Selling your clothes online can be pretty tricky when you’re just starting out. However, once you get into a groove and figure out what gets buyers excited, you’ll start to reap the sweet benefits (ahem, extra cash and helping slow down the fast-consumerist hellscape we’re in).
To demystify the whole process, we had a chat with Retro Rescuers — a couple of pro sellers of all things vintage and quirky — about how to get potential buyers frothing at the mouth over your eBay listings and everything in between.
They even ~kindly~ provided a few example shots of what your listings should look like, too, to help you on your journey to decluttering and making bank even more.
PEDESTRIAN.TV: What’s your general process like when it comes to selling your clothes on eBay?
Retro Rescuers: After venturing through piles and piles of pre-loved clothing throughout thrift stores, markets and estate sales, we get the clothing home and give them a big wash with antibacterial detergents. Once dry, we then take measurements and note down any flaws the clothing may have to help us reference when we are creating our eBay listing, i.e., ‘Mac and cheese stains on collar.’
Then it’s off to start the photography process of the item. When we’ve taken the photos, it is stored away safely in an air-tight bag and listed on eBay.
PTV: What’s the best backdrop to use for photos?
RR: We suggest using a plain coloured wall, you don’t need photography paper, but it does help to have consistency with your photos. Try to always use the same wall or location as it makes your page look professional and sexy. Also, you don’t want to take attention away from the piece with too much going on in the background.
PTV: What sort of lighting do you recommend using in photos?
RR: For casual selling, natural light from a window is always going to be the best. There is no need to go out and buy expensive lights when the sun is free. If you don’t have good sunlight in your house, then venture outside (at your own risk) and take the photos there. You can get a tan and make some extra money all at the same time.
PTV: Should you add a little bit of your own personality to the photos your listing?
RR: We personally believe the item is what makes the photo and try to keep it as simple as possible. If the clothing piece suits our natural personality, we will go along with it, but we don’t go out of our way to express too much of ourselves in a product photo. Things such as Instagram and YouTube are generally where we showcase our personality, but we always try to keep it neutral on our business page.
PTV: What are your go-to poses would you recommend using if you want to reel in buyers quicker?
RR: As mentioned, we like to keep things simple as we believe that is the best way to gain a buyer’s attention. Poses are always great as long as you don’t hide or take away any of the details from the piece. In some cases, it’s better to wear the item in a location that matches its aesthetic. For example, if you are selling a formal suit, you should have nice classy poses set in a clean, sophisticated scene. No one wants to buy a formal suit of a guy standing awkwardly in the corner of his messy bedroom.
PTV: Any interesting stories around tough sells/ or a really random item or piece of clothing that sold that you didn’t think would?
RR: Here at Retro Rescuers, we are always finding and selling incredibly weird and exciting things. But I guess this year, the one sale that pops in my mind is when we found an original Mario Bros movie cardboard cutout in the trash, and we ended up selling it to a video game store owner in The United States.
It feels good being able to rescue something out of the bin and have it make a positive impact on someone on the other side of the world. They were so excited when they found our listing, and once they received it, they sent us a photo of it set up in their store, and it looked amazing. Those are the best items to sell, the ones that hold nostalgia and bring overwhelming joy to people.
Well, there you have it, folks. There is a bit of a science behind it all, but if you nail all the elements, sending your old gear off to a new home is easy as pie. If you’re feeling juiced, suss out eBay’s ultra-convenient shipping options (including their door-to-door courier service, which means you don’t even need to leave the house) and get your stuff online ASAP.Image: Drake & Josh / Retro Rescuers