Finding a way to fund a new wardrobe without spending a cent could seem the thing of dreams. Not true, though…it’s very real. Here’s how.
First things first…let’s address the elephant in the room.
Shopping like we used to doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen anytime soon. Malls and boutiques are either closed or prohibit trying on anything.
And we’re not going out like we once did. The need for that new black dress or heels for that party are currently on pause.
While we may be spending more time at home or spending time with close friends and family–it doesn’t mean we don’t want to look our best (am I right, ladies?).
Instead of buying a new work outfit, we’re purchasing lounge wear. We are ditching our ratty sweatpants for stylish leggings.
If you go into your closet and think, I have nothing to wear for the “new normal,” you aren’t alone.
But if going out and buying something new on a whim is your go-to, well…it’s not a great solution if you’re avoiding debt or wanting to save more.
On average, women spend around $571 per year on clothing with women aged 45-54 spending the most, at $793 per year.
Interestingly though, much of that clothing sits in a closet unused.
According to a recent study, women have an average of $1,000 to $2,500 of clothing sitting in their wardrobe, some even reaching the $10,000 mark!
More than 50% of women in the study claim 25% of their wardrobe sits in the closet collecting dust, equating to about $600 down the drain.
What if you could use those neglected clothes to fund a new wardrobe without spending a cent?
You can! Welcome to the wonderful world of online clothing sales.
Reasons to Sell Your Clothes Online
With so many apps and websites available, earning money selling your clothes online has truly never been easier.
Convenience aside, there are some very good reasons to sell your clothes online.
- Letting go is liberating! The trend of Marie Kondo-ing your closet is alive and well. If you’ve not experienced the release of decluttering, get ready for an energetic shift. The practice of letting go of items that no longer spark joy translates into some positive outcomes. Creating an organized space helps lower overall stress. Plus, parting with something leaves room for inviting in something else.
- Doing your part for the environment feels damn good. We live in a consumer-happy society that tends to constantly toss out stuff. Selling your clothes secondhand lets you contribute to the sustainability our planet needs.
- You can earn extra cash. “On average, I make $1,000 a month selling my clothes”, shares Lauren Weinstein, 43, from Newport Beach, CA, who has been selling her clothes online for the last three years. Whether you’re looking to tuck away money for a vacation, beef up your emergency fund, or add new items to your wardrobe, selling your clothes online can give you a boost getting there.
Platforms to Sell Clothes Online
There are quite a number of online platforms that focus on reselling clothes, shoes, and accessories.
They run the spectrum of involvement in the sale, target market, and cash potential. The trick is to do your research to find the right one for you.
ThredUP makes selling clothes online super easy if you’re not wanting to spend too much time or effort.
No need to stage, photograph, or price negotiate.
You simply fill up a prepaid bag, mail it, and ThredUP takes care of the rest. The experts will determine which items they’ll accept and send back the rest to you for free.
The site receives everyday women’s and kids’ clothing that are gently used or high-quality.
Allow 1-3 weeks to find out how much your clothes are worth. Then you can choose to get cash via PayPal, donate items to charity, or fund a new wardrobe without spending a cent by using the credit to shop on their site.
Note that you may get an underwhelming amount for your bag full of clothes.
But, for a pretty much effortless option, the $20 or so is better than nada. If the price isn’t worth it, you can also request for them to return your clothes for a small fee.
If you’re okay with negotiating and want to sell your clothes quickly, Poshmark is a great platform.
The setup is easy. Once you download the app, take photos of your clothes, and boom, you’re ready to share.
Poshmark is a very social platform, so building a following and sharing other posts are key if you want to successfully sell your clothes.
Not only can you share your clothes on the network, but you can also share on your own social profiles like Instagram and Facebook. Take it to the next level and sign up for “Posh Parties.”
According to the site, these are real-time virtual shopping events where fashion lovers (like you!) meet up in the Poshmark app to shop, share, and sell clothing and accessories.
Not only will your stuff sell more quickly at Posh Parties, but they are also a great way to find new Poshers, listings, and gain more followers by sharing your own listings.
Veronica, 33, from Sacramento, CA, shares that she hit her selling stride with Poshmark.
“Poshmark is about building a brand and community. It was a two-day process, the first day is choosing the item, planning outfits, and writing out descriptions. The next day was a photoshoot and posting.
Then, you just manage comments and questions. Once you make a sale, you package it up and send it out. I loved dropping off loads of boxes to the post office.”
Poshmark attracts deal hunters, and the average sale is about $15 so be prepared to negotiate. Despite the average sale price, you can make some quick cash if you’re good at selling.
The company’s no-hassle shipping means you’ll receive priority boxes from USPS, with prepaid labels that let you track your package to your buyer. Poshmark takes a 20% fee.
Channel your savvy saleswoman and try Poshmark for free on your iOS or Android.
If you have a collection of designer and high-end fashion items, The RealReal is an online site that works exclusively with brands like Gucci, Prada, Chanel, etc.
This luxury online consignment shop even comes to your home to pick up your clothes, or you can ship your items directly with a prepaid label.
A perk of The RealReal is that it takes selling pressure out of your hands.
The experts there take on the work of authenticating, photographing, and selling your items for you. Although commission rates are not quite as lucrative as eBay, the convenience can be worthwhile.
For Lauren, The RealReal is her preferred clothes selling platform.
“It’s just so simple versus if you had to sell it online or sell it on eBay and do it yourself and you have to ship to individual people and it’s like a whole to-do; I mean it’s so much easier to do it through them.”
You can expect to receive 50% of the sale price for items priced at $200 or below, and up to 70% for products that sell for $10,000 and over.
Download The RealReal for free on iOS or Android.
Etsy is a huge online selling platform that specializes in handmade and vintage items.
Brand-name clothes aren’t going to fly here. Items that are either over 20 years old (vintage) or made by hand are accepted.
If your stuff qualifies, you can set up your own “shop” in the marketplace.
Here you are able to chat with buyers, manage your orders, and buy and print discounted postage for an easy experience.
You can set up your shop for free. However, there is a $0.20 listing fee, a standard payment processing fee, and a small commission to pay when an item sells.
Etsy requires a bit more time and work than selling through an app like Poshmark.
The upside, though, is that with so many visitors on the site, you have an easier chance of having your products discovered by potential customers.
Feed that entrepreneurial spirit and start a shop at Etsy for free on iOS or Android.
Ah, eBay. The trusted pioneer of auction websites.
If you have rare items or high-end designer clothing, this is a good option. Just be ready to do the work yourself.
With eBay, effort needs to be put into making professional-looking listings using effective keywords and great descriptions.
This platform attracts people looking for specific items so it’s better to sell sought-after pieces to make it worth your time.
To start, set up an account and choose to either sell your items at auction or fix a price on them. Note that on a fixed price, you can also give buyers the option to submit their best offer.
You have a chance to use both methods at once, and see what people will offer on the clothing.
This is the great thing about eBay—you can potentially sell your clothes for more money and make a higher profit.
The selling fees for eBay are much cheaper than most apps. They are a percentage of an item’s total sale price, which for most sellers is about 10% or lower.
For shipping, you can purchase one of their labels or ship on your own.
Get eBay for free on iOS or Android.
Selling on Tradesy is both easy and potentially profitable. You can sell pretty much anything in your closet that is in good condition.
Along with clothing, Tradesy highlights accessories or other high-end fashion items like handbags.
Simply list the items on the site, and once you make a sale, you have various shipping options.
You can choose from a Tradesy USPS priority label, a full shipping kit (complete with a box and shipping label), or use your own stuff to send it to your buyer.
Returns are even hassle-free since they are shipped back to Tradesy, and you still get to keep what you earned on the sale.
Commission is $7.50 per piece under $50, and they charge 19.8% for anything over $50.
Try Tradesy for free on iOS or Android.
Facebook Marketplace is a great platform to sell your clothes locally.
The process is simple: Tap on the Marketplace icon at the bottom of your Facebook app, click on Sell Something, and start listing your items.
Essentially, Facebook Marketplace operates like a classified section where you list your item and then connect with buyers directly on Facebook.
After making the exchange with your buyer in a public space, you mark the item as sold to stop showing up in the search.
Facebook Marketplace is free, so you can keep more of the profits. The selling fee is 5% or a minimum of $0.40 for each item purchased with shipping and checkout.
Log into your Facebook account to get started.
Top Tips on How to Successfully Sell Your Clothes Online
Making a mental list of all the items you can purge from your closet?
Good! You’re one step closer to making that extra cash to fund a new wardrobe without spending a cent.
If you want to make some serious money, there is some preparation that goes into selling your clothes online.
Here are some of the best tips to have an optimal experience:
#1 Find your preferred platform.
With so many app and site options to sell clothing online, the key is to find the one that best suits your clothing and your personality.
“There is a level of involvement with each platform,” shares Veronica, who has been selling clothing online for over 10 years.
“If you want to be an entrepreneur and control your prices then I recommend Poshmark. If you have luxury items and don’t want to think much about selling I would recommend The Real Real. There are other platforms to sell on that fit different niches.”
Consider the amount of time and effort needed for each option. Pick the one that motivates you most to keep your selling drive going.
#2 Select your items carefully.
Study the platform you want to sell on to get a sense of what type of clothing is sold and the amount of inventory that exists.
You want to make sure what you offer matches the platform and shopping audience.
You wouldn’t want to post your Louis Vuitton sandals on ThredUP, for example, since they are not likely to get the attention of desirable buyers.
If you have a thing for accessories, you’ll benefit from the reselling market.
“I would say accessories are the way to go to make the most money and to make sure things get sold for good,” Lauren W. advises.
“Handbags and jewelry are usually the best sellers because people don’t have to try them on. You can get a pretty good sense online what that looks like and it’s not the same thing as trying on a sweater or a dress and it doesn’t fit.”
#3 Get the right pricing down.
Compare prices of other sellers to gauge what your item can go for.
You’re not going to get what you paid for your things, so be realistic with your pricing.
Also, remember that there is a level of work that goes into creating a successful listing, so make sure the items you choose are worth your time to sell.
For example, pricing a maxi dress at $10 may not make up for the time it takes to prepare the sale.
Timing also comes into play when pricing your pieces. Make sure you sell your items at the right time to stay on trend and get the most out of your sales.
#4 Make your posts stand out.
The goal here is to make an eye-catching post to increase sales potential. There are several ways to do this:
- Prep your clothes by giving them a little makeover where needed. Iron out the wrinkles, maybe even add that button that popped off. You want to make them appear in the best condition possible.
- Photos are everything. Have an uncluttered background and take shots from various angles. You can lay them flat on your bed or a table or hang them (use wooden hangers for a more chic look) on the back of a door. Always use natural light.
- Write accurate and captivating descriptions. Veronica focused on this and had 250K followers on Poshmark as a result.
“How I found success with Poshmark was with creativity and authenticity,” says Veronica. “Show a different perspective with what you are selling; maybe share the value of the item let people know the story of what they are buying.
“When it comes to selling clothes it’s good to know the details. Fabric type, measurement, and brands. Presentation is key, good lighting, and be honest about flaws. I sold more when I showed how you can style an outfit. People want to see how that item can fit into their wardrobe. Also, it’s important to respond kindly and promptly to comments.”
Ready to Sell Your Clothes for Cash?
There is a satisfaction selling clothes online.
Not only do you get to purge your closet of unused items that can find a new home, but you can also quickly put some extra cash in your pocket.
Keep in mind that the first sales are the toughest. Don’t give up! Once you have a process down and know the ins and outs of your selected platform, you’re good to go.
You’ll be able to say good-bye to your closet blues and fund a new wardrobe without spending a cent.
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Disclaimer: I am not a financial planner or expert. All information in the post is my opinion and should not be used as financial advice. This is based solely on my experiences. Any action you take based on the recommendations from this blog is at your discretion. This post contains some affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link and purchase a product/service, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. However, I only recommend products, services, and/or businesses that I love and believe will add value to you.