How to Sell your Preloved Clothing | FAQ

One of the things I'm asked the most is how to make some extra cash from the items in your wardrobe that you don't wear anymore. So as part of my FAQ series, I want to share with you 4 ways you can make money from your unworn clothes, shoes and accessories.

1. Ebay
The easiest, most popular marketplace for selling clothes and the one I use the most for well known brands that people search for - Boden, Next etc. You'll get a sufficient market interested in good quality well priced items from these brands and will therefore usually get a fair price to make it with the effort.
  • Before you start, check what other similar items are on eBay already and how much they're selling for. Remember to check sold listings to see what price items actually sold for. 
  • Only sell freshly laundered or dry cleaned items and iron them before taking photos. It sounds obvious but you'd be amazed at how many people don't bother and those few minutes will make your item look more appealing and attract more interest.
  • Make sure you take good photos in bright light. Flat lay tends to look better and find a part of your house where there's a neutral (clean) floor so that all you're seeing is the item you're selling - no kids toys or random shoes. 
  • Take close-ups of the label of the item showing the size and/or composition and of the sleeves/buttons.
  • Write a detailed description. How long you've had the item, condition, any faults, size, colour description. The more you write, the more the buyer engages. Suggest how to wear it, e.g. 'looks good with a breton top and jeans', 'perfect on a night out with black skinny jeans'. This allows people to visualise how they will wear the item.
  • List your items for sale in the evening - between 6pm and 10pm ideally to attract the most interest and hopefully get some last minute bidding going!
  • Be reasonable with postage prices. I hate paying for postage so I don't charge anything above what I know Royal Mail will charge me. I keep all my packaging from online orders and recycle when I can to save on envelope costs. If you don't have any envelopes to reuse, recycle a carrier bag by turning it inside out. Though not a Tesco bag (true story - I once had a well known and quite high end blogger send me one of her preloved coats wrapped in 2 old Tesco bags. The parcel arrived looking pretty dishevelled and miserable - definitely spoiled the transaction for me and I never really loved the coat for it)
  • Be careful when selling high value items - I'd always recommend you use a consignment shop for these (see below).
To make eBay super easy, use the app on your phone. It will automatically populate lots of the fields for you if you chose to copy a similar item already on the site. It will also lift your photos easily off your camera roll. 

2. Facebook/Instagram
There are several ways to approach this....

  • Firstly, you can just use your own account on Instagram or Facebook. It's always preferable to buy clothes from a friend or someone you know. Simply tell people you've got some lovely preloved bits to sell and pop up some photos asking for direct messages if anyone is interested.
  • Secondly, you can use Facebook marketplace - it's a bit hit and miss as there can be a lot of tyre-kickers and people who don't pay up etc but I've bought on it and it was a simple transaction and I got a gorgeous formal dress for a bargain price.
  • Thirdly, there are loads of preloved groups on Facebook that you can ask to join. Simply do a search and request membership. Don't post anything straight away - suss it out first and see how it operates. I am part of one lovely group of women on Facebook and I often post items in that closed group as I know it's trustworthy and you don't ever get messed about.
Same top eBay tips about photography and postage apply to social media selling too!
3. Consignment
Wherever you live, search out your local consignment shop. If nothing else, it's a great place to shop for amazing one off pieces at a fraction of full price. But if you have good quality recent items, you may be able to hand it all over in one go to this local shop and get some cash in your hand when it sells.
  • Must consignment stores work on a 50/50 split of the proceeds but the benefit of using them is that the item will generally sell for more in the first place and you've no fees to pay, packaging to buy or trips to the post office. So the difference in what you walk away with might not be that much less than selling online and sometimes may be more. Additionally you've no hassle from buyers, no returns and no time spent adding items online and monitoring/answering questions. 
  • The downside is that if the items don't sell, you get them back! Additionally, if you don't keep in touch with the shop, you might miss the cut off time and your item could get donated to charity. Make sure you find out the policy in your local store and add a reminder on your phone for the time limit for your item to sell.
  • Consignment shops are the best option for high value items like designer handbags and shoes as buyers are genuine and good shop owners ensure that the items for sale are also genuine. So you'll not be ripped off on either side. They're also great for large items like winter coats where postage can be prohibitive - it can cost up to £10 to post a big heavy winter coat!
Locally, I can recommend DejaVu on the Lisburn Road and Rags to Riches on Bloomfield. Siopaella in Dublin is also great. Please comment below if you have a fab consignment shop near you and it will help me build a directory of these.

4. Depop
Depop is a phone-based app that allows you to sell your clothing on an Instagram-like platform. This means that people who use the app can easily search for what they're looking for as you might do on Instagram - with hashtags as well as descriptions. It differs to the likes of eBay in that you follow people whose clothing fits you and whose style you like so when you check the app, you have an Instagram-like feed containing what these people have most recently sold.

People can message you to make an offer - there seems to be a bit more 'horse-trading' on it than on other channels. What I like most is the 'searchability' aspect of it but I will say it's definitely got a younger demographic. Good for offloading brands like Topshop/ASOS et al and for those of you with teenagers, it's definitely one to consider.

Finally, all the same photography/description tips for eBay (above) apply for depop too! 


Big tip for all of these options - be realistic about what you think you'll get for your item. As a guide, you shouldn't set the price any more than half of what you paid. And if you want to sell fast, you will need to be willing to accept a LOT less. We all have too much in our wardrobes so supply is plentiful and the laws of economics will dictate low prices. Having said all that, if you've been wise in your initial purchases, you'll always make more money selling.

And my last top tip - RESIST the temptation to search for replacement items!! It's very have enough!!  


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