The best time to capitalize on pageant resale – whether you’re buying or selling – is when pageant season is in full swing – that’s NOW spring and summer. So, in today’s episode, I’m gonna break down the best way to re-sell your used pageant wardrobe so you can sell it fast and for a fair price without having to basically give it away – although, I have a note for you about that too. We’ll cover knowing your customer, how to showcase it best, how to price your item, and how to ship it with grace.
Know Your Customer
Let’s start with the end in mind: your customer. This is the person who will ultimately end up buying your used wardrobe. Most of the women that are buying resale items are competing in local or state pageants. It’s rare that you’ll get a future Miss USA or Mrs. America buying a used gown, though that has happened. Buyers are rarely in their in-it-to-win-it year, but they are very concerned about exact color, fit, and shipping costs. It is vital to be absolutely clear in your posting so that you have happy customers. It’s also important to speak their language. You’re not gonna sell a gown to a pageant woman that says, “It didn’t score well, so I’m selling it.” Trust me. No one will buy it. Instead, be honest, but leave the story of the gown out of the equation.
Most sites will require you to upload pictures of your wardrobe and a description. I recommend using photos you take yourself rather than the ones from the designer’s website. Of course, you want them to be great pictures still, but you don’t want them to seem too-good-to-be-true or people won’t trust you. If you have images of the dress on stage – even better! Plus, it helps to see a real human in the dress so the buyer can estimate size. In the description, include details of size, color, and any blemishes – even small ones. If some of the beading is undone on the backside, mention it and upload a specific picture.
Pricing should start at 50% of the purchase price. This is because, the dress is likely at least a season old, plus it has been worn and maybe even altered. If nothing else is different (no stains, no missing beads, no odd custom dimensions), then 50% is perfect. If there are other issues with the dress, consider taking off additional dollar amounts based on what the customer will need to do to fix the gown.
As a side note:
Let me just tell you that if you own a gown that you bought for $100 or less, instead of trying to resell the gown for $50, just give it to someone close to you that could benefit from it. I’ve given out countless cocktail dresses and prom gowns to pageant girls just getting started in their pageant career – these have gone a long way! My clients can attest to getting a text from me saying “Would you wear this if I sent it to you?” I love seeing their pictures on social media in my wardrobe with a little winky face saying “Thanks Alycia” it makes me feel good to sow into their pageant career. As you know, pageant women always need gowns for appearances and it is such a treasure when someone you know gives you a dress! So, don’t be the girl that nickels and dimes people. Be generous.
Once you have a buyer, be sure the dress is freshly cleaned and ship it immediately. (You know how pageant girls wait until the last minute to get a gown, and then track it every half hour until it arrives, so they’ll appreciate your haste). Finally, package your product like your sending a fine wine to the Queen of England. I wrap gowns I send in tissue paper and put them in a priority box with the buyers name clearly handwritten with love and enclose a sweet note letting them know the dress was good to me and that I know it will be good to them, too. A great buying experience goes a long way.
In episode 51, I’ll cover where you can buy or sell your pageant wardrobe. There are some pretty great places, but you have to be a smart seller and wise buyer so you don’t get trapped in a bad deal. I want you to have the best wardrobe and be able to pay to forward to other pageant sisters.
Cuz, that, ladies is how you win a pageant.
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