Ebay selling strategies for men's suits?
August 21, 2012 7:43 AM   Subscribe

What is the "best" way to dispose of a closet full of men's suits and shirts?

I have a dozen men's suits and about three dozen men's dress shirts, plus some assorted dress pants and ties. All fit the same guy.

Some of the suits are in great shape, others have a bit of wear on them. Almost all of the suits are Hickey-Freeman suits, and almost all have had minor tailoring. The shirts are all department store purchases with no tailoring.

Is listing only the ones in good shape, one-by-one on ebay the way to go? Or will I extract more value by bundling them together?

There are some pieces like a tuxedo and a few like-new suits which I'm inclined to list individually, but I'm not sure if bundling those good items in a big batch with the other items will result in better end-results.

I've listed and sold electronics and camera equipment on ebay, but not in the past 5 years. I've bought clothing on ebay and understand that this is a bit of a time investment, but I think I have a willing partner and a kid to help out on some of the legwork.

Alternative to ebay is a massive charity donation, I think. But I'm open to other alternatives.
posted by QuantumMeruit to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Anything with obvious wear, I think you should donate to charity. The price you will get for obviously used clothes is minimal, but might be well appreciated by a charity. (Though naturally, be careful of which charity you give them to -- some charities simply resell clothing and use the monies for whatever, rather than actually giving the clothes to people who might need them. Investigate to make sure you're happy with what they're going to do).
posted by modernnomad at 7:46 AM on August 21, 2012

There are charities that are hooking up men (and women) with professional-looking clothes for job interviews and suchlike. If the stuff is in good shape for that sort of thing, you might hunt around for one of those organizations rather than just dropping the stuff off at Goodwill. Here's one such group.
posted by jquinby at 7:46 AM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]

Have you considered selling them via a high-end consignment shop?

A charity donation of the clothes themselves, IMHO, will not do the most good for the most people. Considering the quality of the suits, the donations would go a lot further by selling them and donating the money.
posted by deanc at 7:47 AM on August 21, 2012

(ack, that group is women's clothes only. that's the sort of place I have in mind, though)
posted by jquinby at 7:48 AM on August 21, 2012

If it was me, I'd try the following routes:

- As an entire lot on Craigslist. If no bites:

- Piecemeal on ebay, starting with the most valuable pieces first. Include in the description that local pick up is encouraged and that there are many other pieces in the same size that could be tried on at pickup.

At the auction end, email the winner saying that you also have additional pieces for sale. If shipped, offer to include extra pieces for additional $ but no increase in shipping cost. If no bite from the auction winner, email the other bidders on the auction. If no bites from them, list the next most valuable piece and then repeat the entire process.
posted by de void at 7:51 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

A lot of people who know what they're looking for in men's clothing search eBay on the reg (see here and here) . I bet your Hickey Freeman stuff gets its highest value that way. Definitely list separately and put some work into taking nice pictures and measurements (here's an example).
posted by mullacc at 8:02 AM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

Selling each item individually is usually the way to go for anything. Unless some of the items are useless on their own. Packing suits for shipping sounds like a pain though. I would consider whether you want to do that or not. Selling at a consignment shop would be a lot less work (but less profitable).
posted by scose at 8:18 AM on August 21, 2012

My understanding is that consignment shops in the DC area are a bit low on men's clothing, and as a result their standards are slightly lower. Like scose said, a lot less work than ebay, though possibly/probably less profitable than selling things piecemeal on ebay or whatever.
posted by inigo2 at 8:21 AM on August 21, 2012

If you're considering the massive charity donation, I know that in my area Goodwill is doing merchandising to move the high end stuff to higher end customers, including the "Georgi and Willow" branded thrift store in San Anselmo. So it's not unreasonable that Goodwill can do a better job of turning that clothing into cash that helps them provide services than you can.
posted by straw at 8:22 AM on August 21, 2012

To get an idea about how much the suits might be worth, I would check the Men's Clothing Classifieds at StyleForum and perhaps even consider selling them there.
posted by deanc at 8:27 AM on August 21, 2012

Agree with mullac re: Put This On, and with de void's strategy.
posted by mrs. taters at 8:29 AM on August 21, 2012

Packing suits for shipping sounds like a pain though.

If you are anywhere near a restaurant supply shop, buying a stack of rectangular boxes used by 2-for-1 pizzerias might be an easy-ish way to ship suits. Fold loosely with a little clean newsprint, bag, pizza box.
posted by kmennie at 8:36 AM on August 21, 2012

Anything that doesn't sell, I would contact a local high school to see if they know of a way to donate the suits to kids who might need them for graduation or interviews. I would also second those organizations that provide interview suits to adults.
posted by vignettist at 12:26 PM on August 21, 2012

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