Images on purple background going clockwise of folded clothing, money, a brown paper package, and a girl using a laptop.

Reseller Survival Guide

By Jess Bazaldua
Web Content Contributor

Thanks to an increase in environmentalism, upcycling and thrifting have been the chosen clothing method for teens and young adults. Unlike the traditional “fast fashion” retailers, thrifting allows retro and outgrown clothing to be given new life, salvaged from another person’s closet.

However, due to the current circumstances of COVID-19, physically visiting thrift stores might include difficulty maintaining social distancing. Luckily, there are online alternatives such as Depop and Mercari, allowing thrifters to easily find clothing at the click of a button. 

I have taken advantage of utilizing Depop and Mercari, but as a reseller rather than a thrifter in search of good deals. From my own home, I managed to sell $200 worth of clothing and accessories to the good people of the internet within a week. If you are doing some KonMari-style cleaning and want your items to go somewhere appreciative, keep reading for five tips I learned along the way.

All sites are different

This should go without mentioning, but recognize that each resale site or app has something different. For example, Depop focuses more on niche-style clothing, primarily retro, vintage or alternative fashion. If some of your clothing fits into the above category, then you may benefit from listing on this app. Still, don’t lose hope if all you have are band tees. Everything from A Perfect Circle to Led Zeppelin will sell for the right price and to an interested buyer.

Don’t go in with zero money

If you are completely skint on cash, reselling might not be the best course of action. Packing supplies and shipping fees can add up, especially if you start off by selling a lot of items. Any money you do make might have to be invested into bubble wrap, packing tape and poly mailer bags.

Still, you can take advantage of some free shipping supplies on the USPS website. Not only can these make shipping easier, but some of these supplies offer a flat shipping rate, so you know exactly how much you need to have (or charge your buyer) for shipping.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Unfortunately, nobody wants to see your dog or your messy bedroom floor in the background of your listing. Learning how to flat-lay (or lay your items on a flat surface) is easy. 

First, you can take a neutral background and neatly place your item. A poster board from the dollar store or a clean bed sheet will work. Be sure to smooth out any wrinkles and align the seams so the item is straight. 

Next, find the best lighting. This can mean bringing a lamp closer to the area or using flash on your camera. 

Finally, take the pictures! For clothing, I like to make sure both the front and back are pictured, plus a closeup of the tag to confirm the brand and size. If there are any small imperfections, take pictures of those as well and note them in the listing.

Haggling happens, so go with it

People get bold when they’re behind a screen, so your initial listing price may be counter offered for lower. If you are just wishing to be rid of the item and want some extra cash, or the offer seems to be reasonable for what that type of item is being sold for, then accepting the counteroffer is fair. 

Still, don’t let buyers lowball you into selling a pristine vintage leather jacket for ten dollars. Know what your items are worth. Do your research before you list, either on your preferred app or eBay.

Additionally, people may want to buy multiple items from you and ask for a discount. I usually offer 10% off item bundles, along with free shipping. Deals like these can make for referrals and returning customers.

Remember to have fun

Sometimes, reselling can be a little extreme, especially if it is only a side hustle. From checking messages, measuring clothing, sending tracking numbers and scouring your closet for inventory, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. If you find yourself drowning in orders, there’s no shame in taking a vacation from your shop while you get everything settled. 

There is always a slight rush I get whenever an item of mine sells, so focus on the good before getting stressed. Before you know it, you’ll be able to spend some hard-earned cash on something you enjoy. As always, do your research. If you want to sell something of yours, take a look into some resale apps.

Featured image by Jess Bazaldua.

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