Are you drowning in outgrown kids clothes and want to make some cash? Here is a how-to and tips for selling kids clothes on Ebay!
You’ll notice that I’ve been MIA on the blog lately. It’s because I’ve been decluttering and reorganizing all of our overstuffed closets. The most problematic closet was my youngest daughter’s closet, which housed 6 bins of outgrown kids clothes (4 girls bins and 2 boys bins)! I’m not sure why I held on to so many old clothes, but I made it a goal to get rid of all of it this year. ALL OF IT!
There are a lot of options to selling kids clothes. There’s Facebook groups, online sites, mobile apps, Craigslist, second-hand children resell shops, and local kid resell events. However, one of my favorite and easiest ways to sell kids clothes is on Ebay.
Ebay is my choice for selling kids clothes for several reasons:
- Unlike Facebook and Craigslist, I don’t get a ton of low ballers (people that want everything for 50 cents) and don’t have to worry about arranging a pick-up time/location.
- Online sites and apps often require you to send in your items and may not accept all of it. This means they send it back to you or donate it. Selling on Ebay lets you sell all of your items if you choose and when you choose.
- Second-hand shops often require an appointment and pay very low for brand name kids clothes. Ebay reaches more people and you will likely get a better price.
- Local resell events requires all pieces to be tagged, cataloged online, hung, and dropped off/picked up at certain times. There are a lot of rules and it’s a lot of work. To me, Ebay is still a bit easier and items can be listed any time of the day AND can be scheduled to post at future times.
- I don’t even have to leave my home! I can list everything on Ebay, sell it, pack it, and schedule a USPS pick up!
Selling Kids Clothes on Ebay
Since Ebay selling consists sharing images of the item(s) you’re selling and shipping, there are certain ‘must have’ supplies.
- Packing tape. Use this to seal boxes, attach postal labels, and to remove lint from clothing.
- Scissors. Great for cutting loose thread, packing tape, and printed mailing labels.
- Tape Measure. To give measurements of clothing when needed.
- Scale. To weigh items/packages for shipping costs. I use my kitchen scale and it’s pretty accurate.
- Printer/Printer Paper. Printing postal labels through Ebay is cheaper than buying through USPS, so it’s best to print at home.
- Phone camera. Easiest way to take pictures for Ebay.
- Mailing bags/boxes. Have various size mailer bags and boxes for mailing.
- I prefer poly mailer self sealing bags for first class mail, which can be purchased on Ebay. There are many sizes, so order the sizes you will most likely use. For example, I buy the 6″x9″ (socks, tanks, and small items), 9″x12″ (shirts or shorts), and 10″x13″ (pants and multiple items) poly mailer bags.
- Priority bags and boxes can be picked up at your local USPS or ordered free online through the USPS. It’s a good idea to pick up medium and large flat rate boxes, flat rate padded envelopes, and Tyvek priority bags.
- Iron/Iron Board. Clothes sell better when they are ironed and neat looking. It also allows you to make note of flaws on the garment so it can be added to the Ebay auction description.
- Poster Board/Foam Board/Solid cloth or Hanging Hook. Laying clothes on a solid background makes it stand out and look more presentable in photographs. If you prefer, hanging items on hooks/hangers is another good option. Stay away from using patterned backgrounds or laying items on beds (lumpy comforters) and directly on floors as these can distract from the items.
- Ziplock/Resealable bags. Good idea to pack clothing in resealable bags to prevent damage from water/dirt if the mailer bag/box gets damaged. This is especially true when mailing items during the winter/rain season. Packing clothes in bags also helps to compact items (think vacuum bags).
- Pen. This is really a ‘must have’ item, but you can use this to write a ‘thank you’ note to the buyer.
Setting Up Ebay
If you’re going to sell or buy on Ebay, you’ll need to set up an Ebay account. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty of setting up an account because Ebay does a great job of walking you through the sign-up process. The main thing is to sign-up!
Once you’ve signed up, hover over your name in the upper left corner and click on account settings. It will bring you to the account page where there is a Paypal sign-up button and a list of all the Account Settings in the upper left corner. Click on each setting listed in the ‘Account Settings’ box to set your Ebay preferences. Again, just follow the Ebay instructions and fill-in what is asked for in each setting preference. This is where you can edit your personal info, email, set buyer requirements, and more. Basically, click on all the blue Ebay links that are ‘learn more about’ to find all the ins and outs of Ebay.
Setting buyer requirements is a must. You can get to this page by clicking on the ‘Buyer Requirements’ from the Site Preferences page. This will allow you to control who can bid on your auctions, block certain bidders with bad feedback, and block buyers from locations you don’t want to ship to. Eventually, you’ll also be able to block bidders that you’ve had bad transactions with by creating a ‘block bidder’ list.
Setting Up Paypal
If you don’t have a Paypal account, this is the best and easiest way to receive payments. To set up an account, click on the Paypal button on the account settings page and fill in the required information. I highly suggest signing up for an account if you don’t have one because Paypal will allow you to transfer money directly to your bank and for personal accounts, receive a debit card to access the cash in your Paypal account.
Yay, Ebay and Paypal are finally set-up! Just know, that selling on Ebay and receiving payment via Paypal does have fees. Ebay has listing fees and Paypal will take a percent of the payment sent. To see the fees, go to your ‘Seller dashboard’ and click on ‘Learn the selling besics’. From there, click on ‘Service and Payments’ and then ‘Fees and Features’. Keep these fees in mind when you list the clothing items for sale and price accordingly.
Here is an example – Outfit A sold for $7.00 (buyer pays for shipping) – Paypal fee $0.60 – Ebay fees $0.70 – Misc. shipping supplies $1.00 = $4.70 Profit (might be less depending on other cost factors).
If you have lots of clothes to sell, take a deep breath. Here are my tips to help make it easier.
- Pick an area where you can make piles of clothes grouped together by age and gender.
- It’s best to sell outfits/sets together. Group together outfits & pieces that go together. This includes accessories like socks, belts, bags, and sunglasses.
- Iron clothing and remove lint/pet hairs before taking pictures.
- Have bins or a rack to store the clothes once Ebay pictures are taken and the items have been listed.
- Optional – If you have heavy smokers in the house and the clothes smell of smoke, wash it and pack in resealable air tight bags/bins after taking pictures. If you choose not to wash the clothes, it’s a good idea to mention in the auction listing that the clothes come from a home with indoor smokers. This way, there will be no surprises for the buyer because buyers may leave negative feedback for clothing that smells like cigarette smoke.
Selling clothes on Ebay does not require a fancy camera and a phone camera will suffice. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Use a solid background take pictures of the clothing. A foam board, poster board, solid fabric, or solid wall are good choices.
- Try to take photos in a room with natural sunlight. Natural light always looks best!
- If you must take photos at night, use a light source that has a daylight bulb. This will provide the best and most true colors of the garments.
- If there are flaws in the clothing (stains, pilling, holes, fade), make sure to take close-up photos of the flaws to include in the listing.
- Take close-ups of any clothing details, like embroidery, pin tucking, patches, etc…
- Take photos of the back of clothing items if there is something different or detailed on the back. For example, if the the top has a cut-out back or there is embroidery on pockets.
When listing kids clothes on Ebay, it’s best to be as detailed as possible in your title description. Providing the condition, brand name, line name, color, number of pieces, and size is the best way to get people to click on your auction. It’s also best to list auctions in batches by size and gender because people like to buy multiple things from one seller to save on shipping. So, if you have multiple sizes in both boy/girl clothes, list all the same size and genders at the same time.
What to include in the listing title:
Example of a listing title –>> EUC Gap Kids Rainforest Blue Plaid Dress S 6-7 years
- Item condition
- EUC = excellent used condition
- GUC = good used condition
- NWT = new with tag
- NWOT = new without tag
- NIB = new in box
- Brand Name – People search for specific brands, so put it in the title. Brands like Gymboree, Gap, Naartjie, Hanna Andersson, and Janie and Jack are popular and will sell for a higher price than brands like Old Navy (ON) or The Children’s Place (TCP).
- Line – many brand name clothing brands have line names. If you know the line names, put it in the listing title as many buyers are looking for specific pieces. Hot brands like Gymboree, Gap Kids, Naartjie, Tea, Matilda Jane, etc…have sites that are dedicated to providing line names. To see if the brand you are selling has a line name site, type the brand name + line + names in the search bar. If the brand has a large following, there may be a site where someone has collected the images and brand line names for reference.
- Color/Pattern – Ex. Blue Plaid Dress
- Number of pieces – Ex. 8 pc. LOT or 2 pc. Set
- Size – Ex. 6-7 years or 5 years 5T
Okay, so now that you know what to include in your auction title, let’s get started! Ebay makes selling really easy and you’ve done everything listed above, so it’s time to list your items! Click on ‘sell’ in the upper right corner and type in what you want to sell.
Choose a category
Create a new listing
Then, choose a category for the item being sold. For example, is it clothing for kids, type of clothing, gender, size, and specific type of clothing. If you make a mistake here, don’t worry. Everything can be corrected later.
Once you set the auction title, it’s time to add up to 12 pictures to the listing. Make sure to have a good picture of the front of the garment, close-ups of any garment details (pin tucking, embroidery, patterns, etc), and back or sides if there are unusual details.
Add as much item details to the auction as possible by utilizing Ebay’s detail drop boxes. It’s not necessary to use all of them and you can also customize the details.
Although the description box is optional, this should always be filled out. It should include EXACTLY what the auction is for. Is the auction for one item or multiple items, any garment flaws (holes, tears, pilling, fade, wear, etc…), garment details (embroidery, adjustable waist, adjustable straps, measurements, etc…), and if you are willing to combine shipping on multiple auction wins. I like to say “I will combine shipping when possible for auctions won within 3 days of the first win”. By doing this, I allow buyers to bid on multiple auctions within a reasonable time frame and take advantage of combined shipping.
Note: I only list measurements for certain items (ski/winter pants). For normal everyday unaltered regular sized kid items, I do not list the measurements.
Ebay will auto suggest a price for the items you are selling. You can use the suggestion or change it to the price you want. Keep in mind that Ebay and Paypal will take out fees, so price accordingly. Ebay will also allow you to take offers that are lower than your auction price. To do this, just check the box that says ‘allows offers’ and set the lowest price that you are willing to take. A BIN (buy it now) price can also be set and must be at least 30% more than the starting auction price.
Ebay also has a scheduling tool that allows you to start an auction on your chosen day and time. Keep in mind where you live and where you are selling to set the time of the listing. For example, you don’t want to start and end a listing when your potential buyers are sleeping.
- When listing clothing, I always have a scale near me. I place all items on the scale and add the weight of the items + 2 oz. to the listing. The additional 2 oz. should cover the actual mailing package weight, label weight, plastic packing, and tape weight.
- The shipping dimension doesn’t have to be exact, but try to get it as close as possible.
- If packages are under 13 oz. keep the shipping at first class. Anything 13 oz. or heavier must go priority mail. Change the shipping service as needed. Keep in mind that you want to try to keep the shipping as low as possible as buyers factor shipping cost into purchases. Therefore, if you can fit multiple auctions in flat rate priority packages, do so.
- I personally prefer to have the buyer pay for shipping via location because the cost can vary by location and weight of the package. Buyers that live closer to you will pay less, while those that live farther will pay more. But you can set the shipping to a fixed amount or offer free shipping (add that cost into the auction price).
- Sometimes a buyer overpays for shipping, it’s a good idea to do a partial refund via Paypal.
- Set your handling time. Meaning, once the buyer has paid, how long will it take you to ship the item – 1,2, or 3 days?
Your clothing items have sold, now what? This is the time to double check the items before shipping for any flaws and to remove lint. When the items have been checked, it’s a good idea to place items in a plastic bag. It isn’t necessary, but if you are using paper envelopes or mailing during a time when the package may get wet, it’s a good practice. You can use Ziplock bags or recycle online order plastic bags. Now, place the clothes into the correct shipping bag and seal it. Then, print out the shipping label via Ebay and tape it onto the package, making sure that the bar code is not covered and can clearly be scanned.
Optional – add a ‘thank you’ note.
Print out shipping labels via Ebay on the ‘sold’ items page. Purchasing and printing paid USPS labels through Ebay is less costly than going through the USPS. Once the labels are printed and attached to the appropriate packages, I weigh the package(s) one more time to make sure the weight is correct.
- Clothing items under 13 oz. can be shipped via first class.
- If the package weighs 13 oz. or more, it goes priority mail.
- Padded flat rate and flat rate envelopes are cheaper than regular priority boxes. If items can be sent via USPS flat rate, ship it this way to save on shipping.
- Optional – pack items in resealable plastic bags. Packing multiple pieces of clothing in a plastic bag allows air to be pushed out and makes it compact to pack in smaller packages. This can save the buyer money if you can fit the items in a flat rate padded envelope.
- Use packing tape across ends of bags if they are stuffed to capacity.
- Schedule a mail pick-up if you can’t make it to the post office or drop the packages at your nearest mailing center.
Whew, that was a loooog post! I tried to cover all the important how-to and tips for selling kids clothes on Ebay. If you have any questions or more tips, please comment below.