Wednesday, 11 October 2017

12 Rules for Selling Designer Accessories Successfully on eBay

Having collected too much ‘designer stuff’ over the years, and having unsuccessfully tried to get someone to sell it for me, I decided that I would take the plunge and sell it for myself on eBay.

Many people think that eBay is about selling ‘cheap’ stuff, but you’d be amazed at what’s on there, from expensive designer handbags and jewellery to serious tat to beauty products BNIB (brand new in box) that someone has been given and wants to sell at a discount.

So if you have that loved but no longer used Balenciaga handbag (preferably with the dust bag), pair of Jimmy Choo shoes or piece of designer jewellery you no longer wear, and you’d like to turn them into cash – to invest in yet another handbag, pair of shoes or earrings – then eBay can be a marvellous sales platform or a complete waste of time, depending on how you manage it.

Here are some simple guidelines to selling successfully on eBay.

1.  Establish a history and rating.  One of the most important things about eBay, if not the most important, is your reputation – how you are seen.  Before you even think of selling lovely things you need to a) establish an eBay account b) establish a PayPal account if you don’t already have one and c) buy some things and leave feedback, beauty products, whatever, to get a rating going.  No one is going to pay £300 for a handbag if you have no history.

Georgina von Etzdorf Velvet Long Beaded JacketGucci Black Suede Evening BagHeart EarringsJigsaw Sheepskin Scarf

2.   Pick out some items you’d like to sell and take really good photographs, at least four, preferably more.  If you look at similar items, you’ll find some where the photographs are really good, but most where they are dreadful and people haven’t bothered.  They don’t deserve to get good prices, frankly.  If you want to sell something well you need to show it well.  Ask yourself ‘if I was looking for something would I buy this from this picture’? and snap away accordingly.  Copies and fakes are strictly forbidden.

Georgina von Etzdorf detail of jacket beadingDetail of Gucci Black Suede Evening BagNecklace to show detail

3.   Take pictures also of any defects and details as well.  EBay buyers don’t want nasty surprises so if what you’re selling is showing some wear and tear then show that too.  It shows you’re honest about what you’re selling and it tells buyers exactly what to expect.  In the same way if there’s a special detail, such as beading or embroidery, then show that too.

Cross Earrings and measuring tapeDescription including measurements

Don’t assume a potential buyer will buy something without knowing EVERYTHING about it, make sure there are no surprises possible.  Take every measurement you can – for a jacket, for example – nape to hem, width across the back, underarm sleeve seam.

6.   Before you list an item look for similar items on eBay and how much they are being offered for.  Also check Sold listings to see how much a similar item actually went for.  You’ll get a good idea of what is a reasonable price this way.

5.   Fill in the listing as fully as you can with every detail including a well thought out, clear and well written title description – I know I keep banging on about this but you need to do this.  Take photos however you want but if you take them on your mobile you can wirelessly upload them to your listing which saves a huge amount of time. 

6.  Accept PayPal as your payment method of choice unless you have good reason not to.  It makes transactions extremely easy and safe.

7.   I choose not to auction designer accessories, but to use Buy It Now and invite ‘nearest offer’.  I always choose a price that I think the piece is worth and then I’m willing to haggle a little.  When someone offers a ridiculous price I just decline the offer.  If it’s getting near to my base price I will make a counter offer – and I always include a message thanking for their interest before telling them that I’m refusing their price.

8.    Always be polite.  Whoever they are and however much they offer it will benefit you to be polite on response.  Remember, you’re looking for positive reviews all of the time, you don’t want anything negative.  Even if you’re offered a ridiculous amount still stay charming.

9.   If you get a decent offer check out the seller’s rating and reviews before accepting.  Be careful about selling something to someone who has negative reviews.  Also be careful about selling to anyone who criticises your item before you accept their offer, no matter how good the offer is.  You want a pleasant, straightforward transaction at a price both parties are happy with with happy feedback.

10.   If in doubt about anything call eBay – they are really good about responding and helping if you have a query. 

11.  Look out for fraud.  If you get an enquiry ‘off eBay’ eg via your email, from someone who says they’re buying through eBay/PayPal and wants you to send to a strange destination either call eBay first or ignore it.  I have had this and luckily I did call eBay first.  You may be so happy at the offer you just go ahead.  Don’t.

12.   Once you’ve accepted a price it’s up to you to despatch your item.  Wrap it as nicely as possible even if you’re using bubble wrap and brown paper.  Stuff a handbag with bubble wrap or something else so that it looks good when it’s unpacked.  Include a letter thanking the buyer for buying your item.  Wrap and tape it up firmly.  Use eBay’s link to Royal Mail if your item is quite small and not heavy.  If it is consider using another carrier such as Hermes.  Insure something if it’s worth quite a bit. Always send items Recorded Delivery.  Then there will never be any argument about delivery.

Also read this article by eBay about selling on eBay.  And be patient.  You may well not get offers straight away, but you can see how many have looked at your item and how many are actively watching it.  The busiest day for listings is Sunday, followed by Saturday and Monday.

Selling on eBay can take up quite a bit of your time and it can become addictive, but it’s such a good way of turning unwanted items into money it’s well worth taking the plunge.