Secondhand clothes: How to sell your clothes online

Have you ever looked at your wardrobe and realised that, despite the many items you have, you constantly feel like you don’t have anything to wear?

You’re not the only one. A recent survey found that more than one in four (28.1 percent) Australians simply leave unwanted clothes in their wardrobe and do nothing.

If these clothes are still in great condition, you should consider selling them to pass them to someone else and reduce our collective waste. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to sell your clothes online:

Step 1: Clean them

Nobody wants to buy dirty clothes. Even though people will still wash their secondhand finds before wearing them, you should make sure that the items are clean when they leave your wardrobe as a sign of respect. Fold them nicely to avoid wrinkles.

Step 2: Decide where to sell them on

There are plenty of peer-to-peer marketplaces to choose from today. eBay is the oldest, largest, and the most expensive of them all — they charge a listing fee plus even more fee on successful sales. Poshmark offers free listings and only charges fee when an item sells, but you need to be socially active to promote your listings. Depop has similar fee structure and is the best platform if you have curated style (think vintage, y2k, and whatever other trend is big among younger folks).

Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree are a bit of a free-for-all, so be prepared to arrange in-person meet ups via these listings (when/if this happens, always choose to meet up somewhere public).

Alternatively, you could sell your items on consignment stores like SwapUp.

Step 3: List them

Now that you’ve decided where to sell it from, it’s time to list the item. Provide basic details such as an item’s brand, size, size type (standard, tall, plus, maternity, AU, international). Whip out that old measuring tape to provide some important measurements, such as chest for dresses and waist and inseam for pants.

You need to also mention the item’s condition — make sure you use the common terminology of the platform that you use to sell. For example, eBay sellers commonly describe items as NWT (new with tags) and EUC (excellent used condition).

Step 4: Photograph them

Find a corner in your house with good lighting and take a photo with the item. We recommend using plain backgrounds to help the item stands out. Mannequins are best for tops and dresses, while hangers are great for coats, bottoms, and kids clothes. If you have time, you could also wear the items and take some selfies.

Step 5: Respond to queries

Sometimes, buyers would like to learn more about an item. Is it made of wool? Does it have any zips on the back? Is the waist adjustable? Some of these questions can be pre-emptively answered on your listing. But if you didn’t have time to do it before, answer these questions promptly and in a friendly manner.

Step 6: Adjust the price

Pricing secondhand items is an art in itself, and sometimes, you need to adjust the initial pricing to increase your likelihood to sell. If your item is not sold after a month or two, consider lowering your asking price by 10-20% or more if you’re looking to offload them as fast as possible (such as during a move)

Step 7: Ship the items

You’ve sold an item, yay! Now it’s time to head to the post office to ship it to your buyer. You can choose to stick with Australia Post, or try out new services like Sendle or Shippit. With Australia Post, you can choose to purchase prepaid satchels where you can ship anything that fits within the packaging. Otherwise, measure the item to find its weight and volumetric weight.

It might seem daunting at first, but selling your items online highly increases their chance of being re-homed.

Alternatively, SwapUp could do everything from step 2 to 7 for you. All you need to do is wash the clothes, handbags, and shoes that you’re looking to sell, and sell them in bulk to us using a SwapUp Kit. We’ll do all the hard work for you — all you need to do is decide what to do with your earnings. You can choose to cash out, donate, or shop secondhand to complete the circle in the circular economy!

Click here to learn more about SwapUp and find tips around cleaning out your wardrobe (or your little one’s!).


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