(1) Get a Paypal account - and an Ebay account.
So simple and easy - and essential.
(2) Start Limiting Yourself to Resellable Brands.
Mini Boden, Hanna, Tea Collection, Janie & Jack, Persnickety, etc. If you buy on a deal and resell, you won't pay much more than you'd pay for the cheap stuff that you can't resell. Sometimes you'll even make money!
For stains, I've found the absolute best is Resolve Max Gel and I'll combine it with a q-tip and straight bleach for any spots on white. Rub it on as soon as you can, and if possible, wash the item shortly after the recommended ten-minute wait. If that doesn't work, try layering Resolve with Shout and then washing; that combo has worked miracles for me in the past. And try, try again - these methods have gotten out stains that I'd long since believed to be permanent!
On washing, I usually do the gentlest cycle with Woolite, and I dry for no more than 10 minutes.
Last - a fabric shaver is cheap and goes a long way, especially on appliqués. It removes all pilling simply by running it over the fabric. This is the best one I've tried - only $12 on Amazon.
|Best fabric shaver I've tried - only $12 on Amazon. Say goodbye to pilling!|
(4) Note the "line."
Take note of the name of the "line" you bought from (e.g. Matilda Jane "Hello Lovely"), and add it to your title. Many buyers will include the line in their search terms.
(5) Save the box.
Cute new designer children's shoes? Save the box. Not only does it eliminate packaging costs, but it about $4.00 over putting the shoes in a slightly larger, corrugated box. You can easily charge $5.00 for shipping shoes. This way, you'll keep $1.50 of it - instead of taking a small hit.
(6) Prep your clothes and take great pics.
Wash them, iron them, snip any threads, and remove any fuzz with your handy fabric shaver. Again, fabric shavers will make all your appliqués look brand new... and they'll work miracles for some of the Boden knits that are highly prone to pilling.
For pics, it helps to have a DSLR but the most important thing is to use natural light instead of a flash. Nothing makes clothing look worse than a flash. Inside light is fine - aim for a sunny day, so the room is bright but the clothes are not in direct sunlight.
(8) Buy Poly Mailers in bulk for shipping.
You can find poly mailers on Amazon or on Ebay. Literally 1/20th of the cost of a bubble mailer from Target - works out to about .11 cents per package! For nicer items, I stick the item inside a ziplock bag and then place it into the polymailer.
(9) Be honest in your listing.
Ebay is very buyer-friendly; one unhappy buyer who gives you a negative report will impact your approval rating, and that will scare off other buyers. If your item has stains or flaws, note them. Better not to sell or to sell for less than to have an unhappy buyer.
(10) List in the evening.
Free ebay listings run exactly 7 days, and most bids come in at the very end. It's therefore best to list at a time when people are most likely to be relaxing with their computers; that's when you'll really get the bidding wars. Items listed during the work week or on weekends often get forgotten by watchers.
(11) Describe your item.
When a buyer clicks on your posting to read more about it, they want to be sold on it. If they didn't, they wouldn't have clicked. So don't waste the opportunity to verbally confirm the beauty they think they saw in the picture. For the romper pictured above, I said:
We got no end of compliments on this gorgeous nautical romper by Janie and Jack. Striking navy blue with white piping, in excellent used condition with no flaws. I would say that if anything, it runs small; my daughter is 60th percentile for height and has a somewhat long torso, and I'm not sure it would have taken her through the full 12 months without feeling too short. Also, please be aware that as with all J&J rompers, there are no buttons on the bottom; it's more work for diaper changes but well worth it IMO.
Smoke and pet free home, ships to US only. Returns accepted w/n 10 days of receipt; you pay return shipping. Check out my other listings, I'm obsessed with high-end clothes for my 3 y/o boy and 1 y/o girl!
(12) Buy off-season, sell on-season… and "on-season" means pre-season!
Do not try to sell your summer stuff in September. Instead, at the end of each season, prep and photograph your child's clothing and then store it to resell when it's "on-season" again. I find it most helpful to keep a spreadsheet of each item so that I can note the size, how it runs, and its condition - that way when I go to resell I don't even have to look at it, I just hop on my computer.
(13) Put as much information in the title as possible.
Ack! Just one more that I'm updating to add: Put as much info as you can into the title. That way your item will appear in more searches. For example -
BAD: Janie & Jack Outfit size 3
GOOD: EUC Janie & Jack Dress Outfit Leggings 3 3T Girl
In case you don't know, EUC = Excellent Used Condition (pristine), VGUC = Very Good Used Condition (maybe shows very light wash/wear only), GUC = Good Used Condition (minor flaw or two). Anything beyond that probably isn't worth your time to list.
If you're buying…
Reselling is key to all this but so is smart buying. I've noted before that the best places to score a resellable deal include ebay and so-called "flash sale" sites. Flash sale sites are sites that feature single-day "flash sales" on high-end brands. You sign up (it's free), and each morning you get an email telling you which brands are on that day. My three favorite flash-sale sites are:
Zulily: Featuring Mini Boden, Tea Collection, See Kai Run, Stride Rite, Hanna Andersson, and other high-end boutique and European brands. For everything you need to know about Zulily, read my blog entry here.
MyHabit: Amazon's version of Zulily. Less selection but $4 flat-rate FAST shipping. Fantastic brands like See Kai Run, Stride Rite, Oilily, etc. The very best use of MyHabit is stalking their European leather children's shoes and boots... they reduce until stock is gone so you can find some AMAZING deals.
|Got these off MyHabit - $200 leather boots by Ciao Bimbi for $53, and they are DIVINE.|
|Got this off GILT. Petticoat dress by Swedish luxe brand Llum. Retails $90, $43 on GILT. So in love.|
|Did I get this too? Ooops… ;) Oh well, I'll recoup at at least half of it on Ebay!|
If you're buying on Ebay, here's how to do it:
- First, be sure to check the seller's approval rating and read any negative feedback. Be wary of brands that that have a lot of knock-offs, like The North Face and Ugg Australia.
- Add the item to your "watch" list but do NOT bid on it! Bidding will attract attention and push it up higher in other peoples' searches.
- Wait until the last minute, THEN bid.
- If you really want the item, use the option given to set a maximum bid - and do it as close to the end as you possibly can. This way if other people are just placing individual bids (which they usually are), you'll outbid all of them but the time will run out on driving the price up.