Selling baby clothes on eBay is never something I’ve actually considered doing. I’ve always been an avid buyer on eBay, I can’t resist a bargain and it’s possibly one of the most dangerous places for me to find myself in the early hours of the morning. In the early newborn days when Harrison didn’t sleep, I found myself buying some of the most ridiculous things and often forgetting that I’d ever bought them until they turned up weeks down the line. eBay has always been my guilty shopping pleasure, but I’ve never actually considered selling my own things on there. Harrison turns one in a few weeks time, and then with Christmas only two months away, it’s inevitable that we are going to get a lot of things over the next few months. I have no problem with these things, but I can’t help wonder where I’m going to find space for them. I’m not a hoarder – in fact I’m the very opposite, I love my seasonal clean outs, and yet I still have so many baby clothes. With both his birthday and christmas around the corner, this time I’m going to try my hand at making some money from some of the old clothes that we really need to get rid of. A bad case of hand, foot and mouth has left us home bound over the last few days and it’s been a blessing in disguise. It’s been the perfect excuse to go through the enormous boxes and bags upon bags of clothes that we’ve stocked up over the last year. Despite having done a major clean out when we moved house four months ago, I still seem to be left with a ridiculous amount of things. We’ve now ruthlessly whittled it down to just what we needed and or wanted, and everything else will be flogged online. Ruthless is difficult when it comes to baby clothes as almost everything as some form of sentimental value, even if it was never even worn, but we stuck to our guns and we went through three simple questions.
Have You Used It In The Last 3 Months If the answer is no, then chances are you won’t use it at all. It’s all very well saying that it’s not warm enough, or it’s not cold enough yet, or that the season just isn’t right – but children grow so quickly that come two months down the line it won’t matter what the weather looks like, clothes won’t fit. For me, a lot of the clothes that we haven’t used in the last 3 months are either clothes that were spur of the moment and that were never going to be a style I liked, or clothes that I’ve bought in a bigger size for coming months. These are my exception to the rule, I was under no obligation to post all of Harrisons’ brand new summer gear for 2018 on eBay because he hadn’t managed to wear it yet…
Will You Use It In The Next 3 Months This was where most of my pile came from. I loved a lot of the clothes I’ll be selling on: they are great quality, lovely designs from good brands, but they just do not fit anymore. We have so much baby stuff and there was no way Harrison was ever going to manage to wear it all, and if he did, it would have been for a very short amount of time. He outgrows his clothes quicker than I can even change mine, and rather than hold on to these for a day that will never come, I’d rather be able to sell them on and use the money to put towards the next size up. Part of the season problem comes in to this to: when Harrison was first born, I was caught up in buying clothes because of how they looked rather than practicality. I bought on impulse and managed to amount a ridiculous amount of short dungaree sets and little vests in sizes that Harrison would only fit in to in December. Smart move, no.
Could You Use It For Another Baby Or Does It Hold Sentimental Value This is where you really have to be honest with yourself. It’s all very well keeping everything and anything because you want it for your next child, but will you really use them all? For me, I have a handful of real clothes that I’d want to keep for another baby, and I’d probably rebuy all new vests and sleep-suits. I loved buying clothes for Harrison, and I don’t think I would want to miss out on that with a second baby. It’s completely independent, but being realistic makes decluttering everything that whole lot easier. There are some items that he’s worn once or twice, that I wouldn’t be using ever again, but that I’ll never let go of. Those sentimental value pieces are not meant for eBay, and I probably have a few too many, but at least it gives me less to take pictures of….
If the answer was no to all of these questions, then there was little reason for us to keep the items. Our pile destined for eBay seemed to grow at an alarming rate, and at the minute most still sits abandoned ready to be posted when a free listing weekend rolls around. We did post a few items as a test to make sure eBay was something we were happy to use, and after only 5 days, a few items and over £60 later it had the thumbs up from us. It’s definitely different using eBay as a seller than as a buyer, and at first everything can seem complicated. I sold my first items using the app rather than my laptop, and with help from the simple selling help guide it was all pretty easy – I listed my items in the middle of the Great British Bake Off break, so less than five minutes and I was ready to go. I made a few mistakes with these items that I have now learned from, so going forward my top three tips for selling your babies bits on eBay would be these.
I broke the number one unwritten rule of selling used items online and used stock images. I did this with a pair of Clarks first walker shoes that had been worn once, and although I described the quality to the best of my ability, it’s not going to be the same for the buyers as actually seeing what they will be getting. Using stock images is the lazy way out and makes it look as though there is something to hide: my shoes still sold, but not for nearly as much as they would have if I had gone over and above to take good pictures of the item.
If you think about what buyers will be looking for when searching eBay, generally it’s the bargain. They want the quality items at a discounted price, and therefore big brands will always sell better. For kids clothes, the likes of Next, Debenhams, John Lewis will always sell better than Primark, or super market brands. Although some of the items in Primark can be just as expensive as next, it’s all about selling what people want to buy. There is nothing stopping you from listing the lower priced items, but it’s all about weighing up whether or not it is worth the hassle, which brings me to my next point.
So often you see on eBay ‘lots’ or ‘bundles’ of items, and it can be tempting to list your own items in the same way. But before you list twenty old sleepsuits in one listing, consider how much these will sell for in comparison to the price of postage. Twenty sleepsuits will cost a lot more than you would think to post, and chances are selling these items will cost you more than you make back. If we were to sell Harrisons’ clothes in a bundle and head off to the post office with them, chances are we’d cancel out any chance of making any money whatsoever. If your selling a lot at once, one option for saving money on postage is hiring a budget courier company. With clothes, you’d have to be selling a lot to justify using a courier, but if your anything like me you’ll have a lot of baby clothes… We sold Harrisons’ pram when he was around six months old and used a cheap and cheerful courier to transport this for us. One of the best ways to find a courier is through Shiply, an online service that offers the service of thousands of courier companies. The companies are given the chance to offer you the best price possible, and you choose the one that works for you. Cheap, easy, and a great way to maximize your return on eBay. Be smart though, as much as selling on your items is great, sometimes cutting your losses and donating items to charity is the best option.
Decluttering is never fun, but the end result is completely and entirely worth it. Selling on eBay was such a positive experience that I almost fear for my own wardrobe now: it feels great to be able to take items that we have no use for and send them to a home where they will actually be given some love. Ignoring the sentiment, it’s also brilliant to have some extra cash back for clearing out some cupboard space…
Have you sold on eBay before? I’m no veteran, what are your top tips?
Disclaimer: I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. [I have received a voucher as a token of thanks for this post].