I’ve probably said before that it’s best if your reselling journey begins with things you know. Mine did. I figured out what had value by selling excess of what I was collecting – CDs. As time went on, I transitioned to search for things specifically to sell on for profit. It’s true to some degree that it helps to sell things that you know a bit about already, but your speciality may be flawed; it may be too expensive to get into, there might not be enough stock to go around, or whatever it may be.
There’s one entry point that everyone can turn to for good, consistent, profit-yielding stock time and time again: second-hand women’s clothes. As I’m never the end consumer for this kind of thing, I was initially very ignorant about the potential. Now it’s just a staple of my second-hand stock. Let me break down why I think it’s the best way through the reselling door.
Abundance of Stock
The fast fashion game has made it so that clothes have become more disposable than ever. Lots of items from your average chain high street clothing shop are only intended to last a couple of washes. Fashion-conscious shoppers are constantly replacing their wardrobes with new things, and will abandon masses of items that they’ll never consider wearing again. To someone else, it’s the ideal thing to wear – probably barely worn – so they’ll gladly take it for themselves.
There is absolutely loads of stock out there. Go to any charity shop and it’s probably the most dominant product type. Go to any boot sale and there are sacks of it. Scour eBay and you’ll find job lot after job lot of it.
Diversity of Stock
The stock is diverse in so many ways. We’re talking about dresses, tops, jeans, boots, coats, sandals, and all sorts of others things. This isn’t only from a product type perspective, but also considering the price points of the items. You’re going to get a lot of stock in the £8-£15 range, £16-£30 one, and some products that go far beyond it. It’s always in your interest to have this kind of mix in your inventory, and women’s clothes can have that range.
Return on Investment
Women’s clothes can be ridiculously cheap if you search in the right places. If we focus on the primary sources for second-hand goods (boot sales/jumble sales and charity shops), it’s amazing how much money will have been knocked off the original retail price.
Unlike with a lot of other things, you’re looking at very healthy ROIs, which are even able to withstand the inevitable returns you’ll have to process and unsellable stock you’ll buy along the way.
Customer Service Requirements
Don’t just think you can list these dresses on eBay and expect them to sell, without you putting in any extra work. Women’s clothes requires you to be on you’re A-game, and teaches you how to reduce the likelihood of people asking you questions before they make purchases. It may be challenging at first, but it exposes you to the kind of queries most customers have before they buy.
You need to make sure that your listings have good photos that accurately represent what you’re selling, that you describe your items thoroughly and that you make all of the information easy to understand. Crack all of these with the right price and you’re sorted.
Ease to Post
For the most part, poly mailers are all that’s needed for most clothing items. When you compare that to something like electronics, you can see how different things could be. Your postage is probably going to be cheaper than your average. You’re probably not going to have to worry about damage in transit. You may even get away with exclusively posting all of your shipments through a letterbox.
When you’re new to online marketplace selling, postage can be quite daunting. This is as easy as it’s going to get. Honestly.
Size of the Market
This is more of a final bit of reassurance more than anything else. While some will be well aware of how willing many women are to buy second-hand clothes, many won’t have a clue how widespread it is. Just know that it’s massive, and that the same people buying are likely to be the ones putting these items back out into the market to be sold again.
This discontinuation rate in women’s fashion is ridiculous, and you’ll have people constantly trying to track down pieces that they can no longer get on the high street. Even if they don’t find exactly what they’re after, they’ll still be in the market for that competitor brand’s lookalike piece. The customers are out there; you just need to find them.
How to Get Started
With women’s used clothing, you have a number of marketplaces at your disposable. Your best bets are going to be eBay, Gumtree and Depop. All of them have some sort of functionality to see what has sold in the past. It’s the best way to learn what sells. Brands and styles are what you need to take notes of first. Get to know what names guarantee cash, and what styles of clothing are consistent sellers.
Research is your friend and you couldn’t be in a better position to learn the game from the comfort of your home, even before you think about selling your first thing. At first I made a list of brands to look out for, before I got more knowledgeable and confident at finding solid sellers for myself.
For men (particularly young ones), it may be embarrassing at first to ask for the price of a dress, but you’ll soon get over the feeling once that profit starts rolling in. Even for women it can be difficult. Buying a pair of size 20 jeans when you’re clearly petite might raise eyebrows, but just remember that no one’s ever going to stop you from buying something that clearly isn’t for you.
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