Guides to buying bulk clothing lots

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Hi All,

I have sold many bulk lots on ebay and have fortunately had many happy buyers. I have also purchased several bulk lots on ebay, and while most met my expectations, there were some that didn't quite make the grade. Unfortunately, I got caught up in the brand names and the quantity without fully reading into the description and without asking the seller a few questions.

Here are some guides which I thought might be helpful when considering spending a significant amount on money on a clothing bulk lot:

1) How many items are in the bulk lot and of that how many are New With Tag (NWT), New without tag (NWOT) and used ? Often you may find a seller has listed a bulk lot and stated "Many new". Well, say the bulk lot is 100 pieces, the seller's perspective of many could be 20, so does that mean you will receive 20 new with tag or 20 new without tag, as new with tag items generally fetch a higher selling price. Also, that could possibly mean that if the seller is saying many, then how many are used.

2) Of the new and used items, how many have faults ? Yes sometimes new items can have faults, e.g: shop soiling. The used items usually will have faults and if so, how bad are the faults. You really don't want to spend say $400 on a 100 piece bulk lot and find that out of that there are 20 good items and the rest would be considered as cleaning rags.

3) Communicate with the seller: Ask them for a complete itemised list of the clothing including brands, amount with tags, sizes, faults etc. This could save a lot of heartache in the future and should give you a better idea on what is on offer. If the seller refuses to give an itemsised list for whatever reason, then perhaps think twice about spending your hard earned cash.

4) Ask the seller the post amount to your postcode. Bulk lots depending on the quantity can be very heavy and depending on the distance they have to go, can be quite expenseive to send. The postage costs have to be factored into the final price so you know whether or not it is worth the amount.

5) Visual: If the seller has only included a few photos, you can bet they are of the best items in the bulk lot. Ask the seller to provide some more photos, and if possible of every piece on offer (they could put several items in one photo to give an indication of the items on offer). Once again, if the seller refuses, think twice about placing a bid.

6) Check the seller's feeback: What is their score, are you comfortable spending a great amount with a seller who has a feedback score of 1 or a percentage of 85 ? I know I wouldn't be. Unfortunately it takes time to build a good reputation, but that is what I look for when I consider buying from anyone on ebay.

7) If the seller has mentioned brand names :e.g: Fred Bare, Osh Kosh, Pumpkin Patch etc, how many of those are actually in the bulk lot and are they new or used ? Some sellers can mentioned "Fred Bare" in the title but will only include 1 used scruffy item of Fred Bare. The fact that this brand is in the title will gain a lot of interest, but if you knew it was 1 used item in poor condition, you wouldn't look twice.

8) And last but not least, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is, so be careful. Money doesn't come easy, bulk lots are specifically designed to make money for the buyer, but sometimes they just aren't worth the amount some people are willing to pay.

The best advice I can give, is ask as many questions as you can, get as many photos as you can, gain as much information as you can, sit back and think about how much you want to spend and how much you think the lot is worth and don't go above that amount.

Best of luck and happy bidding !!

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