So I had a baby boy in 2007 and in 2009 I was pregnant again.  The 20 week scan confirmed we were expecting a girl.  A quick scan of the loft confirmed that it wasn’t just my belly that was bulging it was four (and counting!) suitcases of vac packed baby clothes from newborn through to aged 2 years and all of the Boy variety!  I don’t have them anymore, the suitcases that is the bulging tummy is another story!  Instead of the suitcases I have significant loft space and over £600 which I have been spending on lovely tiny pink items. 

Baby G is nearing six months old now (stop the clock someone please!) and the piles of grown out of baby clothes are beginning to form again.  It felt impossible to consider not keeping H’s stuff at the time but the reality was I never looked at it, not once, until the day I unzipped the bags to photograph them and list them on eBay to sell.  Yes I felt emotional and yes I shed a tear.  I chose what I would keep and I kept his tiny, but too big at the time, babygro he came home from hospital in and the personalised “Class of 2007” t-shirt.  It is hard but necessary to keep only the significant momentos and for some reason they become more special and more representative of times gone by. 

So its time for me to refresh myself on the “how to” of selling baby clothes on eBay and I thought I would share how I do it.  So if you’re reading this and have tips, tricks and hints please do leave me a comment I’m in the zone and I’d love to hear from you.

  1. I sell to get rid of stuff, or rather I sell to turn what I can no longer use into cash!  So I don’t focus on what I paid and what I make for each item, I focus on the final total.  It may only be £6 but 5 x £6 is £30 I didn’t have which I can most certainly use!
  2. First sort your kids clothes into boys & girls then into size (newborn, 0-3mths, 3-6mths, 6-9mths etc).
  3. Then sort into season (summer / winter) – sell the appropriate season at the appropriate time, right now I am going to be selling H’s Summer clothes from last year, his winter stuff will wait until September.
  4. Make sure they are clean, freshly wash, stain treat and iron them nicely
  5. Sort into:
    –  items you would sell individually (e.g. designer stuff, winter coat, summer dress)
    – Items to sell as outfits / sets (e.g. pair of age 6-9mth Baby Girl jeans, matching skirt, T-shirt, cardi & sox set)
    – and Items to sell as a bundle (everything else)
  6. Count the items (30/40+ items is a good bundle size) and decide on a minimum and maximum price you would expect to pay for them if you were buying them (e.g. a good average is around £1 an item x 30 items = start price of £25 and if you want to do a “Buy it Now” set it around of £40).  If you do not want to have a start price you can of course put your bundle on for 99p and pay for a reserve (although the minimum reserve is £50 and I have only once sold a bundle for over £50).  If you do not want a reserve you must be aware that you could end up letting 30 items go for under a quid ! – not a great way to make money you will not cover your listing fees. 
  7. Photograph the clothes in outfits, two or three items per item listed, close ups of any pretty details, logos, tags etc – try and make the clothes fill the frame, photograph patterned items against a plain background (wooden floors or white duvets work well) and plain items against a pattered background – photograph dresses and designer gear on hangers not the floor I bought a hanging toddler mannequin from here
  8. Use Auctiva to create a professional listing with 16 photos (for free) and schedule (for free) the auction to start on a Thursday evening so that it will be listed for two full weekends and finish on a weekend around 8-9pm.
  9. Create a great Title – most people search by title so always include GENDER AGE BRANDS CONDITION to get noticed ie Stunning Girls Monsoon Dress age 10-12, Bundle Boys Summer Clothes age 2-3 VGC …
    – Hot Tip USE CAPITAL LETTERS and !!! and *** to make your title stand out
    – Hot Tip if your item is new with tags you might want to say GIFT in the title ie ‘BNWT Next BOYS babygrow age 3-6m NEW BABY GIFT’
    – Hot tip – if you have a lot of a popular brand give a % of how much is Next ie: ‘80%Next’ in the title
    6. Description – ALWAYS BE HONEST … Most people will want to know TYPE, BRAND, SIZE, SPECIAL FEATURES  and CONDITION (ESPECIALLY DAMAGE)…. ie. Button down collar Next Shirt age 18-24mths VGC, Gap Jeans age 24 mths adjustable waist button missing.
  10. Some people will also want to know measurements so if you really want to do to town eg. for individual designer items include waist, inside leg, chest, armpit to wrist etc as appropriate. Otherwise just wait for buyers to ask questions
  11. If you are using Auctiva ALWAYS go into revise item in ebay to fill in the item specifics to make sure that your item appears on search engines.  This is really important otherwise your listing will simply get lost among the thousands of others.
  12. I buy all my packing stuff on eBay too from Just Packing Supplies fold and pack carefully, but don’t seal up, they may not sell, you may relist as part of a bigger bundle, just wait til you’re sold and the next stop is the post office! 
  13. Decide if you are willing to send overseas, I’ve found it a pain and often stuff hasn’t arrived so now I say only with prior agreement – Northern Europe, USA, Australia & NZ have all been fine and fast but Eastern European post in my experience has been more trouble than its worth & I’ve ended up refunding items that haven’t arrived as the buyers haven’t been courteous and I want to to maintain my feedback ratings.
  14. Offer collection on bundles too and calculate UK post to cover p&p and your time at £5 per hour.  I weigh the items in batches on my kitchen scales and total the weight up and use the Royal Mail weight guide adding £1.50-2.00 for packaging and my time so as a guide:
    One item of clothing – £1.99-£2.99 depending on size
    One Outfit – Two to Five Garments – £3.50- £4.99
    Bundle – Five plus garments £4.99 + £1 per extra large item (jeans not socks etc) up to max £15/£20
  15. Then just wait for the bids to come in, questions are also likely especially in the last few hours so make sure you’re around to field and answer them.
  16. Once you’ve sold and you’ve been paid off to the post office you can trot – the queues are never great, I have a Mail Box Store near me and have yet to queue – worth knowing!  Remember to get proof of postage!

So there you go that’s how I sell on eBay, I have some boys Summer stuff to sell and some baby girls stuff too and I will be sticking the item photographs in a Flickr a/c for any readers that want first dibs before they are listed to the eBay masses!