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If you happen to have a closet full of clothes and shoes that you have not worn in several years (guilty) than this article is for you. Instead of the end of the year donation to a consignment shop that earns you nothing but good karma, how about earning a little extra cash instead.
Gone are the days of using eBay and hoping for a sale. Instagram will be your new best friend in helping you clear out some closet space and earn some money. It turns out that Instagram is not only awesome for connecting and networking, but for earning a side hustle as well.
There are several accounts available on Instagram currently where you can sell your items which I have linked below. Your best bet for selling your goods would be to set up an account specifically for the sale of your wares.
If you do not have an Instagram (why not?) go ahead and download the app now, I’ll wait. Once done, let’s go through the process of setting up your very own virtual store.
1. First, Decide What To Sell
Let us backtrack just a bit. Before downloading the Instagram app (and before it distracts you with all the random feeds) go through your closet and decide what you would like to sell. Look at the condition of the items and select only the pieces in good,wearable condition.
P.S. This article will focus specifically on the sell of clothes because that is the strongest market. If you do not have clothes to sell, you can definitely sell home goods like vases, decorative pillows, cool mugs, etc if that is more your thing. Like eBay, there’s a market for everything on Instagram.
2. Take GOOD Photos
On Instagram the quality of your photos will be what makes or does not make your account successful. You do not need to go and invest in a quality camera (but if you have one go ahead and use it).
Your phone will be good enough and will easily allow you to take square photos which are best for Instagram.
Choose a simple, plain backdrop and a well lit room for your photos. Lighting is everything when it comes to a great photo. Arrange your items in a way that captures the integrity of the piece so that your future buyers know exactly what they are getting.
If the item is high-end then snap photos of the brand name and tag to validate the authenticity of the piece. In general though, you can get by with one good photo and if an interested buyer requests more photos of the item later than you can oblige.
3. Create Your “Store”
If you already have an Insta, great! Keep it, but don’t use it to sell your stuff. Your current followers will likely be annoyed at your clothes popping up on their feed (or they might be interested buyers).
Potential customers who are not interested in your cat but your clothes may miss items because they are mixed in with the blur of your daily life.
Creating a new account for selling your stuff will help you make better and faster sells. Plus, going back to taking good photos, having a theme behind your photos (i.e. a clean backdrop showcasing cute clothes) will draw followers like moths to a flame.
4. It’s All In The Details
Give as many details as possible when listing your product. Your buyer will want to know size…and get specific. If the item is a shirt or dress, include the pit to pit measurement, waist measurement, and length. If the item is a pair of pants, include the waist and hip measurement, rise (this is the measurement from the crotch to the top of the waistband) and the inseam.
Be sure to include the material as well and list the type of condition the item is in choosing from like new, excellent used condition (EUC), good used condition (GUC), or list the flaws directly. The more transparency you offer the better for your buyers. A sample post might look something like this:
- Shipping: (if included just type “included” here)
- Terms: (here you can list an specific terms, such as saying the interested buyer has 3 hours to provide payment, etc before you move on to the next person who showed interest)
5. A Note On Pricing
Pricing is probably the trickiest part of selling your clothes through Instagram. You don’t want to make things too cheap (hello, we are here to make some money), but they can’t be too expensive or people are not going to be interested.
When determining your price, try to remember how much you spent and then assess the quality of the item. If there are no rips, tears or fading then you can list at a higher price. If the piece is a designer brand than you can definitely list for more since it is worth more.
Also, be sure to include the cost of shipping with whatever price you choose. You do not want your customer to go into a sell thinking the price is set only to throw a shipping cost at them.
Put it all out there up front so that there are no surprises that could potentially result in a buyer losing interest. If you are willing to offer international shipping, be sure to note this and include a caveat that the shipping price will be higher based on their location.
Typically shipping is about $6 -$7 if you are sending via USPS (within the U.S.) and it’s polite to send by Priority Mail so people aren’t waiting around for a full week for their stuff.
6. Different Ways To Sell
There are several ways you can list your items. Similar to eBay, you can choose to auction your items for a set amount of time. Unlike eBay, folks are not bidding. The price you set is what they will pay, but the auction allows everyone a fair chance at winning what you are selling.
Often you will see 24 or 48 hour listings where folks can show their interest simply by commenting on the photo with their zip code or an emoji. Once the allotted time is up, you can utilize any online randomizer to select a winner.
If your item does not sell you can choose at that point to repost at a cheaper price and note that you have Relisted and Reduced. I would recommend reposting versus editing the current post so that it pops up on a fresh feed. If you would rather not bother with an auction, you can list your item with a price and just wait for interested buyers, choosing the first person that comments with their desire to purchase.
The auction style is best if you do not want to feel like you need to hop on Instagram every half hour. Fair warning though, Instagram is kind of addictive…you might be on there every half hour anyway.
7. Post and Promote
Once you feel confident that you are ready to open your store, start posting and promote on any other social media platforms that you use (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). You can even promote on your personal Instagram account in order to catch the eye of some of your current followers.
Do not forget the power of hashtags. Hashtags will help future buyers find you. Some hashtags to use to start out would be #shopmycloset, #instasale, #clothesforsale, #instacloset and if your item is a name brand note that in the hashtags as well.
8. Make That Money
PayPal is the go to source for collecting money from your sales. It is easy to use, only requires an email address from the buyer, and it is free. Be sure to ask your buyer to send payment as a gift to avoid PayPal’s fees. If you prefer using a platform like Venmo instead, that works too. Be sure to note your preference with your listing.
9. Warning: Don’t Post Your Entire Closet At Once
It would be so much easier to post everything at once and call it a day. Do not do this. Start small so you can get a feel for the community you are trying to reach.
I would recommend not posting more than 15 items to begin with. This allows you some control to keep track of your items and your customers. Plus, you will be able to get an idea for how your store is going to work.
If weeks go by without someone interested (I doubt this will happen) you may have to decide where you need to make some tweaks. Often you will want to start by lowering your prices by a few dollars and maybe throwing in some more hashtags to reach more people.
Small changes will make a big impact on the success of your store. Again, take quality photos. That is the first thing people will see before they stop to actually read your listing so make them count.
10. For Those Not Interested In Setting Up A Store
Despite all the steps listed above, setting up and maintaining an Instagram account solely devoted to the sell of your used goods is really easy. Some instagrammers make up to $500 a month selling through Instagram and have turned it into a real business.
You may make only $100 in a month but that is money earned instead of lost through donations to Goodwill. It will take a bit of work to set up your store but the end result will be worth it and you may find that you have a lot of fun taking photos and managing your own shop.
If the hassle of setting up an account does not seem worth the investment, you can take advantage of accounts currently on Instagram that accept your used goods and post them on your behalf.
You will still have to take photos of your item and provide the key details, but the actually posting will be done by someone else.
You will have to already have an Instagram account so the items and payment can be linked back to you, but you can open an account and essentially not use it if you like.
Below are 9 Instagrammers (some accounts sound the same but are different, I promise) to follow today so that you can make some cash…today! It really can happen that fast.
They have nearly 90K posts, mostly clothes and shoes, jewelry or unused beauty products and 15K followers and counting. They’re popular because they are a great source to sell on and they post quickly.
The one thing to note is that they do tend to mainly accept clothes from smaller lines/brands but will branch out and accept powerhouse companies like Madewell, J Crew and Levis. They also have their own guidelines which takes a lot of the guesswork out of listing your item.
You contact them via email and they will either accept what you are selling or reply with a reason code for their rejection. Sometimes it is something as simple as taking a better photo.
The only drawback with this account is that once your item sells, there is a $2.80 seller’s fee you will need to pay. This fee applies to the next six accounts I mention as they are affiliate accounts.
Similar account as above just managed by someone else. All the same guidelines are applied and they mainly accept truly vintage pieces; so start raiding your grandmother’s closet.
The perfect place to sell your used Lululemon and Adidas footwear.
Finally, a place to get rid of all the children’s clothes that you have because kids grow faster than you can get them dressed.
Not wanting to snub our northern neighbors, here’s an account just for the Canadians…which is awesome because otherwise shipping to Canada from the U.S. gets expensive.
The accounts mentioned so far feature predominantly women’s clothing, so to be fair, an account was created just for the fellas.
Moving away from clothes and shoes, this is the perfect place to sell anything from a futon (make a note for local pick-up/drop off only) to glassware to a cuckoo clock. You will be surprised by the goodies that sell on here.
This account is specifically geared toward slow fashion pieces. Think brands like Everlane, Aritzia, and Eileen Fisher. They will also accept your Levis, Madewell and J Crew pieces.
The best part about this account is that there are no seller’s fees so what you earn is yours to keep 100%. This is also a great space to shop for key pieces you may have had your eye on but could not afford at full price.
You can also trade on this account. If you see something you like, look through your closet to see if maybe the seller is interested in something you have.
You will not earn anything (except a fabulous new item) and you will have to cover the cost of shipping, but in general it will be a better deal than going through a retail store.
Like the above account, this is a space geared toward the sell of slow fashion pieces but for plus-size individuals.
Check out those accounts and start submitting items today or go with the first option and start the process of creating your own store. Either way, you will be earning a little side income in no time.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this articles on 10 ways on how to make money on Instagram. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to let us know below. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!