Using A Mannequin To Display Clothes For Reselling

Last Updated on August 14, 2020 by Lee Meier

Using A Mannequin To Display Clothes For ResellingDo you need a mannequin to display clothes for selling/reselling on online platforms such as eBay, Poshmark and Mercari? The short answer is “No.” This post will cover 4 of the best ways to display your clothing so that it will actually sell! A mannequin can:
  • Improve your pictures
  • Increase your sell through rate
  • Help you get the price you deserve
In this article, you will learn:
  • the types of mannequins available
  • pros and cons for each type
  • tips when using mannequins
  • and alternatives for displaying clothes if you don’t have a mannequin
Go here if you’d like to see the Best Mannequins For Clothing Photography.

(Affiliate Link Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links, including Amazon Affiliates, that I may make a small percentage from at no cost to you. This helps keep this blog running.)

My Story Getting Started Reselling

When I first started reselling, I started without any equipment – pretty much just my phone for pictures.

As I made money, I slowly started adding supplies that would help me get more money for my items.

(You can see the exact list of reseller supplies I use here).

Some of the first things I bought included a photo backdrop and lighting kit.

It wasn’t until almost a year in that I splurged and got a mannequin. I wasn’t totally convinced how much it would help.

dress form sketch

How Using A Mannequin To Display Clothing Increased My Sales

I thought I would run an experiment with a few items. My plan was to take pictures with and without the mannequin  and see how quickly each sold.

But the experiment never happened because the items sold before I could take the pictures without the mannequin (in just a few hours!).

And they sold for more than I was expecting!

At that point, I was convinced. As cute as flat lays can look, buyers loved being able to see how the clothes looked while being worn.

I immediately bought a second mannequin (a male torso) and had equally good luck with high-priced, fast sales.

I have been using mannequins for my reselling business ever since. And I continue to see fast, high-priced sales!

And Speaking Of Reselling…

If you didn’t know, there are countless “resellers” who make a living (even full-time income) from reselling pre-owned, used items.

While I’m not a full-time seller (I am a stay-at-home mom), I have been able to make a steady, reliable income from reselling (mostly) clothes.

Just last year I was able to make almost $20,000 from flipping thrift store items for profit.

If reselling online sounds like something you would be interested in, you’re in luck! I’ve put together a FREE 5-Day Course called “Reseller Bootcamp.”

Reseller Bootcamp

You can sign up and get the course delivered straight to your inbox!

In it, you’ll learn:

  1. What kinds of items you can flip.
  2. The best places to sell to maximize your profits.
  3. 6 keys to taking professional looking photos.
  4. The 5 components to get your items sold.
  5. How to turn flipping into a steady and reliable income.
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Types Of Mannequins To Display Clothes For Reselling

If you’re interested in using a mannequin to increase your sales and get you the prices you deserve, there are a lot of options out there.

Because of that, it can be confusing knowing what type would be best for you.

There is no one “right answer.” Your choice will depend on your situation:

  • What you will be photographing.
  • How much room you have to take pictures.
  • Where you will store and use your mannequin.

6 Types of Mannequins For Clothing Photography

The 6 types of mannequins for clothing photography we will be looking at are:

  1. Dress Form
  2. Torso With Tabletop Stand
  3. Hanging Torso With Hollow Back
  4. Adjustable Dress Form
  5. Inflatable Torso
  6. Invisible Ghost Mannequin

In A Hurry?

Here are my top three choices for resellers:

Image
Bonnlo Female Dress Form Pinnable Mannequin Body Torso with Wooden Tripod Base Stand (Black, 6)
Giantex Female Mannequin Torso Adjustable Height Detachable Arms Dress Form Display w/Metal Stand, Bright White
EZ-Mannequins Male and Female Mannequin Torso Set, Dress Form Hollow Back Body T Shirt Display, for Hanging - Craft Shows, Photos or Design, Easy to Use and Store, for Small - Medium Clothing Sizes.
Title
Bonnlo Female Dress Form Pinnable Mannequin Body Torso with Wooden Tripod Base Stand (Black, 6)
Giantex Female Mannequin Torso Adjustable Height Detachable Arms Dress Form Display w/Metal Stand, Bright White
EZ-Mannequins Male and Female Mannequin Torso Set, Dress Form Hollow Back Body T Shirt Display, for Hanging – Craft Shows, Photos or Design, Easy to Use and Store, for Small – Medium Clothing Sizes.
Price
$44.99
$64.99
$55.00
Image
Bonnlo Female Dress Form Pinnable Mannequin Body Torso with Wooden Tripod Base Stand (Black, 6)
Title
Bonnlo Female Dress Form Pinnable Mannequin Body Torso with Wooden Tripod Base Stand (Black, 6)
Price
$44.99
Image
Giantex Female Mannequin Torso Adjustable Height Detachable Arms Dress Form Display w/Metal Stand, Bright White
Title
Giantex Female Mannequin Torso Adjustable Height Detachable Arms Dress Form Display w/Metal Stand, Bright White
Price
$64.99
Image
EZ-Mannequins Male and Female Mannequin Torso Set, Dress Form Hollow Back Body T Shirt Display, for Hanging - Craft Shows, Photos or Design, Easy to Use and Store, for Small - Medium Clothing Sizes.
Title
EZ-Mannequins Male and Female Mannequin Torso Set, Dress Form Hollow Back Body T Shirt Display, for Hanging – Craft Shows, Photos or Design, Easy to Use and Store, for Small – Medium Clothing Sizes.
Price
$55.00

6 Best Types of Mannequins For Photography

1.Dress Form With Floor Stand

Last update on 2020-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is probably the best option if you have the floor space for a mannequin like this as it will fit a variety of clothes.

There are some cheaper options out there, but this one is both affordable and well made.

Pros:

  • This type of mannequin is very versatile. It works for pretty much every type of clothing including undergarments, shirts, dresses and skirts.
  • The jersey fabric doesn’t shed (unlike burlap on decorative mannequins).

Cons:

  • You will need floor space for this mannequin both when it is in use and when it’s not.

2. Torso With Tabletop Stand

Last update on 2020-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This tabletop mannequin is very well made, sturdy, and durable. Definitely made to last.

It is available as a male torso as well (see below).

Pros:

  • Arms are removable. (I’d suggest keeping them removed for ease of dressing/undressing).
  • The backside is solid, which is very hard to find. Most are hollow on the back.
  • The solid back is especially great for photographing items like bras.
  • Height can be adjusted.
  • Doesn’t take up floor space.
  • Easy to clean. You won’t ever need to lint roll.
  • Well made and durable. You shouldn’t need to buy another.

Cons:

  • The material is plastic and you may have trouble with some items slipping off. (See tips below)
  • Material is glossy so you may pick up some shine and reflection in pictures.
  • Will not work for very long cardigans, dresses, or skirts.
  • You will need a table to set this on.
  • You will need a lazy susan. An alternative would be to use a spinning stool instead of a table.

Male Version:

Last update on 2020-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you do a lot of men’s clothing, I highly suggest getting a male mannequin as well.

3. Hanging Torsos With Hollow Back

This is one of the most budget-friendly option, especially for getting both a male and female torso.

If you need just one or the other, Amazon has options for that as well.

If you are limited for space, this would be the option to go with.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Doesn’t need a table or floor space. Simply hang from a door or hook when using and storing.
  • Will work for even the longest dresses and skirts.
  • Matte finish won’t create glare when taking pictures.
  • Cheapest option for two mannequins. Great if you are on a tight budget.

Cons:

  • The material is plastic and you may have trouble with some items slipping off. (See tips below for dealing with this).
  • The back is hollow and pictures may not look the best from the back.
  • It may be difficult to get nice looking pictures if you don’t have a good door or place to hang these from.

4. Adjustable Dress Form

This pinnable dress form has 11 dials to adjust the size of the bust, waist, hips, neck/back, and waist height.

Because of this, it can accommodate a wide variety of sizes:

  • Bust: 33-40″
  • Waist: 26-33″
  • Hips: 36-42″
  • Back: 15-17″
  • Neck: 14-17″

One of the other great features about this particular mannequin, is that it comes with a rolling base – perfect for moving around for pictures.

Pros:

  • Adjustable.
  • Pinnable. Great for keeping clothing in place.
  • Will work for even the longest dresses and skirts. (69″ shoulder height)
  • Fabric won’t create glare when taking pictures.
  • Fabric will help keep clothing from sliding off.
  • Rolling base to make moving/spinning easy for photography.

Cons:

  • May take a while to get everything adjusted just right. May want to do similar-sized clothes together to save time.
  • Will need floor space.
  • There is a learning curve for adjusting it. And you will need to follow a particular sequence for opening/closing mannequin. For example, to close it, the order is: waist height, neck, bust, waist, then hips.

5. Inflatable Torso

Last update on 2020-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Another type of mannequin out there are inflatable ones. They are definitely not top of the line.

And you will only want to consider this as a last resort if you are short on space or money.

Pros:

  • Cheap.
  • Requires minimal storage when deflated.
  • Has a hard platform at the bottom to help it stand upright.
  • Has a loop at the top that can be used to hang it from a hook (not included). This would be an option for using it to take pictures of longer items including dresses.

Cons:

  • You will need a pump to inflate it and to add air to it occasionally.
  • Seams may burst or it may get a hole. It does come with a patch kit if this happens.
  • The material is shiny and may create a glare when taking pictures.
  • Clothing may slide off.

6. Invisible Ghost Mannequin

Last update on 2020-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The last type of mannequin out there is a very high-end invisible, or ghost, mannequin.

It is fully convertible for every type of clothing item.

This mannequin will help you achieve the “ghost effect” for whatever it is you are photographing.

If you want your items to look like they are standing on their own, this is the one you will want.

Pros:

  • 7 body parts for functionality
  • Magnetic connects to easily connect pieces
  • Has a matte white finish to reduce glare.

Cons:

  • Very expensive.

Tips For Using A Mannequin To Display Clothes For Reselling

Here are a few tips when it comes to using a mannequin to display clothes for reselling.

  • For items such as open-front cardigans that won’t stay on, a little bit of blue painter’s tape rolled up can hold the item in place without damaging your mannequin.
  • For very large clothes, such as plus-sized clothing and bras, you may need to use a clip or two to make the garment look correct.
  • For most button-up shirts (unless they are very small) there is no need to unbutton/button to get the shirt on/off. Simply slip over the head.
  • Be sure to take pictures in good lighting. This is the lighting kit I use. It’s not a professional one, but the price is right especially if you are just getting started. I have also compiled a list of 10 Affordable Lighting Kits Under $100.
  • You may be able to use the tabletop mannequins for longer dresses by setting the base on a stool or something to elevate it a bit. It won’t work for everything, but works for many items in a pinch.

Alternatives To Using A Mannequin To Display Clothes For Reselling

If you’re not quite ready to make the investment into a mannequin, don’t worry!

There are plenty of cheap and attractive alternatives that will still allow you to make plenty of money reselling.

Here are three options for mannequin alternatives:

1. Flat Lay

Styled Flat Lay

Flat lay photos are the best option for taking pictures without a mannequin.

You can either do a:

  1. Styled flat lay, similar to shown above, or,
  2. Basic flat lay with just the item you are listing.

Also, be sure you use a nice-looking background. The floor or a nice photo backdrop can work. This is the photo backdrop I use and highly recommend.

Styled Flat Lay

While styled flat lays are cute, there’s no need to get super fancy. The important thing is getting your item up and listed.

If it’s listed it will sell. If it’s not listed it can’t. It’s a simple as that.

If you choose to go with styled flat lays, make sure it is clear what item is included in the listing.

The other objects should not detract or distract from the object you are selling.

Basic Flat Lay

With a basic flat lay, just your one item will be in the picture.

Items look best when you can make them into a relatively square shape. For example: fold in the arms of shirts.

2. Hanger

A simple hangar can go a long ways.

While it won’t give the shape that a mannequin will, it is a cheap and easy alternative that will still give you good results.

If you choose to go this route, a nice wood hanger looks much more professional than a cheap plastic one.

3. Model Items Yourself

Modeling Clothes Yourself

If you’re comfortable with it, you can model clothes yourself or have someone do it for you.

You can always take pictures from the neck down if you don’t want your face to show.

If you don’t have someone to take pictures for you, you can either use the timer feature on your phone or take pictures in a long mirror.

This option really only works for clothes that are your size.

Otherwise, you will want to use one of the above options (mannequin, hangar, or flat lay).

Reseller Bootcamp

Thanks for joining me.

Again, if your ready to start making money from home by reselling items online, be sure to join Reseller Bootcamp now!

Just enter your info here to get started making money today in this fun way.

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If You're Wondering What You Can Resell Online...

pile of assorted-color products

Where You Can Sell Online, How To Ship, And How Much You Can Make Reselling

black smartphone

  • How To Increase Poshmark Sales
  • How To Sell Used Clothes: The Complete Guide To Make Top Dollar

Conclusion

Thanks for joining me!  I hope these tips help with choosing and using your mannequin to display clothes for reselling!

-Lee

About The Author

Hi! I’m Lee. I am an engineer-turned stay-at-home mom reseller. I have flipped over 5,000 thrift store items online for profit during nap time.

My passion is to teach you how to make money reselling so you can chase your financial dreams! You can read more about me here.