Heather is a top-rated eBay seller and has been an active member of the eBay community since 2008. Her specialty area is clothing.
Look For Top-Selling Brand Name Clothing . . . Any Size
Clothing is one of the most popular items you can sell on eBay. Every day, ordinary people make extra cash by sourcing and selling top-selling clothing brands on eBay. When I started selling on eBay in 2008, money flew in. I was shopping for inventory every day at my favorite consignment shop in Charlotte. Missing even one day, especially a markdown day, caused me anxiety. A pair of Lucky jeans with worn cuffs would sell for $60 or more. Competition has grown fierce since then. The prices may not be as high, but there is always money to be made if you are willing to invest the time.
Start with a brand that you're already familiar with. Let's take American Eagle as our example. You have a great pair of skinny jeans that is now a size too small, and you decide to sell them. First, do your research. Go to eBay and type in "American Eagle Skinny Jeans Size 6," and then refine your search by showing only the completed listings.
The items listed in green (for the price) are the ones that have sold. The items listed in red did not sell. Ignore the items that didn't sell. Usually, those are overpriced. Focus on items similar to yours that have sold. Take note of the condition. Is there visible wear? Any flaws? Worn cuffs? Also, be on the lookout for keywords that successful sellers include in their titles and description.
If you're selling jeans, you need to know what style they are. Are they bootcut or skinny? Low rise or high-waisted? Familiarize yourself with clothing terms like "rise" and "inseam." You also need to learn to describe the wash of the jeans. Light or dark? Some brands will have the wash written on the care label as well as a date code showing which season and year the jeans were made. Not sure what the codes mean? Look those up. Some buyers are very specific about which items they're shopping for. Do your research in advance.
Women's Jeans Styles By Body Type
|Style||Features||Who Can Wear These|
Bootcut or Flared
wider from knee to ankle
Balance out wide hips or butts
sit well below belly button
very young, itty bitty girls only
tapers from knee to ankle
Look great on tall, slender girls and petite girls
start above belly button
Looks great on long-waisted girls
Take Quality Pictures on Your Smartphone
You don't need to shell out hundreds of dollars for a pricey digital camera. Simply use your phone to take pictures. Edit the photos with your phone's Edit feature. I use my Apple iPhone to take ultra-flattering pictures, and I can post directly on eBay right from my phone. Simply use the eBay app to add pictures and listings in just minutes. Pictures sell, so make sure your images are clear and accurately reflect the quality of your items. It's always better to take more pictures. Some sellers just do one photo of the front of a pair of jeans and one of the back, but power sellers know that more pictures equal more money, so add those photos.
The Best Brands to Sell
Men's jeans that are high-end brands can make you a lot of money. Women's jeans will sell, but the profit margin is slightly lower. Men are less likely to return jeans. You can and will make money selling jeans, but you should expect crazy looks and eye rolls when you tell friends about your plan. Ignore them. I started selling jeans on eBay in 2009 and have sold thousands of pairs of jeans, shorts, and skirts. Look for these top brands:
These men's and women's jeans are made mostly in Italy. Authenticate with photos. Jeans sell for $10 to $210 on eBay. There are lots of fake Diesels on the market. A New With Tags (abbreviated NWT on eBay) pair of SAFADO style in Dirty New Age (dark wash, slim straight) sold for $210 recently on eBay. Those are men's jeans. Original vs. Fake Diesel Jeans: original jeans are made of higher quality material. You can feel the difference. Diesel was started in 1978 by Renzo Rossi. Popular men's styles are Zathan, a slim boot cut jean, and Thanz, a straight-leg slim fit. Women's styles include the Liv, a lower rise straight leg, the Matic, low rise skinny jean, and the Lowsky, which has a straighter leg cut and lower rise.
Sell for $15 to $300 on eBay, depending on the style and condition. True Religion was founded in 2002 in California. It is considered High-End Denim. There are lots of knockoffs in the marketplace so add photo details and closeups to authenticate the jeans. Best selling style is Super T. True Religion brands are known for their oversized white stitching. The jeans are made in the USA, unlike many other hot brands.
Founded by LA native Peter Kim, a surfer, yogi, and cyclist, in 2002. Look for the Union Jack label and v-button pocket (triangular back pocket). Hudson jeans symbolize a spirit of proud defiance. These sell from $10.49 to $85 on eBay, depending on condition and style. If you can find jeans that are NWT (New With Tags), always get a clear photo of the tags to boost the sales price.
First launched in February 2005 in high-end retail shops, founded by Paige Adams-Geller, who is the only female founder in denim history. These are high-end jeans with styles like the Skyline Skinny and Avalon Hidden Hills Bootcut. There are even amazing skinny maternity jeans with built-in panels to keep women looking great during pregnancy. My favorite style of Paige is the Skyline Skinny in Carson.
Made by Buckle. Men's and women's jeans are $20 to $250 on eBay.
Levis typically sell for $15 up, but vintage Levis may sell for much more. A pair of Levi's from the 1890s sold for over $36,000 on eBay. The jeans came from a mine in the Rand Mining District in the Mojave Desert in CA. The seller loaded the listing with facts to authenticate the origin of the jeans, including an explanation for candle wax drippings from the miner's light.
Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, American Eagle
Not considered high-end, but these brands are popular. My favorite brand is American Eagle, especially AE Artist jeans. American Eagle clothing is well made and sells well. Certain styles that have been discontinued, like Real Flare, are still in demand. If you can find quality items and get them at great prices, you will make money on eBay.
Iron, Measure, and Photograph Jeans Before Selling
Grab a tape measure, a notebook, and your iron. Smooth out any wrinkles in the jeans. You want each item to look as good as possible. Wrinkled jeans will not get as much money as the same jeans that are photographed well.
In the beginning, you don't need a mannequin or a live model. Wait till the cash is rolling in before you move on to live models. You can photograph the jeans on a neutral-colored quilt. I use a JCPenney Home quilt flipped over to the white side to photograph most of my clothing items. I got it for about $20 at a thrift store.
Record everything about your items in a basic notebook. This is where I write all the details, from tag size to fiber content. I also note all my measurements and the price I paid for the item. That way, I know how much my profit will be . . . now get started, and you will soon be counting your profits.
Dos for Selling Jeans
- Do show they are authentic. Include lots of photos, particularly clear shots of the tags, labels, and logos.
- Do include a closeup and description of any flaws.
- Do keep shipping rates reasonable. Use USPS Priority Mail, and don't overcharge for shipping. Some sellers charge $10 to ship a pair of jeans. Buyers are very savvy and do not like to feel ripped off. Be reasonable with your shipping rates.
Get Accurate Measurements For Your Items on eBay
Always measure the items you are selling. You do not want the buyer to return the item because you forgot to include a simple measurement.
Pre-owned jeans can vary from the tag size due to washing and drying. New jeans can also be different from the size stated on the label.
Lay your jeans flat on the floor and take the measurements without pulling or stretching the jeans. Write the measurement down in the notebook you use to record info about your eBay items, such as the price paid, the date listed, and the item description.
Rise is the measurement from the four-way seam at the crotch to the top of the waistband at the zipper area. Measure the rise in inches and write it down. This is a critical measurement.
The inseam is measured along the inside of the leg from the four-way seam to the bottom of the cuff. A regular inseam is generally 32 inches long. Even if the jeans have the inseam listed on the tag, always include your own measurement.
Always measure the leg opening at the cuff and include that measurement as well. Measure straight across the cuff and double that number.
Be very clear about stating how you got your measurements. Was the waistband stretched to get the number, or did you measure straight across and leave the dip in place?
Need help figuring out how to measure your jeans? Check out this great tutorial.
How to Measure Jeans to Sell on eBay
|Measurement||What it Means|
From four-way crotch seam to top of waistband
Middle of crotch seam to bottom of leg
Measure side-to-side straight across at the widest portion of the thigh
Take your measurements of the waist, hips, inseam, rise, and cuff openings (look online for helpful guides) and write them in your notebook while you've got your item laid out for photographing. Include any information from the manufacturer, such as brand, tag size, fabric content, and style number. The more information you can include in your description and title, the fewer questions buyers will have. This saves you time. You don't want a buyer emailing you asking, "What is the rise?" when that information should be found in your item description.
Photographing Your Items
If you've got hardwood flooring that can be used as a background, you can lay the jeans on the floor and take your pictures. You can also use a quilt for a background. I use a white quilt t I picked up at a thrift store. Don't let your background compete with your image. Go for a neutral background. That allows the buyer to focus on your merchandise.
Tip: Natural daylight is best for taking pictures of the jeans you're selling; it will allow the buyer to see the true color of the jeans.
Take lots of pictures. Flip the item over, and zoom in on the pocket. Photograph the tags, logos, and all the details. Remember, the buyer wants to see as much as possible since they will not be able to physically handle the merchandise. A good seller takes plenty of photos from various angles. Make sure you show the label, especially if you've got a desirable brand.
Note any flaws the item may have, and make sure you get a good picture of that detail. If the cuffs are frayed, state that. Be very clear about the condition of your item. Now, pull out your computer, get to work, and let the cash start coming in.
Using Terapeak and Auctiva For eBay Sales
There is a great online source called Terapeak that can give you an idea of keywords to use, the best time to list your item, and show you what other items have sold for. Check out a free trial of Terapeak while you decide if the investment of $9.95 a month is worth it. Ask other eBayers what they use. Terapeak is a great way of learning what top sellers include in their listings. Feel free to check out the completed listings that have sold for the highest amounts. Sold items are listed in green, and unsold items are in red. Notice what words are used in those titles and what information the seller provides in the description. Keep your eyes open, your pen and notebook ready, and get going.
Terapeak is just one online resource. There are loads of others, including listing templates and software like Auctiva, which give your items a professional look and even feature a scrolling gallery with your other items at the bottom of the buyer's screen. That allows you to sell more items because buyers can see your additional products and merchandise without leaving the page. eBay uses software that recommends items you might be interested in based on your search history. It's a great way to boost sales. With Auctiva's scrolling image gallery, you are "auto-suggesting" items your buyer will want to check out. I highly recommend Auctiva because it's easy to use and provides professional-looking templates.
eBay Selling Fees: Insertion Fees and Final Value Fees
Standard eBay selling fees are:
- Insertion Fee. When you list an item, you are charged an insertion fee based on your starting price or reserve. Insertion fees are FREE for your first 50 to 100 listings per calendar month, depending on the type of listing format and the category
- Final Value Fee. When your item sells, your final value fee is based on how much the buyer paid (including shipping and handling, minus any sales tax).
- Optional Items such as Designer Listings, Bold, or Second Category are extra.
Ship It Fast with USPS Flat Rate Shipping
Once your item sells, ship it out fast. My standard shipping time is within 24 hours of receiving payment. Clearly state your shipping policy in your listing. As a buyer, I have purchased items that the seller did not ship out for over a week. That is far too long a time to wait, and your feedback score will be affected by slow shipping time. eBay buyers are impatient. Ship your products quickly and move on to your next sale.
I use USPS Flate Rate Shipping because it's relatively hassle-free, ships quickly and allows my buyer to track the item(s) with ease. My main concern is keeping shipping prices low, so I can focus on finding great clothing at bargain prices. Go to the USPS site to check out their great shipping rates.
Get Started Selling on eBay Now
The best way to learn what sells well on eBay is to jump in and get started today. Trends come and go. If you can learn to spot trends and have an eye for detail, you will easily learn to cash in on eBay sales. Stay focused, be honest with your listings, and be sincere with buyers, and you will make money.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2011 Heather Walton
Owen on October 23, 2019:
I have 200 pair of blue jeans and was thinking of selling them online. This was helpful.
Anna on October 31, 2018:
Wow, nice post, written very well. I also work from home, for me this worked perfect https://tinyurl.com/ybbm9qgs its super simple, everybody can do it. U can get up to 100$/day!!
Have a nice day!
tracy on February 05, 2018:
totally agree, answered all my questions in one place.
JR on December 27, 2017:
I must say fantastic article, I've been thinking of doing this. My wife thinks am crazy...
janeffer wanjiku on November 13, 2017:
Want to sell old jeans
Zmaraider@gmail.com on August 01, 2017:
That answered a lot of questions that I had. Thank you!
JuliMM on May 09, 2017:
Great advice. Using this with the combination of http://Size.ly (Free Template tool) to have all measurements reflected in my listings.
Allison on November 02, 2016:
Rock star write up, thanks for your help!!
Glenda Miller on July 12, 2015:
I really enjoyed this article. Extremely helpful and very thorough. Thanks!
Mellonyy on October 28, 2012:
Very useful and interesting article! Congratulations!