How to Sell Designer Clothes Online

Written by kieve kavanaugh
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How to Sell Designer Clothes Online
Industry journals spot trends early. (magazine image by Yekaterina Choupova from

Selling designer clothing online can be fun and profitable. It requires consistently fashionable merchandise; an online venue; photography and Internet skills; familiarity with fashion terminology; and lots of fashion savvy. Over time with consistent marketing and excellent customer service, your business will grow.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Fashion journals and magazines
  • Designer clothing
  • Website
  • Camera
  • Lighting
  • Mannequin
  • Fashion terminology dictionary
  • Internet credit terminal
  • Shipping supplies
  • Promotional flyers
  • Business cards

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  1. 1

    Develop fashion savvy and learn about upcoming trends. Know what will sell. Accomplish this by subscribing to top fashion industry journals and Internet trend-forecasting sites. Fashion is about the moment, so put yourself ahead of the curve and know what trends to expect over upcoming months.

  2. 2

    Create repeat sales by filling a fashion niche. Specialise in something exclusive. Whether it's trendy designer wear, high-end jeans, haute couture or vintage styles, your site should have signature style with consistent merchandise. When determining your niche, stick with fashion that you understand.

  3. 3

    Find reliable sources for keeping your store stocked. Create a route and visit suppliers often. Thrift stores, resale shops, local designers, outlets, fashion marts, and bulk lots are all possibilities. Once you establish sources, take time to develop relationships with store personnel. Get on call lists for notification when select designers and styles are available.

  4. 4

    Select a venue. Building a fashion site is complicated. Templates are available at some hosting sites. An easy first step is using an auction site. Find a seller name that expresses the designer style you will be selling. Submit the requested verifications and credit information to open your seller account. Remember to also open a credit card processing account for customer payments.

  5. 5

    Dry clean or steam your merchandise prior to taking photos. Photograph your merchandise with proper lighting and mannequins. Use a bland background to better focus on clothing. Include close-up details and use angles that complement outfits.

  6. 6

    Open shop by listing your first designer find. Use keywords in the title, such as the designer name; hot trends and colours; "NWT" to indicate "New with Tag"; and descriptive words about the product. Keywords must accurately describe what you are selling. The title is used in search engines by shoppers, so make it stand out and keep it accurate. Always use proper fashion terminology to describe clothing attributes. Use a fashion dictionary to accomplish this.

  7. 7

    Build an online reputation. Establishing an Internet presence is important and takes several years to build. Work on your own fashion site with a web developer while you create a name for yourself. Use the third party site as a tool to get word out about your business. Mail out flyers with each auction sale to promote your site. Also, buy the dotcom address that matches your seller name.

  8. 8

    Ship all sales promptly. Use flat rate shipping services to take the guessing out of shipping charges. Use a delivery confirmation each time to ensure the arrival of the merchandise. Include a business card and promotional flyer in each package, and wrap items with care. Use tissue paper and ribbon, for example, to add a special touch to the sale.

Tips and warnings

  • Communicate professionally. Respond to inquiries within 24 hours.
  • Price competitively and clearly state return policy.
  • Ship the same day a sale clears.
  • Avoid selling substandard items and items that may be fake. Be especially careful when shopping thrift stores for designer vintage. Bags in thrift stores sporting high-end designer names are most likely fake. Have all high-end designer items verified at a licensed store to determine authenticity.

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