Lessons from a Dance Ebayer: Five Tips on How to Buy and Sell Dancewear Online

By Britt Pisoni

It may seem simple enough-- sell your used things online and make some extra cash for a rainy day. Easy, right? Well, it definitely can be, but selling online usually takes a little more effort to maximize your success. Here are five tips to help you get started:

1) Practice Honest Advertising

It is not a good idea to conceal the truth about the condition of the product. Nor is it necessary: of course, the better the condition, the more likely customers will buy it.

However, there is a market for lightly used and inexpensive dance attire. Perhaps somebody is taking up dance as a hobby and does not want to invest in an expensive new pair of shoes. Or your customer could be a parent with a child who outgrows shoes every month. Considering the type of customer you will be attracting can help you appeal to customer needs.

Be sure to also take clear pictures of the product and disclose any issues such as scratches or rips in the description. By doing this, you let any buyers know exactly what they are buying and there are no discrepancies. Be as detailed as possible in your descriptions!

2) Offer Customer Service

Make yourself available for potential customer questions. Selling dancewear can be tricky since sizing differs between different products and companies. Checking your account inbox periodically for customer enquiries will allow you to respond within a reasonable time. This helps customers feel confident in making the purchase. Long wait times for a response can make the customer go elsewhere for the product. Keep the customer satisfied and you will land the sale.

3) Ship Quickly

Most customers are in a rush. They know what they want, and they want it five minutes ago. With so many different shipment options out there, it's best to stick with one method and keep it simple. Some options are First-Class Mail or USPS Retail Ground, but you then have to weigh the parcel and stay tuned for any changing shipping prices. The most practical and consistent choice if you are shipping within the US is Priority Flat Rate Shipping. Depending on which size box or envelope you choose (small, medium, or large), if it fits, it ships! With Priority Rate, you get a tracking number and some limited insurance too. Tell the customer how much, and ship ASAP.

4) Do Your Research

You must understand the market, or at least the product you're selling. How much does your product retail for new? How much is it going for in other re-seller platforms? How does the condition of your product affect the price? Who would be interested in buying your product? These are all good questions that will help you sell your product.

5) Protect Yourself!

The customer is always right… to an extent. You want to avoid being taken advantage of by entitled or unreasonable customers. Take pictures of the product (inside and out of the box) before you ship it. This way, you know for sure what you have shipped and what condition it was in. You should also double check sizing and other small details. If there is a discrepancy, you then have proof!

You might want to consider investing in shipping insurance for your product. If something happens to it on its way to the customer, you will be responsible for reimbursing the customer. Protect yourself from loss by investing the extra few dollars for any items that go above the USPS standard insurance.

In these days of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, selling your old dancewear on platforms like Danspree, Ebay or Poshmark is great to clear out your closet of things you no longer use all while making a few extra bucks, so make it fun! Avoid all the stressors and start making money.

Britt is a dancer from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a recent graduate from Foothill College's Theatre Arts Conservatory Program and has been working locally ever since with many different companies around the Bay Area. Her accomplishments include working with Contra Costa Musical Theatre, Hillbarn Theatre Company, Los Altos Stage Company, and City Lights Theater Company. She has trained as a dancer, studying many different forms including Ballet (En Pointe), Tap, Jazz, Modern, Lyrical, and Hip Hop. Currently, Britt is working to obtain her Bachelors of Science at Pace University, New York, majoring in Digital Journalism.

Follow Britt on Instagram @britpisoni

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