Tips for Selling Secondhand Clothes and Accessories
My wardrobe always seems to have the same problem. It's either too many clothes, or never enough.
There are days I'm cramming t-shirts into drawers contemplating my next trip to the nearest donation bin. And then there are others where nothing fits right, and I just want to start all over again.
And let's not even get into my kids' clothes, which fit fine one week, and become inappropriately short the next.
The solution? Sell your clothes and accessories. I've found this to be a great motivation for clearing out my closet, as well as the chance to earn money for the next pieces you need. Does it seem way too overwhelming of a process? Let me help you get started.
There are many places to shop and sell these days. They generally take on one of multiple ways of selling.
1. Have Others Sell for You. (Easier, but less return.)
- Re-Sale Shops - These stores (like Plato's Closet or Buffalo Exchange) or websites (like ThredUp or Swap.com) will take a bag of your clothing and pay you upfront. Since they need to make a profit, they will usually pay pretty low prices for your goods to sell them. But on the upside, they usually accept more items.
- Consignment Stores - Shops like these will take your items and sell them for you, at a rate of usually about 30-50%, which is often higher than re-sale shops. The good news? If they don't sell, you get them back. The bad news is that they will generally lower prices on sliding levels, meaning you could get top dollar - or your item could sell last minute for much less than you expect. You also don't get paid right away.
2. Sell Items Yourself. (More work, but opportunities for higher profit.)
- Bidding Sites - The best example is eBay (however they do have options for selling at a set price or making offers). Start the bidding wherever you'd like. You can set the number of days for the bidding war, and decide if you want to include a "Buy It Now" option. With bidding, it can take longer, and you can't predict whether or not your item will sell at the price you're looking for, unless you start bidding high. You can opt to have the buyer pay shipping, or you can pay for it and offer your buyer free shipping (both of which eBay will calculate). eBay does take a percentage of your earnings.
- Personal Re-sale Sites and Apps - Sites/apps like Poshmark and Mercari will allow you to list your own items, similar to eBay's "Buy It Now" option. People can also communicate with you and make offers. The buyer pays 2-day priority shipping fees (however you can offer to cover part or all of it for your buyer). Both apps will take a percentage of your earnings.
- Facebook Marketplace and Groups - Marketplace is a great way to re-sell your clothes locally and avoid shipping costs, plus allow payment in cash or check. Or you can join a buy/sell/trade group for your favorite brand. Most groups will require you to pay through a secure payment site like PayPal or Venmo, which is best for you because it keeps your information private. Both are easy to sign up for. If using PayPal, be sure to work with the "Goods and Services" option, so that if there's any question, you can resolve through PayPal.
Often people who shop through these platforms are looking for something in particular. Be as specific as possible in your description (with brand, sizing and style) for the best results.
What ways do you re-sell clothes? Do you have any tips?