If you want to sell second-hand clothing successfully, you need to list it at a fair price. Avoid offering used clothes at a very low or too high price. Middle-range prices are the best strategy in-store and online.
Expert clothing resellers advise pricing second-hand fashion items at an excellent price-quality ratio. On average, pre-loved clothes sell for between 30% and 40% of their original retail price. As a rule of thumb, price your used garments for a third of new similar items cost.
To help you kick your clothing resale business off the ground, here is everything you need to know about how to price and sell second-hand clothes and shoes.
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Forget what you paid.
A common misconception in clothing resale is to start from what you paid for the item. In truth, it doesn't matter how much money you spent on the clothes in the first place.
What is crucial to price your used clothes correctly is to know their current value. And not what they were worth new a long time ago when you bought them.
You need to value fashion items based on what the market is willing to give you. So forget their original pricing point and what you paid. Instead, look at what they are worth today.
Don't charge half of the retail price.
Some people recommend not exceeding half of the price of items in perfect condition. But in truth, it's misleading to start with such an evaluation of your used clothes value.
Some pre-loved garments can sell for much more, while others are not worth selling at all. Many people are willing to pay more than half of the current retail price for new, unworn items with tags.
It's the wrong starting point for price estimation. There are also many other factors to consider to price your clothes besides what clothing retailers charge for new similar items at this moment in time.
Search for imperfections
To properly evaluate how much you can charge for your used clothes, you need to consider the condition of your items. Carefully look for any imperfections on the garments you want to sell.
Avoid selling clothes with misalignment, poor stitching, rough edges, mismatched patterns, irregularities, or defects. Only sell quality products for happy, returning customers.
If you are dead set on selling clothing items in rough condition, you need to lower their price drastically. Consider donating or recycling cour used clothes if you can't sell them.
Check out our recommendations of nonprofit organizations and charities to easily donate your old clothes.
Research past clothing sales
Study similar items that have been sold in the past to understand how to price your used clothes. You need to price your clothing items accurately according to the market value to sell them.
Being as thorough as possible in your product research will ensure you price your used clothes correctly. If your prices don't match what your competition is offering, you risk pushing away potential customers.
With some time, experience, and know-how on your hand, you can make great listings that will sell quickly for the right price. Make sure that your pre-loved garments please buyers and answer their needs at the perfect price-quality ratio.
Browsing online marketplaces is a simple way to research at what price used fashion is currently selling. You can easily compare prices between similar items, filter search results by availability, and see what sold recently and for how much money.
Put effort into the photography.
The better you present your used clothes in a good light, the more you may be able to charge for them. Especially when selling clothes online, you need to upload high-quality pictures.
Too many fashion resellers take low-quality photos of their clothes and wonder why they don't sell. To sell any fashion product online, ensure your stand out from the competition with clear, professional pictures.
Low-quality photos are a sure way to put off customers. Don't make the mistake of not putting enough time and attention into your product pictures.
You can read our article on how to sell clothes online for more tips on taking better products photos.
Don't sell your used clothes for too little.
Offering your clothing items at a reduced rate isn't always the best strategy. If you place your prices too low, it diminishes your reputation and the perceived value of your used garments.
Avoid listing your pre-loved clothes for very cheap and heavily discounted. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is to a lot of people. Your offer risks putting off potential buyers.
Customers should find the price fair and a good value for the product quality. List your used clothes at the right price to sell them faster and keep people interested in your future product offerings.
Branded clothing items sell for more.
Whether you sell pre-loved clothing items from high-street brands or famous luxury designers and fashion houses, branded garments can sell at higher prices.
Place the brand name in a prominent position to attract potential customers. Buyers often look for well-known fashion brands, searching for items they missed in stores.
Keep in mind that middle-range brands sell faster and for more money than higher-end brands. There is a much higher demand for popular names rather than for luxury fashion labels.
Include shipping costs and taxes
If you sell used clothes online, don't neglect shipping costs and taxes, or you risk losing your profits. You need to charge more money for shipping multiple clothing items as well as sending orders internationally.
Your final price should also include the cost for shipping materials and packing supplies, including packaging, boxes, labels, bags, paper, cushioning, foam, strapping, wrap, and tape.
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Keep in mind that you should never dispatch an item without receiving payment first. And let the customer know that you have received their money and thank them. Monitor every sale and unpaid invoices and re-list items that didn't sell.
Factor in potential price negotiations
In general, you can price your used clothes higher if you expect to negotiate the final price with potential buyers. You can list your pre-loved items more than their estimated value if you are flexible.
To sell your used clothing items in the higher range faster, allow your potential customers to make offers that are more in line with the current perceived value and their budget.
If you price your used clothes at a low price, they may sell faster. But you could be missing out on potential higher profits. Develop flexibility and negotiating skills to make the most out of your clothing resale business.
About the Author: Alex Assoune
Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks three languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.