5 Tips for Selling Clothes on eBay Like a Pro

Apparel is a hugely popular category for top eBay sellers. That’s no wonder since clothing shoppers are two times more likely than any other category of shoppers to shop online (and also twice as likely to purchased in used condition). But that opportunity comes with increased competition on eBay, so don’t fall into the trap of thinking “If you list it, they will come.”

Successfully selling clothes on eBay requires exceptional merchandising to attract and convert buyers, even more so than other types of merchandise.

These five tips will help you optimize your eBay product listings and get your apparel inventory flying off the shelves.

1. Showcase Your Items with Great Photography

Show your products in the best light (figuratively and literally) to set your merchandise apart from competing listings. Think of yourself as a fashion photographer and take extra special care to make your clothing look great! Some simple photography tips to stand out include:

Use a Backdrop

Use a solid-colored backdrop and good lighting to present your apparel items. You want your customers’ eyes to be drawn directly to your product, so eliminate background clutter that causes distractions. You’ll also want to consider cropping your photos so that the clothing is the primary focus. For sellers on a budget and for smaller items like shoes and accessories, you can use a folded dollar-store poster as your backdrop.

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

Capture All Flaws

Make sure to show any wear, stains, or rips. You want to be as up-front as possible, which includes disclosing any flaws or blemishes.

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

Photograph All Details

When selling clothes on eBay, err on the side of more photos. Include detail shots of care tags, size labels, logos, and brand names. Remember to highlight details and textures that might not be immediately visible from a distance.

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

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 visually how the item will look in real life.

OK Photograph Improved Photograph

2. Do Your Keyword Research

The keywords featured in your product title and throughout your listing are the second most important part of your listing, after a captivating photo. Think of keywords as the words and phrases that shoppers use to find what they’re looking for and which you use to describe the item you are selling. Research shows  that the number of popular keywords included in your listing title is strongly tied to more successful sales.  

To set yourself apart from the thousands of others resellers out there trying to sell similar products, ask yourself “what exactly 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 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 help improve your product rankings so your items are 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 creating compelling photos and determined the best keyword phrases, you can turn your attention to optimizing your titles. Be sure to use your keyword research to guide how you flesh out the name of your product and listing.

The title of your listing should contain (in this order) the brand, size, and clothing type. (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 your 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, using 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

Don’t neglect your product description. 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 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 the 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 the fringe style 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. Mix Up Your Product Offerings to Find the Best Mix of Inventory

Ensuring that you have the right mix of inventory is just as important for making sales as the preceding tips. Consider diversifying your clothing offerings. Listing vintage, high-end brands works great for some sellers. But have you tried sourcing and selling unbranded clothing for lower investment and higher ROI?

Super sellers like Hooked on Pickin’ have tested this type of apparel inventory out with great success.

If you sell unbranded or lower-cost apparel, you’ll still want to showcase the products the same way you would with higher-end clothing. Remove the items from the packaging and steam the wrinkles out, make them look attractive for photographs (perhaps show them styled with complementary items and accessories for full outfit inspiration), and follow all the advice above.

Selling clothes on eBay has low overhead costs and getting started can be as easy as rummaging around your closet to unearth that vintage dress you never wear. If you’re successful selling clothing you already had and you find you love the challenge of selling on eBay, consider sourcing clothes to flip for profit! When you’re ready to start your online selling business, consider scaling up with reputable wholesale companies like BULQ and purchase in multiples to realize bigger efficiencies of scale


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