How to Sell Your First Piece of Clothing eBay

You know that dress you’ve had forever? That pretty one… that you’re absolutely sick of? Make a few extra bucks, clear out some closet space, and sell it… on eBay.

THREADDETECTIVES - Style - How to Sell Your First Piece of Clothing on eBay

(Curious about buying? Check out How to Build a Designer Wardrobe on a Budget… With eBay.

For those of you Thread Detectives interested in selling, particularly if you’re a total eBay novice? Check out our:

Beginner’s Guide to Selling Your First Piece of Clothing… on eBay

  1. Make an account – making an eBay account is pretty simple. Find the “register” link, and click it. THREADDETECTIVES - Style - How to Sell a Dress on eBay - instructional image 01 You’ll need your first and last name, a password, an email, and a phone number. THREADDETECTIVES - Style - How to Sell a Dress on eBay - instructional image 02 I can’t show you the screen past that, mostly because I already have an eBay account, but I’m guessing it’s the “choose your username” prompt.
  2. Do some research –  what, exactly, are you selling? And who else is selling the same thing? Run a search for your item. Read a few of the listings, and pay special attention to the listings by power sellers (sellers with a lot of positive ratings — they’ve earned them by selling a good amount, and being well-rated by their buyers). What language are they using to describe their product? Don’t plagarize, but use these listings to get a general idea; keep their buyer-focused language in mind when you write your own.
  3. Take your images – when taking/gathering pictures of whatever I’m trying to sell, I might use one stock image (1 image of the product shot by the brand, pulled from the brand’s website, or Google), but I try and make sure that most of my images are my own. Normally, I’ll take 3 to 4 pictures of the item in a well-lit area (more, if necessary). I do this because I want my buyer to have a clear idea of what they’re purchasing, especially if there’s any damage to the item. Be up front! You want both you and your buyer to be satisfied with the transaction.
  4. Write the listing
    1. Start the listing – figuring out how to start your eBay listing can be kind of confusing. I’ll sell about 10 items per year, usually in binges. When I haven’t listed an item on eBay in a while, sometimes I forget how to do it. Go to your seller dashboard by clicking My eBay, My Account, and Seller Dashboard, or enter directly into your browser (I find this second method to be easier).THREADDETECTIVES - Style - How to Sell a Dress on eBay - instructional image 03
    2. Add the images – the first thing I usually do is upload my images. When choosing an image to feature, I’ll go with the stock image of the product, or one I’ve taken that’s a wide shot (that shows the entire thing). Other images I use include the label, close ups, and any size information that’s listed on the tag.
    3. Title your listing – when writing a good eBay title, you’ll want to include information such as the brand, the size, the item type, and the color. You’ve got 80 characters — make the most of them by being as specific as possible. And make sure you’ve spelled everything correctly. Your title is your listing’s first impression; make it count!
    4. Write a description – your description is what will help convince your buyer that this is the item she is looking for. Include the most important details first (what you used in your title), then list any other relevant details (about the item, the fit, measurements, damage to the item, etc.) that you deem relevant. Make use of paragraphs, bullet points, and lists; no one wants to read a massive, unorganized, run-on blob. Last, be up front! An honest description makes for a satisfied buyer.
  5. Set the price – search for your item, see what price other sellers are selling it for, and go from there. Is it a more common clothing brand? I might price it a bit below market, for a faster sale. If it’s something rare, though, I might price it what it’s worth, even though it might take a bit longer to find a buyer. Look up more articles on pricing clothing on eBay, and go with what works for you.
  6. Ship the item – when you sell your item of clothing, be sure to print the shipping information, ship it promptly, mark it as shipped, and update eBay and the buyer with the tracking information. Late shipping is a good way to get a bad rating.
  7. Leave a rating – when the buyer has paid, the item has been received, the transaction is complete, and both parties are happy, be sure to leave a rating for your buyer.

eBay Selling Tip – before selling, buy a few things with your eBay account. This helps because you’ll (ideally) set yourself up with a few positive ratings for when you start selling. If you’ve established some trust with the eBay community via ratings, people are more likely to buy from you.


Et voilà! Welcome to eBay, and congratulations on your first sale (or your first eBay purchase). Happy thread detecting!




    • Elizabeth


      Thanks Anoushka! Yeah, I find eBay is a great way to clean out my closet. Not sure about you — London is probably the same, but especially in my New York days, my closet size was so limited. I had to find some way to edit out those “beautiful, but I don’t ever wear it” pieces out of my collection.

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