How to Measure Clothing to Resell Online

Should I resell clothing?

Clothing is abundant, profitable, cheap to buy, has potentially high profits, and is easy to store- it’s a great thing to resell. It’s also easy and (usually) cheap to ship because most clothing is less than 1 pound so you can use First Class Mail which is ~$5.50 at most, even if you’re mailing the package across the country.

You don’t need to include measurement for your clothing listings, but if you don’t then customers are going to ask you a lot of questions about specific measurements. I’d rather take the extra few minutes to measure each piece and not have to go back and measure dozens of things when people want numbers.

There are two big pitfalls to selling clothing. The first is that it can take a long time to list, but this article will help you out. The second is that it can be confusing to know what to include in your description.

It’s ok to have really short descriptions. But you need to include all the important information in the description:

Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 4.29.09 PMScreen Shot 2019-03-14 at 4.29.03 PMPeople are buying your clothing online, so they aren’t able to try them on before hand. Including the measurements in your listings will save you a lot of time: you won’t have to answer questions, and your returns will be lower because people will have more information to know if the piece of clothing will fit them.

Thankfully measuring clothing is quick and easy. I sell thousands of dollars worth of used clothing on eBay each month. This is how I measure things.

How to Measure

The only things you need to list is pencil and paper (I use a basic notebook), and a measuring tape. I like to use a seamstress measuring tape, but some people just used a regular tape measure. Either works.

As you’d guess, shirts and tops have different measurements than shorts and pants. Here’s how to measure tops.

Tops (T shirts, long sleeve shirts, sweaters, jackets, fleeces, etc.)

Here’s a basic picture of the few measurements you want to take for tops for both men and women’s shirts, tops, and sweaters (I’m American so I use inches):


Just like in my poorly drawn picture, you need to lay the piece of clothing out flat to measure it so your measurements will be accurate.

For T shirts I only include the first two measurements (the pit to pit and the length). I don’t bother measuring the sleeve length or the shoulder width for t shirts.

  • Pit to Pit measurement: The length from one armpit seam to the other measured across the chest.
  • Length: The length from the top of the collar to the bottom of the shirt. Taken from the back of the shirt.
  • Sleeve length: Length from shoulder seam to the end of the wrist cuff.
  • Shoulder width: Measure from one shoulder to seam to the other shoulder seam. Taken from the back.

Here’s how to measure bottoms.

Bottoms (Pants, shorts, suit pants, etc.)

Jeans, pants and shorts are great things to sell. Here are 2 pairs that’ve sold for me in the past 24 hours:

Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 4.31.22 PMScreen-Shot-2019-03-14-at-4.32.03-PM.png

Did you notice that in both the pants and bathing suit I have a close-up of the brand tag as the main picture?

Pants usually have measurements (Waist Size x Inseam) on the tag , but sometimes the actual measurements are different than the tag size, so it’s important to still measure the pants or shorts.

Here are the measurements I use for bottoms:


  • Waist: This is the measurement from one end of the waist to the other. Then double it to get the total waist measurement. Pants naturally dip when you’re trying to measure them, and that’s expected.
  • Rise: Measurement from crotch seam to top of waist (above the button).
  • Inseam: Measurement from crotch seam to end of ankle (inner leg of pants)
  • Outseam: Measured from top of waist to end of ankle seam (outer leg of pants)

For shorts I take all the same measurements as pants.

P.S: for women’s clothing I also include the hip measurement which is the measure of the width from hip to hip measured directly under the front zipper.

P.SS: Listing suits is a bit different and more time consuming, so it needs its own post.


Clothing is just one thing to sell on eBay. As you know by now, there are a ton of other great categories like eyewear, printer ink, camera lenses, electronics, games and toys, tools, video-games and car parts.

Some people might be hesitant to sell clothing, but by knowing a few brands that sell quickly, how to measure it, how to list clothing quickly, and how to store and ship it easily, than you’re on your way to creating a used clothing reselling hustle. Or even a full-time income.


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