So you’ve made a collection of gorgeous hats but maybe they’re not flying off the walls as quick as you’d hoped.
As the founder of Millinery Market, I have an inside look at some of the common things successful milliners do to increase sales. In this post, I’ll share 5 quick tips on things you can do to increase the chances of a sale.
1) Photos are your First Impression
When shopping around for anything online, the first thing that grabs your attention is the photo, right?
It’s just as important when selling hats. You have to showcase your item with clear, brightly lit pictures. People want to see hats on a clean mannequin head or stand and from a variety of angles. If you can get a photo of the hat on a human head, even better.
You don’t need to have a professional photography setup in place (bonus points to you if you do though), you just need a plain wall, some great natural lighting, a camera or smartphone and you’re set!
Tip: On the Millinery Market homepage, images are cropped to a 3:2 landscape aspect ratio. So check that your hat is visible on the homepage. If not, you may want to edit the photo by cropping it or choosing a different photo as the featured image.
Here are some examples of hats photographed at home that work really well.
This hat is photographed against a plain white brick wall with great lighting. The mannequin used is very simple and clean. Tip: If you have a mannequin head that is a bit dirty, spray paint it white so it looks nice and fresh.
A busy background makes the hat’s features harder to see.
A badly lit room makes the hat look dull and unappealing.
A mannequin head with dramatic facial features can make it hard for a customer to visualise themselves wearing the hat. It takes the focus away from the hat.
Customers want to see the hat from various angles, so make sure you show this in your listing. At a bare minimum, show the front, back and side view. You can also add some close up photos of any special details or features of your hat.
If possible, use a photo of what the hat looks like on a real person. This way the customer can gage the actual size of the hat and see where and how it sits on the head. When a customer can visualise themselves wearing a hat, they are more likely to purchase it.
Provide a variety of hat shapes and colours. It’s free to list as many hats as you like on Millinery Market, so you may as well list as many options as you can!
When planning racewear, most people start with the outfit first. This means when it comes to finding a hat, they are looking for something quite specific.
For example, you might list a green turban and it could take six months for someone to come along who is looking for just that to buy it. Not all sales happen instantly, so showcase as many as you have. I’ve had milliners list hats on Millinery Market, and then almost a year later they sell!!
Following trends in millinery is also a great way to entice sales. For example, this year rear facing hats became very popular amongst race goers. Make a hat or two in the current shape customers are looking for and they’ll get to know your work.
Something to consider when listing on Millinery Market are the prices of your hats. You may have some hats listed for $500+, but to cater to more customers, you may also want to make some lower priced (and obviously simpler) hats too.
Cessiah Alice Millinery has many hats listed between $200 and $400, but she also has some simpler styles like headbands and turbans listed for under $100. Having different price points attracts a wider range of customers and potential for sales.
5) Give Great Customer Service for Repeat Customers
If you make a sale, having great customer service can help to gain repeat customers and to receive some positive 5 star reviews on your account.
When a customer sends an enquiry, write back ASAP. If you take three days to get back to them, you may find they’ve already moved on to a different hat as customers often leave things to the last minute.
If you make a sale, communicate with your customer straight away. Thank them for the sale and let the customer know when you will post the hat.
Once posted, send them the tracking number so they can track their parcel.
When sending the hat, a nice touch is to include a little hand written note inside or if it is a hat hire, send a note with the return date, and your return address.
Example of a note for a hat sale.
Some things to include for in a note for a hat hire.
Packaging is important too. The nicer the packaging, the nicer experience your customer will have, and the higher the chance they will want to purchase from you again 🙂
Once you have completed the transaction, leave your customer an honest review to build up their review profile too. It’s also nice to ask for some photos of them wearing the hat, so you can repost these images on social media. If it is a hat hire, ask if you can include their photos in your hat listing.
Below are some examples of great customer service.
My last little tip is: Be consistent.
Don’t post a few hats and get discouraged if you don’t make a sale right away. Instead, post hats as you make them. I will promote all of the hats listed on the platform on the @millinerymarket instagram and it’s a great way to get your brand out there and be seen!
Are you ready to start making hat sales on Millinery Market? Create your free account today by visiting the sign up page.
Tall crown fedora with oversized brim. Habd crafted pale blue feather flowers add a dramatic contrasting feature removable red neck tie for multiple stylish options of wearing. $120/wk hire available at www.millinerymarket.com/en/listings/552513
White satin with silver diamond overlay blocked into a halo crown style adorned with diamanté crystals. The back features ruched white satin. $195 available at www.millinerymarket.com/en/listings/552502
Multi tones of pink with metallic rose gold and a touch of pearl gold. Features handmade leather blossom with veiling and quill feature on a handblocked base. $280 available at www.millinerymarket.com/en/listings/552488
Custom made teal straw trimmed with teal and black feathers. Easy to wear, button base on a headband. Hat tilts slightly to right side. Beautiful colour. $130 available at www.millinerymarket.com/en/listings/552492
Handblocked fine straw with handmade leather flowers, twisted quills and veiling feature. Off white and black. $315 available at www.millinerymarket.com/en/listings/552482
Layla Headband in Cinnamon, Blues and Black $95 each ❤️
Layla is a linen wrapped headband . The linen has been hand freyed on the edges and wrapped around a lightly padded headband then adorned with an assortment of little blossom. $95 each available at ...
Beautiful ready to ship sculptural headband design. Sinamay is draped waved and twisted into a modern sculptural headpiece with chopped net and multi quill feature . Mounted on a leather wrapped headband . Beautiful summery sunset tones of a dusty blush pink ...
A rear sitting wrap sinamay wired style piece in ombre lilac and ivory. Sooo pretty!! Complete with pearlised metallic vines of lilac and ivory blooms. $270 available at www.millinerymarket.com/en/listings/552472
Red hostess style twisted quill and straw feature ❤️ $220
Red Hostess style straw feature headpiece with hand sculpted twisted straw and shiny twisted quill adorn the top. Perfect neat feature piece. $220 available at www.millinerymarket.com/en/listings/552467
Fluro yellow bow on black cartwheel hat💛🖤💛 $95/week rental
Black sinamay cartwheel shaped brimmed hat with a high crown. Trimmed with luxurious satin sheen fluro yellow bow. $95/wk rental available at www.millinerymarket.com/en/listings/552463
Big black brim with upsweep and white fringe 🖤 $120 rental/ wk
Black sınamay big folded brimmed hat, with white straw cloth covered crown and fringed edge. White silk bow in the fold. Only worn once. $120/wk rental available at www.millinerymarket.com/en/listings/552464
Large single feather flower in oranges on bandeau headband 🧡 $270
Unique Fascinator. Hand dyed hand made large feather flower on a linen orange side sitting bandeau shaped headpiece. The feathers are tones of oranges from light to dark as they are hand dyed. Absolutely one only. As light...
Floral Peach Saucer - A stunning spring piece that elegantly sits on the right hand side. In gorgeous peach tones and lavishly trimmed with hand-made feather flowers.
$300 available at www.millinerymarket.com/en/listings/552424
Feel like a Queen in a crown covered in a textured swiss straw fabric, hand-dyed and trimmed with a single flower in shades of purple. $290 available at www.millinerymarket.com/en/listings/552423
Do you prefer block colours or prints?😍💖🤎
Just adore these matching face masks that come with each hat! ✨👏🏻
Ranging from £135 to £145 available at www.millinerymarket.com/en/listings/552311
Stacey (Green) - Padded Headband with Silk Ties $89
These stylish headbands are made in collaboration with and lovingly handmade by Eline Juchem as part of the Alice & Eline Collection. They feature a padded headband wrapped in tulle, with long silk dupion ties at the back which can be ...
Cream Parisisal Breton with hand dyed and hand wired Colbert Blue Guipure lace flowers. Centred with rose gold Swarovski pearls, with two hand curled blue quills. $410 available at www.millinerymarket.com/en/listings/552414
Hand blocked light pink parisisal knotted stylised fedora hat with dustings of blue. Trimmed with double braid band and sculptured pink and blue ombré feathers. $265 available at
Hand crafted Bubble gum pink free form top hat style trimmed with yellow,orange and pink ombré ribbon bow. Secured with elastic, as it’s not a head fit hat, but perches on top of the head. $235 available at www.millinerymarket.com/en/listings/552397
Pretty Petals 🌸
Hand blocked pink straw halo headband, trimmed with hand made feather flower and bud, with sculpted quills and floating feather petals.
$310 available at www.millinerymarket.com/en/listings/552378
Baker Boy • All black baker boy x pork pie design. A fun straw design that protects from the sun and oozes fashionista. Tulle collar and gold chain detailing completes the design.
$120/wk rental available at www.millinerymarket.com/en/listings/552386
A stunning range of handmade headbands have just been listed to Millinery Market. Perfect for not just the races but everyday wear too 😍✨ @kb_millinery
Ranging from $170 to $175 available at www.millinerymarket.com/en/listings/552307
Vibrant red boater. Streamline modern shape with modern simple twist trim. Monotone structured boater with hat elastic for secure wearing. $120/week