The ultimate guide to selling clothes & apparel online

The ultimate guide to selling clothes

In case you have decided to make your way in the clothes and apparel business, don’t rush into this adventure unprepared.

The market is harsh and highly competitive in this area, so you better have all things covered before you start the business. Only a clear and stable business plan will ensure you minimize the risks and develop a successful business.

Set a realistic goal

Set how much you want to earn on an annual basis – when you focus your energy on that later on, you will easily reach it.

Your goals need to have a base in what is trending right now and how much you are willing to pay for a certain item.

Based on what celebrities are wearing these days, you can always be sure that people will want to buy that type of clothes as well. So, shift your goals into that direction – invest in what is trendy, just know that is always harder to sell something trendy for a higher price than it is when you’re selling a classic piece like Chanel.

The right price

When pricing your merchandise, try to find that balance between too high and too low. Do research – a Google search to help you find out if there’s another store putting the same merchandise on sale. Also, if you notice no one is buying your clothes, try lowering the prices.

In case you don’t want to lower the price of specific items yet, then improve the photo and the description. Change the angle of the [hotos, make a collage out of it and get creative with words. You would be surprised by people reacting to a different presentation of an item.

Make quality photos

Making high-quality and realistic photos will help you stand out from the vast number of online clothes sites that offer blurry, awkward, and dimly lit photos. No need to hire a professional photographer – you just need better lighting.

Simply lay the item on a one-colored flat surface and place a few lamps at various angles to block shadows. You can choose to write your own description of every item or you can find a consignment site that will do that for you – you just need to send in your items and give them the price.

Give an honest description

Write to your potential online buyers everything they should know about every item you’re selling. Besides basics like the size, brand, price, and condition, give them nuances as well.

For example, tell them if the fabric is stretchy or harder, or if the jeans sit high on low on the hips. In case of defects, make sure you list them, too. You don’t want an unsatisfied customer to accuse you of false advertising.

Focus on a specific category

When you are just starting your clothing business, don’t make things harder for yourself by dispersing yourself in many fields. In the beginning, pick just one or two categories of clothes to focus on for the time being. For example, choose to only develop a solid autumn winter collection or just bags and shoes. Too much of everything will make you lose focus and control, which will reflect on the managing aspect of the business.

Mind the labels

Labels such as Zara, Reiss, or J Crew are considered mid to top-end street labels, which means they go well on eBay, together with plus-sized clothes and suits. Jeans, for example, don’t sell that well online, while coats, jumpers, and tops do.

In case you have some vintage clothes, it’s best to consult a specialist vintage dealer than to simply add it to your existing collection.

Know where your market is

There are many websites where you can sell your clothes online, such as eBay, Craigslist, Poshmark, and ThredUP. You can even become a member of garage sale groups on Facebook.

However, it’s important to know what types of clothes sell best on each site. For example, brands like Prada, Gucci, and Burberry sell great on The RealReal, as it’s specialized in luxury brands. On the other hand, you can sell pretty much any clothing line on ThredUP.

You should also research what brands perform great – Nike and Lululemon always go for a good price, while Old Navy won’t bring you much profit.

Catchy domain name

You need to add a professional touch to your online clothing store, so start with a custom domain name. The chance of people buying clothes from you is higher if you seem professional.

If you manage to come up with a unique name, it will bring you a recognizable online identity. Of course, your domain name should be connected to your company’s name. So, if you still don’t have a proper name for your company, then better get on to it. The name should reflect your product and be catchy to make it more recognizable.

Choose a good template

Your template determines the feel of your store and it also makes it easier or harder for your customers to browse your offer. No matter which template you pick, know that you can customize it to fit your needs perfectly. 

The choice of the template will also depend on the type of your target customers – think of their lifestyle, how much they earn, and how old they are. That will give you the direction to go in when picking the right template.

Sites like Wix or Shopify offer free templates which are also of good quality, so maybe you could check them out for starters. What’s important is to create a good first impression and increase the chance of selling your items.

Bottom line

An online clothing and apparel store can be a huge success if you approach it with a detailed plan and determination to do your best. Quality work and effort always find their place in the busy market.