Cash in Your Closet

by Lisa Thompson

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What's that rule again? If you haven't worn it in six months, get rid of it? If we followed that rule, just about all of us would have a pretty decent pile of clothes that we should be getting rid of right now. What if I told you that you could earn some extra money by selling that clothing on eBay?

Selling that no longer used clothing on eBay takes a little bit of time, but is really quite simple, and you are almost guaranteed to get more money for your clothes than you would if you held a garage sale! So, where do you start? Read on to find an introduction to the basics of selling clothing on eBay.

  1. Your first step is to sort the clothing you want to sell into spring/summer clothing and fall/winter clothing. You will want to sell your clothing "with the season," meaning that if it is spring now, you should be selling your spring and summer clothing. Pack the opposite season clothing away in a labeled box so you can easily find it when the seasons change.
  2. Next, sort the current season's clothing by size. It is best to sell all of the clothing in the same size at the same time so if one person finds something they like, they might find others they like and bid on them all! (Ebayers love repeat customers!)
  3. It is important to launder the clothing that you are going to sell, and steam or iron them, if necessary. It's important that they are looking their best for the next step!
  4. Photographing your clothing is one of the most important steps in this process because eBay shoppers need to really be able to see the clothing well since they can't actually touch them or try them on. It is by far the easiest to use a digital camera so you can upload your photos right to your computer and then to eBay. If you don't have your own, see if you can borrow one from someone you know.

    Take care to photograph the clothing very well and from several angels. Close-up shots are also important if the item has unique details.
  5. When you are done taking your photos, upload them onto your computer and do some simple editing with the photo software that came with your camera, or any other photo editing software that you are comfortable with.
  6. Next, you will need to sign-up for an eBay seller's account if you don't have one already. Click here to register on eBay.
  7. Now you are ready to actually create and launch your auction listings. If you need some help with the basics of how to do this, check out eBay's help pages and Learning Center. Here's one good link to check out: Ebay's Learning Center
  8. Finally, you can sit back and enjoy the roller coaster ride of watching your auctions throughout the week! Keep in mind that sometimes items get the most bids during the final minutes!

Here are some other things to keep in mind.

  • It is best to include a shipping price in your auction listings so potential bidders know how much it's going to be. An easy way to do this is to use flat rate envelopes and boxes from the post office. Or, for heavier items, you can weigh them on your home bathroom scale and then use to figure out the rate for shipping it.
  • Make sure you describe the clothing as best as you can, including any flaws there may be.
  • Including measurements is very helpful also. Use a tape measure to measure things like the chest, waist, and length of your clothing.

If after selling your own clothes on eBay for a nice profit, you decide you'd like to keep going, you should consider ways to find more clothes to sell. Some options include your friends' and relatives' closets, rummages, thrift stores, clearance sales at area retail stores, and wholesalers can provide clothing at low enough prices for resale provided you know what to look for.

There is a lot to learn about selling clothing on eBay if you decide you'd like to try and make money doing it on a regular basis, but it can be done and can be a lot of fun too! The important thing is to always keep learning because the more you learn about selling clothing on eBay, the more money you make!

Lisa Thompson has been buying and selling on eBay since 2000 and has earned recognition as an eBay Power Seller. She is also the publisher of a newsletter, Fortunes from Fashion, a must have "how to" guide for women's clothing sellers on eBay. To learn more about her newsletter, visit her site at
Copyright 2005 Lisa Thompson

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