What if I told you that you could outfit your kids each season for almost nothing out of pocket? Would you be interested? I do it every season and it is easier than you think. Simply post the kids gently used clothing and make money by selling them on BST Facebook groups. Then take the money earned from the clothing that no longer fits them and buy things that will work for them in the current season. Resulting in little or no out of pocket expense for me.
What is BST?
It stands for buy, sell, trade. There are literally tons of Facebook groups that allow BST of kids clothing, maternity clothing, books, toys, home decor and more. Some of these are local to your town such as “fill in your city” resale. Most of these, you meet the person locally and sell your products. For this post, I am talking about groups that have people from all over the country and you ship the item you are selling to them as opposed to meeting. It is so easy and safer than meeting random strangers on the side of the road. I will show you how to make money by selling on BST Facebook groups.
How do I start?
You can get started with just a few minutes of prep, a couple of supplies and some gently used clothing. You are going to do all of this from your house! No loading up the car with all your stuff to head to consignment and you are not even going to have to go to the post office to ship!
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Join Some BST groups
Check out my post here if you need some ideas.
Purchase Your Materials
Polymailers – These are the shipping envelopes/bags that you will use. I like these because they are inexpensive and I have never had reports of them tearing or opening during transit.
Shipping Labels – You do not have to use labels. You can just print on regular paper and tape it to your package, however, the labels just make it a lot easier. They last forever and only add a cost of $0.04 to each item you sell.
Gallon ziplock bags – Again, this isn’t necessary but you will find lots of people put the clothing in a zip bag and then put it in the polymailer for extra protection. I sometimes will also just put the item in a grocery bag and then into the polybag. My way of going green!
Kitchen scale – You definitely need this! Having your package returned to you because you didn’t buy enough shipping is no fun. Buying an inexpensive kitchen scale allows you to weigh the items you sell and buy exact postage.
Gather and Take Photos of Your Items
Take your photos in a well lit area against a clean background. A Hardwood floor or hanging on a hook against a white door work well. Try to show the entire item and be prepared to provide close up pictures if requested. Closeup pictures are especially common if you are selling smocked items or if you disclose a flaw or stain.
Determine Your Sales Price
I would recommend searching around on the BST page for the same brand that you are planning to sell to get an idea of what prices sell for that type of item. For example, it is common to see smocked or boutique items sell for $20-30 or more used but a Carters item may only sell for $2 or $3 plus shipping.
List Your Item(s) For Sale
Find your group of choice, find the box that says “write something,” List a descriptive description of your item, size, disclose any flaws, list a condition (if you need the Lingo for conditions read this), choose a cost and upload a picture.
Send Your Invoice
After someone lists their paypal email address under your item in order to purchase it, you need to send them an invoice. Most groups require that you do it through paypal and this is currently your best bet to make sure both you and the buyer have good protection. Here are quick easy steps on how to create that invoice.
- Login to your Paypal account
- Choose Send & Request at the top of the page & then choose “More.” After clicking the “More” button you will see an option to Create an Invoice.
- Select the blue box to the right of the screen that says “+ Create.”
- Add the buyer’s email address in the bill to box. Add an item description in the Item section and the price that you sold it at in the price section. I always add details that I provided to the buyer here as well, especially if there is a flaw.
- Next you can list another item if needed.
- At the bottom, there is a section listed for shipping and discounts. If you offered a discount, you can list it here. I typically always sell my items “shipped” meaning shipping is included. However, if you are on a board that allows you to charge freight, you can add it in the shipping box.
- Review your total at the bottom to ensure it is correct.
- Send the Invoice.
Collect Your Money
Before shipping an item, always make sure that your invoice has been paid and that your money is in paypal. Once you receive payment, Paypal will give you the option to print a shipping label right from your paypal screen (no loading up screaming kids to go to the post office!). See how easy it was to make money selling on BST Facebook groups?
Package and Ship Your Sold Items
- Assemble your shipping items and sold items near your computer.
- Log in to Paypal. On the summary page, you will see a list of people that you have submitted invoices to. Choose the item that you want to ship and click on “Print Shipping Label” (shown above).
- Next, you will choose the carrier, service type and enter details about your package. If I am shipping in a polymailer , I always ship USPS. I also choose First Class Mail service if my package is under 13 oz. Your package type is package/thick envelope. Then use your kitchen scale to weigh your item(s). Enter your package weight & choose to Calculate shipping cost. If you are happy with the amount, just click Confirm & Pay to generate your shipping label.
- Your label will open into a new window & ask if you want to print. Print your label.
- Place your items in your polymailer, affix your label, and seal the bag.
- Get on the USPS website and schedule a pickup. It is free and only takes a second to schedule. Now you can put your package at your front door and you are done!
Why Is My Stuff Not Selling?
If you list things and they are not selling it could be for a few reasons.
- Are your pictures dark, blurry or hard to see? Think of this as buying anything else online. The buyer doesn’t want to see your cleaning supplies scattered on the counter or trash on the floor. Try to capture an image of just the item on a clean surface.
- Is your price too high? I can sell pretty much anything if the price is right. Remember most people want to buy at big discounts when they join BST pages. In order to make money by selling on BST Facebook groups, you need to price competitively with the market. You can research other items that are comparable and see what they are selling for at the time. I usually do at least 40-50% off retail which is why boutique clothes or brand names do better than Walmart or Carters clothes. It might not be worth your time to sell a $4 item that will cost 3.50 to ship and paypal fees but it is worth it to sell something that you can make $20 on. (You can even resale items you bought 2nd hand! Just make sure you disclose flaws and that you are 2nd owner).
- Advertising in the right group? If you have a Gap item, you may have better luck in a general resale group than if you post it in a Smocked Dresses group. If you have an upscale Smocked dress that you are trying to get a large amount for, you may have better luck selling it in the specific brand group where more people understand the value of the product and will be willing to pay a premium.
- What time are you posting? In particular the really large groups can be hard to get visibility. Post your items for sale when more people are likely to be active on the group. For example, 8 pm is probably better than 2 am when you are up feeding a baby.
- Do you have a good descriptive listing? The more descriptive that you can be, the better your search results will be. For example, 3T dress is only going to pull you up if someone searches for 3T or dress. However, if you list the item as 3T Stellybelly Crab dress and then add a further description in the body of the post that says “VGUC 3T Stellybelly Red Crab dress. Perfect for the beach this summer. Would look great for photos at the ocean.” you potentially capture a much greater audience. If someone searches 3T Beach, now you will be in the running for purchase.
Do you BST on Facebook?