Monday, June 7, 2010

How to Sell on eBay: The Things We Wear

How to Sell on eBay: The Things We Wear
Clothing, Shoes & Accessories is one of the top-selling categories on eBay.

If you're like most people, you have clothes in your closet you no longer wear. And it's a good bet there's at least one item lurking in there that still has the tags on it. There's nothing wrong with that. We've all made purchases that we've later had second thoughts about, or bought a garment, stored it away and forgotten about it.

But these pieces don't need to be forgotten forever—especially with millions of potential buyers online who would be happy to give them a new home. So why not try selling them on eBay? We'll help by giving you the background necessary should you decide to try your hand at Clothing, Shoes & Accessories.

You may even venture into your own children's closet, your spouse's or your roommate's—with their permission, of course—to beef up your inventory. As long as you ask them first, you'll have little to lose and plenty to gain.

Hot sellers
Over the years, eBay has become a magnet for bargain seekers of name-brand merchandise, both new and used. So it seems natural the Clothing, Shoes & Accessories category has emerged as one of eBay’s most popular categories.

In recognition of this, eBay recently launched the Fashion site, giving all listings in the category a catalog-style interface.

Almost any type of clothing and accessories will sell on eBay but—as with any category—there are those that will sell better than others.

Plus-size items and petites are also popular online because they can quickly sell out at brick-and-mortar shops, writes Michelle Angell, an eBay seller of more than 10 years and a writer for And if you have designer threads you no longer use, definitely put these up on eBay.

"Buyers are looking for bargains, and eBay can be a gold mine for those wanting to look fashionable without paying department-store prices," Angell notes.

However, be sure the brand-name items you are offering are genuine. Regardless of the item you sell, though, condition is a major factor.

Conditional love
Just like with a brick-and-mortar shop, buyers are going to pick the pieces that look the best. That means your description and photos are very important. Shoppers don't have the option of grabbing items off the shelf to inspect them or try them on, so you need to be their eyes and hands to keep buyers happy and ensure smooth transactions.

It's important to tell buyers if an item is new (with or without tags), or gently used, and give them plenty of photos so they know the exact condition and details of the piece. Photograph both the front and back of an item, and zoom in on any intricate detailing to ensure buyers see items in their truest form. And be sure to include shots of any imperfections an item may have.

Dazzling descriptions
Titles are prime real estate in the online selling world. You want to use accurate keywords that will tell buyers what you're offering at a glance. That means you not only need to tell them what you're selling, but also the size and material items are made of, right away. And if you can fit it, include the condition as well so buyers know the important details at a glance.

Once you get them to click on your listing, it's time to tell shoppers everything you can about your piece. Again, size is very important to mention. But remember that sizes aren't universal. One brand's size 8 may be another brand's size 10, so grab the measuring tape. It's time to tell buyers the exact measurements. For tops you'll want to note the sleeve length, chest measurement and the full length of the piece. For bottoms, be sure to measure the waist and the inseam. You'll want to provide measurements for accessories as well. How big is that handbag, belt buckle, shoe charm or hair clip?

Shoppers will thank you for this information, because they'll know if an item is likely to fit or not, and you'll do yourself a favor by reducing the likelihood of a return.

Know your market
As with any category, it pays to do some advance legwork before jumping in with both feet. Subscribing to research services such as Terapeak can give an eBay seller valuable insight into keywords, average selling prices and optimum days and times for ending listings, as well as clue them into the most profitable niches.

However, much of this knowledge can be gleaned for free—with only the investment of time—by studying closed and active listings on eBay.

If you have a lot of the same items in different sizes or colors, you could try creating multi-variation listings. This can be a big money and time saver since you only create one listing for these items instead of multiple. Auctiva recently began supporting eBay’s multi-variation listings format, saving eBay sellers time and money.

Blog post provided by Auctiva Education. Read full blog post here.

Auctiva is an eBay Certified Solutions Provider offering listing management solutions and features for beginner -to mid-to high-volume eBay sellers.

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