Defining a Niche in Reselling

Defining a Niche in Reselling

Even if you're new to the game, you may have already heard that an important step in reselling clothing is to determine your niche. This generally means identify the types of items you want to focus on, such as vintage dishware, designer brands, or athleisure clothing. But it can also mean specializing in an age group (50+), a size (plus-sized clothing), an aesthetic (southern preppy), a gender (menswear), or a an lifestyle (outdoor wear, gear, and environmentally-friendly travel products, for example).

By selecting a niche, you can develop expertise and stand out in a specific market, attracting like-minded buyers and making bundled sales. But what do you pick, and how do you know you're on the right track?

Here's a quick start guide to narrowing your focus and widening your reach with a niche:

Start with What You Know

If you're already a sneaker head or a Lululemon afficionado, you'll already have a good sense of styles, brand history, and current trends. That's a great place to start! The same applies to a knowledge of and appreciate of vintage clothes, luxury fabrics, or technical clothes and gear.

Sell What's Available

Consider what's available at thrift or consignment stores in your area: live in Hawaii? There's a good chance you'll have access to some terrific surfing and swimwear brands. Snowy areas likely have better quality sweaters and ski gear in abundance; cosmopolitan hot spots may have higher concentrations of designer brands or flashy going-out wear. It's a good idea to find a niche that marries your personal interests with what it's possible to actually get your hands on.

Check Out the Market... and the Competition

A good knowledge of trends, popular pieces, in-demand brands, and low-supply items or categories will help ensure your success. Conduct a few general searches for sold items in your chosen category (like "Lululemon Pants") and sort by their sell price to get a sense of what's going for more money. Then take a look at the available results and note any gluts of certain sizes, colors, styles, etc. You may find that size 10 full length yoga pants are a great find--but space dye purple capri pants in size 0 are best left behind.

Know Your Customer

Who's buying from you? Why are they buying from you? What's their age, size, and what's their lifestyle like?

Having a sense of this will help guide your communication and marketing strategies, and may help you discover new categories to sell in. A closet speciallizing in Lagenlook pieces (comfy, relaxed-fit natural fiber clothing) may also want to stock comfort sandals like Birkenstocks or Tevas, for example. A seller with a closet full of formal dresses, on the other hand, may also want to include jewelry or evening bags and use wedding-related keywords.

Test and Refine

Start with a small inventory of items within your niche and test their viability in the market. Pay attention to which items sell quickly and what you make the best profit margins on. Use this information to refine your niche and make adjustments as you learn more about your target market.

Specialize and Sub-niche

Consider specializing further within your chosen niche by focusing on a specific segment. For example, if you are interested in vintage apparel, you could specialize in 90s clothing or vintage band t-shirts. This will help you narrow your focus and attract a more dedicated audience.

Just Say  "No"

Defining your niche is a crucial step in clothing reselling. It helps you focus your efforts, attract the right buyers, and stand out in the market. It can also make "upselling" (ie. bundling) more frequent, and boost repeat sales. Lastly, it reduces risk and conserves your resources: your knowledge in the area you're selling in means fewer "oops" buys, more predictable sales flows, and less overwhelm while sourcing.

But one downside? It takes discipline to say "no" to items outside of your area of expertise that you have a hunch might have resale value.

But as with most things in life, letting go of the not such-a-great-fit-stuff only clears room for more YES PLEASE opportunities. So make room, and niche down!

Love and magic,