How to Make Money

Want to Resell Your Clothes Online? Try Instagram

June 16, 2015
by Nicole Dieker
Contributor

If you’re looking to sell clothes online, you’ve got a lot of options. You can set up a Poshmark closet, sell “pre-loved” clothes on Twice or try your hand at Threadflip, Tradesy and even Ebay.

These types of online consignment shops help you match old clothes to new buyers, but they also often take a cut of your earnings, or offer you store credit instead of cash. So fashion and money-savvy entrepreneurs are cutting out the middleman and selling their clothing online themselves. What interface are they using? Instagram.

How to Sell Clothes on Instagram

The app lets you share photos with friends and followers. But how do you start selling clothes on Instagram? Well, it turns out the social media platform becomes a great storefront as long as you provide potential buyers with a few key pieces of information:

  1. Pictures of the clothing you have for sale
  2. Measurements of each item for sale
  3. How to contact you and claim an item for purchase
  4. How to pay you
  5. How the clothing will be shipped

Luckily, you can type all of that information right into the Instagram interface. Your Instagram profile is a great place to include your store’s payment, shipping and return policy, as well as your email address. When you upload clothing photos, add the measurements and pricing right into the photo caption.

Let people know that they can claim an item by leaving a comment on its Instagram photo, along with a contact email. Then, once you’ve confirmed that the item is still available, you can ask the person for shipping information and let them know how to pay for the item through PayPal or another P2P payment service.

Need some more tips? Here’s a suggestion from StyleCaster, which recently profiled this Instagram clothing sales technique: “Create a shopping policies post, giving it its own unique hashtag so you can refer to it in every future post. Think of things like shipping, when payment is required, if you are or aren’t willing to ship internationally.”

StyleCaster also suggests including the shipping amount in your listed price, offering bundle discounts to attract buyers and move merchandise, and tracking your sales by sending invoices to customers.

Join #ShopMyCloset

Instagram clothing resellers use special hashtags to draw buyers to their wares. Search the Instagram hashtag #ShopMyCloset to see how other resellers are displaying and advertising their items.

For example, Instagram store ShopLexisFinds includes “PP and US only. See policies. All sales final. Ship within 48hrs” in her profile (the PP stands for “PayPal”), and includes flash sale opportunities for buyers who regularly check out her page. She also updates her photos with the word “Sold” as items sell, letting potential buyers know that other people are interested in her cute outfits and they have to act quickly to get what they want.

When you’re ready to sell your own Instagram clothing, make sure to add the #ShopMyCloset hashtag to your own posts, as well as other popular resale hashtags such as #Instashop. That way, people who want to buy your clothing will know how to find you.

How Much Do Instagram Resellers Make?

It’s tough to say exactly, but it could be a significant amount. StyleCaster profiled consignment store owner Ashley Steenhoven of Bloom Designer Finds. Steenhoven “totals between 30 to 40 sales a day from Instagram, which generate almost a quarter of her revenue.”

As with any other resale project, your success is likely to depend on three factors:

  1. The quality of your merchandise
  2. The prices you offer
  3. The time you can put into promoting and publicizing your store

So take a look at other Instagram shops to make sure you’re offering equally valuable clothing, and try to match the prices you see online. Then let your friends, family and social network know about your new store. The #ShopMyCloset hashtag will help, but you’ll need to do some promotional work on your own to start closing those sales.

Lastly, don’t forget to practice your Instagramming technique so your clothes look as attractive as possible! Instagram is designed to make your pictures look great, so use that aspect of the service to make your clothes look gorgeous and draw in those buyers.

Your Turn: Have you ever bought clothing off Instagram?

Nicole Dieker is a freelance writer focusing on personal finance and personal stories. Her work has appeared in The Billfold, The Toast, Yearbook Office, The Write Life and Boing Boing.

by Nicole Dieker
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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