Do you have clothes and shoes that you bought last year and for some reason still haven’t gotten around to wearing? Did you just come from purging your wardrobe Marie Kondo style and now have a pile of clothes that no longer spark joy?
You’re not alone. Global nonprofit Oxfam estimates that Brits only wear 44 percent of the stuff they own. In the U.S., Americans discard around 12.8 million tonnes of clothing and footwear.
Sounds like an incredible waste of resources, right? But how about, instead of tossing your clothes in the bin or leaving them to gather dust, finding a way to profit off your unwanted clothes?
Selling clothes you no longer use is a good idea for three reasons:
- It maximises the usable life of clothing items by keeping them in circulation for longer.
- It’s a perfectly viable source of extra income.
- Having fewer items of clothing simplifies your daily dress routine. (No more rummaging through piles of clothing!)
And did we mention it’s good for the environment too? Imagine if all of us actually went on board buying and selling second-hand clothes. That would mean fewer resources being consumed and wasted.
Getting Started: What can I sell?
Pretty much anything! You’ll be surprised how much people are willing to pay you for that dress that you swore made you look like a sack of potatoes. After all, one man’s trash is another person’s treasure.
That said, however, there are items that you shouldn’t resell and are better headed for the recycle bin. These include used underwear and swimwear (unless you know how to sanitize them) and items that are damaged beyond repair, like clothes with armpit or ink stains and stretched-out sweaters.
What do I need?
The good thing about selling online is you don’t need a brick-and-mortar store. Aside from the clothes you want to sell, all you need is a mobile phone — preferably one that comes with a decent camera. Basic photography skills and a well-lit shooting location will come in handy too.
Our Picks for Online Second-hand Clothing Stores
There are plenty of places online where you can sell your preloved clothing. Here’s a quick rundown:
1. ASOS: Vintage and Indie Fashion Marketplace
Looking to destash plenty of items from your wardrobe? Then try selling them on the ASOS Marketplace, home to 900-plus sellers of independent, vintage, and high-street clothing brands.
To become a seller on the ASOS Marketplace, you first need to sign up and pay a £20 membership fee. This gives you access to your own product page (or boutique, as ASOS calls it). As soon as you’re in, you can start listing your items. You get 80 percent of the profits from each sale (90 if your items go on clearance).
ASOS has strict guidelines though, which include complete product descriptions, taking high-quality, daylight shots of your clothes on a model, and ensuring a minimum of 15 listings.
2. eBay: Your Clothes Up for Bid
E-commerce giant eBay is a popular platform for selling your used clothes, bags, accessories, shoes — pretty much anything, really. You can choose to set a minimum bid amount or attach a fixed price on your merch. You can also download the eBay app to your phone (it’s available on iOS and Android) so you can post and monitor your items easily.
Listing is free for the first 200 items each month. eBay gets 10 percent of the final sale price if your selling price is less than $100; no fees are charged if the value of your item is $100 or more.
3. Etsy: A Marketplace for all Things Artsy
If you’re the artsy or creative type looking to sell your handmade or vintage clothing items, look no further than Etsy, which is home to 1.7 million sellers. Take note though that Etsy gets a commission for each sale, as well as listing and processing fees, so make sure to factor that in when you price your items.
4. Mercari: Sell in Just a ‘Snap’
Japan-based mobile marketplace Mercari makes it easy for you to sell your second-hand clothes using just your phone. All you need to do is snap a photo of the items you want to sell, add a description, then set your price. Mercari then takes a 10 percent commission from each successful sale.
Note: Mercari UK stopped its services in January of 2019. It currently only operates in Japan and the US.
5. Poshmark: Putting the Social in Online Selling
Another popular used clothes and accessories marketplace is Poshmark.
Selling your clothes on Poshmark is easy, and can be done using just your phone via their app. Just snap a picture of your items to put them up for sale. As soon as your listing gets sold, Poshmark will send you a prepaid shipping label (which the buyer pays for). Just print the label, stick it to your package, and have it picked up.
Sellers love Poshmark since it lets you set the price for your item. Another thing we love about the Poshmark app is you can follow users, which makes it easy to find buyers and sellers who have the same style as yours.
6. The RealReal
If you’ve got designer items in your wardrobe, you’ll have better luck selling them on The RealReal, an online and physical consignment store that specializes in authentic luxury goods.
Selling on the RealReal is straightforward: sellers send their items and thredUP takes care of pricing and marketing them on their store. Sellers can expect to get up to 85 percent from an item’s final sale.
Other things can you sell on the RealReal include jewelry, watches, paintings, and home goods. They also offer a White Glove service, where a RealReal luxury manager visits your home and takes care of evaluating and picking up your items.
7. thredUP: Declutter Your Wardrobe and Earn
Does getting paid to clear your wardrobe of stuff you no longer need sound enticing? Then sign up as a seller on thredUP, which touts itself as “the world’s largest online thrift store.”
How does it work? First, order thredUP’s Clean Out Kit (which comes in two options: the Standard Bag, which is free, and the Expedited Bag, which comes with a fee and a the guarantee that your items will be processed within a week).
Next, fill your Clean Out Kit with your ‘like new’ and ‘gently worn’ second-hand clothing, bags, and footwear and send it back. thredUP will then sort through your kit for stuff they can sell in their online store. For clothes that don’t make the cut, you can opt to have the company donate them on your behalf or get them back (for a fee).
Reviews about thredUP are mixed, with some raving about how they’ve earned in the three and four figures, and others expressing disappointment over how little thredUP actually pays sellers for each item (in contrast to how much they sell it for in their store).
8. Tradesy: Sell What You Have, Buy What You Crave
Another big name in the apparel reseller market is Tradesy, which calls itself “the marketplace made by women, for women.”
Tradesy makes selling your preloved clothes and accessories super simple via its app. Start by snapping photos of your items (Tradesy even provides tips on taking photos), adding details, and setting your price.
When your item sells, confirm it and ship it. As soon as you deliver your items, your earnings are made available to you, which you can use to purchase in the Tradesy marketplace or opt to transfer to your bank account.
Tradesy assures its sellers can get more than 80 percent from each successful sale.
Already have your store of choice? Make money from your wardrobe and start listing today!
Other Articles That May Interest You:
Fast Fashion: The Good, the Bad, and the Solution
The Slow Fashion Movement: What It Is, and Why We Should All Get Behind It
Capsule Wardrobe: A Sustainable Closet That Never Goes Out of Style
Sustainably Dress for Less: 5 Online Thrift Stores Worth Checking Out
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