May 3, 2012

FASHION FRIDAY: From Rags to Riches

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It’s a whopping 80 degrees today, and everywhere I turn I see skin peeking out from tank tops and skirts. It’s hard to imagine that around time last week, the ground was covered by snow. Despite this mishap, I think it’s safe to say that summer has officially arrived in Ithaca. And with Slope Day taking place today, timing couldn’t possibly have been any better. To celebrate summer’s presence, I recently organized my whole winter closet — every single article of clothing — so I can make room for my sundresses, shorts, and short-sleeve tees. While sorting through all my clothing, I came across outfits that I didn’t ever remember owning, let alone worn for years. Subsequently, I found myself standing next to a giant pile of used clothes. What to do with all these old pieces of clothing? Sell them, of course!

Just to be clear, in most cases you don’t earn back the initial value. Nonetheless, having a little pocket money to spend replacing the articles of clothing you are selling is a nice thing. You would be surprised to find out how much you can actually make by selling unwanted clothes on websites. EBay is definitely the way to go.

I know I’ve already extolled the virtues of eBay on my online shopping post, however I’m going to talk about another feature of it:  the “sell an item” tab. I’m sure most of you know that eBay is functions both as a website for buying as well as selling pretty much anything, notably apparel. Over the past month, I’ve made a decent amount of money ridding myself of clothing that for one reason or another I have no use for anymore. The process is quite simple, just as long as you do a little bit of research. Once you have an account, you can choose to sell any article of clothing you want as pre-owned, new with tags, new without tags, and new with defects. Make sure to upload photos, as they are the key selling point for the garment. Moreover, write a fun description of the item, not forgetting to include any defects in your report. The winning bidder pays for the shipping of the item, the shipping price of which you set. Finally, when choosing a price to start the bidding at, always conduct some background research on eBay of other similar clothes. If you set the price too high in comparison, then no bidder will be drawn to your clothes. There is also “Buy It Now” option for people who don’t want to necessarily wait till your auction is over to acquire your item.  Once your item is won, then eBay will deduct a minimum amount, usually around eighty cents, for using their services.

Of course, there are other places as well that I’d like to mention. However, I have very little to zero experience with them, so I don’t feel comfortable vouching for them in the way I did for eBay. First, there is Etsy, focused on creating a fruitful platform of communication for buyers and sellers of original, handmade, crafted or vintage art. In other words, it isn’t possible to sell anything you’d like; as the seller, you would have to make certain to follow the guidelines. That being said, I’ve definitely come across items while perusing the website that do not fit the general description. Amazon is also another option, although there is no time frame, so you will have to be conscious to update your page if you leave for vacation. Finally, ASOS Marketplace, affiliated with ASOS, also allows you to sell any article of clothing from your wardrobe with 10% commission.

I urge you to try and sell your clothes. You honestly have to nothing to lose, except making a few hundred dollars on the side and revamping your wardrobe. It can’t get any better than that!

Eleni Konstantopoulos is a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences. She can be reached at edk44@cornell.edu. Fashion Fridays appears Fridays.

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Original Author: Eleni Konstantopoulos