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“The Los Angeles Times reports that the average American home now contains 300,000 items. The size of our houses keeps getting bigger and bigger. But rather than resulting in an uncluttered space, they just keep filling with more things.” Simplify Magazine
Sizing is important when you’re selling clothing online. Sloppy or absent sizing information can lead to an insurmountable queue of returns.
If you’re selling new clothing, be sure to include information about cut (“these run small,” “these run large,” “these are tight around the waist/bust”) and any conversion information necessary to keep an international audience happy (“European 38 is like an American women’s 4”).
If you’re selling used clothing, be sure to look at tags for sizing details and to supply them in your listing. You can also try them on in comparison to other clothing and describe approximate sizes in your listing.
Images are Essential
Would you buy a piece of clothing you had never seen?
Asking an eBay buyer to bid on clothing on the strength of brand name alone or on the strength of just one photo is virtually the same thing.
Include multiple photos showing the clothing from as many angles if you can. If possible, show it on a model or mannequin.
Laura has some amazing tips on how to rock your images even you only have an iPhone.
Include Fabric Details
Buyers want to know more about the fabric.
It isn’t always easy to see the type of fabric a clothing item is made from when looking at photos or images online. And the type and quality of fabric used in clothing item is often of absolute importance to the buyer.
Describe the fabric in detail—rough or soft, dense or airy- and share what the manufacture’s tag says when it comes to material type and garment care. Paint a picture with words that help give your prospective buyer some indication of how the clothes will feel in their hands or on their body.
Tell the Truth about Smoking
Be honest about whether your item is from a smoking or non-smoking home.
Seriously. This is a big one.
Many people are allergic to cigarette smoke or have children who are. As a buyer, I always ask but I appreciate it more if the seller discloses that fact.
This is not a dig towards smokers, but even when I’ve been told that “I only smoke outside, not in my house,” the item I buy from them always has a very distinctive smoke smell.
The reality is, any odor is picked up quickly by fabric (think about how yummy your clothes smell after being in a coffee shop for a few hours!) and is a nightmare to get out.
Tell the Truth about Wear
Be honest about wear.
Nothing will create a return more quickly than a disappointed clothing buyer, and one of the most common types of returns for used and vintage clothing results from a lack of wear information in the original item listing.
Mention small holes, frays in the fabric, stains, fades, or soiled areas.
Mention anything that a perfectionist or fashionista might want to do before wearing the article and if necessary use general descriptive phrases like “three decades old and shows wear accordingly.”
Use Care when Shipping Items
If you are selling an item online that needs to be mailed, take the time to pack the shipment properly.
It may seem at first glance as though just about any packaging will do for your average article of clothing, but keep in mind that packages in transit can be subject to all sorts of conditions—dust, dirt, rain, snow, crunching and tearing.
A loosely-sealed, paper envelope is likely to lead to an article of clothing that arrives in damaged condition. In a pinch, put your item inside a Ziploc bag and reinforce the seams of your envelope with 2” packing tape.
I get my re-sealable plastic bags at the Dollar Store (they even have two gallon size!) and my box sealing tape from our local office products store.
Rock Shipping with the Right Supplies
But, if you’d like to avoid all the extra fussing around when your envelopes, try water and tear-proof Tyvek or plastic envelopes rather than paper ones.
Non-clothing items like toys, collectibles or antiques really need extra TLC when prepping for shipping. Use a sturdy box and don’t skim on the bubble wrap!
Nothing is worse than having to deal with an angry buyer when they receive their purchase only to find it has been damaged due to poor packing or packaging.
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Plan ahead, cultivate happy customers and treat every buyer like they just bought something priceless from you.
Because to them, they just spent their hard-earned money on something you’re selling, and they’re likely excited to receive it.
Make them happy they chose to buy from you!