How to Almost Sell a Dress on Ebay

1. Buy lots of nice clothes and never wear them so that they are in perfect condition, practically.

2. Clean out your closet with a hard rule that anything you haven’t worn in a full year has to go.

3. End up with a large bag of dresses that someone would probably pay for.

4. But who?

5. Someone in Ohio, maybe.

6. But how … EBAY.

7. Pick one dress to test on Ebay to see if it’s worth the time/effort and if people actually buy used dresses on the internet from strangers with new ebay accounts.

8. Pick a pretty purple frock, tags on.

9. Take a pretty picture. Write a nice description. You’re good at this.

10. Post it and wait.

11. Sold! $12! To Cathy in Ohio. Thanks Cathy in Ohio.

12. Box up dress. Wrap in tissue paper because aren’t you cute. Take to post office. Mail to Cathy in Ohio, go online and mark as shipped to Cathy in Ohio.

13. Get message from Cathy in Ohio. “Did you send it to my address in Wisconsin?”

14. Write back to Cathy Ohio: “No I sent it to your address in Ohio, you know, the one on your profile.

15. Cathy in Ohio writes back, “Oh that’s wrong. You need to send it to Wisconsin. I live in Wisconsin”

16. Write back to Cathy in Wisconsin Nee Ohio, “When the dress gets returned, I will forward it to your new address.”

17. To Molly From Cathy: Has the dress arrived yet?

18. To Cathy From Molly: No, I will let you know when it has reshipped.

19. To Molly From Cathy: Has the dress arrived yet?

20. To Cathy From Molly: No, I will let you know when it has reshipped.

21. To Molly From Cathy: Has the dress arrived yet?

22. ~ignores~

23. To Molly From Cathy: Has the dress arrived yet?

24. ~ignores~

25. To Molly From Ebay: User Cathy in Ohio has filed a complaint against you and also taken back her money.

26. To Ebay From Molly: But user Cathy in Ohio gave me the wrong address and I told her I would let her know when it reshipped. Also she owes me $5 for shipping.

27. To Molly From Ebay: You can file a separate complaint. To clear the complaint on your account please do all of these things that we are going to write about now and you are going to stop reading because you were just trying to sell one dress and this is ridiculous, how many hours have you spent on this, how many?

28. Dress comes back in mail.

29. Put dress and in bag with other dresses, take to Goodwill.


Molly Lorz lives in New York.


27 Comments / Post A Comment

bgprincipessa (#699)

But who is Megan.

And Cathy is terrible. This is why we should avoid other people at all costs. Who are these people that do these things.

lizard (#2,615)

@bgprincipessa why is cathy terrible? she made a mistake with the address but then just wanted her dress she paid for.

OllyOlly (#669)

@lizard Because instead of being patient since she made the error, she filed a complaint and took the money back from the seller, after the seller had gone through the trouble of shipping the item.

jquick (#3,730)

@lizard Becuz she moved and didn’t update her address when she bought something.

lizard (#2,615)

@OllyOlly the seller didnt update her about the status tho. she might have been tight with money and needed the dress for a certain occasion.

Allison (#4,509)

@lizard if that was the case, I would’ve told the seller that, and offered to pay for expedited shipping once it was re-sendable. It was the buyer’s error, not the seller’s.

Faintly Macabre (#1,043)

@OllyOlly Agreed. I did this once. In my case, I realized as soon as I hit pay and immediately changed my address and messaged the seller. I assume that they were too high-volume to notice. I think I eventually went to my old address and got the thing in person, since I knew the residents. I think I dinged the seller a tiny bit in my feedback, but I still considered it my fault and would never have asked for my money back.

OllyOlly (#669)

Someone recently bought a 60 year old record from my boyfriend for $1.00, and then complained that the cover was ripped at the bottom when it arrived and there was a scratch on the disk. He had to refund him the $1.00 and eat the shipping costs.

jquick (#3,730)

@OllyOlly Wow. You “win”.

lizard (#2,615)

i am currently getting screwed over by an etsy seller. never again

Marge (#4,715)

I sell on Ebay a lot actually. The key is to be very clear in the description. If a listing for say a record mentions that there is a tear in the sleeve, then the buyer can’t file an ‘item not as described’ claim. Ebay listings are caveat emptor, but the buyer and seller have rights within that. I only accept Paypal, and only ship to the address listed on the Paypal transaction. If someone wants it to go to a separate address, it’s on them to make sure to put that information on the right place.

Bahh I have a bunch of clothes (including some nice dresses) I really want to sell but I’ve been doing enough ebaying to know it’s gonna be such a hassle. But I really could use the money and the closet space. A friend of mine has had good success with Tradesy, but they take 10%! Eesh.

@polka dots vs stripes eBay takes 10% too. PayPal (which is owned by eBay!!) also takes a cut of like 2-3%.

EM (#1,012)

@polka dots vs stripes You could go to a consignment store? You probably wouldn’t get as much money for them but it would be less of a hassle, plus some just do store credit so you can turn your old clothes into new clothes, presto magic!

ladybug (#2,583)

I just bought clothes on Twice ( and while I haven’t sold them anything because I hate all my old clothes and need to buy other people’s cute clothes for cheap, it sounds like you’re in a great position to sell to them! You avoid Cathy, and Ohio and Wisconsin! Win Win Win.

ghechr (#596)

@ladybug HOLY CRAP liketwice is awesome! Thanks for the heads up.

@ladybug This looks fantastic! I am totally cleaning out my closet this weekend and sending in a bag of stuff. (PS, it looks like they give money for referrals. If you feel comfortable posting a code or a burner email or whatever, I am totally happy to let you have free money…. assuming, of course, I follow through!)

happygirlie (#4,820)

And this is partly why I hate eBay – too many buyers are impatient jerks. The other parts are that their fees are freaking ridiculous and their feedback system is messed up (a single 4 star instead of a 5 star can remove top rated seller status).

For future reference, if you have women’s or children’s clothes, I suggest sending them to Thredup (referral link: I sent in a bag of gently used plus size clothes and got $100. There are other sites too like ladybug mentioned I don’t mind that I “make” less because it takes me such a small amount of time compared to selling on eBay and I don’t have to deal with crappy buyers.

rosinator (#3,926)

@happygirlie Woah Thredup looks amazing!

thebeams (#2,966)

@happygirlie ah this is amazing!

thebeams (#2,966)

@thebeams oops I purchased w/o using your link but I emailed to ask if they’d apply it anyway. I hope it works!

cmcm (#267)

Someone once bought a dress from me for £1 and then got angry that I delivered it in person (since they lived walking distance from me) and I didn’t refund the shipping. Then she wanted to return the £1 dress because “it looked like it had been hanging in a closet for a long time”. I was like, HERE HAVE YOUR £1 BACK AND KEEP THE DRESS, THIS IS NOT WORTH MY TIME AND EFFORT.

lizaboots (#4,834)

@cmcm “It looks like it has just been in the closet, not being worn at all. I was hoping for pit stains or at least some fraying. Come on.”

sevanetta (#4,280)

Oh my god, this is me. My (bridesmaid) dress was even purple. Except, nobody bought it. I can’t believe I paid $330 for this dress and I can’t sell it, I tried so hard with the photos and the description! Thanks for the suggestions of other sites, I’ll try those!

bluewindgirl (#1,036)

Oh no, I have been the etsy villain (unintentionally)! I sold a tiny needlecraft to a guy in England, who must have had some very specific story behind his purchase of a felted shrew. Shrew was lost in the mail, which was terrible because I could not get any money for that thing, having foregone insanely pricey international shipping insurance. I made him a second, free shrew (hmph), but all told it took him like four months to get the first thing he ever bought off etsy. :(

spottedwren (#4,437)

Ebay is the worst. I tried to sell some nice stuff on there. Then the packaging I had to buy to get it to the buyers left me with maybe a one dollar profit, and then ebay charged me. Ugh.

lizaboots (#4,834)

I had to take a screen capture of my Paypal account to show this woman I refunded her.

Comments are closed!