Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How to Sell and Swap Clothing Online

Lately, I have been really into swapping clothing. What exactly is swapping? I was first introduced to the idea in the lolita community, where girls will often trade one dress or skirt for another of equal or similar value. The idea is simple – you take clothing items you no longer like and trade them for something you do, online or in person. I have been working on downsizing my wardrobe lately, so I’ve traded some clothing for things like hair accessories and jewelry. It has been a great experience for me!

Swap meets are common in large cities, and can range from huge events with hundreds of people to a small get-together between friends. I have been to a few lolita swap meets myself, and I think they are a wonderful idea! I always come out with something cute or a successful trade or sale. For the purposes of this article, though, I'm going to talk about how to successfully sell and swap clothing online.


How to Sell and Swap Clothing Online

  1. Find a community first. Whatever you are interested in, there is most likely a community out there for it. If you have a lot of a specific designer, like Anthropologie or ModCloth, look online for a group that is dedicated to buying and selling it and you will likely have more luck than with a general clothing swap group. If you have a variety of clothing, then a general group will probably serve you well. I am active in the English Lolita Sales group, this Clothing Swap group, and egl_comm_sales on Livejournal.

  2. Be sure to adhere to the community’s rules. Some of them will be very general and some will be specific. Be sure you are not spamming or presenting your items in a way that isn’t accepted. Some observation might be necessary.

  3. Take photos of the clothes you want to swap or sell. Get detail shots as well and close-ups of any damage that there may be.

  4. List it online. Instead of just uploading it to whatever site you are on (Facebook, Livejournal, etc.), you might find more success listing it on a different site and then linking to it. Wherever you want is fine – Tumblr seems to be popular, but I use Storenvy personally. When you list the clothing online, include the size, any additional details about the clothing, and flat measurements, if possible. This last step is optional, but many times you will be asked to provide them anyway, so you might as well do it right away! A compelling description will also help sell the item.

  5. If you are selling, be sure to price your clothing reasonably. If it’s older and not a designer item, you probably won’t get much for it. If it is a rarer item, then a higher price might be appropriate, but most of the time, it should be fairly cheap. Look at other secondhand clothing sales for an idea of how to price your clothing. 

  6. Be active in the community. If you notice an awesome item you want, then feel free to ask the seller if they like anything you have. Without interaction, these communities wouldn’t exist. Don’t just wait for them to come to you. In addition, it is a good idea to learn what common acronyms are, like NWT (New With Tags).

  7. Let your friends know what you have available. A lot of times friends will be interested in your clothing as well and will be excited to see it online. Definitely share whenever you have listed new items!

  8. Once you have made a swap, send out your item as quickly as possible. Take a photo of the mailing receipt and ask your swap partner to do the same. On some communities, there is no way to tell if someone is trying to scam others or not. If something seems too good to be true or otherwise raises red flags, there is no shame in asking for previous transaction feedback. It is okay to back out if it seems fishy. 
Those are the basic steps to swapping your clothing online. It is a fairly simple process and has resulted in some great finds for me. I haven't had any bad experiences; exercise any caution you normally would online and you should be fine!

Have you ever swapped clothing online? How did it go?

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