So you want to earn some extra cash? Or maybe you want to quit that 9-5er and start your own business? Selling used clothing online is a great place to start. It is a great way to learn the process of selling merchandise online. But do you know what you will need before you dive on in? You don’t jump into a pool without knowing how to swim do you? Don’t worry, below you will find my top 10 list of essentials for clothing re-sellers.
You can’t become a re-seller of clothing without inventory! The clothing items you sell will be one of the most important factors of whether you are successful or not. It is important to learn what brands, materials and types of clothing are best for resale. You will also need to learn WHERE to get your inventory. You will want to checkout your local thrift stores including Goodwill, Salvation Army, Savers and any local thrift stores. Be sure to call these stores or visit their websites to see when they run sales on their clothing. Garage sales can be another great source for your clothing inventory. As well as the clearance section of high end stores! Remember to stick with great brands and to stick to clothing with minimal to no flaws (I’m talking no holes or stains!).
2. Smart Phone
Soon your smart phone will become your best friend. Especially early, when you are out at the thrift stores still getting comfortable with the process and learning what to pick up and what to leave on the rack. Utilize your smart phone from right inside the store. Not sure if you should pick up that vintage Pendleton wool flannel (I would!), whip out your phone and check the eBay completed listing to see what they sell for and how often they sell. In this business nothing will both make and save you more money than a smart phone.
3. eBay & Paypal Accounts
When it comes to selling clothing eBay is going to be your weapon of choice. Sure eBay has tons of competition but eBay also has tons of buyers. Make your listings better than the rest, make them stand out in the crowd and you will have no problems selling your clothing items. Along with your eBay account you will need to set up an account with Paypal to process all of those clothing sales. Not sure how to use eBay? Interested in learning more about being a great eBay seller? Check out my Youtube channel to learn how.
4. Digital Camera
The next thing you are going to need on this resale adventure is a quality digital camera. I am not saying go out and spend $1,000 on some high end professional camera but you don’t want to be using a camera you got for your birthday 10 years ago either…. or your cell phone! For all my eBay pictures I use a GE Power Pro X500. Its a 16mp camera with a really great zoom. I have had this camera for almost 2 years now and am just about to reset the picture counter (9,999 pictures)! Whatever camera you decide on make sure it takes quality pictures. If your pictures suck even the best clothing items will sit unsold in obscurity.
Don’t start snapping those pictures just yet! Their are a few more tools you will need to make your items look their best and earn you top dollar. And the next one on the list is a MANNEQUIN! Many sellers start out simply using a hanger, or laying the item on a table or bed (NEVER NEVER NEVER take pictures of your items on the floor!) but if you are serious about your business than you need a mannequin. A good mannequin to start out this is this, Male Torso Mannequin. This is a male mannequin, from the waist up, and it has a hanger on the top to hang the mannequin from. It is better for smaller sizes (big sizes dwarf it, 2XL and up) and this type of mannequin has a hollow back. Still a great mannequin to start your clothing resale adventure with!
6. Picture Back Drop
Now that you have a great camera and your mannequin wearing its snazzy Ralph Lauren Polo shirt you need a backdrop for those pictures! I prefer this backdrop made by Cowboy Studios. With this set you get the stand and backdrops in 3 different colors, white, black and green. It comes in 3 sizes ranging from 6 ft. x 9 ft. all the way up to 10 ft. x 20 ft. If you are not ready for the full set up try and find a place in your house with a plain wall, preferably white. And make sure to remove any clutter so nothing distracts the buyer from that awesome shirt!
7. Lighting Kit
One last thing before you start taking those pictures! You won’t regret buying a lighting kit! (are you seeing a pattern here? Pictures are VERY important!) The kit I use is also from Cowboy Studios. In this kit use receive 4 tripods with lights swivel light sockets mounted to the top, 2 large tripods and 2 smaller ones. You also get 2 photography umbrellas, a carrying case, and 4 bright CFL bulbs. This really makes pictures look amazing and helps your camera to focus in on the darker colors. I promise this is the last photography related item you will need! You are ready to start listing!
8. Seamstress Measuring Tape
When you are making your listing you MUST include the measurements for your clothing items! To do this accurately you will need a seamstress measuring tape. When measuring shirt be sure to include the length of the shirt, the chest/bust measurement and the sleeve length. When measuring pants, at the least, include the waist measurement and the inseam. Accurate measurements will drastically reduce the potential of your items being returned to you.
9. Shipping Scale
Before you can list your item you need to know how much it weighs and how you are going to ship it! Don’t know much about shipping? Check out my Guide To Shipping Clothing. An accurate shipping scale is essential. Without it you will be stuck shipping everything flat rate or making endless trips to the post office, both will cost you time and money. Here is a great shipping scale. It can weigh items upto 35 pounds (more than enough for clothing) and is small enough that it won’t take up a ton of space on your desk or in your office.
10. Shipping Supplies
Last but not least you will need the correct shipping supplies! When it comes to clothing we are talking two things poly mailers and shipping labels. A poly mailer is simply a plastic bag / envelope used to ship items. These 9×12 poly mailers are perfect for shipping clothing. All you need now is the shipping labels! These labels can be used with your regular, at home laser or ink jet printer. You get 2 labels off of each sheet. Simply peel them off and slap them on that poly mailer!
So their you have it, my 10 essentials for clothing resellers. Now you are ready to become a clothing mogul! Just don’t forget about me when you are on top of that mountain!