Okay let’s not sugar coat this process. If you are selling your items at a market, chances are you NEED space free in your wardrobes, lives and extra cash in your pocket. But that isn’t to say that it will be mentally easy on you to part with items you a) love and b) have dropped a fair bit of $$$ on.
This post is here to be brutally honest about how to price your items to sell at Wardrobe Warriors Market. You don’t have to follow this advice, but if you do, we guardsmen you will be moving product faster than Blackmilk Clothing at a Sample Sale (okay maybe not that quick, but you catch our drift).
PS: This may be a long post, but we really want to give you as much insight to selling as possible to ensure you aren’t carting all your items back to your car at the end of the day.
BEFORE WE START WE NEED TO ADDRESS WHAT OUR ROLE IS
Wardrobe Warriors is a market event. We provide a platform at one of the cheapest prices in Brisbane for an undercover area to sell your preloved wears.
We generate customers for our day by advertising on multiple platforms, social media, email subscriptions, blogs, collaborations, online publications, news sites, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, flyers and signage throughout the area.
This is our full time job, so every day leading up to our market we are advertising and spreading the word about Wardrobe Warriors Market.
WE WORK EXTREMELY HARD TO ENSURE EVERY MARKET IS PACKED WITH CUSTOMERS
In saying that, there are certain things sellers need to remember before attending our market.We have done the most we possibly can with the budget we have to spread the word about our market but unreliability is the name of the market game.
We can never tell if our hard work is going to be rewarded with 2,000 people through the doors or 200. It is just simply un-judgeable.
It comes down to a lot of different factors.
1. Humans have plans
And things pop up. We could have 4k people saying yes we are coming, and then more than half of those people sleep in, get called into work, have a screaming baby, get sick, forget it is on, forget they had other plans etc. We literally cannot do anything about these things, it is human nature and the nature of ALL events.
Brisbane is a jerk. You guys know this, we live here. One day it is unbearably hot and you are sweating like crazy and the next day it is pouring down with rain and your will to do anything dwindles. We again cannot do anything about the weather, but this is why we are completely indoors now so we can minimize this risk.
Try as we might – there is no way to plan around other events. And just like us, neither can they. So no one can ever know for sure if people will go to the book sale in the city or the preloved fashion market in the ‘burbs. Sometimes they go to us, sometimes they go to other events.
4.Markets are unpredictable
I know we have said this before but we are saying it again. And it isn’t even just our market that is unpredictable. Take for example the Brisbane Markets at Rocklea. I have been to these markets many times prior to sell unwanted stuff around my house.
On one occasion I made $600, on another I made $150, one time it rained so I was -$17. For no fault of the market owners and advertisers – it just came down to one of the above reasons.
As well as these reasons – you have to remember, you need to have the right person to walk through our doors to buy your item. So if your items are priced well (more on pricing below) and set up to be easy impulse buys for people, chances are you will sell.
THE NUMBER ONE MOST IMPORANT RULE TO FOLLOW WHEN AT A MARKET/GARAGE SALE IS THIS:
INVITE PEOPLE TO YOUR STALL
Gone are the days where we had to put ads in local newspapers to tell people we are getting rid of our stuff. Social media is the best thing you could ever have at your hands when selling at a market.
Make sure to take advantage of this. Invite ALL your friends and family to our Facebook event page and even create your own Facebook event page! We have 50+ sellers at every market. On average I would say the regular person has 100 friends…at least. So let us say that only half of these friends are locals. So that should be 50 people invited per seller.
We should be getting 2 – 2.5k invites on our facebook page (to make up for sellers with fewer FB friends or sellers without FB). On average our market gets 500 invites (and 200 of these are my personal invites).
We do harp on about Facebook a lot, but really it is an AMAZING platform for sharing. If your one friend clicks attending, their entire network should see that they have and so it begins – the chain reaction of people attending and buying.
Now imagine if you had of created your own event page – where you post your own photos and tell people ERRRTHANG IS $2! You would have SO many potential buyers.
This is 100% true, I have seen it myself – the sellers who do the best at WWM have always invited their friends, and you can see it. Even on a dead market day, there will always be a handful of stalls PACKED because they invited their friends. It is how the market life works.
If you invite your friends it isn’t just helping you – it is helping the entire market!
INVITE PEOPLE TO YOUR STALL
Via Gumtree – post an ad on there, it is free to do so! Whenever I have a stall at a market or a Garage Sale I ALWAYS post an ad with photos of what I am selling and the event details. Think of Wardrobe Warriors as your platform for a HUGE community garage sale.
When I post an ad on Gumtree at least 600 people see our ads. If we all posted an ad think of how many people this would be.
But isn’t this your job as the market owners?
Yes and we do this every single day. But if we ALL did the same, we would have a better turnout. Our stall fees are at the bare minimum so that you can have the best possible chance of making money back.
To pay for advertising on social media does not come cheap. Nothing is cheap. Example: Nova 106.9 could come to one of our markets for 30 minutes for $500. We simply do not have the budget for advertising on this platform unless we charge more for tickets. So we all need to work together to make your day as successful as possible.
NOW… ON TO PRICING YOUR ITEMS
1. UNDERSTANDING WHAT YOUR ITEM IS WORTH
This step is number one because it is the absolute most important step of selling at not just our market but any market or online. Particularly with clothing, shoes and accessories, because although we all may think our item is worth what we paid for it or just under, we are here to tell you it is not.
Selling secondhand, you can understand that there has to be a price drop from what you paid because it is secondhand. But this applies even more so to clothing and is part of the reason why we really need to stop blowing all our hard earned cash on one time outfits.
Thanks to fast fashion, clothing is worth significantly less than what you paid for it. Instead of seasons changing every 3 months (Summer, Autumn etc), seasons in fashion now change weekly. There are now 52 seasons of new “styles” landing in stores and that means that clothing goes on sale quicker, goes out of fashion quicker and therefore loses value quicker.
Now this rule basically applies for a lot of clothing, shoes and accessories but of course there are always exceptions to the rules. Brands that are highly sought after (think Spell and the Gypsy Collective) and brands that are quality and ethically made are usually excepted to this rule. But for the most part, everything else needs to have this rule applied.
Take for example; I used to own an online clothing store, we stocked brands that many major Australian retailers stock. As many retailers do, we would buy in bulk and recieve a cheaper rate per item. The below is an item that we researched and found that the three major online retailers were selling between $89.95 and $129.95.
We purchased this dress for $25.00 wholesale.
@xanetia_unnarae reppin’ our brand
We sold this item for $50.00 online. So that means, before a consumer even wears this item, they item is already not worth what they paid. Just because a dress says it is $129.95 does not mean it is worth/made/materials cost that amount. It is actually worth far less than what we even paid for it, because it was made in bulk for multiple stores and wholesalers who are all onselling for a profit.
Another example is of my favourite dress of all time. I paid $159.95 for my 22nd birthday dress by Fairground. And I loved it, and wore it all the time. Now, not so much, so if I wanted to sell it, I would need to take into consideration a couple of things.
$159.95 Fairground dress that is now worth less than $20
Firstly, how long ago did I purchase at this price? 3 years ago. So what was worth $159.95 then brand new, is surely not going to be worth the same now. Secondly, the condition of course, it is in a good preloved condition. And thirdly, what does the internet say (because as we all know the internet knows all). A quick google search shows me two things that a) I can purchase on Australian retailers currently for half the price brand new and b) I can purchase similar styles on Ebay for less than $20.
This is crucial to understand. Not just for selling your items at markets, but for your future retail purchases. Buying clothing, shoes and accessories that are not specifically handmade, ethically made, quality made etc. is letting go of the fact that you cannot sell your item for this price or near to this price ever again.
So as long as you know that it is not worth anywhere near this price in real selling life, then you will do just fine. But if you hold on to wanting $50 for a dress you paid $80 for you are going to have a bad time.
So our first tip is to understand how much your items are worth. And there are several ways to do this if you aren’t sure:
- RESEARCH! Take a look on Ebay, Gumtree, Buy and Sell Pages on Facebook – all of these websites will provide an excellent insight into what your item is worth.
- Use the 1/4 rule: If you paid $80 for a dress – it is now at best worth 1/4, so $20.
- Ask yourself, would you buy at this price? Put yourself in the buyers shoes
At the end of the day, you as a seller have to realize that anyone can go into Myers, David Jones, Cotton On, Shieke etc. and purchase a brand new dress on sale for under $40. In most cases under $30. So most people are not going to pay more than this for a secondhand or even a brand new item at a market.
2. Understanding why you are selling your items
Before purchasing a sellers ticket you need to think to yourself “Why am I being a seller at this market?” And although that may sound silly, it really is an important step. For WW, our hope for sellers is simple. Free up space in your wardrobes, ethically allow customers to buy from you and to give you some $$$.
If you are staring at your wardrobe now and thinking “Yup this cost me 100, that cost me 250, this cost me 85 I should make like 2500 on these 20 items alone!” WRONG. Please refer to step 1. Our belief is if you can get $$$ back for anything that is fashion related than you are winning.
A seller at our Northside market came with some really nice designer brands in great condition and instead of placing her items at say $50 a piece she had them all between $10 – $30. At the end of the day, that seller walked away with just over $700. Now I am 150% sure that these items cost her WAY more than $700. But… she walked away without having to cram them back in her wardrobe and $700+ in her pocket that otherwise would not be there.
This is why she was there. She was selling at our event to make room in her wardrobe, de-clutter her life and get some money back on what she has spent on fashion.
If you are out to score retail value or close to for your wardrobe, you are going to have a bad time. If you are flipping items at obscene costs, you are going to have a bad time. If you are wanting to come to WW for any other reason than to walk away with less stuff than what you had in the first place and with some cash that would otherwise not be there, you are going to have a bad time.
3. WHAT BRANDS/STYLES ARE WORTH MORE THAN OTHERS?
Now this here is a question we get asked 24/7. And I cannot give you a definite answer for this one because we believe style is subjective. I have paid $20 for a dress from MinkPink that wasn’t worth that but was amazing to me. But do you want to wait for the person who wants your item? Or do you want to get rid of your item.
If you have any brands that you are not 100% sure of their current value, have a look on Ebay and go from there. Of course some brands are more sought after than others, but it is up to you at the end of the day how much you sell an item for.
But we can tell you this: If you can buy it for less than $50 RRP it is probably not worth much. And why we use that guideline is because most major retailers fall under this category. Cotton On, Ally, Portmans, Sportsgirl, Collette, Big W, K Mart, H&M, Ally etc.
Use the 1/4 rule. If your pants were $50 to purchase brand new, they are now worth AT BEST $12.50.
4. THE MAGICAL 1/4 RULE
The 1/4 rule is possibly your best tool to price your items at markets. Use your own judgement based on brands, styles, how recently you purchased, condition, how fast you want to get rid of your items and go from there.
Once you have divided your price by 4, this is usually how much AT BEST your item is now worth.
EXAMPLE: $70 dress is now worth at best $17.50.
5. PRICE YOUR ITEMS LIKE IT’S THE END OF THE DAY, AT THE START OF THE DAY
Have you been to a market at the end of the day? Have you been to a end of financial year sale during it’s last week? If you have, then you know how desperate people are to get rid of their stuff so that they don’t have to keep storing it.
We see it all the time, it gets to the last hour of the day and people start to realize they don’t even want this stuff anymore. They slash prices drastically and of course, people flock to their stalls and buy.
Now if you start your day off with drastically reduced prices, people will swarm to your stall and buy everything.
The way we see it is if you have a rack with 30 dresses on it, would you rather sell 10 at a price of $20 and make $200 at the end of the day and take home 20 dresses you don’t want, or would you rather sell 25 dresses at $10 each and take home $250 dollars and 5 dresses you don’t want?
We know what we would prefer, so make sure to start your day off like it’s already the end of the day.
6. PRICE TAG YOUR ITEMS AND DISPLAY SIGNS
You are in a hall with 50+ other stalls all trying to do the same thing so make sure you stand out! If your stall is ‘Nothing over $20’, make sure to have a sign telling everyone this! If all your items are $5, make sure to put a sign on your racks.
Customers are drawn to signage and bright colours, so showcase your items and your stall in a way that draws people to you. Do you have a stall filled with designer items or a particular brand? Tell your customers!
Make sure you have price tag your items or display signs for each rack, no one really likes to ask for a price or make offers on items, they would rather know what you would like for each piece.
This will also save you the drama of having to tell every person who comes to your stall how much everything is.
Which brings us to our next point
7. ENTICE CUSTOMERS TO YOUR STALL
No one wants to shop at a stall where the sellers look unwelcoming. For one day, give the customer service that you would expect when going in to shop at a store.
Greet your customers, smile, stand up, look approachable. It may sound weird but it seriously works! Sellers who are up and about, making sure their stalls look good, picking up fallen items, talking to customers and smiling are more likely to sell their items.
Make your stall look unique, bring in items to make it feel like your own little space for the day. A well displayed and presented stall is more likely to attract customers to your stall.
You don’t have to follow these if you don’t want to. At the end of the day is up to you how you present your stall and price your items. We just want to give you some tips on things you could do to help get rid of your items and make some cash back. Because at the end of the day that is the goal for Wardrobe Warriors Sellers!