the Collective - Jul 21, 2022

How to Sell Your Clothes on eBay: An Easy 12 Step Guide

By Gemma Prior

Woman holding Celine handbag at fashion week
Image: Christian Vierig/Getty Image

So you’ve finally managed a closet clean out and now you have a bunch of clothes that were taking up space in your wardrobe but not being worn, that are in excellent condition and ripe for resale.

There are lots of places you can go to sell these pieces, and I’ll talk about them more in the future, but today it’s all about how to sell on eBay, the place most of us know best. 

The obvious benefit of selling your used clothes online is that you’re reclaiming some of your spending. 

But the most significant benefit is that you're contributing to more sustainable fashion. Something that's becoming increasingly crucial for the wellbeing of your planet, and therefore, you.

Learning how to sell used clothes on eBay isn’t a big challenge, but there are some key tips that will make it easier for you to sell more, at a better price.

Keep reading to find out how to sell on eBay and get the best results (ie. sell more!) - the information to share, what people are looking for, and some extra tips. Plus, how you’re helping to support a healthier planet.

Woman looking at clothes thrown away in landfill

Image: Antonio Cossio/Getty Images

Every day we see the impact of climate change, the most obvious being the rising temperatures and heat waves.

And over the years fashion has been a major contributor to this problem. 

report by the ABC  explains, ‘An estimated 85 per cent of all textiles go to the dump every year, according to the World Economic Forum, enough to fill Sydney Harbour annually. Globally, that’s the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles being burned or going into landfill every second.’

On top of that, fashion production makes up 10% of all our carbon emissions, while it also dries up water sources, and pollutes rivers and streams.

And this crisis only continues to worsen.

But there are some simple ways you can help reduce the impact of fashion on your beautiful planet Earth and your own wellbeing. 

And selling used clothes is one of the primary ways to reduce the damage fashion causes

These days it’s easier than ever to be a part of this movement towards more sustainable fashion.

Used clothes are becoming a global phenomenon, as online second hand stores appear more frequently, and are expected to grow three-times faster than the apparel market overall.

So how does selling your used clothes benefit the environment?

First of all you’re providing more options for people who are searching for used clothes, which means they’re more likely to find what they want. This reduces the need for industry to produce new items which means less environmental damage. 

Secondly, you're extending the lifecycle of your garments and keeping them from simply becoming landfill. 

And thirdly, you’re promoting sustainable fashion and showing the industry, particularly the fast fashion brands, that this is an issue that matters to you, encouraging them to take better actions, faster. 

Some brands have even started offering their own used clothes for resale through their stores.


Image: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

When you’re looking at selling used clothes on eBay, or anywhere else, the closet clean out is the best first step to take. 

This means looking at everything in your wardrobe and considering what’s just sitting there never seeing the light of day. 

What cost you money but has delivered nothing in return? What could be useful to someone else and encourage them to buy used clothes rather than something new? What could make you a little bit of pocket money?!

And this could also be the perfect time to consider
how to build a capsule wardrobe.

Another idea created to protect the environment the capsule wardrobe focuses on a less-is-more approach, removing unused and unnecessary pieces from your wardrobe and keeping a minimalist approach in the future. 

Somehow the closet clean out can also therapeutic (well, for some of us!). I don’t know about you, but I love creating a tidier, more well organised space with less in it, even when it’s in my wardrobe!

Woman at fashion week wearing pinstripe shirt off her shoulders with Adidas pants

Image: Christian Vierig/Getty Images

As I mentioned before learning how to sell on eBay isn’t a big challenge, but there are some key tips you can employ to make your experience more successful. 

I started selling fashion on eBay a few years back and have since reclaimed over $10 000 of spending through these sales. I’ve also been a buyer for many years - from eBay and other second hand stores - so I know both sides of the situation well.

And today I want to share that experience and what I’ve learned with you.

So keep reading for the best tips for selling your used clothes on eBay.

1. Preparing for selling

First of all, when it comes to selling on eBay, I encourage you to add it to your diary. Set aside a day or hours in a day, otherwise you might find you're still 'thinking about it' months later.

Next, it's about the quality and condition of the pieces you're looking to sell.

This is a step you don’t want to overlook. 

If a buyer receives items and they’re not in the condition they expected then you might be left with negative feedback or having to provide a refund. 

If your items have been sitting locked away in a cramped airless cupboard for months then they could be a little stale. Or you may have rehung them without washing the last time you wore them. So a wash might be due. 

You also need to check for stains or faults and if there are any then make sure these are clearly mentioned in your description and that you provide photos showing them.

It’s also a good idea to iron your clothes both for the benefit of the buyer but also so they look their best in the photos you use.

With shoes and bags try using a leather cleaner or gentle damp cloth where appropriate to wipe over and also clean up the soles of shoes if you can. 

At the end of the day, if you have any pieces that aren’t in a condition you’d be happy to buy then they're probably not fit for resale. These pieces are often better going in to your draws for wearing around the house or in the rags draw for cleaning. 

There are also more options available these days for 
where to recycle your old clothes

2. Create an account

If you don’t yet have one you will need to sign up for an eBay account in order to sell. There are a few different ways to do this and none of them are difficult.

3. Title

Now it’s time to start preparing your listing.

The title of a listing helps the searchability of your items so it’s worth getting it right. It’s best to start by stating the brand, followed by the type of item, the size, colour, the gender it was designed for, followed by some details. 

For instance, ‘Lululemon Cashmere V-Neck Sweater Size 10 Navy Women’s New’. It’s also best not to use acronyms such as NIB (new in box) or NWT (new with tags) as some people might not understand them.

4. Photos 

You can now add up to 12 photos to a listing. No one is going to spend money on something they can’t view properly, so you need to offer photos that are clear, capture the natural colour, present the item from multiple angles, and show any defects or special details. 

It’s also best to turn off the flash and take the photos in a room with good natural light and using a background that is also light to improve the visibility of a piece.

People generally want to know the shape of a piece, get an idea of the length and how it will sit on the body so the best option for photos is to show the garment being worn.

If you don’t wish to take photos of yourself wearing the item then you could look for some stock photos showing it worn by a model.

Just make sure these photos are of the same item you're selling so the buyer’s not confused. To ensure you have them, you could save stock images when you buy items if you feel you may sell them in the future. 

Otherwise, photographing clothes hanging on a coat hanger, showing them front and back, is another option, but not as useful as showing the item being worn.

It’s also a good idea to add close-ups to show the texture and print of the material.

eBay has
restrictions on the size of images you can add to a listing to ensure they are good quality and clearly visible and recommends you aim for 800-1600 pixels on the longest side.

5. Measurements

Another very important one, providing measurements for items will help the buyer feel more confident that something will fit. For clothing it’s best to provide the length of an item, the crotch rise, across the shoulders, bust, waist, and hip measurements. 

It’s also a good idea to provide measurements for shoes and bags -  the length of shoe soles and the height of heels and for bags their length, depth, height and the drop of the strap.

6. Description

This section is where you can provide shoppers with some extra information, alongside measurements, that will help them make a decision.

These could include the original cost of the item if it's of reasonable value, details about its condition, if it's never or rarely been worn, how it fits (is it a small fit, oversized, etc), and whether it requires dry cleaning. 

7. Price competitively

Pricing can be a deal breaker. If you wouldn’t buy it at the price you’ve set, don't expect someone else to. 

If you’re hoping to sell quickly then the best bet is to list the item at 75% less than retail. 

Of course there are some items, such as fashion from luxury designers, which may sell with greater profit. You could also try searching for similar items on eBay and see what they’re selling for. 

8. Time your listing 

eBay offers several set auction periods, such as 5 or 7 days for you to choose from. 

You can also choose the time of day your auction will go live and auctions start and end at the same time of day.

Experts suggest the best time for a listing to start and end is between 6pm and 10pm. 

So rather than the auction going live at an inconvenient time - for example you’re organising it very late at night or in the wee hours of the morning - you can set the date and time to start selling so it’s convenient to a wider audience. 

If possible, when you’re targeting overseas buyers then think about setting a time which offers the best chance to both local buyers and those abroad.

And according to advice
the best day for an auction to end is Sunday, followed by Monday and then Saturday. 

9. Customer service

Potential buyers may send questions about an item you’re selling and it’s important to reply quickly, clearly, and honestly. This helps reassure people that you’re reliable and they would be spending their money wisely should they buy from you. 

10. Preparing for post

As mentioned before it’s a good idea to make sure your items are looking good when you post them - clean and ironed. 

And when it comes to packing them up for post you can add little extras to please buyers such as wrapping them in tissue paper. 

I always save any tissue paper, ribbons, and garment storage bags from purchases I make and reuse these (if they’re in good condition) when I’m preparing pieces I’ve sold for post.

I also save any post satchels that are in good condition and reuse these for eBay sales. Just make sure if you're reusing postage bags that you remove, cover, or scribble over existing shipping labels so there’s no confusion about where it’s going. 

11. Postage 

There are several options to choose from when it comes to post, but personally I think it’s best to go with postage that comes with tracking. This means if there are any hiccups you can search for the item as well as having evidence of good practice at your end.

It’s also a good idea to keep postage receipts.

Most services also offer the option to buy insurance so that if a parcel goes missing you can be reimbursed for some of the cost of that item.

It’s also good customer service to message your buyer when you’ve posted their item and let them know the tracking details are available if they visit their account.

Also, post quickly so buyers don’t become frustrated and leave you poor reviews.

12. Review your listings

If you’ve had an item listed for some time and it isn’t selling, consider reducing the starting price or offering free postage. You might also want to check that you've provided all the necessary information and that you're using images that promote the product.

Woman at Paris Fashion week wearing white knotted cropped button shirt, round Dior bag, pleated white high waisted maxi skirt

Image: Christian Vierig/Getty Images

1. Keep an international audience in mind. If you’re willing to post overseas make this clear in your listings by including the cost of post for them. It's easiest to pick a single postage cost for all international locations by seeking an average for the places you're most likely to be posting.

3. Make sure you weigh an item if possible to help you decide how much to charge for postage so you’re not surprised when it comes time to pay for post.

4. Make sure you take good care of your clothes from the time you buy them so when you decide to sell they're still in good condition.

For instance, use washing bags, or even better hand wash, to protect garments. It can also be helpful to use gentle laundry liquid like wool wash. And buying better quality clothes is always beneficial as they’ll remain looking good, for longer.

5. If a buyer doesn’t pay within the requested time frame try sending them a friendly reminder - they may have simply forgotten. But if it does go on too long it might be time to cancel the sale. eBay will refund you any sales fees you were charged. 

And never post an item before a payment is made!

6. As with everything, make sure you always read the fine print! For instance, there will often be fees so knowing what you will be charged when you sell something is important. 

eBay also offer a set number of free listings each month and once you pass that number you will begin to pay a listing fee on top of your sales fee. So always check.


I hope these tips for selling used clothes, and more specifically, how to sell on eBay and get the best results, have made the process clearer for you and now you’re willing to give it a go.

And the benefits are worth it, as you’re contributing to a more sustainable fashion industry by offering more options for those looking to buy used clothes. As well as ridding yourself of unwanted clutter.

Never mind the money that’s just hanging there in your closet waiting for you to collect it. So get selling! 

If you have some of your own great tips to share with all of us regarding how to sell clothes successfully on eBay, then we’d love to hear from you so leave a comment below.

And make sure you join my emails so I can let you know when stores selling used and vintage clothes join the collection of global stores here at With Bogart! Very exciting and not far away! 

Happy selling!


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Stay up-to-date with what's happening at With Bogart. Find out about new stores & blogs covering what's trending, style inspiration and more. 



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