Many women are guilty of wearing just 20% of what’s in their wardrobes, according to the recycling charity, Traid (www.traid.org.uk).
But these unused or forgotten clothes could earn you extra cash. Even if you think an old dress is horrible, it might appeal to someone else. And the simplest way to cash in on your unwanted clothes is through the web.
There are several online trading sites or community sites, such as www.whatsmineisyours.com, www.gumtree.com or www.oodle.co.uk, but the one that stands out the most is www.ebay.co.uk. 178,000 Brits now run a business on eBay. To put its popularity into context, an item of women’s clothing sells on eBay every three seconds, and a pair of shoes every 10 seconds. Carey Maguire, pop culture specialist for eBay, says: ‘The message is simple: if you don’t love it, then cash it in.’
Make money by selling your clothes on eBay with this step-by-step guide:
1 SEARCH FOR ITEMS
Look around your attic, garage or wardrobe and for any items in good condition (no tears or stains) that might be worth selling.
Visit www.ebay.co.uk and set up a seller’s account. For verification purposes, you’ll be asked to provide bank account information.
3 DO YOUR RESEARCH
This step is really important to find out what items are selling really well online at the moment. It’s also worth searching the Completed Items category on eBay, which allows you to compare similar items to ones you’re planning to sell.
4 CHOOSE A SELLING FORMAT
There are two ways to sell your items on eBay: a traditional auction-style listing – either through a traditional auction-style listing or with a Buy It Now option that has a fixed price. The best method for people new to eBay is the auction-style listing, as the Buy It Now option requires you to have feedback from at least 10 sales in order to list something. There’s a 10% final value fee when the product sells, but if it doesn’t sell there’s no fee.
5 DECIDE A LISTING DURATION
You can list any item on eBay for up to 10 days but many sellers choose a seven-day listing. This still takes advantage of online weekend shoppers, especially Sunday evenings- the busiest time for eBay shoppers.
6 CREATE A LISTING
To ensure your listing appeals to all the right people, include several keywords in the title. The main text should provide a detailed description of the product, including its brand, size and condition. Being honest is the best way to approach the listing, as withholding information can lead to problems later on. Remember to add postage and packaging costs in the listing, too. The post office website www.postoffice.co.uk provides useful postal prices and mail advice for eBay users.
7 TAKE A PHOTO
Visuals really do help with a sale, as buyers like to see what they’re bidding on. So always upload a clear photo.
8 PICK A PRICE
If you need money quickly and you’ve got more than 10 feedbacks, use the Buy It Now option so that your item can be bought instantly at a set price. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to start an auction-style listing at a fairly low price, so as not to put off buyers.
9 PAYMENT OPTIONS
There are several options available to you and you need to pick one before you make a listing. A popular choice is the online payment method, PayPal- it’s a secure system and allows you to pay or get paid quickly without sharing financial information. The cost to use this service is minimal: a 3.4% transaction fee, plus sellers pay 20p per transaction.
10 THE FINAL STAGES
Use the My eBay section to keep track of any items you’re selling or bidding on. Once the listing has ended, contact the buyer via the site to sort out payment and delivery details. To avoid any complications, only post the item once you’ve received payment. Remember to leave feedback once the sale is over, and encourage the buyer to feedback too. Selling your old clothes online could make you a tidy sum.
‘I’m a bit of an eBay nut’
Natalie Wood, 26, a graphic designer in London, uses eBay regularly both as a buyer and seller
‘I’m a bit of an eBay nut and have always been a big fan of buying clothes from the site. But I hadn’t thought of selling stuff on there until I moved out of my parents’ house and realised how many clothes I had that I never wore.
‘I’ve sold all sorts on eBay, from a winter hat to designer dresses. I tend to sell a large bunch of clothes every couple of months.
‘If bidders pull out or take ages to pay you can offer the item to the second highest bidder, or report non-payments to eBay. Simple.’
Even the celebrities are at it. Find out how much some of their designer gear sold for..
The black Dolce & Gabbana dress Amy Winehouse wore at the Grammys last year was sold on eBay for £1,950 to raise money for breast cancer charity The Lavender Trust. Keira Knightley’s silk off-the-shoulder gown she wore to the Oscars in 2006, designed by Vera Wang, sold for £4,000 in aid of Oxfam. And one of former PM Margaret Thatcher’s handbags fetched a massive £103,000.
Money sense…The junk in an average attic could be sold for more than £400, according to leading online retailer, eBay.