If you’ve got a Netflix account, then you may well have stumbled upon a new show gaining in popularity: Girlboss. Loosely based on Sophia Amoruso, founder of the online fashion store Nasty Gal, Girlboss sees a feisty 23-year-old woman decide to risk it all and sell vintage clothing and accessories from her home.
Of course, the show does dramatise the events somewhat, but it’s still a fascinating insight into what it takes to be your own boss (or better yet, a girlboss). This got me thinking: what are a few things you need to be successful to sell second-hand items online? Plenty of people do it, as it’s no coincidence that sites like eBay and Etsy have become so hugely popular across the world. Selling second-hand items on the internet might be simply a quick way to gain a bit of cash and get rid of some old things at first, but it can quickly get addictive if you start to enjoy it (and become good at it).
If you’ve got a bit of spare time in the day and feel like you want to have a little business from home like Sophia Amoruso, here are a few things you may want to consider first.
What are you actually passionate about?
Selling online will rapidly become tedious and annoying the moment you lose your passion. But how are you supposed to alleviate that? Well, it helps when you actually love the products you’re peddling. Is it sports memorabilia? Vintage clothing? World War II relics? You’ll genuinely enjoying your job if it’s something you’re excited about. Imagine going to flea markets and hunting down items you think will sell well online. That might not even feel like work if you might actually do it in your spare time. Plus, you’ll be selling things you know about, as opposed to being a slave to market trends (what will be the next Tamagotchi or fidget spinner I wonder?)
Standing out can come down to images and descriptions
Sure, looks aren’t everything, but when it comes to selling things online? Looks are everything. Although virtual reality shopping is fairly close, it’s not yet at the point where we could simply pick up an item and inspect it from all angles while at our computers. This means that it’s really going to have to come down to great images and descriptions to sell your products!
Look at the way these watches are sold online, for example. There are a lot of models to consider, but I bet your eye will be most drawn to the ones with the prettiest photos. If someone is shopping for a Cartier watch, then they’re likely already aware of how expensive it’ll be. So, a prospective buyer might not care about price, but will instead be put off listings with a poor image (badly lit, too far away, distracting props) and undetailed or boring descriptions.
If you simply assume that every online buyer is in a rush to find something, then give them as many good points towards your own product as possible. Having someone message you 50 questions for information that you could have easily conveyed in an image or description is not the best use of your time.
Being a mum is in no way a hindrance
You might think that it’s all well and good for 23-year-old Sophia Amoruso to start an online business without children, but she’s not the only kick-ass woman to make a living via e-commerce. These are some of the most successful mothers/entrepreneurs. Many of these women created and sold products from scratch, but it’s still interesting to discover that motherhood isn’t a barrier towards being a girlboss.
Don’t undervalue or overvalue your items
Many vendors have kicked themselves over selling an item that is worth way more than previously thought. Stories of people paying $5 for something at a flea market that is actually worth around $500,000 are not uncommon. On the other hand, potential buyers will quickly skim over your item if it’s at a price that is a lot more than at a competitor’s store. Remember, unless what you’re selling is very hard to find elsewhere, you don’t want to lose a customer at the last second just because you wanted some extra money. Have a fair price and no one will have a right to complain.