I’ve been selling clothes online for a few years now, and my main platforms are eBay and Poshmark. I occasionally sell items on Mercari as well. If you’re wanting to get started selling clothes online, here’s what I recommend for you to get!
Affiliate disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. On my blog, I only recommend things that I actually use and would recommend to a friend.
This is a general overview of what you’ll need to get started. If you’re looking for a more in-depth guide, check out this much longer post.
Let’s dive right into the supplies you’ll need up front.
1.) USPS priority mail boxes
You can order these for free from the USPS website and have them delivered to your home. They do take their time with shipping, but they come packaged conveniently and you can use them on almost any selling platform. Unless your inventory is all the same, order a few different sizes of these boxes. Try the shoeboxes (great for bundles of multiple items and, obviously, shoes), some larger boxes, and some smaller boxes. Again, these are all free and you can order as many as you want. If you’re selling on eBay or Mercari, there will be some instances where you can’t use these. If you’re selling on Poshmark, you can use these for every order.
- 1095 (Medium-sized, flat box, good for most tops and bottoms)
- 1096L (Small, flat box, good for sports bras, small tanks and tees)
- Shoebox (Good for bundles of multiple items, and, obviously, shoes)
If you’re selling exclusively on Poshmark you can also order a variety pack of flat-rate boxes. You’ll get more use out of these as a Poshmark seller than a seller on other platforms because you can use them interchangeably with other priority mail boxes. If you’re just starting out, a pack of each of the three sizes mentioned above will be enough to get you started.
2.) Polymailers in various sizes
To protect your items from weather and accidents (and to add a professional appearance to your packaging) I highly suggest ordering some polymailers in a variety pack of several sizes. When I restock, I grab a pack of the most common sizes I use, which are 6 x 9, 10 x 13, 9 x 12, and 11 x 14. With those four sizes, all of your bases will be covered: Tiny items, medium-sized items, and larger, bulkier items, like jackets. After I photograph and list my items, I slip them into a polymailer before storing them. When I make a sale, I just have to grab the item and slide it into a USPS box, attach the label, and send it off.
3.) A lighting kit
No need to get crazy and drop a ton of money on something expensive. A bare-bones dual softbox lighting kit is all you need to get great lighting in your pictures. Amazon has a few choices and most of them are well under $100. A high-quality lighting kit is one of the first things you should buy to start selling clothes online. It’s a small investment that will pay itself off almost immediately. When you improve the quality of your listing’s photos, your items will sell themselves a lot quicker. Here’s the one I use.
4.) Some kind of backdrop
You’ll want to take photos of your items against some kind of backdrop. I honestly recommend that you save your money here and grab a few cheap, white posterboards next time you’re at a supermarket or craft store. They’re simple, inexpensive, and won’t add time to your workflow. They also look great on camera. I use white posterboards for flatlays all the time and they come out great. And if you’re selling on eBay, white backgrounds are better for your search results anyway.
Note: Lots of online resellers choose to use different kinds of backdrops. Marble contact paper, wood, and faux fur are commonly used. You can play around with what you use as a background, establish your signature style, or keep it simple like I do!
5.) A few tools
You’ll want a few more, miscellaneous things. You might have some of these lying around already!
- A sturdy clothing rack (I recommend this if you plan on taking photos of your items in large batches, which is the most efficient way to sell clothes online. You can hang them all up on the rack, take measurements, then photograph them against a wall and on your backdrop one-by-one. You might not want to get a clothing rack if you have nowhere to put it except for out in the open, though.)
- A clothing steamer (Don’t get a handheld one, I tried that when I first started and it slowed me down tremendously.)
- Flexible tape measure (For taking clothing measurements)
- A thermal label printer or a laser printer (I wouldn’t use an inkjet printer for shipping labels, it costs more in ink – here’s a post with more information about what the best type of printer for shipping labels is.)
- Shipping tape
- Hangers (If you intend on taking photos of your items in batches or storing them in a closet)
- A command hook or somewhere to take photos against a wall
6.) Somewhere to source inventory!
Ok – now you need some stuff to sell! If you’re just getting started, search around your house for items to practice on. Then, branch out by heading to the thrift stores in your area. Goodwill, Salvation Army, and local thrifts are great places to score deals. Ask each store about when they hold promotions and sales. Get on their email lists, download their app, and do whatever you have to do to get into their inner circle. Salvation Army frequently has 50% off sales, for example.
- Check to see if there’s a Goodwill outlet near you. You can buy clothes for as little as $1.29 a pound – crazy!
- Think outside of the box – stores like Plato’s Closet may not have prices that allow you to source inventory there every day, but during their 90% off or grab bag sale, you can score big time. One of my first huge wins as a reseller was a haul from Plato’s Closet during one of those major sales- I paid $30 for the entire purchase of over 30 items and sold one of those items two days later for $50!
7.) Keep learning
One of the biggest favors you can do for yourself as an online clothing reseller is to get involved with the reselling community. You’ll learn about brands to be on the lookout for, how to price items, and what to do in certain situations. Go to Instagram or Youtube and do a search for the selling platform you’re on – Poshmark, eBay, whatever it is. If you’re having a specific issue, search for answers. You’ll find a bunch of really helpful people in both of those places with videos and posts that will help you move forward in your reselling journey.
Looking for more specific Poshmark reseller tips? Check out this list of 9 tips for Poshmark sellers.
Ok, now get out there, thrift some great items, and make some exciting sales! Feel free to comment below with any questions you have about reselling and I’ll get back to you ASAP!