Your intentions may just be to make a little extra money on the side, or to open up your own booming eBay business, but either way, starting out on eBay can be extremely frustrating and confusing, no matter who you are. I, myself, struggled at first, and I figured it may be a nice idea to give others like me some tips on how to start up your own baby and toddler clothing selling business on eBay.
1. Probably the most important tip I could ever give you is that in order to be a seller, you must first prove your worthiness by being a buyer. Once you purchase items according to eBay policies (paying on time, etc.), you begin to acquire feedback from those who have sold to you. These people act as vouchers for you, pretty much letting others know that you were easily to work with, and you understood how things worked. Buying also gives you a chance to get familiar with the website and learn how to use it. Once you’ve gained a little feedback, test the waters with one or two listings, and go from there.
2. If you do not already have clothing to sell, you will need to look into purchasing from wholesale lots. Sometimes I even find gems at thrift stores and yard sales. Always keep your eyes peeled!
3. Do not open a store until your eBay limit of 10 has been lifted. You will have this limit for the first 90 days you have your account. This is eBay’s way of monitoring you and making sure you know what you are doing before you start earning the big bucks. It’s not worth it to pay the money to open a store when you can only sell a few items a month. Once you hit your 90 days and have linked your Paypal account, if your limit hasn’t already been lifted, you could request it.
4. Pictures are EXTREMELY important!! If you can take pictures in sunlight, they turn out the best. Make sure you take A LOT of pictures of each item/lot, because you can always delete the ones you don’t need/like. Always use a good camera for these pictures; an Iphone probably won’t do. Once you’ve uploaded your pictures to your computer, crop them.
5. Timing is everything. The best day to start and end on is Sunday, usually around 8-10 pm (eastern standard time). I have read pretty much everywhere that Sunday night is the best night, because it is usually the night individuals are staying in, catching up on their favorite television shows, and browsing eBay.
6. Try not to post around holidays, including but not limited to Valentine’s Day, MLK Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. You run a risk of limited exposure on these days, as most people are more likely to be with family or at functions during these times than surfing the internet.
7. Your line name for your listing should be both eye-catching and contain a lot of keywords. Example: Baby boy DKNY, Calvin Klein, Ecko, Hurley baby onesies Winter lot 0-3 3-6 months
8. Always include shipping information on your listing. Put either a flat rate shipping cost or add the free shipping calculator on your listings. Also, definitely include where you ship to, and if you ship internationally, state that the buyer is responsible for any fees. It will make the transaction a lot smoother. I personally do not ship internationally, because I do not want to deal with the hassle of it, but I have read in several other guides and articles that agreeing to sell internationally increases your chances of a bid by 15%. Decide if this is something that is worth the risk to you.
9. Delivery confirmation is a must. If you ship via USPS flat-rate, delivery confirmation is free, and signature confirmation comes at an additional fee. Opt to pay that additional fee if the product is valued at over $100, just to insure yourself.
10. I recommend having a good return policy. If you state that no items are returnable and that they are sold as-is, you are not protecting yourself from scammers; you are just driving away good customers. Be confident in the items you are selling, and feel confident enough to have a good return policy.
11. If you send through USPS flat rate boxes, you can get FREE boxes and envelopes from their website. Just remember what it costs to ship the envelope/box before you post your listing.
12. Random baby clothing lots don’t sell as well as nicely sorted lots. Baby clothing usually sell better in lots, broken down by gender, age, and season. Do not pair a girls summer dress size 0-3 months with a boys long-sleeve winter jacket size 24 months. Your listing is guaranteed not to sell. Instead, keep items within 1-2 sizes of each other (ie 0-3 and 3-6 or 6-9 and 9-12), keep long sleeved shirts and pants together in one lot and summer dresses, shorts, t-shirts, etc. in another lot.
13. Always inspect your item before you post it. Make sure there are no stains, rips, holes, odors, loose strings, fraying, etc. It is your responsibility to make the judgement call on what is acceptable to sell, but if there are any imperfections, make sure you take pictures of them and make them crystal clear in your listing. The last thing you want is for your buyer to be upset that the item arrived with a stain on it and they never saw in your posting that it had one to begin with.
14. Prepare your item before you post it. Wash it, cut loose strings, lint-roll it, and possibly even iron it. Once you get the pictures of the item(s), put them in a Ziploc baggie to ensure nothing happens to them while they are in the process of being sold.
15. If your item(s) come from a pet-free and/or smoke-free home, make sure to mention it. People want to know what kind of environment their items are coming from.
16. Sometimes outfits sell better separately than they do in lots. It is up to you to experiment and see what sells best. In my experience, the popular designer brands (see item #23) sell alone really well, whereas Circo (Target) and Faded Glory (Walmart) sell better in lots unless they are new, in great condition, and really super cute.
17. Always sell in-season or a month or two before the new season begins. Don’t list winter items in May, and don’t list summer items in December. You may get a bid or two, but you’re more likely to get traffic if you post in-season.
18. Accept Paypal… this is probably the second thing on my list that is super important. Paypal allows you to verify yourself so others know you are who you say you are. Paypal has had scams in the past, and I have fallen victim to it once before on my old account, so I HIGHLY recommend never to click links in emails claiming to be from Paypal. If you received money for a purchase, go directly to the website to view it. This will help keep your information safe.
19. This may be my OCD talking, but when I package an item, I always zip it in a Ziploc baggie and write the individual’s name and address on it just incase the box/envelope somehow opens or breaks during shipping.
20. My mother taught me as a kid to always send thank you notes, and eBay is no exception. People like being thanked and appreciated.
21. Don’t purchase the eBay add-ons. Hardly any of them will make you any money. In my opinion, they are not worth it.
22. Take advantage of your ability to post fifty items through auction without an insertion fee.
23. Best sellers in baby/toddler lines: Gymboree, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Carters, The Childrens Place, Janie and Jack, Juicy Courture, Apple Bottom Jeans, Baby Phat, Calvin Klein. There are lots more, but these are some of the top sellers.
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