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Selling Clothes By Online Auction - Top 10 Tips For Success

Maurice Clarke

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One of the biggest sellers on online auction sites are clothes, yet not everyone makes a sale or nets the sort of money the items are worth.

Indeed many auction sites make a fortune from listing fees and relists for low value items.

To get best results try these top 10 tips based on several years of (expensive) experience

1. Set the bidding to start LOW - 0.01 is good since it suggests to buyers they might get a bargain. Set the start bid too high and you will get ZERO bids - even 1.00 takes the edge off interest.

2. Set a REALISTIC RESERVE price - be sensible and ask yourself “would I buy this for x" there is nothing worse that getting 20 bids and STILL not hit the reserve - once the reserve is hit you as buyer are in with a chance of winning the bidding.

3. Describe the item in clear detail so there is no doubt as to what is being offered. Avoid HUGE BLOCK LETTERS but use color and bold to highlight key sections . . . . Write and layout professionally.

4. Answer questions promptly - ideally publicly to avoid repeated questions on the same issue which a better description may have avoided in the first place.

5. Add a decent clear picture of the item, and consider adding more photos from different angles and on a model, avoid too many people in any pic and focus on the item. Most sites inc 1 pic but may charge for a Gallery of extra pics but its often worth that extra fee.

6. Use free listing auction sites - they are growing in popularity and you have nothing to loose by promoting your item, but remember if you have 1 item the risk of selling TWICE on different sites.

7. Allow time to get a buyer - do not expect a sale at top price within 24hrs it could take a few weeks to get the right price that suits you and the buyer.

8. Keep auction period short, a week or two is best, and RELIST if unsold - this keeps the pressure on buyers to bid if they know there are bids and the auction is ending soon. Relisting is often FREE - perhaps limited to a number of relists.

9. Consider BUY NOW only for NEW goods and as an ALTERNATIVE to auction - so buyers can get an idea of the normal price to buy this item, but can bid in the HOPE of paying less. This means buyers may see a decent BUY NOW price realistic and strike a deal. Of course BUY NOW many also means you have SEVERAL items for sale - where a used item is usually a one off.

If the option for BUY NOW exists for 10 items the seller can get rid of 5 then the auction can still continue for the other 5 still “in stock".

10. Use a SHOP or STORE on the auction site to promote a wider range of goods and offers - this is usually the domain of people or firms selling either NEW GOODS or EXCLUSIVE and DESIGNER wear - often a small cost to get and maintain a store it has the advantage of being personalised and can link to your own web site, thus becoming a low cost promotional method for a wide range of goods.

Selling by auction can be expensive for low value clothes and other wearables, research shows however there are still more people bidding and buying than selling - so demand is high for a bargain.

Sellers in many cases make it unnecessarily difficult for buyers and a little thought can make their life easier and increase the chance of a quick sale at a realistic price, and possibly repeat business and referrals from higher buyers ratings which is the backbone to most online auction web sites.

Maurice S Clarke is founder of the wearable goods auction and trading web site and lives in Rugby, UK. This article may be freely republished provided it remains intact.


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