to shop / downsizing my closet, part 4 (tips for reselling on eBay)

It’s been a while since I had a downsizing post. Three years to be exact. As someone who likes new fangled things, I do not bring every material good into my home with the intent of keeping it “forever”. So it’s a good thing I don’t mind the trouble of reselling. If I didn’t care about money, I would’ve donated all of it, but I’d like a return for what I’ve spent even if it’s what I call “lunch money” (which isn’t that cheap here).

Here are tips on reselling on eBay (and a few notes for Poshmark):

Photos. Take actual photos and make sure they are flattering. Use natural sunlight if you can. If you can find stock photos, add them in as well but be aware that on eBay some companies are vigilant about pulling down photos (whether it’s reported by another user or they have someone trolling posts). This is the case for Uniqlo, Zara, and Asos, and used to be the case for J.Crew, but I think they stopped. I’ve also gotten a listing for COS pulled but I’m pretty sure it was reported by another user (competitor). If you use Poshmark, I don’t think you have to worry at all about stock photos. You are limited to the number of photos, I sometimes do collages for Poshmark. In general, I save stock photos and descriptions of what I buy as a record for myself and it makes it easier when I want to resell.

Measurements. I hate getting questions on measurements so I will include basic measurements when I post. Yes, it’s painful but I’ve found that stuff goes a lot quicker this way. I’ve become best friends with my measuring tape.

Condition. I’m very descriptive and will admit if it’s dusty/wrinkly, etc. and needs to be cleaned. I’m definitely not washing everything I’m selling, but am not selling anything that’s in a deplorable condition.

Pricing. Be realistic. Do you want to maximize your inflow or just get some money to get rid of it? What is the going price (you can search completed listings)? I do fixed price listings on eBay and almost always have the Best Offer option enabled, with a minimum price built in. Many folks buy without attempting an offer. I also do periodic sweeps and will lower my prices.

Take Home Pay. For new sellers, find a calculator online to figure out how much you’re taking home after eBay fees, PayPal fees, etc. If you use Poshmark, the app will tell you your future earnings when you finalize your listing.

Shipping. I always have a flat shipping fee stated for the US with some padding built in to absorb the fee/trouble. If you’re not familiar with shipping items, have a very good understanding before you list an item, or else you may eat away your earnings with shipping fees. I also have the luxury of not having to go to the post office. I drop items off for pickup 99.9% of the time. If it’s something expensive ($750+) and I need a receipt for drop-off, I will go in person.

  • “Free” Shipping. Since eBay charges you fee for 10% of your shipping fee, sometimes it makes sense to pad it into your price. Especially, if it’s a fairly cheap item that can be mailed via First Class Mail* (under 16 ounces through PayPal/eBay shipping). But don’t always offer free shipping. If you can’t afford for someone to reject your package and eat the cost, don’t do free shipping.
  • Shipping Supplies. For eBay, I ship First Class Mail and Priority Mail 99.9% of the time. For First Class Mail (up to 16 oz on eBay/PayPal), I’ve purchased padded poly envelopes and poly bags from eBay (link) and save almost all of the bubble padding that I get from my own online purchases. Since First Class Mail requires precision down to the ounce, I have a basic scale that I got for free from eStamps ages ago. For Priority Mail, I ship most often with padded flat rate envelopes that you need to order from USPS (link). For times when I can’t use the above (or Poshmark), I use my own boxes or Priority Mail boxes. My favorite tape is purchased from Amazon (link). I also use shipping label paper (link). In general, you shouldn’t be spending much on supplies unless you sell a lot.
  • International Shipping. I used to ship internationally on my own, but now I use eBay’s Global Shipping program where you ship your item to a US eBay center and then they ship it to the buyer abroad. It’s stress-free because I only have to worry about domestic tracking — eBay handles the international part which can be stressful. The pricing the buyer sees includes customs and eBay relies on the seller to put a weight estimate (especially if it’s over a pound). I’m not sure how eBay transports the items but I heard they might do a bulk shipment.

When to Sell. It’s best to sell in-season, but if you can’t, it’s not the end of the world. For some reason, Uniqlo lightweight down sells fairly well in the summer.

Handling Time. I’m not Amazon Prime. I put 5 business days and have done 10 before in the past. Better to exceed expectations than not meet them. Once in a while, I have an annoying buyer asking if I can ship immediately. I point back to my handling time. Poshmark has stricter rules on how soon you have to ship.

Cross-posting. I sometimes do eBay and Poshmark. Poshmark is a pain, in my opinion, because it’s only available on the app. Certain things tend to sell easier on Poshmark for higher prices to boot, so don’t discount that (my guess is some people never withdraw their earnings and use that to shop). eBay is still better for niche brands (including Muji, Uniqlo) and Poshmark is better for mainstream/trend.

What I’ve been Selling

Skincare/Haircare/Cosmetics. I tend to stock up so there were instances where I stopped using a product, stuff expiring faster than I can use it, or “free samples” or items that came in a set. It is also quite amazing how people will pay more than full price for something that they can buy online. Note: you can’t sell used cosmetics on eBay and Poshmark but you can sell used skincare/haircare on eBay (not sure about Poshmark).

  • Sample/travel sizes from Birchbox (no longer getting this), Sephora Play!, and Sephora orders. I categorize my samples for the most part using Ikea clear plastic bins. I bundled samples and listed them by category (e.g. perfume, foundation, eye shadow/blush, one brand, skincare, etc.) These were all instances where some $ was better than none and I got enough money for probably a few retail Birchboxes. Some samples sell well on their own or if you have multiples of the same brand, e.g. NARS, Tata Harper, Drunk Elephant, and Glamglow. (Although if I knew anyone local who liked this stuff, I would’ve given it away for free.)

Costume Jewelry/Belts. I used to like buying them way too much!

(Sun)glasses. I’m not a nostalgic person for keeping my history of sunglasses. I even sold my old glasses frame (they were a designer brand). These sell better on Poshmark.

Plaid/Black/Navy Clothes. I got sized out, have something too similar, and/or didn’t love it anymore. In general, most clothes I have are of good quality (whether it is fashion or not), well maintained, and had little to no signs of wear. Photographing black/navy is not the most fun.

Buttondown Shirts. There are some J.Crew buttondowns that I’m sad to see go, but there just isn’t enough time to wear all of them. (Blazers will be next…)

Sample Sale Hauls. I went to these in my younger days with much regret. I’m finally selling some of that stuff. This includes lots of leather Baggu items and Orla Kiely. I avoid sample sales now.

Purses. In general, anything that I’ve bought in recent years that I didn’t LOVE most likely was eliminated. I’ve gotten rid of my Clare V non-totes and all but one of my vintage Coach bags (many of them are too small to be practical).

Old Navy. This goes for any non-activewear. I’ve bought a decent amount of cotton dresses over the years and I end up falling out of love with them. They resell fairly well considering how much I bought them for.

weekends / saturday six (2016.04.09)

(1) I love bringing Suja Mighty Greens juice to work in a S’well bottle, since it stays chilled. The extra large bottle from Costco is reasonably cheap and it lasts us for a few days. We grab a few bottles every time we go to Costco. You can find the S’well bottles here and here. I have a 9 oz for juice and a 17 oz gold one for water, which always gets comments.

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