The Psychology of Being a Successful Second-Hand Seller

Is there a psychology behind being a successful second-hand seller online? How is it that people are so successful? Are there different things you can do to sell your products quickly and successfully?

These are some of the questions the experts at Moneyboat have asked successful second-hand seller Carrie Blackburn to determine some top tips for being a successful online seller. Many of us have turned to platforms such as Depop and Vinted in the last few years in an effort to make a little extra cash, but some have been more successful than others.

By following these top tips, sellers are more likely to understand their customers and be successful second-hand sellers. Providing a positive and transparent shopping experience for buyers is key to building a successful reputation as a second-hand seller.

Tips from second-hand seller Carrie Blackburn

Clear and detailed descriptions

Accurate and detailed descriptions of items for sale are a must. Make sure to include as much information as possible, including size, colour, condition, and any relevant details. Be honest and clear about any flaws or damage to your items.

Good-quality images

When taking photos of your products, make sure to take well-lit, clear images of every detail of your product. Customers are more likely to purchase an item with clear, detailed images, giving them a better idea of what they’re purchasing.

Carrie says, “Even when people are shopping for second-hand products, or even from smaller businesses, they still want the same shopping experience as shopping from a larger retailer. Ensuring your descriptions are detailed and eye-catching and your images are clean, crisp, and well-lit is the best way to do this. Make sure the clothes are presentable too! You might be selling something that’s been at the back of your wardrobe for months; it doesn’t hurt to wash and iron it before listing, as it will definitely increase your chances of selling.”

Competitive pricing

Do your research when pricing your items to determine a fair and competitive price. Leave room for customers to negotiate prices; leaving room for discounts can help your items sell faster.

Carrie explains, “The chances are, most people will want to negotiate on price, so it’s important to take that into account. Leave room for negotiation or even listing products at a slightly higher price point than you planned; this means you’re not making much of a loss if you accept a lower offer, or you can offer a lower price yourself to tempt the customer.”

Prompt communication

Respond to any messages and inquiries from sellers as quickly as possible. Responding in due time builds trust with potential customers, resulting in more sales.

“Some platforms track and show your activity; for example, Vinted shows users when you have read a message. Ignoring or taking too long to respond to a question can typically put people off.”

Keep listings up-to-date

If you are seen to be proactive on such second-hand selling sites as Vinted, customers are more likely to view your profile, leading to sales. So, make sure to keep adding listings, update images and descriptions if needed, and adjust pricing.

Carrie advises, “Reviews are important too; many platforms allow users to leave reviews and ratings, follow up with the customer to check everything is okay with the product; and politely ask them to leave a review.”

Quick shipping

Customers are likely to buy from you again if they know they can get their purchases quickly. This will also reflect in any reviews you get, resulting in more customers coming to your page.

“Most apps now have rules on how quickly you should be posting items; both Depop and Vinted sellers are given five days to ship out an item before the order is cancelled. I would always recommend shipping either two or three days after a sale.” Carrie recomends. 

Nicely presented packaging

A small gesture goes a long way. Make sure any items you sell are folded nicely in nice packaging, avoiding damage in the delivery process. A positive unboxing experience contributes to customer satisfaction and can lead to good reviews and repeat customers.  

Carrie says, “This can differ depending on whether your selling your old clothes or items or if you’re a small business. If you’re selling items second-hand, making sure items are clean, packaged nicely, and safely, if fragile, along with a thank-you note will be enough to give customers a pleasant experience. If you’re a small business, I would always recommend investing a little into your packaging and presentation, whether it be branded stickers, business cards to include, or even packaging that matches your brand colours. It will not only give the customer a positive, unboxing experience but also position you as a serious seller passionate about their business.”