eBay can be a great place to buy and sell clothes if you know the basics. This guide will give you the lowdown on getting the most from your eBay experience.
While eBay isn’t the most obvious choice for buying clothes, it has a lot to offer. It’s still one of the biggest ecommerce platforms in the world, and it’s one of the top sites for used products specifically.
Thankfully, most used clothing marketplaces have a fairly curated selection, and eBay is no exception. However, there are still several quirks about eBay that you’ll want to become familiar with before diving in and looking around.
Advantages of Shopping on eBay
When shopping for secondhand menswear online, you have several options to choose from. In particular, there are plenty of marketplaces dedicated to clothing, from high-end items on Grailed to vintage finds on Etsy.
So why buy from eBay specifically? Here are a few reasons.
The selection. Of all the used clothing sites, eBay is perhaps the one with the most variety. You can find a little bit of everything, from rare heritage items to like-new pieces from stalwart brands.
It’s not focused exclusively on any one type of clothing or price range, so there’s something for everyone.
The reliability. Because eBay has been around for decades, it’s a trustworthy platform with solid buyer protection. In addition, many sellers have been on the site for years, which adds another layer of trust.
The ability to shop all price levels. eBay tends to have a wider range of price brackets than other used clothing sites, which makes it easy to shop for any budget.
The global nature. It’s also pretty easy to purchase from other countries on eBay, which means you can find some really unique items.
eBay Buying Tips: 5 Things You Must Know
Like any clothing marketplace, your eBay experience will depend on how you use it, and that means getting used to some of its idiosyncrasies.
Here are 5 essential tips to help you get the most out of eBay.
1: Bid Wisely
Unlike most other reselling platforms, eBay uses its famous bidding system. Many users opt to go for the Buy It Now option (see tip #3 below), but there’s still a good likelihood that you’ll end up bidding on some items.
Competitive bidding can quickly make prices skyrocket, so it’s crucial to take a careful approach so that things don’t get out of hand.
It can help to set a maximum price limit for yourself before bidding. This isn’t always easy to do, but it’s a good strategy to use when you can.
You can also set up automatic bidding so that you don’t have to be on a device all the time. (This can also help you ensure that you don’t go over your limit).
2: Be Wary of Bid Sniping
Bid sniping is a tricky tactic that’s been around since the dawn of eBay, but it’s still as frustrating as ever. This is when someone submits a bid seconds before an auction ends to ensure that they win.
Bid sniping is widely considered to be in bad taste, but that doesn’t stop people from doing it. In addition, end-of-auction bidding can also rapidly raise the list price, so even if you bid like crazy and win, you may end up paying way more than you wanted to.
For items you really want to win, it helps to be at a device (preferably a desktop or laptop) to manually monitor last-minute bids. That said, this also comes with the territory, so it’s a good practice to not expect to win every item you bid on.
3: Look For Buy It Now Listings
If you want to skip bidding madness completely, then you’re in luck, as plenty of eBay listings use the Buy It Now feature.
It’s exactly what it sounds like — you can buy the item outright instead of having to bid on it. Of course, not every item will have the Buy It Now enabled, but it does seem like more sellers are leaning away from bidding.
You can easily use eBay’s filters to show only Buy It Now listings. The simplest way to do this is to navigate to the bar right above the search results and click “Buy It Now.”
The potential disadvantage here is that Buy It Now listings have fixed prices. It is possible to get seller offers (available to the first taker) on items you’ve put on your watchlist, but otherwise, the price is set.
This means you can’t get the kind of crazy bargains you can sometimes get when bidding, so it’s a bit of a tradeoff.
4: Look For Best Offer Listings
In the same vein, there’s also a Best Offer option sellers can activate that allows buyers to make offers on the listing. This is another possible way to bypass bidding and have a smoother shopping experience.
You can conveniently filter your search to show only Best Offer listings by going to that top bar and clicking “Accepts Offers.”
A good rule of thumb is to not submit too low of an offer. Generally, offers of 10% to 15% less tend to get accepted often, but this will depend on the specific item and seller.
5: Use Sold Listings To Value Items
This is a great way to price-check items without ever having to leave eBay.
Once you search, scroll down to the “Show only” section on the left-hand side, then click “Sold items.” This will give you all of the sold listings for your search, and it’s automatically filtered from the most recent sales.
The only caveat here is that any listings where the seller accepted a best offer will not show the final selling price. However, you’ll be able to see the asking price, so you can use that along with other listings to help you gauge value.
Selling Clothes On eBay (An Easy Way To Make Some Extra Cash)
eBay is a good place to sell clothes, but it’s a vast market place where you can sell many other goods. This makes it the best reselling platform to use if you want to sell clothes along with other miscellaneous items.
And, if you’re only looking to sell clothes, then you can do what many sellers do and list your items on eBay as well as other platforms.
Of course, this requires closer monitoring so you can pull all of the listings for an item when it sells, but it’s a good technique to maximize the chance of selling.
Here are a few general tips for selling on eBay to get you started.
1: Understand the Fees
If you’re a single seller listing fewer than 250 items per month, you really only need to worry about final value fees (i.e., selling fees).
The final value fee will vary depending on the specific category, but most of the time it’s 12.9% of the total sale amount.
Finally, if you use PayPal, then you’ll need to figure in the transaction fee as well.
2: Understand the Shipping Options
eBay does not provide shipping label discounts to sellers, so in many cases, flat-rate shipping is the way to go when selling clothes. However, it ultimately comes down to the type (and size) of the clothing.
And as with any reselling platform, eBay has quite a few shipping options you can activate. For one, you can charge buyers for shipping based on their location or set one flat shipping fee for all buyers.
You can also provide shipping discounts to buyers who purchase multiple options.
3: Read the Used Clothing Policy
Policies tend to be overcomplicated jargon, but eBay’s used clothing policy actually has some vital information in it.
The most important part is that your listing has to include a statement that the used garment has been properly cleaned. Listings without a statement may be removed, so it’s crucial to include one for each of your listings.
4: Price Based on Sold Listings
If you price based on retail value, you probably won’t have a lot of success with your listings.
A much better approach is to price your listings based on identical or similar items that have sold on the platform. (You can use the sold listings filter trick from earlier here).
5: Consider Enabling Buy It Now or Best Offer
Considering what I said in the buying guide above, many buyers will be more likely to browse your listings if you have Buy It Now and/or Best Offer enabled on them.
Even though bidding can result in buyers driving up the price — and thus netting you more cash — it can also result in buyers winning items at low prices.
It depends on what you want to get out of eBay, but if you’re looking for the most straightforward experience, then enabling one or both of these is probably best.
FAQs About Buying and Selling Clothes on eBay
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about buying and selling clothes on eBay:
Is Buying on eBay Secure?
eBay is one of the safest marketplaces out there. The platform has a money-back guarantee, and if you buy via PayPal, you also get PayPal buyer protection. Also, eBay’s protection policies tend to favor buyers.
What Is the Safest Way To Pay on eBay?
Most sellers will use PayPal, and this is widely regarded as the safest way to purchase on eBay.
Before you buy an item, it’s a good idea to do some research. Our guide on buying clothes online covers this in detail.
Wrapping Up: Will You Use eBay for Buying and Selling Clothes?
All things considered, eBay is a solid platform for buying and selling used clothes online.
Unless you’re buying or selling extremely high-end stuff, then eBay is a good choice. (For upper-echelon menswear, you’ll want to consider sites like Grailed or The RealReal.)
It’s easy to browse and easy to sell on eBay. What more could you ask for?
While it may be a dinosaur at this point, it’s not going extinct anytime soon.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!