With the recent rise of resale apps such as Depop and Poshmark, the idea of selling old clothes online is becoming more fashionable. A lot of people applied resale of clothes into a lucrative side concert or even a full-time job, gaining thousands of followers and making dozens of sales a week.
The second-hand market is projected to more than triple by 2030, according to a 2021 study by reseller platform Mercari and research firm GlobalData as more fashion lovers tidy up their closets and seek savings to find valuable items for resale.
But whether you have a collection of t-shirts with bands or office clothes, success on these platforms takes time and effort. Before diving into your wardrobe, there are a few things to know.
Unlike consignment and resale stores, you can self-rate goods on an online platform. Before you list an item of clothing, look at it on several platforms to find out what it is now for sale. Depending on age, condition and brand, prices can vary greatly.
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You can also use direct messages to negotiate with buyers and use the features of applications such as Depop and Poshmark, which allow you to accept offers and create discounts on multiple products.
“Sales can be sporadic,” says Andres Castillo of Los Angeles, who sells rare designer items through Depop, eBay and Instagram called Debonair Vintage. With rare or valuable things it may take some time to find the right buyer, especially if you want to break even or make a profit.
THERE ARE GREAT RESPONSIBILITIES
“I treat (resale of clothes) as my job,” says Eva Perez, a full-time student in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, who sells under the name Fitsfinesse and was featured in Teenage Vogue in 2021 for her success at the depot. She responds daily to messages and also takes photos of goods, sews products to order, and packs and delivers orders.
It is very important to talk clearly with the first buyers: “If you do not build this relationship, you will not get sales and returning customers,” she adds.
Even though you control the prices, reselling online takes much more time and energy than selling to consignment stores. According to Depotsellers who constantly list – about 15 items a week – eventually sell more.
“It takes a lot of time and dedication,” Castilla says. High-end vendors need to learn how to take attractive photos, understand shipping rates, negotiate text negotiations and research brands and trends to make the most of their stocks.
Yes, you can set your own prices, but there are a few overheads to consider. Online resale platforms charge a commission, as well as additional fees for delivery through the platform or receiving payments through a processor such as PayPal. Depop takes 10% of each sale, and eBay – 15%; Poshmark charges $ 2.95 for goods under $ 15 and 20% for goods over $ 15. PayPal, which integrates with Depop, Poshmark and eBay, charges another 3.49% plus 49 cents per transaction for processing payments.
You will also need to pay for packaging, label printing and possibly storage of inventory including boxes, hangers and shelves. Top sellers also recommend adding personal touches to supplies, such as free stickers, small accessories or a thank you note. When all these costs add up, you may find that you should only list items of higher value.
You can cut costs by reusing mailings and mailboxes, as well as printing labels at your local FedEx or UPS store instead of purchasing a label printer. Or reduce shipping costs for shoppers by combining multiple items into one shipment, which can motivate shoppers to purchase more at your store.
THE SOCIAL ASPECT IS PRIORITY
The most successful online resellers have one thing in common: a strong personal brand. Finding your niche and building loyal fans are critical to long-term success on a resale platform.
“It’s like Instagram, but for sale,” says Perez, who focuses on maintaining consistent aesthetics and marketing her store on social media platforms such as TikTok.
Castillo developed his business, serving a very specific market: collectors of vintage designers, especially for Moschino and Chanel. He sells on multiple platforms, using his Instagram to rent things to stylists for photo shoots and events on the red carpet. Although it targets a fairly small community, its narrow focus helps it reach its ideal buyers.
It can be seen that other top sellers on resale platforms follow a similar approach, with store themes ranging from t-shirts to vintage dresses. “Rely on your personal taste,” Castilla says. Even if you don’t have a hand-picked collection for sale, personalized packaging or a unique photo background can help your items stand out.
Both Perez and Castillo emphasize the importance of cross-linking social networking platforms to reach as many potential customers as possible. Creating a dedicated Instagram Business account and tracking other online retailers and designers can help attract shoppers to your store. Check popular pages for trendy hashtags and add them to your posts. Allocating time to promote on social media can help turn your wardrobe into a serious profit.
This article was provided by The Associated Press on the NerdWallet personal finance website. Dalia Ramirez is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NerdWallet: 25 side business ideas for 2022 https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-side-business-ideas
Depop: Depop 101: Store settings https://blog.depop.com/articles/depop-101-setting-up-shop
Teen Vogue: 7 Black Depop Sellers About Their Success https://www.teenvogue.com/story/7-black-depop-sellers-on-their-success
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