If you are cleaning out your wardrobe ahead of winter and hoping to cash in by selling your cast-offs, prepare to be disappointed.
As the number of clothing listings on auction website Trade Me grows, and more professional retailers tout their wares, would-be sellers are being told their chances are slim of getting top dollar for secondhand high street brands.
The majority of clothing and fashion items sold on the site are now from professional sellers.
Brooke Gibson, a stylist who also runs online secondhand clothing store Thrift Nation, said there was very little market for chain store brands.
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“Anything that is not designer is really hard to move. Glassons, Supre, Cotton On, you can’t move. If it’s Max, Country Road or Witchery, you can but at a really low price.
“To be honest, if you have items from places like Glassons or Supre, donate them in a clothing bin.”
She said sellers would be lucky to get $5 a piece for those items, and they would also have to deal with posting them and administering the auctions.
Trade Me spokesman Logan Mudge said, compared to last year, the number of secondhand clothing lists and purchases had increased. “Particularly for menswear, driven by shoes, tops and tees, and jackets.”
He said there had been a 162 per cent increase in the number of listings for women’s shoes.
Menswear listings were up 20 per cent and women’s dresses 11 per cent.
“Purchases of used clothing on Trade Me has remained steady, with spikes across men’s clothing and accessories and general menswear. Sales of used women’s clothing has stayed consistent year on year. In terms of items that have the best average sale price, menswear items, particularly shoes and jackets, and women’s wedding, handbags, accessories and jackets fetch the best prices. Kids’ shoes and baby bulk lots also managed to collect good coin.”
Items listed with a $1 reserve price were more likely to sell the first time they appeared on the site, he said – at 43 per cent compared to 9.3 per cent for other auctions and “buy nows”. “Sought-after brands, hard to get items and latest-season products drive more bids.”
Gibson said sellers should be able to get good prices for designer brands such as Augustine and Charlo. Trade Me data backed that up – for women, the most popular fashion search terms were Karen Walker, Augustine, Lululemon and Country Road.
For men, the most popular searchers were Nike, Adidas and Jordan.
Gibson said people were better off buying well in the first place rather than trying to cash in by selling things they were no longer wearing. “If you have a budget and a plan to go shopping with, you save money.”
She said clothes should be bought with the intention of wearing them until they went into holes.
Tips for successful online secondhand sales:
Gibson says the photo is everything. Display the item in an appealing way, whether that is on a coathanger, someone wearing it, or a mannequin, if you have access to one.
Only sell things that are well cared for. Anything with holes or marks will not sell well.
Position the clothes with accessories – you can say they are not included.
“Get in touch with your inner saleswoman,” Gibson says. Describe how something might be worn so that buyers can picture it in their minds. “You’ve got to tell a story.”
Mudge says buyers like to search for specific item and then filter their results. “Keep your listing titles clean and specific, so they are easy to find. Be sure to check your spelling. Size is important. Make sure you list this correctly and use the description to clarify any details around sizing or fit.”
He said buyers were more likely to browse and bid during their downtime, so sellers could schedule their auctions to end at the busy times. The site’s peak times are between 8pm and 10pm. Saturdays and Sundays are the busiest.