An often skipped step in resale is measuring, but it’s one of the most important if you want to build a bustling resale business. Many pass on it because it’s time consuming, they don’t know how, or they don’t think it’s that important. If your goal is to sell items quickly and reduce your return rate, include measurements as much as you can. In this article we’ll go over how to measure clothes for Mercari. If efficiency and technology are your thing, towards the bottom we’ll talk about a clothes measuring app that can measure an entire garment using a single photo.
Measuring Is The Second Most Important Step
Taking great photos is the most important step in becoming a great fashion reseller. You’ve heard a photo is worth 1,000 words. It’s true. You wouldn’t buy a garment online that only had a written description and no photos.
Including measurements is the second most important step in fashion resale. Why is this so? It has to do with humans and how the fashion industry has evolved over the years.
You’ve probably noticed us humans aren’t getting any smaller. Here in the US we have an obesity epidemic and clothing companies are adapting at a rapid pace. They’re not only adapting in how large they’re making clothes, but also in the size they show on the tag. This is forcing those in resale to be smarter about listings.
So what exactly is happening? Years ago industry experts coined the phrase vanity sizing. This is the idea brands will continue to make a pant the same waist dimension it has always been, but they’ll size it smaller. For example, 15 years ago a pant that measured 32 inches in the waist was labeled a size 32. Today the same 32 inch waist will be labeled a 30 or 28.
This is done for one reason and one reason only, to make those who are buying it feel better. So if you’re selling clothing from varied decades and brands, you should include more than just the tag size. Now on to measuring.
The Tools You’ll Need
The tools used to produce apparel and perform quality checks haven’t changed much in the last 75 years. Take a walk through the design house at Levi Strauss and you’ll see designers walking the campus with an important tool draped around their necks. The measuring tape.
Sometimes the simplest tools are the most effective. The measure tape used in fashion has the benefit of being both flexible and inexpensive. You’ll find a plethora on Amazon or at your local craft or fabric store.
If you’re new to apparel resale, be sure to check out our full length article – The Ultimate Guide To Reselling
How To Measure For Mercari
Don’t stress, measuring garments for the purpose of reselling is easy. Below we’ll walk you through the three or four most important measurements for each type of garment. The measurements we focus on are the ones deemed most important with regard to fitting a garment to the human body.
We’ll also share optional measurements to include in your listing. These are measurements that, depending on what you’re selling and who your buyers are, you may or may not considering including.
Measure In An Appropriate Area
Measure like the pros do. This means you’ll want to measure your garments on a flat surface, such as a table or desk. Do not measure on your bed as this will have a tendency to throw your measurements off a bit. Accuracy is important.
This section includes instructions for how to measure pants/trousers/jeans, shorts and skirts.
How To Measure The Waist
In the fashion industry, waist measurements are accomplished using a few different methods. Though they all reach the same end goal. For the purpose of how to measure clothes for Mercari, we’re going to focus on measuring techniques that are the easiest to follow and the quickest to perform.
Measuring the waist on jeans, trousers, leathers, skirts and shorts can all be performed the same way:
- Lie the garment flat on your table
- Line up the front and back waist as evenly as you can and press it flat
- Take your tape measure and starting at either the right or left side, measure from edge to edge across the waist
- Double this measurement (17 inches should be shown as 34)
How To Measure Inseam
Measuring the inseam is one many folks with get wrong. Most don’t know where to start this measurement from, but it’s actually really easy.
- Place your trousers sideways in front of you
- Splay one of the legs open so you can see the crotch seam (the seam where multiple pieces of fabric are sewn together between the legs)
- Place your measure tape at the seam, and measure down to the bottom of the leg opening
- Follow the contour of the leg
How To Measure The Hip/Seat
If it’s your first time learning how to measure clothes for Mercari, you’ll want to be sure to include the hip measurement. This is also sometimes referred to as the seat measurement. It’s one of those measurements that is subjective because there is no truly defined starting point. Read on to learn what we mean.
- Start with your trousers, skirt or shorts lying flat in front of you
- Located the widest part of the hip area (here’s the subjective part)
- Measure from edge to edge straight across the garment
- Double this measurement
Optional Measurements For Mercari
The more detailed you can be with your listings, the more buyers you’ll appeal to. We sometimes associate a higher level of detail with higher end items. The truth is some resellers just don’t have the time to be super detailed. That’s ok. The following are two measurements you can add to listings for more discerning buyers.
Measuring The Rise
A rise measurement will let buyers know how high or low a garment will sit at their waist. This is especially important for those at either end of the height scale.
- Locate the crotch seam
- Measure from here up to the top of the front waist band
Measuring The Thigh (when selling form fitting garments)
People come in many shapes and sizes. Including a thigh measurement, especially on form fitting garments, will let buyers know if they’ll have issues moving or sitting while wearing your pants.
- Locate an area 3-7 inches (3.5-18cm) down the leg from the crotch seam
- Measure straight across, edge to edge, following the contour of the leg opening
- Double the measurement
How To Measure Tops For Mercari
In this section we’ll include pro tips for how to measure any type of blouse, tank, tee, dress or dress shirt.
How To Measure Chest/Bust
The bust is by far the most important measurement with regard to measuring a top. You’ll need to be sure to located the underarm seam to accurately measure the bust. This is where the sleeve is sewn to the body of the garment. Or in other words, where your armpit goes.
- Locate the under arm seam on both sides of garment
- Place your tape at one underarm seam, measure straight across to the other
- Double this measurement
How To Measure Overall Length
Measuring the overall length is helpful to buyers because it will tell them where the garment will sit near their waist. Will it be above, below, or closer to mid thigh.
- Locate the highest point of the shoulder where it meets the neck
- Measure straight down from this point to the bottom of the garment
How To Measure Sleeve Length
- Locate the seam where the sleeve attaches to the body of the garment
- Measure from this point to the end of the sleeve opening
How To Measure Dresses For Mercari
Measuring a dress may seem more daunting than other garment types, but fear not, you’re now a measuring pro.
Taking measurements of a dress is very similar to measuring any top. If you think about it, a dress is just an oversized shirt. Refer to measurements for tops for tips on how to measure a dress.
Pro Tips For Faster Sales
Write Great Descriptions
In case you haven’t noticed, the resale industry is blowing up. It’s expected to double in size in the next 3 years. This also means it’s going to be harder to get noticed. What should you to do stand out?
One pro tip we advise is to write great product descriptions. Yes it will take a little extra time, but you’ll be rewarded with more eyes on your product and less returns.
How is that you say? Resale apps like Depop and The Real Real are crawled by search engines like Google and Bing. What that means is they scan those sites looking for content. So when someone searches Google for a plaid bomber jacket, your item will show up in the search if you have the words “plaid bomber jacket” in your description.
Great descriptions also provide buyers with confidence that you know something about the product you’re selling. It shows you take care in your product and your business.
Add A Measurement Photo
Adding more than one photo to your listing will help you sell items quicker. Adding a picture showing how the garment was measured will give buyers great confidence to buy from you. Buyers want to know how your product will fit, this will go a long way in helping them determine that. This in addition to providing the measurements in your description.
The above is a size guide created by the garment measuring app, Capture. The app measures clothing and will create these nifty size guides for you. In a sense eliminating two steps in your listing process.
Outline Any Defects
Another way to help buyers trust you is to be honest about what you’re selling. If an item has a scuff, a tear, or is slightly defective, let buyers know in your description. You’ll end up selling the item to someone, and they’ll appreciate you for providing a full description. Not just the good parts.
An App That Measures Clothes and Creates Size Guides
The average time spent to get just one garment listed is 10 minutes. One thing all resellers are trying to do is spend less time on mundane tasks. Unfortunately in resale there are plenty of tasks involved in getting a garment online. If you’re quicker than 10 minutes per garment, you’re doing awesome!
Capture is an application that helps resellers spend 50% less time on listings. It does so by measuring garments and creating size guides so you don’t have to. Capture uses advanced machine learning and computer vision to learn how to measure clothes for Mercari and other online resale platforms.