Well, a lot of things involve online shopping nowadays, which with some people, is a near-perfect match, and others have trouble with hit-or-miss. How do you know you’re getting a good deal for the money you paid.
The sad truth is, not all online shops are the most reliable shops in the world. It’s all over the internet, so you can’t see, feel, or try the object (we’re going to assume clothing/costume pieces here) before you buy it. It’s hard to know when you’re getting a good deal, or you’re getting gypped.
Which is why I’m here, unfortunately, the guide for the buyers comes later, but right now, this is for sellers. Whether you’re selling handmade items (which we’re going to focus on here), or resale (may or may not be touched upon later, it’s not my area of expertise), this guide is for you.
(For Seamsters/Seamstresses) Invest in a dress form! People like to know what they’re purchasing is going to look like. I almost exclusively buy from people who have their things on dress forms, because then I know how it’s going to look. If you can’t afford one right now, then have a friend (WHO IS THE SIZE OF THE CLOTHING PIECE. Do not stretch out the fabric in something you’re going to sell! Likewise, if it doesn’t fit right, people will assume it doesn’t fit right on THEM either,) model the piece as you take a picture.
In any piece, multiple photographs are necessary. We want to see most every little detail so we know what we’re getting! (Some people also want to see what the seams/inside looks like. You don’t have to include those pictures immediately, but it helps to be able to take them at a moment’s notice if needed.
Be polite, remember that people aren’t going to want to purchase from a grouch!
Be honest about measurements, because if you aren’t, you’re going to get a lot of negative feedback from angry people about how their clothes don’t fit. (I assure you, negative feedback is NOT something you want.)
Sell at a reasonable price, people aren’t going to spend twenty-five dollars for a plain pink headband. (Ooh boy, there had better be something very special about this headband to sell for that high.) Likewise, if you’re selling handmade ball gowns for twenty dollars, you’re discrediting yourself and not making any profit. I’m not an expert on pricing, but price according to quality, cost of the materials, and the nature of the item. If you don’t want to make a profit, you can sell for lower, but make sure you’re at least covering the price of the materials. There’s no reason for you to be paying to sell your stuff!
Remember your “repeat” customers. If someone frequents your shop, include various things to let them know you appreciate their returning business, and dedication to your shop. I’ve known sellers who write thank you notes, I’ve known sellers who include either small pieces of jewelry or other accessories when someone purchases something as large as a dress, the list goes on, really. If people know they’re appreciated and feel special, they’ll be more likely to frequent your shop.
Research what you’re selling! I’d put it in larger font if it wouldn’t be such an eyesore. HOWEVER. Research is important. If you want to sell Lolita clothing, then look at how the brands do it, read the Handbook, don’t use cheap, shiny satin, and the like. If you’re selling Cosplays, then research what the character actually looks like, and replicate it properly (trust me, I’m not seeing any ninjas in crushed velvet here.) The cheap, slutty Halloween costumes are NOT viable Gothwear, the list goes on. That being said, try to avoid putting fifty-million terms in your item name. If you want to describe how this item would work in various styles, then do so, but putting in: “Cosplay Gothic Lolita Steampunk Skirt in Five Colors” only makes you look like an uninformed idiot.
Originality please. If we see an item that’s pretty much a replica of another, you’ll be discredited as a designer of clothes/jewelry/costume pieces, et cetera. Start out making your own designs, it helps, really, it does. If people commission you for replicas, then you’re free to do them (if you’re so inclined. Some people don’t like to do them, I understand that.)
For resale: Be honest about any defects in the garment. If there are stains, tears, and other damages, we need to know about them. You’re NOT going to have any happy buyers who think they’re getting something in near-perfect condition and instead find it in tatters. Take “damage shots” (pictures showing the damage) of these pieces.
Overall, I hope this helps you in the lovely world of selling, best of luck to you~ (That being said, if you have any shops you’d recommend, comment and tell us about it~)
Also being said, if there’s anything you want me to write about, feel free to E-mail me~