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How to Price Your Items for Resale

how to price items for resale

Why Your Pricing Strategy Matters

As a reseller, determining how to price your items for resale comes with a learning curve, and sometimes pricing effectively requires some perceptive intuition. Pricing is also critical to your sales, revenue, and profit. If you price your items too high, they may not sell. Newly listed items have a greater chance of selling compared to listings that have been sitting for months, unsold. If something sits too long, buyers may begin to think something is wrong with it, and even consignment sites like The Real Real, price recent and current season’s (within the last 1-2 years) higher than something from a collection from several years ago.

On the flip side, if you price too low you might end up taking a loss, and you could definitely be short-changing yourself and eating into your profit. So how do you find a balance? We will teach you how to create a consistent pricing strategy, using a process that is fair, makes sense, and takes some of the guesswork out of the way.

A solid pricing strategy is absolutely key to running a successful resale business. Click through the blue slides below to learn more about the various approaches to pricing. This should help you learn how to price your items for resale with confidence, and should give you peace of mind that you’ll be following a consistent approach, backed by data.

How to Price Your Items for Resale

1. Check Sold Comps.

Check Sold Comps (Comparable Sold Listings). Ideally, you’ll be able to search sold listings for the exact item you’re going to sell, on the same platform you’re going to sell it on.

Try to find sold items that are the same style, same color, same size, and same condition (NWT, Used, etc).

If you can’t find any or enough comps for the same item, start by adding all sizes, search for all colors, and if all else fails search for something very similar (same brand, same age, similar style). If that also doesn’t work, then you should also search other resale platforms, even if you have no intention of selling on them, for past sold items that are identical or similar to yours. Comps are the best pricing guide you can get – they’re based on actual market demand, and show you what real-life buyers have been willing to pay for an item just like yours (or close to it).

When researching sold listings, write down the average sold price. This doesn’t have to be exact, and you don’t have to break out the calculator or spreadsheet, but you should be able to get a feel for what most items have sold for, on average. You should also record the highest sold price and the lowest sold price.

Most resale apps allow you to search past sold listings.

  • Poshmark allows this (you just do a normal search and then change the “available” filter to “sold.”
  • eBay has one of the largest volumes of sold items in the world. You can easily search the past 90 days of data on the app.
  • StockX makes it really easy to see “the market data” of all the items that they allow for sale.

2. Search Current Listings

Sold pricing is the most important pricing factor, however, it’s also important to check current listings, especially on the platform that you’re selling on. Why does this matter? Because this is your competition.

When researching, write down the average price, the highest price, and the lowest price. The highest and lowest priced current listings are the ones you should really focus on, as well as the number of listings.

If you want to sell quickly, you’ll want to be priced no higher than the 3rd lowest. If there are only 1-2 other listings, feel free to price higher than the rest, especially if you’re willing to wait for the others to sell first.

Make sure you look at the condition too, because the current listings may not be true comps if your item is newer, or in better condition.

In any case, having the data from current listings, armed with the “sold info” should help narrow down the acceptable range for how you should price your item. Now let’s look at a 3rd pricing strategy…

3. Retail Price

For this approach, you’ll be looking for the original MSRP of your item – not the discounted price, not the wholesale price, and not the price that you personally paid, but the actual original retail selling price of the item. You should be able to find this on the hangtag, and if you don’t have the tag, you should be able to find it by doing a quick internet search. Even if it sold out ages ago, you can usually find the original selling price somewhere. If that fails you can estimate the retail price by going to the brand’s website and looking for the most similar item.

We’re going to use a % of the retail price in order to calculate our suggested selling price. Remember this isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it can really help you choose a realistic selling price.

If your item is New With Tags (NWT) you’ll use a resale price that is 50-60% of retail. If your item is New Without Tags (NWOT) use 50%-40%, and if it’s Used you should use between 40-20% (with 40% being barely used, and 20% being gently used). Anything beyond “gently used” you may want to consider donating (you could also sell it on a platform like ThredUp.

  • NWT: Retail Price x .60 = Resale Price @ 60%
  • NWOT: Retail Price X .40 = Resale Price @ 40%
  • USED: Retail Price x .30 = Resale Price @ 30%

With the addition of this data, you should now have three distinct pricing points: Sold Comps, Current Listings, and % of Retail, and you can use all three to help guide your ultimate pricing decision. Of course, if you couldn’t find any comps or current listings then you can just go off the retail price calculations. Now, read on to see what factors may influence us to increase or decrease our final price before we list our item…

4. Increase Price

Now that you have all three versions of the pricing strategy, you should be able to come up with a solid price for your item that you feel comfortable with, is realistic, aligns with market demand, gives your item a chance to sell, but will maximize your profit. Now before you go any further remember please remember the following:

You should always add 10-15% to your price to account for offers, offers-to-likers, and CCO (in the case of Poshmark) as well as step-downs, price decreases, or discounts (in the case of other resale platforms like Grailed, Mercari, and so on).

Now, before you rush to post that listing, there are a few more factors that should prompt you to increase your price from this point.

Increase your price by 5-10% further if your item is in-season, on-trend, and in-demand. If your item is rare and hyped (like a limited edition collab piece, deadstock collector’s item) then you can increase it well beyond 5-10%. Certain sneakers and sold-out hyped luxury items sell for much more than original retail. They can take a bit longer to sell, but the right buyer, who understands the true value of a hyped piece, will pay top dollar.

5. Decrease Price

There is one final review you should do before listing: inspect your item for flaws. If there are flaws or imperfections, such as pilling, holes, stains, rips, discoloration, fading, snags, loose threads, loose or missing buttons, or something else, you should assess and document, and disclose it clearly in your listing with photos and text (no matter how trivial or insignificant it may seem to you). Next, adjust your price down to compensate for the flaws. Similarly, if your item has excessive wear (beyond a “gently used” condition) you should also decrease your price.

We recommend decreasing your price for flaws or wear by 5-30%.  Of course,  if it’s a flaw or “wear” that can be easily repaired, then 5% should do, but if there are permanent and/or noticeable flaws that cannot be fixed, then you should decrease your price by up to 30%.

Fixable:

  • A stain that most likely can be removed with dry cleaning or special stain treatment.
  • A loose button that can be sewn back on.
  • PIlling from wear or storage that can be “sweater-shaved” away.
  • If it can be glued back on, polished, cleaned, cut, sewn then it’s probably fixable.

Not Fixable:

A large hole, faded colors, bleach stains, missing parts, shredded heels, deteriorated leather, are probably not fixable (especially without significant expense).

Download and Share “How to Price Your Items for Resale” Infographic

You can download the pricing infographic  below. Please feel free to share it! The image is perfectly square so you can easily upload it to your closet or to social media!

Let us know in the comments if you have any helpful advice on pricing, or if you have any questions.

PS: Our Resell Genius “Genius Kit” includes hand-picked items that will help you run your reselling business, all sourced at incredible prices. 

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