giggle Moon/Mustard Pie BST and Chat Group!
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