We are all aware of the joys of eBay – and how you can make very good money from it – but another virtual market that continues to go from strength to strength and offers a great way to make quick money is the fashion-centred ASOS Marketplace.
Online retailer ASOS has become one of the big hitters in the online fashion world, and launched an online marketplace for its customers in 2010.
Designed to be a place for unique and vintage fashion items, ASOS Marketplace is for people who love fashion and want to buy or sell old or unwanted quality clothes – without having to trawl through a load of rubbish.
Clothing has become a huge market on eBay, but many people think twice about shopping there because old bedraggled-looking clothes hung on a battered coat hanger aren’t particularly enticing.
Unlike eBay, ASOS Marketplace is not an online auction site – you set the price for your item of clothing and it will be listed for three months.
But one thing it does share in common with eBay is that it operates a feedback system, where people can rate sellers and the clothes they sell. People can also follow their favourite individual sellers, so they’re notified when they add new items.
There is a market here for all kinds of clothing, old or new. So if you’re someone who needs a bit of a wardrobe clear-out, or even if you like to knit the odd jumper in your spare time – there is a space for you. Customers can filter their search between new, pre-owned and vintage items so everything is counted.
You can sign up ASOS as either a ‘Basic’ seller or a ‘Boutique’ seller.
A ‘Basic’ selling option is for people who may want to put up the odd bit of clothing, while a ‘Boutique’ seller will be for someone who wants to expand and sell more clothing – like a mini online clothing shop.
In June the top-selling boutique had turned over £50,000 in sales while the top individual seller had just passed the tidy mark of £10,000. Not too shabby!
Once you’ve created an account you need to sign up to PayPal before you can begin selling your clothes. PayPal is a quick, easy and safe way of making and receiving payments online and it takes just a few minutes to sign up. After that you just need to begin the process of finding things to sell!
Have that wardrobe clear-out you’ve been meaning to do, or start rummaging through car boot sales to find hidden gems. The adage that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure still applies here; but users of ASOS Marketplace value good clothing – so if you’ve found an old, falling apart jumper the chances are it won’t sell particularly well.
But, as everyone is aware, fashion changes an awful lot. What once was a cringe-worthy hand-knitted Christmas jumper from your grandma may now be the height of fashion.
Get friends involved too, they’ll be able to see the value in clothes that you might otherwise miss, the perfect activity for a rainy Saturday, you could even hold a swap shop with your friends to see if they’ve got any hidden gems.
ASOS Marketplace uses PayPalso making and receiving payments are very easy.
Basic sellers don’t have to pay any listing fees (unlike eBay). You do however pay a flat 10% commission fee on any sales you make. This fee will be taken via PayPaland you will be invoiced the following month.
Boutiques work differently and you will need to pay £20 per month plus 20% commission on every sale. On average ASOS say that boutiques sell twice as much as basic sellers, and ASOS run features like ‘Boutique Spotlight’ to try and help their boutique sellers out.
There are a whole load of other add-ons that can attract customers to boutiques, such as special promo codes and sales – so ASOS do their best to help boutiques get their moneys worth.
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Now you’ve decided on your item(s) that you want to sell, it’s time to create a listing on the website and make it as presentable as possible.
Listing your item
Descriptions are key when selling, but don’t worry too much about getting in certain buzz words to catch the eye – the photo of the product will sell itself.
ASOS operate the policy that if you’re going to list clothing on the marketplace, you must photograph your items on a model in daylight. Any clothes photographed on a coat hanger/floor/etc or one that uses flash photography will be removed. If you’re a bit camera-shy then perhaps you could call in a friend, but you shouldn’t worry – they only need models so the clothes are nicely presented (it’s no modelling competition!)
Good presentation of your item will make it much easier to sell. If you take the picture from a variety of angles this will also help. With this all sorted, you should just make your description of the item as helpful as possible. Include information about the condition, the material, the size and any other useful bits.
Check out descriptions of other items for guidance. What sort of information would you want to know about an item? Perhaps if the actual fit is slightly bigger/smaller than the designated size, or maybe how many times the item has been worn?
ASOS have helpfully created their own guide for both photographing and listing your clothing if you’re stuck for ideas.
Once you’ve got your description you can set a price and then the item will be listed for up to three months – a period which you can choose to renew at any stage from two weeks before it’s due to finish.
Pricing your item
Think carefully about the price. Scout around for similar items and see what kind of prices people are selling at. It’s fine if you don’t want to sell below a certain price, but make sure you’re not being too unrealistic. Equally you want to make sure you get the best price so if you’re unsure, align the price with another item you feel is quite similar.
You may also want to activate the ‘Make me an offer’ feature. Without it, buyers will simply have to stump up your valuation or not buy it all, but activating it will allow you and the potential buyer to agree on a reasonable fee. You are able to set a minimum considered price that can be offered, so you don’t need to worry about people wasting your time with low offers.
If someone makes an offer through this, you’ll be sent an e-mail asking if you want to accept the price. Should you accept, the buyer will be put through to a screen to complete the purchase otherwise you are fully entitled to reject the offer – though once you accept you cannot change your mind. The ‘Make me an offer’ feature can be deactivated at any time.
You will also need to think about your delivery costs. You can use the Royal Mail Shipping Calculator to calculate shipping costs and may also want to activate the ‘Multi Item Shipping Discount’ if one buyer purchases more than one item from you.
Remember: If you’re going to be a seller on ASOS Marketplace you must adhere to their rules. This means you must refund any items that do not arrive in the described condition or any items sent back to you within seven days and you must never sell any counterfeited goods. All of the above are simply good business practice, and we’re sure you should never encounter any problems if you stick to it.
It’s simple. If the buyer meets your valuation they will go straight through to the purchasing page to complete the transaction. You will be notified and will then go through the process of receiving the money through PayPal and then delivering the item to the buyer’s address.
Should you have the ‘Make me an Offer’ feature activated, you will receive an e-mail telling you of the offer and, if you accept, the buyer will go through to the same purchasing page to complete the transaction. All very straightforward.
ASOS Marketplace has benefitted a wide range of people, from shop owners to individual sellers. It has been great for independent clothing stores, who have been able to increase their exposure immeasurably, while savvy individual sellers have been able to make thousands of pounds each week.
Meanwhile it has also been a starting point for setting up brands. Family-run label Volklore started out on ASOS Marketplace before they were chosen to have a full clothing line on ASOS.
So whether you’re just looking to make some extra money out of your old clothes or are serious about style – you might find a home on ASOS Marketplace.