I believe that there are two types of women in the world: women who are emotionally attached to their clothes, and the women that aren’t. The women in the former camp tend to be organised, proactive creatures. They’re practical, making swift, effortless decisions on the use of their garments and their life-span. They’re financially better for it too, regularly raiding their wardrobes for lesser-loved items and sending them onto new owners, in turn fuelling new season purchases, often procuring the hottest buys first. Clever, really; efficient.
Those in the latter probably have a situation similar to what I currently have going on. At my family home, this consists of two double wardrobes stuffed to the rafters with year’s old items, some hardly worn. At my own home, an equally full wardrobe and a clothes rail, alongside those currently in the washing machine and the few items I have hanging around my other half’s house. Do I wear all of these items? No. Do I in fact, probably wear five to six outfits on rotation? Yes. And yet, I find myself continuing to fill these exhausted cupboards, and emptying my wallet rather than them.
The truth is, I have always had a problem letting go of clothes. But the even bigger problem, is that I am simply quite lazy. A clear out for me looks like ten black bags and a trip to the charity shop; the thought of photographing any of these items and putting them online seems an insurmountable challenge, perhaps even more perplexing than the idea that anyone might actually want to buy my clothes.
And, actually, I don’t think anyone would. Most of my current wardrobe offering is filled with very tired high-street buys, the likes of which I would feel slightly immoral passing onto anyone for a profit on my end. However, I’ve been working for a year now, and as such have accumulated some pretty nice things – things that I perhaps felt I had to have to be in an office, but have gone unworn at the realisation I could work in my jeans. It is these items, purchased for me by my mother but now still sitting pretty with their labels on, that I feel the most guilty about. It is these items, that are spurring a re-think for me and this whole selling business.
And so, I am setting up to become a woman in the former camp. I am going to be ruthless in my organisation, swift in my posting and sharp in my negotiation – and I am then going to be the girl who finds that bag on the same site. At least, eventually I hope to be. To get me started, I spoke to Hardly Ever Worn It on how to start selling my clothes, before chatting to Vestiaire Collective on where to find the best buys. Hoarders: take note…
Hardly Ever Worn It on selling: “We’re all guilty of letting hardly ever worn items just sit in our wardrobes, but uploading them onto a site like Hardly and lets them work for you,” says Natalya Wolter, Hardly’s Creative Director tells me.
“If you’re a new seller, remember that images and descriptions are super important. Upload great, clear images of the item, showing and noting all detail. Customers feel happier buying from someone who provides a detailed and transparently honest description, than someone they feel may be over-selling the condition or RRP.”
“When setting the price, remember that even if an item is new with tags, it has possibly been in several sales by now. If you have worn it, factor this into to your price too; look at the item, read the description and think, what would I really be happy to pay for this? An attractive price and prompt and courteous responses to any queries and postage requests always go down well, and you’ll gain more customer loyalty over time.”
Vestiaire Collective on buying: “If you’re coming onto the site looking for something specific, type as much as you can into the description bar – colour, brand, season, you name it – but also be wary that getting something very specific can be tricky. It is good to keep in mind that sellers might not have described the item exactly as you have, and so it’s better to use a general colour, as opposed to a particular shade for example.”
“There are seasoned pros in the world of reselling, with plenty of experience. As a newcomer, it’s a good idea to spend a spare hour exploring the site. Have a look through the brands you like, and add items to your ‘Wish list’. You’ll then be able to watch them, which will give you a good idea of how quickly certain items go, and get an education on price points. This will help you to understanding how much you should be spending, as well as things to look out for – especially as you can’t return the items.”
“Before you buy, there are questions you should ask your sellers. Measurements are a big thing, especially for clothing – make sure you have exact proportions. Next, does the item match the description it has been given? Ask the seller to be upfront about any damages. Next, how quickly can they ship? We usually ask our sellers to notify us when they go away, but often they don’t so it is good to check for yourself how long you’ll be waiting for an item. Most sellers are pretty good, and we encourage our community members to talk to each other.”
“Of course, if an item is particularly rare or popular, there won’t be time to ask questions. Usually individuals who buy these have been searching for them for a long time, and so it’s no question whether or not they’ll buy them when they come up for sale. (A member of our team waited 2 years for a rare Hermes bracelet, and our fastest selling item was a rare Birkin, which went in 17 seconds.) If you are really after a hot item, then it’s worth setting up an alert and be ready to go when it comes online.”
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