Who you calling dummy? Dummy!

Come on, tell the truth, how many things are shoved in the back of the wardrobe that have NEVER.BEEN.WORN. I know you all have them, you might hide them from your significant other (don’t worry honey, I’m not hiding anything) or even yourself, but they are there. Ok, maybe you don’t. But I bet you have a ‘when I’m a size smaller again and this will finally fit me‘ section of your wardrobe – ha! You do don’t you!

No matter what the excuse is, we all have plenty of clothes in our wardrobe we just don’t wear. I think my own personal styling idols (Trinny and Susannah) once noted, we only wear about 30% of the clothes we have. THIRTY PERCENT!!!! Think of all that wasted money (no, maybe don’t actually – I don’t want you to have a heart attack as you read this). So, today we are going to talk about how to get some of that money back – yes ladies (and gents) eBay is NOT a dirty word, it’s a money-maker!!!

I think over the past few years, between selling my old clothes at second-hand markets (Sydney, you rock for this. Brisbane, not so much – but getting better!! Make sure you come along to The Diva’s Wardrobe on May 22 if you live in Brisbane), having clothing sales in my house and selling them on eBay, I would have made over $3000. And the MOST I would have sold a piece would be $100. If I can do it? So can you! So here are some tips for helping you forward on the clothes in your wardrobe that aren’t right (for you) to someone who will love (and actually wear) them while you make a bit of pocket money on the side!!

Disclaimer: I’m not an eBay expert by any means – in fact I had to explain to the boy that the use of ‘dummy’ in the title was a play on words and I was referencing a mannequin or dummy as well as someone not too clued in! eBay is quite easy to navigate so this is not a step-by-step guide on how to list an item to sell, just some handy hints that I have discovered on my frock-selling journey thus far:

1. Sign up for both and eBay Australia and PayPal account – the PayPal account is how most people pay on eBay (and also the ‘crafty’ version of eBay- etsy.com). It will make your life much easier when selling (and even buying if you are lucky) on eBay.

2. Pull out everything you have to sell and hang it somewhere (on a spare clothing rack, in your garage or all together at the end of your wardrobe). It’s best to keep it altogether so it makes it easy to remember what you are actually selling!

3. Start making lists. Either open a Word doc or the good old pen a paper. You need to write down the following things for EACH garment:

  • Brand name
  • Size (relate it back to your size too – “I am normally a size 12 but this 10 is quite roomy so will fit a small 12 too”)
  • Short description. Ie. Summer 2010 Trelise Cooper Maxi dress, has only been worn once to a wedding. This dress is very long so great if you are tall or like to wear big heels!
  • Measurements. This is the important one. Get out a sewers tape measure if you have one (if not, you can get them from Coles or Woolies for about $3.00). You need to list at least the following measurements. Bust measurement. Waist measurement. Hip measurement. Shoulder to waist measurement and waist to hem measurement (assuming this is a dress we are talking about). To take these measurements, lay the garment flat on the ground, draw the tape measure across the bust line (for example), take the measurement and DOUBLE IT for the whole measurement. (These are only approximate measurements so make sure you say that next to your measurements.
  • Any distinguishing features. Stains, repairs, marks – the buyer will want to know about these and if you don’t tell them in the description, they might get mad when the parcel arrives at their door.

4. Take LOTS of pictures. You don’t need a mannequin to photograph your clothes (although if you have one, it helps!). Lie the garment flat on the floor and stand on a bed or a chair (try to remove shadows from your shot) and snap!  Then hang the garment on a hanger and hang it off the door and snap! Zoom in close on the label of the garment to show the brand (and the size if you can) and snap! You can even ask a friend or sister reeeeeeally nicely if they will put the garment on for you and snap!

If you are selling shoes, make sure you take pictures of the SOLES of your shoes – buyers loooooove this as it gives them a great idea of the condition of the shoes they are looking to buy.

5. Make sure the title of your garment says all the important things – once again for example – “Trelise Cooper Multi-coloured Maxi Dress size 12 – almost new”. This will get noticed when your buyers are scrolling through the thousands of incredible buys!

6. Once you have all your tools to sell (item descriptions and images) follow the steps to sell your wares!!

7. Reap the rewards and watch the money roll in!!!!!

Here is what a GOOD eBay listing looks like

Here’s a link to some other tips from eBay on how to be a successful seller – click here

What do you have in your wardrobe that will never be worn again? Have you ever sold something on eBay? Any other tips for the rest of us?