Got clothes laying around (or taking up precious closet space) that you never wear? You’re not alone! I’m an ex-clothing-hoarder and this is my tried and true series of actions I use to sell clothes online and at local resale stores for the most money back.
A few years ago, my closet and room were full of clothes and shoes I never wore. I worked at a thrift store and bought nearly everything I thought was cool, justifying my actions because of the super-cheap prices I had daily access to. As an extreme introvert, I’m unsure why I was laboring under the delusion that I would wear everything I had bought – I go out maybe a couple times a month.
Somehow, I genuinely believed I would find a way to use everything. Months and then years went by and I had to come to terms with the fact that I’d been unrealistic about the amount of clothing I’d accumulated and realized I’d be a LOT happier and better off without piles upon piles of clothes that I meant to wear “someday” lying around.
I did some research and explored the options I had for selling clothes online. I tried almost all of them – and here is what I recommend for you to do, and the order to do it in if you have a large pile of un-needed clothes to get off of your hands and are looking to maximize your cash-out amount!
Before you begin:
- Wash all of the items (unless they are new with tags and you don’t think they need to be washed) and remove any hair or dust with a lint roller
- Be honest with yourself about how likely the items are to sell – if they are stained, damaged, or SUPER old, simply donate them. Don’t waste your time trying to sell things that won’t sell. Save your energy to focus on the items in your possession that have more value – you are far more likely to succeed this way.
- Separate the brand new and top-dollar items from the rest. You’ll want to focus on these items first.
- Make a second pile of nice brands and current, trendy items or high-quality staples you believe are likely to sell.
- Make a third pile of the rest of the items: these should be free of holes, stains, or odors but don’t necessarily have to be the latest trend or the most expensive brand names. Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, Target brands, and more WILL resell in many circumstances.
Now: make some money selling clothes online!
1.) Photograph and list your top-dollar items on Facebook marketplace and also download local selling apps such as Offer Up, 5Miles, and LetGo and list your items on those. If you are not against meeting up with someone in person to sell your clothes, you’ll want to do this first because with these apps, you are receiving cash immediately and unlike the rest of your selling options, you do not forfeit a cut of your money to the app – you keep the full amount
2.) Create an account on Vinted, Poshmark, and eBay. OR pick your favorite out of the three and stick with it. (If you’re only picking one selling platform, I would recommend either Poshmark or eBay) Photograph the second pile and list those items as well as your top-dollar items that you’ve already put up for sale. This should keep you busy for quite a while. This is also probably the step that is going to make you the most money! I’ve done crazy well with eBay and Poshmark, and I’ve sold a good number of items using Vinted as well.
What you need to know about these services is that you will end up losing a portion of your selling prices to the fees associated with each service. Poshmark takes a flat 20% cut of your price. eBay has an insertion fee and a final-value fee adding up to a maximum of about 12% of your price. They do run promotions where you can create a certain number of free listings. That way, you only owe a fee if an item sells. Vinted does not charge sellers a fee, which is super-ideal – but their platform has significantly fewer users than Poshmark does. I can’t recommend them enough! But that being said, I’ve sold far fewer things on Vinted than on Posh or eBay, so in my opinion, focus on those two first and then get started on Vinted.
3.) Remain active on eBay, Poshmark, Vinted, and the local selling apps mentioned in step 1. You’ll probably receive questions, offers, and requests for additional photos on most of these platforms. Try to respond to all of these as quickly as possible – the faster you answer a potential buyer, the more likely they are to purchase your item. When you sell something, don’t forget to remove it from the other apps you have it posted on!
4.) Take the items in pile #3 and post to the local selling apps, Facebook, and eBay as lots. Keep each lot the same size/type of clothing. For example: all baby girl’s clothes size 0-3 months. Or all women’s jeans size 12. You won’t be getting as much per item with lots, but you’ll be able to get rid of more at once and you will probably be able to sell them for more than you’d get at a consignment or resale store this way!
5.) Collect anything left over after 1 week, 1 month, 1 year, or however long you are willing to wait and bring them to a local consignment store or a resale store. First, do a search for consignment stores in your area. There may be something near you that offers more than your average cash-the-same-day resale store (Such as Plato’s Closet). Call your area stores and find out how much they offer, whether they offer cash payment, and how quickly they will be able to pay you after your items sell. With consignment, you have to wait for the items to sell before you receive payment. If they offer you 40% or more of their selling price, it may be worth it to you to attempt to sell items at these stores before continuing to step 6, especially if you have some designer or high-end pieces.
6.) Sell the rest of your items to a chain resale store such as Style Encore, Plato’s Closet, Once Upon a Child, Kid to Kid, Buffalo Exchange, or Clothes Mentor. Each store has a different demographic, so make sure to only bring items that fit what they’re looking for! That will mean cash in hand quicker for you. These stores pay you an average of a third of their selling price, which might bum you out a little, but you get the cash the same day and it can be a quick and relatively painless way to get something out of the clothes you’ve been unable to sell online or using apps.
7.) Donate the remaining items! I usually choose salvation army, but there are plenty of places accepting clothes – do a google search for local charity shops that accept donations. You could also search for nonprofits, churches, or if there’s been any sort of natural disaster in your area recently there may be organizations nearby collecting donations for people who were affected. (Hurricane Harvey comes to mind)
Here’s a little rundown on each of the resale stores mentioned in step 6, to help you decide which clothes to sell to which store!
Once Upon a Child: Buys clothing, baby gear, furniture, shoes, and toys in good to great condition. They have a list of favorite brands on their website, but they purchase other brands as well. The website states that they buy sizes preemie to 20 or XL youth, but one of my top tips for selling at Once Upon a Child is to call your area store to confirm the sizes they will purchase! My local store stops buying at size 14. This might be because of the fact that there is a Plato’s Closet in the same shopping center, which may eliminate the need for them to carry these larger sizes. I’m unsure! Either way, call your store and check so that you aren’t hauling items there that they won’t be able to look at!
Plato’s Closet: Buys teen and young adult apparel sizes 00-3X, shoes, and accessories from approximately the last year to year and a half. They carry guys and girls clothing. Call your area store to check with them about sizes and current inventory needs. Some stores, especially smaller ones, stop buying certain categories once they hit a specific inventory level. The one near me is never buying skirts – they always seem to have enough. They’re also very picky about outerwear and winter clothing because in southeast Texas winter is practically nonexistent and shorts are worn year-round!
Some Plato’s Closet stores are more lenient on how recently the clothing was retailed. Some of them can afford to be pickier. This all depends on their demographic and the location. Check and see if there are multiple locations near you! You may bring the rejects from your first Plato’s Closet selling attempt to another nearby store and find you have better luck the second time around. View the list of their favorite brands here.
Style Encore: Buys women’s casual and business casual sizes 0-4X from roughly the last year to two years. This store operates under the same corporation as Plato’s Closet and Once Upon a Child, so their payouts are about the same: 30-40% of their selling price per item. As with Plato’s Closet, each location is variably lenient as far as the styles they will accept.
Try selling to multiple stores before you give up on them. These stores also make offers on designer items and pay out a larger percentage for those than they do for basic or mall brands. So if you have any Jimmy Choo, Prada, or Michael Kors laying around you’re looking to cash in on, bring it in to see what they will offer you. If you do have anything extremely high-end (such as a Louis Vuitton bag) I would recommend calling in advance to check with a manager as to whether they have someone on staff you need to make an appointment with, or if you can just walk in and receive an offer. Some Style Encores have only specifically trained people to authenticate and price these high-end luxury brands while some have their entire staff trained to price these items.
Kid to Kid: This store buys baby and children’s clothing sizes preemie to 14 and shoes, maternity clothing, and baby gear. They are fairly similar to Once Upon a Child but are not associated.
Buffalo Exchange: This store buys young adult clothing and does current trends, wardrobe staples, and vintage items. On their website, they state that they do not purchase swimwear, children’s clothing and accessories, maternity clothing, intimates, counterfeits, fur or bridal wear. They also “don’t buy clothing from fast-fashion and discount brands like Forever 21, H&M, Old Navy, Aeropostale, Target, Walmart or Kohl’s”. If you have these brands, try Plato’s Closet!
Buffalo Exchange offers about 30% of their selling prices in cash when you sell in-person, 25% via check or PayPal when you use one of their mail-in bags, or 50% in store credit if you opt to trade. The brands they’re looking for can be found here and they mention that you should consider calling your local store for more info on what they’re currently in need of.
Clothes Mentor: This store buys women’s and maternity clothing, shoes, and accessories focusing on designers and higher-end brands. They offer about a third of what they price items at, making their pricing very similar to that of Style Encore’s.They carry sizes 0-26.
I hope this info helps you sell more of the unnecessary clothing ruining your closet space. (Or your life, if your hoarding habits are anything like mine used to be!) Leave a comment below if you think I’ve missed something or if you have a tip to share, and good luck with your closet clear out endeavor!