Shopping and selling: how to make the most of the online marketplace

Courier Fashion Shoot 2017, Rose, Clothes courtesy of TOPSHOP and Retro Vintage

With the rise in popularity of vintage clothing, it’s unsurprising that sites such as Depop, Etsy and Ebay have become as much of a fashion go-to as long established high street shops. They can also offer something that main brands cannot- the possibility to earn money. Not every student has the time to work a part-time job, so these sites offer an easy solution to student poverty.

Here are some simple tips to follow to make sure you’re not buying clothes for higher than their value, and to get the clothes you’re selling noticed in an overwhelming forum:

Always check eBay first

Sites like this can save you from the dreaded overdraft if you treat it wisely. I can’t stress enough the importance of eBay; granted, Depop is a little easier to scroll through aimlessly and actually see things you’d realistically wear, but popular Depop sellers are now so established that they can mark up their prices. I tend to use Depop as my first point of reference, scrolling to find something specific. However, how people waste money is by clicking that big red ‘buy’ button without checking eBay first.

This is fine if you have unlimited funds but, unfortunately, the average student does not. The step to take in between is to copy the key words from the description of the item you want, and paste them into the eBay search bar. It will take a little more time, but often I find the same or very similar item to the one I liked on Depop for a fraction of the price.

Take the pictures in good lighting with a clean mirror

If your mirror is dirty, people will mistake it for the item of clothing being dirty and if the lighting is poor quality the item will not stand out. It doesn’t matter how great the item is that you’re selling, if the shopper can’t really see it, they will not buy it.

Wear the item in the pictures

When posting clothes online it can be a fairly long process, depending on how many items you’re planning on selling. It might seem inconvenient to have to keep trying on each item and taking well-angled photos but it will make a huge difference. It will also save you time later when you have an interested potential buyer asking for you to post pictures of how it looks on. You’re better off posting these to begin with rather than having to go through the whole process again later.

Include the price of postage in the price of the item

This one is potentially less obvious, we’ve all felt the sadness of going to check out and finding that you’ve got to pay another four pounds for delivery. A shopper will be far more inclined to buy the item you’re selling if it’s ten pounds rather than eight pounds and then discovering there’s a two pound delivery fee.

Use hash tags

If you tag similar brands or styles to the item you’re selling, it will be far easier for shoppers to locate your items with one or two key words. This will make sure that your clothes are actually being seen rather than overlooked. The longer the clothing description, the more likely shoppers are to come across it.

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