Take a quick look in your closet. Overflowing, right?
Well, there’s a solution to that problem: selling your used clothes. It’s a win-win, and you don’t have to wait for a spring-cleaning binge to get started. In fact, you should do it seasonally.
Make one big pile of all the clothes you don’t use anymore. Even your winter gear from the hall closet. Definitely the swimsuit collection. And all the shorts and T-shirts your kids outgrew after wearing only twice.
You may surprise yourself with the amount of clothes you have once you get them all in one place. Ask yourself about each item: Does it fit? Do I still like it? Have I worn it in a year?
If you answered no, then sell it. We’ll help you do that by covering the best places to sell your used clothes, online and in person.
Sell Used Clothes Online
Whether you want to sell clothes online just this once and be done with it or set up a clothes-reselling empire, you have plenty of apps and websites to choose from.
Sell Used Clothes In Person
For selling used clothes in person consider these national outlets:
Depop is fast becoming the top app for fashion-minded Zoomers. It’s as much of a lifestyle and social media app as it is a clothing marketplace, and that means high-quality photos with unique staging are a must.
The app is user friendly, and you can set up an account, sync it to your PayPal and start listing clothes in just a few minutes. Depop doesn’t charge you to create a listing. Instead, it takes a 10% cut when your item sells.
You can also choose your shipping method. Depop sells affordable shipping labels which you can buy or have the customer pay for. Or you can handle shipping entirely yourself if you prefer.
Compared to other websites and apps, eBay may seem like a relic of the past. But the site, after more than 25 years, remains a solid option for selling just about anything online. Used clothes included.
So long as you create fewer than 250 listings each month, making a listing won’t cost you a dime. Like most e-commerce sites, eBay does charge seller fees. For clothing sales, eBay charges 10.2% plus 30 cents if the selling price is under $100. If the selling price is above $100, you are only charged the 30 cent transaction fee.
EBay provides a variety of shipment methods, and the price is based on the dimensions and weight of your package. You can also choose to offload those costs onto the buyer. And if the buyer is local, you can forgo shipping altogether by allowing for pickup.
In recent years, Facebook has invested a lot into fine-tuning its Marketplace feature, which is built into the regular Facebook app. There is no standalone version, meaning you must have a Facebook profile to use it.
Creating a free listing is almost as easy as creating a status update. Look for the storefront icon along your menu bar, click or tap “create a new listing,” follow the prompts, add some well-lit pictures and thorough descriptions, and you’re good to go.
Facebook Marketplace caters mostly to local sales, but it does allow for nationwide shipping as well.
Oh, and get ready to haggle.
Payout: Facebook Pay or any other agreed-upon method such as cash or PayPal
As a “social marketplace,” Poshmark really encourages you to attend buying and selling events, interact with its community and share fashion tips. But if you just want a quick way to get rid of your whopping wardrobe, you can skirt all the bells and whistles and make a listing relatively easily.
For sales under $15, Poshmark charges a flat fee of $2.95. For sales above $15, Poshmark takes 20%. So for items straddling that cut off point, you’ll want to think carefully about how much to charge. $15 for that vintage tank top and you’ll have to fork over $2.95. $20 for the same tank, and the fee would drop to $2.
What’s nice about Poshmark is that for each order, the company provides a prepaid shipping label.
Unlike most other places to sell used clothes online, Swap.com does almost all of the work for you. But that convenience comes at a price.
When you sell with Swap.com, you pay $14.99 for a shipping label, load up the high-quality clothes you want to sell, and they do the rest. They’ll inspect them, photograph them, list them and sell them for you.
For items with a sales price of $8 and under, you will receive only 15%. For items that sell for more than $8, you receive 70% of the sales price but are also subject to a flat $4.95 processing charge.
Given these steep fees, you’ll want to be sure your clothes meet (and exceed!) the Swap.com’s acceptance criteria.
Download the app: No app available — website only
Good for: Well-known, higher-end brands for men, women and children
Payout: Direct deposit, check (via USPS) or store credit
ThredUP’s mission is to reduce fashion waste. And it does this by allowing you to sell your used clothes easily. Quickly? Now that’s another story. The entire process, from shipping to payout could take months.
To sell with thredUP, you simply choose a “clean out kit,” which they mail to you with a provided shipping label. You fill up the bag and send it back. Then you wait for them to inspect your clothes and list them. Once they’re ready to be listed, you have a window of time to choose how much you want to charge for them. (Alternatively, you can use a suggested price.)
For the clothes that are accepted and sold, you receive a portion of the profits depending on the sales price of the item. For items that aren’t accepted, consider them donated. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay to have them returned to you.
The payout system for thredUP is more complicated than most other comparable marketplaces. This chart explains it:
|Sales Price||Payout Percentage|
|$5 to $19.99||3% to 15%|
|$20 to $49.99||15% to 30%|
|$50 to $99.99||30% to 60%|
|$100 to $199.99||60% to 80%|
|$200 or more||80%|
Download the app: App Store, Google Play
Good for: Mall- and designer-brand clothes that you’re okay with donating if they don’t get accepted
Payout: PayPal, prepaid Visa or store credit
You might think that luxury and second-hand don’t really mesh. Well, Tradesy would like you to think again. The company boasts millions of people use its marketplace to sell gently used designer brands for women.
Items that sell for $50 or less incur a flat $7.50 seller fee. For items above $50, Tradesy takes a 19.8% commission. All of your profits are kept in a Tradesy wallet, available for withdrawal for a 2.9% transaction fee. You can skirt the fee by spending your earnings on Tradesy.
The good news is that the buyer pays the shipping fees, and Tradesy provides you, as the seller, a prepaid shipping label and box to load up your finest fashion.
Sell Used Clothes In Person
While there are many options to sell your clothes online, maybe you don’t have the technical know-how (or the patience) to do it yourself. Don’t fret.
There are several national brick-and-mortar places to pawn off your used clothes, shoes, handbags, accessories — even baby clothes, toys and supplies — to get cash in your pocket by the end of the day.
Founded in 1974, Buffalo Exchange has remained family owned as it has expanded. The company is a firm believer in reusing and recycling clothes to reduce waste and pollution (and save cash). Each store also partners with local charities.
Buffalo Exchange accepts a wide array of clothes for both men and women — vintage, athletic wear, plus sizes and more. Contrary to its name, it does not accept livestock at this time. Sorry in advance.
Clothes Mentor is a one-stop shop for fashionable women’s clothing size 0 to 26 and maternity wear. It’s a hub for those who want designer brands without designer price tags.
Clothes that sell well include Armani, Banana Republic, Saks Fifth Avenue, White House Black Market and others. Shoes, accessories, jewelry and handbags are also accepted. Clothes Mentor has 125 stores in the U.S. and, at certain locations, offers personal shoppers who tailor outfits to suit your tastes.
It’s no surprise that child care expenses are a budget buster, but Once Upon a Child can help keep costs down when it comes to baby clothes, supplies and even furniture.
In addition to children’s clothes size preemie to youth 20, Once Upon a Child will buy used cribs, cradles, strollers, baby electronics, halloween costumes and toys. Even more good news for parents: You won’t have to look very far. Once Upon a Child has more than 350 stores across the U.S. and Canada.
Ah, the ole standby, Plato’s Closet. You may not have known this was a clothing exchange store, but it’s likely that you’ve caught a glimpse of one of its more than 460 locations in North America — probably tucked between your local Chinese buffet and the grocery store.
Plato’s is Winmark Corp.’s most successful clothing exchange franchise, and it’s aimed at teens and young adults. Everyday styles from Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, H&M, Nike and Obey are typically in demand.
Plato’s Closet also buys athletic wear, shoes and accessories.
To see if your wardrobe surplus is a good fit for Plato’s, browse its website for other brands and styles that sell well.
Another solid option from Winmark Corp. is Style Encore. It’s like Plato’s sibling, only slightly older and more sophisticated.
Style Encore accepts women’s clothing from brands like Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Coach and Kate Spade. Like Clothes Mentor, Style Encore has personal stylists to help you look like a million bucks (without spending a million).
It’s Winmark’s newest clothing exchange brand, so there aren’t as many locations as its other stores.
Want to show off some labels? Uptown Cheapskate is your place. It’s a cross between a trendy boutique and a thrift store for young adults. You can sell or trade in men’s and women’s clothes at any of its more than 80 locations. Trade-ins get 25% bonus store credit.
Brands that do well at Uptown Cheapskate include Urban Outfitters, Levi’s and H&M. If you’re unsure if your clothes will fit in style-wise, visit its website for more info on trending brands and styles.
Located in: 23 states
Good for: Trendy brands in men’s and women’s fashion
Payout: Cash or store credit
If none of the above stores fit the bill, you can always try your nearest consignment shop.
These shops work a little differently than clothing-exchange stores, because consignment stores may not pay you until your item sells. That means it’s unlikely you’ll walk out with a pocketful of cash. It’s also difficult to predict what brands they will buy, because most local stores don’t have databases and metrics to go off of. Sales are often based on personal taste or season.
But hey, anything is better than leaving unused clothes tucked away in the furthest corner of your shelf for years to come.
Quick Tips on Getting the Most Cash From Your Clothes
Some things are guesswork when trying to sell your clothes. Stock at brick-and-mortars are constantly in flux and styles change, so it’s hard to say for sure which brand or outfit will sell. However, there are a few things you should always take into consideration, no matter the item or the store.
Following these few guidelines will ensure you get the most money for your clothes.
Clean and Fold Your Clothes
Almost every store and online marketplace recommends washing your clothes before taking them in or shipping them off. At in-person clothing exchanges especially, your payout is based on an associate’s quote after they carefully check each item, you don’t want dirt or food caked to your shirt. It’ll definitely go in the “no” pile.
In general, to keep colors bright, you can soak your clothes in salt. Only wash them as needed — inside out and in cool water to avoid fading.
Likewise, super wrinkly clothes come across as unwashed, and you don’t want to give that impression. So be sure to fold them neatly before taking them in or packing them neatly if you’re shipping.
Use a Nice Basket or Hamper to Carry Your Clothes (if You’re Selling In Person)
Quick! What do you think of when you see trash bags? Trash, right? Not clothes.
Again, presentation matters. The appraisers checking your clothes don’t want to sift through trash bags. So after you’ve washed all the clothes you want to sell, fold them and place them in a basket, hamper or box that you can take to the store.
Check for Damage or Pit Stains
If you were a shopper, would you buy a shirt that had pit stains or a missing pocket? Didn’t think so. No one wants damaged, stained or heavily faded clothing.
Before you take your clothes in or list them online, examine them under a bright light to check for tears or discoloration. With some online options, if you send them low-quality clothes they’re unable to sell, they might ship them back to you — at your expense.
Sell Your Clothes Often
Buffalo Exchange’s biggest tip is to buy or sell your clothes every three months. That way, your clothes cache will always be in style, which means more money in your pocket when you sell.
Since most clothing exchanges buy with seasons in mind, it may be best to wait till spring or summer before purging your bathing suits.
Unless you live in warm winter places such as Florida, Arizona or Southern California. Then January’s probably fine.
Adam Hardy is a former staff writer for The Penny Hoarder who specializes in stories on the gig economy. He’s a University of South Florida graduate, who studied magazine journalism and sociology.