5 Tips for Selling Clothes on eBay

Clothing, Shoes & Accessories is a hugely popular category for eBay sellers. With fashion as the highest revenue generating e-commerce vertical, it’s no wonder resellers are trying to catch the eyes of style-minded shoppers, especially since these buyers are twice as likely to purchase items in used condition.

But, successfully selling clothes on eBay requires knowledge of how to merchandise items that will both attract and convert buyers. Although potentially a big money-maker, this opportunity comes a lot of competition, so it’s important to avoid mindlessly listing items with the belief that “if you list it, they will come.”

Ready to turn those clothing listings into cash? Check out these five tips to help optimize your eBay product listings and get that apparel inventory flying off the shelves.

1. Showcase Your Items with Great Photography

Think of yourself as a fashion photographer- it’s your job to make your clothing look as desirable as possible! Show your products in the best light (figuratively and literally) to set your merchandise apart from competing listings. Try these simple photography tips to quickly stand out:

Use a Backdrop

Use a solid-colored backdrop and good lighting to present your apparel items. Your customers’ eyes need to be drawn directly to your product, so eliminate any distracting background clutter. For sellers on a budget or for smaller items, a folded piece of dollar-store poster board can be a great solution. Also, when editing your pictures, consider cropping your photos to focus attention on the featured item.

You can easily create a solid backdrop, like the one shown above, with white poster board.

Create a Professional Display

Display your clothing as professionally and attractively as possible. Consider photographing apparel and accessories on a mannequin or model, instead of a hanger, to help shoppers visualize how the item will look in real life.

OK Photograph Improved Photograph

Photograph All Details

When selling clothes on eBay, err on the side of more photos. If possible, include shots of care tags, size labels, logos, and brand names. Remember to also highlight details about the items that may not be immediately visible from a distance, such as material or fabric textures. 

When selling clothes on eBay, don’t forget to capture details such as tags, logos, or authenticated stitching.

Capture All Flaws

When selling clothing, especially secondhand or used items, being up-front is key to establishing trust with buyers. This includes disclosing flaws or blemishes, so be sure to show and call out any wear, stains, or rips.

Close-up photos of any flaws, stains, or tears are a must when selling used clothing on eBay.

2. Do Your Keyword Research

After a captivating photo, the keywords featured in your listing’s title and description are the second most important part of standing out from the crowd. These are the words and phrases shoppers use when searching for items online. Research shows including many popular, relevant keywords in a listing title is tied to stronger sales, so figuring out which words to include can be key to success. 

To set yourself apart from others resellers offering similar products, ask yourself “what are customers searching for on eBay right now?” To effectively answer this question, leverage one (or several) of the many keyword tools available to eBay sellers. 

Keyword Tool Dominator is one free tool you can use to identify popular keyword phrases being searched on eBay. eBay also has its own search engine that determines search results ordering based on a specific algorithm of ranking factors. By following eBay’s title and description guidelines, you can improve your product rankings, helping your items be seen by more shoppers. The better you are at matching your target keywords to how people search, the more likely you are to be found for relevant searches.

OK Keyword Phrase Improved Keyword Phrase
“Women’s dress” “Banana Republic women’s dress large”

3. Create a Compelling Product Title

Once you’ve captured compelling photos and determined the best keyword phrases, it’s time to optimize your listing titles. 

The title of your listing should contain (in this order) the brand, size, and clothing type. As a sidenote- in any clothing category, brand names should be part of your keyword strategy, as these are key attributes of apparel listings.

If the product still has its original tags, indicate this in your listing by describing it as “New With Tags” or using the abbreviation “NWT.” If budget allows, you might even consider adding a subtitle to your listing. If you choose to sell non-new clothing, include captivating adjectives in your listing like “Vintage,” “Great Condition,” “Lightly Worn,” or “Classic Style.”

Stylistically, remember that a clear and concise title will go a long way. Try to keep your title to 80 characters or less, and use correct grammar, capitalization, and spelling throughout.

OK Title Improved Title
“Women’s Dress New” “Banana Republic Women’s Large Green Tie Dress, NWT”

4. Optimize Your Product Description

Similar to your product title, your description is also vital in creating an easily searchable listing. This is a great opportunity to highlight anything unique about the product, including, but not limited to, item specifics such as color, brand, size, style, or material.

The product description is also one of your best opportunities to show off your merchandising skills. Include at least 200 words of copy in the product description field, with the most important keyword phrases used at the beginning and end.

To elevate your listing, consider offering style advice for those buyers who might be on the fence. For example, if you’ve listed a fringe skirt, mention top trendsetters or brands who might be rocking fringe styles as a way to inspire your shoppers.

OK Product Description Improved Product Description

Details: Classic dress for fall and winter seasons. Great worn on its own or layered!

  • Classic dress with long sleeves.
  • Beautiful details throughout.

Size: Large – tight fit and I usually wear a Large.

Condition: New – from store and never worn.

Details: Whether layered with a classic crew underneath for colder temperatures or worn on its own, this classic midi-length style is an all-weather wonder.

  • Round neck.
  • Long sleeves.
  • Belt at waist.
  • Invisible zipper with hook-and-eye closure at back.
  • Pieced seam details.

Size: U.S. Large. I’m 5’7″, 160 lbs, 30D-23-32, and this dress is a little tight on my frame. I think it runs a bit small.

Condition: New with tags. I purchased this dress a few months ago, and never got around to wearing it. Perfect condition!

5. Vary Your Products to Find the Best Mix of Inventory

Having the right mix of inventory is just as important for making sales, so consider diversifying your clothing offerings. Listing vintage, high-end brands works great for some sellers, but sourcing and selling unbranded clothing requires a lower investment, which could lead to a higher ROI.

If you do decide to sell unbranded or lower-cost apparel, you’ll still want to showcase products with the  same detail as you would higher-end clothing. Remove the items from the packaging and steam the wrinkles out, make them look attractive for photographs, which could even include styling them with complementary accessories for inspiration, and follow all the advice above.

Still unsure about listing unbranded items? Check out other super sellers, like Hooked on Pickin’, who have tested selling this type of apparel and have seen great success. 

Selling clothes on eBay can be an easy and affordable way to get into the reselling game, especially if you start with vintage items you already own. By creating high-quality listings that include top keywords and detailed descriptions, you can be confident that your clothing will been seen by shoppers who are ready to buy!

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