Friday, August 5, 2011

How Selling Used Clothes is Like Internet Dating or How I Got Married and Bought a Skirt

Recently, to aid my ailing closet, I have been trolling eBay. What I noticed was some of the items up for sale were items I was preparing to donate.

So I did a double check and pulled out some of the nicer brand items to see if I could make a little eBay money.

I sat on it for about a week and then finally decided to dive in. After all, what could it hurt? eBay has some nice no-nonsense deals for small sellers like moi. I only pay if my item sells, and even then it's a relatively small portion of what I make. And anything I made in the end was more than I would have made if I donated, right?

As I put my items up, I began to realize something. This is EXACTLY like Internet dating.

Allow me to illustrate.

1. People over-value themselves. When doing some eBay comparisons, I was shocked to find some people trying to sell items for only a few dollars less than I could find new in a department store. Similar to some of the men I came across on Internet dating who demanded women be financially stable, white collar, working women while they advertised themselves as white collar salesmen and turned out to be a lawnmower salesman at Sears. Or women I knew who refused to date divorced men despite having a few divorces under their belt. Be reasonable, people! Play in the right league.

2. People want the details...all of them. I made a rookie mistake on eBay and did not post the measurements of the items I was selling. Huuuuge mistake! I got three or four e-mails a day asking for specifics. Similar to when I was Internet dating and men asked outright for multiple pictures in obvious distrust that the ones you posted were current and accurate. I learned more is more in this scenario.

3. The details don't always sell it. I gave measurements of a shirt to a woman who asked on eBay. She told me that "no woman is THAT big." Granted, it was a shirt I had grown out of, but I thought that comment in bad taste. Much like an e-mail I got that said "oh, okay, I see you do keep yourself in decent shape. Many women don't and just put up pictures that don't show them as whales." Or when I found out the white collar lawnmower salesman's dream job was to sell electronics at Best Buy and I kindly told him things would not be between us.

4. Sometimes people don't read the details. I got a comment from a woman telling me the measurements I had put on a shirt on eBay were incorrect. She told me those were clearly for a large size shirt. The item I was selling was a size large shirt, clearly marked in my post. Just as in my Internet profile it was clear what my age range was and yet 40-year-old men contacted me daily to let me know they loved my smile.

5. Rejection is part of the game, you have to put yourself back out there. So the first round of eBay? Not so hot, people. I sold one shirt out of 5 items. Because it was free, I went ahead and re-listed my items and so far have sold two more. It hurts to see how many people are watching you and not bidding, just like it hurt to see over 30 people had viewed my profile and I had nary an Internet dating e-mail.

But hey, the money I earned on eBay bought me two new skirts so far. And that Internet dating thing? Yeah, it kind of worked out. Thanks to Yahoo personals, I've been married almost three years now.

Are you an eBayer? Any advice for the buyers OR the sellers? Did you try Internet dating?


Sparkling said...

I must have talked about selling things on ebay too much because when my mother gives me something,her mantra has become "if you dont' like, just tell me. please dont' sell it on ebay!!"

Rach (DonutsMama) said...

I can't believe some of those comments! Seriously? I've only tried selling something once on eBay and just gave up after that because I couldn't compete with a gazillion other sellers. I'm tweeting this though. This was pretty funny.

Aleta said...

I never did get into ebay buying or selling, but I have used Craig's list for both.

I met my husband on :)

Brooke said...

eBay scares me. I'm always afraid I'm going to get scammed. I've never done internet dating...but I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to try that either... I guess the moral of my comment is that I'm a big chicken. But your post was funny!

Kat said...

This makes me want to start eBaying my clothes, big-time. Not that I have a lot of glamorous stuff. But I do have a few skirts that I don't fit into anymore that are still lovely. Ah, the dilemmas.

Truth: I've never actually purchased something off of eBay.

Ameena said...

If I hadn't met my husband while we were in college I would have definitely utilized Internet dating...I think it's brilliant! Getting the hard things out there right off the bat saves so much time in the end.

As far as eBay...I've had a bit of luck selling things but it's a lot of work and sometimes just seems to overwhelming. Most of the time I just give my stuff to my cousins in India or to Goodwill. So much easier!

Anonymous said...

I've never sold anything on ebay, but I've bought a TON of clothes/outerwear, etc. LOVE that. The old man thing kind of creeped me out.

Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

"no woman is that big"? That woman fails at the internet. What a jackass! This is great & true. I met a guy who I dated for 4 yrs....on yahoo personals. I mean, it didn't work out, but I've always been a cheerleader for internet dating. My hub and I met bc he found me on an AOL profile!

Jackie said...

I haven't sold anything on ebay yet, although we have considered it since we have a lot of stuff laying around that we could sell. I can certainly see the analogy between the two. You are selling yourself instead of an item when trying to internet date. I personally have never been brave enough to try internet dateing.

Rachel Cotterill said...

Great comparisons - made me smile :)

Mads said...

eBay seems complicated to me, but I've had a lot of great success with Craigslist. I've sold all of my college furniture, some kitchen stuff, and some electronics.
You have to be a lot more careful of creepos on Craigslist though.