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. 

This is a perfect example of how your photo should look, a centred image, with nothing cut off. Image: Millinery Market Rebecca Share

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. 

I love how bright and clean this photo looks. The canvas mannequin head photographs really nicely too, and the pink colour really pops, especially against a white background. 

A few things to avoid…

  • 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. 

2) Variety

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!! 

A selection of different shapes and colours listed by Marjoribanks Millinery 

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.  

The ever popular ‘rear facing donut’. Image: Millinery Market Claire Hahn Millinery

3) Pricing

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. 

4) Detailed Product Description

Customers love to read detailed information of what they are purchasing, so make sure you have an articulate, well written description.

It doesn’t have to be long, but include things like what materials were used, the construction, season appropriateness, how it secures to the head, what side it is worn on and how it is packaged. 

Here is an example of a great hat description.

Image: Millinery Market Cessiah Alice Millinery


Image: Millinery Market Abigail Fergusson Millinery

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.

millinery sales customer service


fascinator sales 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.


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