If you're debating whether to donate your childrens outgrown clothing or maybe have a yard sale or send them to a consignment shop, you should seriously consider selling them on ebay instead. Ebay can be a very profitable means of getting rid of unwanted kid clothes if you have a sensible system in place to maximize your profits. Please note this article will be the most helpful to those that already have a basic understanding of ebay and may have sold things in the past. It specifically focuses on techniques to increase your success at selling children's clothing on ebay. Ebay newbies should first go to the ebay website and take a tutorial on selling and then combine that knowledge with these suggestions to help your children's clothing auctions be more successful.
Things You Will NeedUnwanted kids clothing--used and new(leave tags on)
WEEDING OUT THE JUNK
First take inventory of what you have and weed out anything that has stains, holes, or is faded or wash worn. Ask yourself if you would be happy receiving this item if you won the auction. If the answer is "no" than toss in the rag bag or donate it locally. You don't want to sell anything that could prompt the buyer to leave negative feedback on Ebay.
SEPARATE BY SIZE AND SEASON
Once you have a pile of good quality clothing items you will want to separate them by size and season. Group all of the same size items together in the same season. You will want to sell fall and winter items at the end of the summer. Then sell spring and summer items towards the end of winter. This is how the retail stores do it and you will make the most money by selling prior to the season that the clothing will be worn.
Look and see if you can make coordinating outfits out of pants and shirts, dresses and tights, socks, hair accessories etc. Gymboree, The Children's Place and Baby Gap are very good sellers and offer great options for matching outfits and getting higher auction ending prices. Do not include matching shoes in these groups. You will want to sell shoes in separate auctions since not all children's feet size are going to match with the size of outfits you are offering--See step 7 for more info on shoes.
PREPARE for PICS
After you have the clothing separated by size and outfit you can prepare them for photo taking. Determine if they need ironing or are any wrinkles easily smoothed out by hand?
BE A FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER
Lay the clothing out flat on a contrasting background and pose them as if a child were wearing them. If the clothes are light in color use a darker bed sheet or fabric background and vice versa. Do not lay clothes on a bare floor--this just looks unprofessional and you will lose bids. You want the clothing to pop and catch the interest of the viewer not leave them wondering how clean your floors are and do they really want to place a bid.
Step 6Experiment with taking pics with flash on and off and see what looks better. If you have natural light no flash should be fine. Once you've taken all of your pictures, upload them to your computer and do any necessary cropping or enhancements.
CREATE THE AUCTIONS
Start posting the pics and descriptions to an auction page. You should make a general statement on the top of each auction that says "Listing many coordinating pieces in this size-take a look at my other auctions in size X" This will encourage bidders to check your other auctions and possibly bid on several listings like those shoes you listed separately. If you're pics are clear and attractive you should be able to keep the description short but be sure to include the size, brand name, color/pattern and any minor imperfections you found like a small snag in a sweater or fading on the knees of jeans. It is better to be honest now than deal with complaints later after the item is received. Small imperfections on used clothing are expected and any items that you would not be happy with yourself should not have made it this far. Remember Step 1?
If you have any shoes that were worn with the matching outfits you should put them in a separate auction but state that "coordinating pieces can be found in my other auctions". This will encourage the bidder to check your other auctions and possibly place multiple bids on several items.
Deciding on pricing can be tricky. You can go with an across the board starting price for all auctions or price them differently according to what you would accept for each grouping.
If you have NWT or New with Tag items you can ask a higher price for these and be sure to state they are NWT in the title and description of the auction. You can mention the retail price but don't start the listing price any higher than 60% off retail as you want your bidders to see the value in bidding on this rather than buying new in a store.
Start your auctions within a few minutes of each other so they will be ending within a few minutes of each other. This is why you are listing all same size items in a row, so moms with kids of that size will have a variety of items to bid on at the same time. First one, then a few minutes in between, then the second one , a few minute in between and so on. This will create interest from those bidders who like to jump in at the last minute and make multiple purchases from the same seller and you may see a bidding war develop.
To encourage bidders to bid on more than one auction you can offer a shipping special. This could be anything like "win 2 or more auctions and I'll ship for a flat fee of $7." Or "win 5 or more auctions and get FREE Shipping". OR "spend $50 and get Free Shipping". You will have to decide what to offer without losing out on shipping costs. Those flat rate USPS priority boxes can work out well for this type of promotion as long as your items can fit in one box. Remember the more items you can ship to the same address the less work for you when packing them up.
NEW TO EBAY??
If you've never sold anything on ebay this article may be difficult to follow. So read up on other beginner ebay articles and experiment with a few auctions to get a feel for the site. Then come back when you want to delve deeper into kids clothing and the information provided here will be a valuable tool in getting the most out of your children's clothing auctions.
Tips & Warnings
Name brand mall store and pricey boutique clothing items sell best. Don't expect to get big bids on Walmart, K-mart or Target items. Those will be best left for yard sales or donations to second hand shops. If you really want to sell these brands you can create a large lot auction with many pieces in the same size and excellent condition in the cheaper priced brands. See ebay auctions for "lots" to get the idea.
Do a little research and search completed auctions to find similar items like yours. Take note of the ones that got a higher selling price and see how their title and description were worded to guide you with choosing keywords for your auction.