AGED ten, Delphi Robertson is earning her keep. She helps mum Kerensa with her lucrative side hustle, selling pre-loved clothes.
Nothing is off limits as the pair flog everything from old maternity bras to second-hand socks and trainers.
And while posting up to 50 parcels a week is laborious, it has meant admin assistant Kerensa, 48, has raked in an extra £12,000 in her daughter’s lifetime.
Kerensa, who lives with her partner Matt, a 52-year-old builder, and Delphi, in Billericay, Essex, says: “I’m now addicted to flogging old stuff online and in doing so have paid for numerous treats including posh weekends in London, beach holidays and horse-riding lessons for Delphi.”
“Any other family can do the same by clearing out their unwanted household junk and spending just 30 minutes a day listing items on a range of apps and selling sites.
“Delphi and I are a well-oiled machine, turning clutter into cash.
“I used to throw out all the stuff but I realised that was, quite literally, money in the bin.
“As the cost of living rises, thanks to soaring energy bills and everyday items going up in price at the supermarket, I’m so glad I’ve got this extra income.”
Kerensa’s savvy selling started after Delphi was born when she would flog maternity clothes on eBay. She now sells on sites such as Vinted, Depop and Facebook Marketplace..
She says: “When my maternity leave finished I cut back to three days a week so I could spend more time with Delphi. But the drop in income hit me hard.
“I realised I wasn’t going to be able to afford days out and pay the bills. One day as I opened my wardrobe, it hit me. I had so many clothes I’d bought when I was pregnant that were hanging there barely used. Everything, even the maternity bras, was in great condition.”
Karensa listed everything on eBay and sold 50 items, making £350 in a week. “There was a blue Next maternity dress I’d bought for £40 and sold for £18, plus postage,” she says.
“Maternity tops I’d paid £25 for and sold for £14 and maternity bras which I bought for £15 and sold for £6. That made me laugh so I grabbed some other bras that no longer fitted and listed them as well. They too made cash.”
As Delphi got older, Kerensa would sell the clothes she outgrew.
“When Delphi was a baby, I would undress her to her nappy to feed her so she didn’t muck up her clothes,” says Kerensa.
“I put together bundles of baby grows and bibs and listed those. Her dresses and going-out outfits were in such pristine condition I got almost the same price I paid for them.
“Over the years, I’ve carried on dedicating time each week to photographing items we no longer need and uploading them — always having at least seven active items on the go.”
Kerensa has made some substantial profits. She flogged a pair of heels for £67, despite only paying £10 for them. And when the pandemic hit, she took her selling up a notch.
I realised I wasn’t going to afford days out and pay the bills. One day as I opened my wardrobe, it hit me. I had so many clothes I’d bought when I was pregnant that were hanging there barely used.
She says: “I was going through my cupboard during lockdown and realised I still had clothes ranging from sizes ten to my current 16.
“By the time I finished I’d listed 130 items, ranging from 99p to £5.
“Within two weeks my wardrobe cull had paid off and I had made £1,200.”
With business going so well, Kerensa enlisted Delphi to help her post and package, and also started selling off her partner’s wardrobe.
She says: “Matt has lost 4st through healthy eating and exercise so I sold more than 100 items that he was too thin to wear.
“I discovered his retro collections of Adidas and Levis were in high demand. I cleaned them and put them on apps like Vinted, which does not charge a seller’s fee.”
Kerensa has proved such an entrepreneur that her friends have asked her to sell their unwanted garments, and she’s started buying items purely to re-sell.
She says: “My mates were so impressed a number offered me 50 per cent of the profits if I sold their clothes.
“I made one friend, who has a designer wardrobe, £1,800 — and took half. I’ve also visited car and garage sales, buying things I knew I could sell on. I found a pair of Irregular Choice designer shoes for £10, which sold for £70.
“We’ve all benefited from my selling. We’ve got new clothes, Delphi had her riding lessons and we hired a beach hut.
“The key is to be determined and tenacious. Having a good reputation through positive feedback is key too.”
Top tips for selling online
HERE are some tips for selling your stuff online.
- Showcase the item in good light and on a plain background.
- Take photos of front, back and labels.
- Be honest about the condition.
- Combine postage and offer bundles.
- Shop around for cheaper postal services than Royal Mail.