Saturday, August 2, 2014

[How to:] A Basic Guide to Selling Online

Hi! Hi!

I have to admit, I was thinking about writing this post for a little while but I never got around to it but it kept bugging me and was in the back of my mind for a little while, so I've decided to write a little post on it. 

I'm sure most of you are aware of the strong resell value of Japanese clothing or just that selling second hand (or lightly worn) clothing (and other items) is extremely popular on the internet as well and I'm sure everyone reading this has either bought, or looked at items that are second hand online and perhaps you would also like to try it too so that's why I will write this guide. 
I didn't have any help when I started selling online so I learned everything I know through experience and everything in this post are my own personal thoughts. If you have any suggestions let me know or if you think you would like to do anything differently then you should do that. 

First things you will need to do is choose where you would like to sell and there are a few choices;

1.) Ebay; A plus to ebay is, there's a lot of sellers on ebay and it's basically a place designed to sell new and used goods. It's very user friendly and convenient. It's also (relatively) safe and there's good service support that can help you if you need to. 

 - Easy to use and very user friendly
 - Safe and reliable
 - Great for beginners
 - Able to sell a variety of goods
 - Free to list (although there are bits in the listing that you can pay for but you can get past without it,) 
 - Can easily adjust prices and shipping after the payment
- Can list 12 images with one listing which is a good amount of images in my opinion. 

 - Ebay takes a small portion of the sale that you make so not all the money you make is your own.
 - Not a specialize place of sale so you're not always selling to the best audience.
 - have to relist the items once they expire (you can edit so that an item relists 3 times automatically but then you still need to relist or make a new listing after that which is time consuming)

2.) Storenvy; I'm still new to storenvy and I'm still learning but it's quite nice and I'm enjoying selling on there. It's handy how you can see where the traffic is coming from and you don't have to keep relisting things as you do on ebay. 

 - easy to use and user friendly
 - safe and reliable 
 - Can sell a variety of goods
 - People are likely to keep checking out your store and follow your store.
 - Free to use (although there are some bits that you can pay to use but you can get past without using them,) 
 - Professional and credible looking
 - Having your own FAQ is a useful tool
 - All items are listed and you don't have to relist items
 - High volume of people all looking to buy
 - All the information (eg. shipping costs) are there and people don't need to ask

 - Hard to adjust shipping costs per item and can't adjust after the transaction 
 - Can only upload 5 images per listing 
 - Lots of competition from other sellers

Gyaru Sales LiveJournal/ facebook /blog sale; I'm going to group these together because I think they're similar. I've sold on live journal in the past but no longer list on either because I much prefer ebay/storenvy. I've never had a blog sale but I think it's similar to Live journal

 - Listing is up to you, can list as many pictures as you like
 - All the money is yours 
 - All item are just there and you don't have to keep relisting
 - High volume of people all looking to buy things (specialized)

 - No one there to help you, and you're all on your own
 - If your on live journal or facebook there's lot of competition and people selling similar brands/items 
 - Will be asked the cost of shipping/measurements. Over and over and over. (and no thank you) 

There are other places to sell but these are the biggest/most popular places I can think of. 
Of course, you don't have to choose just one - you can list on all of these places if you like! I think for the best results the best thing is to list on as many sites as you can (as long as you can stay on top of it, of course) 

Next thing, your stock - or the items you want to sell. 

Take lots of pictures! I think it's best to take as many pictures as you can of the items all at once rather than having to take them later on.
Personally, I think that you shouldn't use stock photos because even though the pictures are normally good quality and do show the item in the best lighting/how to wear it, it doesn't show that you HAVE the item nor the condition the item is in which are both extremely important - more important that having really nice pictures (in my opinion).

It might be an unpopular opinion but I think water marking also shows that the item is yours and you have it it also prevents people taking your pictures and using it for personal use/scamming.

It's important to note - that somewhere like storenvy doesn't like stock photos, but the facebook group encourages it. 

How you display the item is up to you. You have a few choices; 
- Lying flat of on a flat surface. 
- Hanging on a door or a hook of a wall. 
- On a mannequin or forms (what are those called? The ones that are shaped like bodies,) 

The third one will actually cost you money because you will need to buy the form but the other two should cost you nothing. 

Take nice photos, in natural light so your view can see the true colour. 

I don't think showing the item with other items in necessary - I see people selling items buy putting a whole outfit together, which I think is misleading - only show what you're selling and don't confuse people because  people won't buy if they don't know what they're getting!  

Clothing looks best when there's nothing else to distract in the image like, bags, toys, deco etc. it also looks more professional, uncluttered and clears any questions what your actually selling.

(That being said, a vignette or a simple border is okay to me) 

Of course, if you're going to be giving away a bag or novelty with the item then of course, please do include it in the picture so people can see it!  

Basically, keep it simple

Also, it's best to take the photos all in one location as well because this way, people can see that all the items are coming from one person/one home. If you take pictures from all over the place, then it starts to look suspicious, like you don't have all the items in one place. 
You definitely don't want people to be suspicious or confused when they're looking at what your selling. 

When to sell what? 

You may be thinking, but it's Summer now, I can not sell my Winter clothes now.
But you're wrong! There's a whole other hemisphere that is in the opposite season and they want to buy clothes too. If you have opposite season clothing to were you live - sell it anyways. 
You can still sell Summer clothes because there's many places (along the equator) that are actually hot and humid all year around. 
I would suggest selling whatever you want to sell whenever you want. 
If whatever your selling is really good and someone wants to buy it - they'll buy it regardless of season. 

Some other things; 

Here are some other things I want to say about selling online, 

Little things
- Tell people why you're selling! 
It just shows your genuine and that there's nothing actually wrong with the item. It can be as simple, as it doesn't suit me, or out of season. (Of course don't go into a long winded story about your life/current situation, again keep it simple) 
I've actually had people ask why I'm selling items when I haven't said why so I just put it there now.

- Sell items as a set - if two items are meant to go together - sell them together! Or let people know that the two items go together and you can do a set price. Everyone loves getting a deal and if you're looking to sell and clear out closet space - selling items together is a great way to do so. 
- If something is damaged, reduce the price (let people know) and let the buyer know. This shows your an honest and reasonable seller.

- Compare your prices to others - are you asking to much? Too little? Is someone selling the exact same item as you for less? More? These are important variables. 

- Don't OVER sell. Sometimes, on the gyaru sales group, you can see people continually pushing the same items over and over and it's really annoying so what can you do if something isn't selling?!!? 

What to do if something isn't selling?!

Firstly, lower the price. 
Sounds really simple but chances are if it's not selling, your asking too much. Even if you only lower it bit by bit, then do it. You never know what price someone will buy at. 

Re-take the photos. 
Sometimes, the photos might not be selling the item. Try retaking the photos in better lighting/location etc. and see if that helps.

Take the item down. 
If it's still not selling, take the item down for long enough for people to forget about it and do the first two steps when you relist it. Sometimes, if an item just sits there forever, people get bored or it or forget it's there, so take it down, take new photos and relist at a cheaper price and see if that helps. 

Add something to the item. 
Maybe you have some matching costume jewlery earrings you no longer want or a nice belt that goes with it to make the item seem more appealing to the buyer.

Like the shops do. Sometimes, you just have to accept that the item will not sell and you can simply sell for cheap rather than let it sit there for too much longer because the longer it sits there the more unappealing it will be. 

Note: How 'long' is too long? 
It's up to you really, would you rather hang on to an item and wait and see if someone will buy or would you rather just get rid of it? It's up to you.

Normally, this only happens on Live journal/ Facebook/ blog sales. 
Personally, I would say, don't bother with holding items for people unless you take a deposit. 
I've have experiences in the past where people have asked to hold things for long periods of time and then in the end, not bought the item which as you can imagine - isn't really a nice scenario to be in. 
So, if you're going to do hold, I would suggest taking a small but non-refundable deposit to deter people like this who will ask for holds and not buy anything in the end. 

Same items with another buyer!
What can you do if someone is selling the same item as you - at the same time!?
Of course, you would want people to buy  yours and not the competitions item - right?
Here's a few things you can do to tempt buyers;

- lower the price compared to the competition because of course everyone will go for the cheaper item - right?
- Add something to the sale, like a free shopping bag, free sheet mask, free domestic shipping etc. to tempt your buyer to your item and no the other.
- Make yours sounds way better - add a catchy and tempting description to your listing to make your item stand out and leave an impression on your buyer.
- All of the above.

Hmmm, there's possibly some other things I should cover but I can't think of any thing right now :/ 
Hopefully some of you found this post helpful. I might try and do more online selling posts in the future in there's anything people would like help with specifically. Let me know if that's the case.
Thanks for reading! 


  1. Great post! Lots of excellent questions and answers :) Seems like you put a lot of thought into this (which is super good, ofc!). Lol you should put your storenvy link at the bottom of the post to remind people (even if you already have it in the sidebar haha).

    1. Thank you!! I hope it helps some people out there. I'm glad it looks like I put a lot of work in there cause I don't think I really did (?) Can't remember this was a draft for a while I didn't really make the post to promote my store but maybe I will.

  2. Thank you so much! :) This is really helpful!

  3. Thanks for writing this, you've definitely put a lot of effort and thought writing this! This definitely helps!

  4. No problems!! Eh really?? I'm glad it's good (?) then!!

  5. Thanks for writing this! It's really useful for new sellers, and I think new buyers should also give this a read. I've had my share of selling items on those platforms so I could definitely say all the things you wrote above are true. :) Having said that, I haven't sold a single a thing on Storenvy lol

    Just to add a few bits I'd like to add,
    1. sellers (and buyers), be on extra caution when making business transactions on platforms like FB and Livejournal. Always use PayPal (or other safe payment gateway) so if there are any issues, you could take it to PayPal to resolve it.
    2. Sellers, ALWAYS keep your shipping receipts because that's what your buyers and PayPal would like to see when you need to resolve PayPal disputes.
    3. it would really help if you post as much details as possible of the item(s) you're selling in your FB/LJ posts, like price, colour, measurements/size, condition, etc so you won't have to explain them over and over again.

    That's all I can think off the top of my head. I hope that helps. :) Would love to read your post on buying online, any plans on writing that? ;)

    And oh, I forgot to thank you for the advice on choosing Liz Lisa shoe size. I bought them in size L just like you recommended and they fit nicely. Thanks again! :)

  6. You haven't sold any thing? That's odd? :/ I've managed to sell a few things :p
    Yeah, I was gonna talk about pay pal and payment safety but I figured - best to leave it for an other post?
    Like one just on that topic.
    Yeah, definitely keep your receipts and also, take a photo of the package you're sending as proof as well.
    I normally don't take measurements, because I find it annoying, lol. I really should however.

    Oh, buying online? I didn't think of doing that one? Maybe I will then. I don't normally buy from GS/LJ though.

    I'm glad to hear that my advice helped you and that they fit nicely!! No problems! I'm glad it all worked out for you!! Weee~

    1. Dude I want to steal that post about buying online idea haha (in relation to Liz Lisa) but I know it'll come off as too pretentious.


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