Time for a closet cull
Whether you’re feeling ‘stuffocated’ and plan to list your trash to see if it takes anybody in the online market as must-have treasure, or know you’re never going to use that diamanté-studded clutch that Aunty Wendy bought you, the options for selling unwanted items via the Internet is broad.
How to edit your wardrobe and avoid ‘stuffocation’
While some find eBay too hit-and-miss, others find the fees charged by websites that do it all for you off-putting. Here are your options and some top tips to consider when listing your unwanted loot for sale:
Best for: Discerning followers of fashion and those wanting to reap back their outlay.
France-based site Vestiaire Collective has around 100,000 fixed-price items for sale at any one time, and a buyer spends an average of £200-£250. An item usually sells after around seven days.
Fanny Moizant, the UK managing director, advises selling your seasonal purchases. “Look at your wardrobe and be honest, how many times did you wear that jacquard knitwear this winter or that neon top? The new fashion mantra is: play with fashion but don’t own it any more, your wardrobe is no longer static – it’s a living, moving thing – use fashion and then sell it on.”
Luxury brands Burberry and Mulberry do well, but customers are also mad for Topshop and ASOS. Sellers submit photos and descriptions for approval and price fixing, then have them collected by courrier.
Selling tips: “It’s about creating desire for the item you’re selling,” says Moizant. “Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and think what they would want to know – be descriptive and honest about the fabric, fit and quality.”
Costs: You pay only when your item sells (you can reduce the asking price quite easily) and fees start at £15 plus a percentage commission based on the price of your sale, which can be anything from 33 per cent to 13 per cent.
Best for: DIY selling and buyers who love a good root around
It’s up to the seller to take and upload photos, write a description and optimise the listing – and then deal with shipping queries from Mongolia. It’s worth downloading the mobile app to avoid fiddling around with a camera.
If you’re not sure how much your item is worth, stick to an auction-style listing and you might just get lucky. Pay a few more fees and you can set a reserve price or shift it as soon as someone is interested with the Buy It Now function.
Selling tips: Sunday is eBay’s busiest day, so it pays to list auctions that close during that evening. Then there’s the three key elements: the picture, the title and the description. The title is the first thing buyers will see, so choose your words wisely; ‘vintage’ is better than ‘second hand’.
Costs: To list something at 99p or under is free. You then pay 10 per cent of the final sale price plus a fee to payment service Pay Pal, who take between 1.4 per cent and 3.4 percent, plus 20p for each transaction.
HARDLY EVER WORN IT
Best for : Fashionistas who can’t normally stretch to big brands
Hardly Ever Worn It has a strong celebrity presence with Sienna Miller, Chloe Green and Harry Styles listing their items for good causes (the latter’s Burberry T-shirt went for £3,002). Perhaps because of this, when sellers opt in to make a donation to charity, items tend to sell better. Bags are the most popular items on the site with Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Christian Louboutin attracting the most demand.
Selling tips: Mention any imperfections such as marks, stains, buttons missing etc to protect yourself from returns and earn the trust of buyers. Include the original retail price of your item in your listing to highlight the discount you are giving.
Costs: The company takes 15 per cent plus VAT of the price paid for your item, or 30 per cent if you use the VIP service, via which Hardly Ever Worn It will collect the goods from you and do the rest.
Best for: Luxury label lovers who don’t want to get their hands dirty
Covetique require that all goods be dry cleaned before they photograph them for the site, and it shows: log on and you feel like you’re on a luxury retailer’s website. There are reams of Dolce & Gabbana, Chloé and Hermès, and prices are consistent and reasonably marked-down. CEO and co-founder Nicola McClafferty reveals that accessories, shoes (particularly Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo) and handbags sell best.
Selling tips : McClafferty says, “Make sure to include any or all original packaging as this does add value to an item” and “Carefully curate your wardrobe. Our buyers are as fashion savvy as you are so we are unlikely to sell the dated 90s jackets at the back of your wardrobe. However, selling last season’s Stella McCartney to pay for this season’s Mulberry is a different story…
Costs: You’ll get 55 per cent of the final selling price after Covetique take their 37.5 per cent commission plus VAT.