Most of us have more clothes than we know what to do with in our closets, so it makes sense to go through your collection every few months and weed out the items you really don’t need anymore. But did you know your routine cleaning session can actually make you a few bucks (or a lot more)?
Clothing resale apps are a great way to get organized, shop sustainably and earn a little extra cash from things that have been taking up space in your wardrobe. But there’s definitely an art to using them. So to help you get started, TMRW polled a few style and shopping experts for some insider tips and tricks to help you master your resale game. Have fun!
1. Pay attention to the condition of your clothes
The cool thing about resale apps is that you never know what you’re going to find. One day, you might see a designer coat with the tag still on it, and the next day you could discover a rad, vintage dress. Either way, customers are looking for clothes that are in generally good condition, so you should give your items a quality check before posting them online.
“Clothes can vary in condition but should have no major visible holes, rips, or stains and should not be at the end of its life in terms of wear,” Kristen Gall, president of shopping rewards and cash-back company Rakuten Rewards, said.
If you’ve ever donated clothing to the Salvation Army or a local charitable organization, you’ve likely washed the items beforehand, and you should also treat the clothing you’re selling with the utmost respect.
“Make sure your clothes are clean and freshly laundered before sending in. Send them in the condition you would give them to your best friend!” Kesha Linder, a merchandiser for the online consignment and thrift store thredUP, said. “Mend your items before you sell! Try replacing a loose button to increase their value and give them a better second life.”
2. Take great photos of the items you’re selling
Clear, crisp photos are a huge part of the online shopping experience, so it’s important to take great shots of the items you’re selling. After all, shoppers aren’t likely to buy something if they can’t even make out the details in a blurry photo.
“I recommend taking pictures of your pieces using a consistent backdrop with good lighting. Take the extra minute to steam out any wrinkles, and always photograph imperfections like pulls, missing buttons, broken zippers, etc. so it’s clear what the condition of your piece is,” Laurie Trott, head of brand at Tradesy, a designer resale company, suggested.
If you’re selling a bag or other accessory, it also helps to place the item next to another to illustrate size and scale. “For example, place an iPhone next to a minibag to give it spatial context,” Trott said.
3. Aim to sell clothing that’s in season
If you’re hoping to sell your clothing quickly and get a fair amount of cash, it’s easiest to sell items that are already in season since folks are more likely to buy them in a timely manner.
“Resale sites are no different from retail stores when it comes to seasonal items. No one is looking for a coat in the middle of July, so it’s best to stick to the types of clothing that are relevant to the season you are in,” Gall said.
Of course, there’s always an exception to the rule, and certain pieces tend to sell all year long, especially clothing that can easily be layered.
“I mix both spring, summer, winter and fall pieces into all of the seasons. Layering is a yearlong necessity that can sell and also be purchased in any season. Whether that’s a cardigan over a tank with a skirt in summer or three knits under a coat in winter, they are always needed,” celebrity stylist Ali Mullin told TMRW.
4. Sell items that will appeal to a specific site’s shoppers
You wouldn’t expect to find a Chanel bag at Target or a $20 T-shirt at Gucci, and the same concept applies to clothing resale apps: There’s a site for every budget. And if you want to use these apps effectively, you have to keep your audience in mind.
“There are many different clothing resale apps to choose from, so do your homework to determine what is the right fit based on what you want to sell. Some apps focus on high-end brands exclusively while others will accept a wide range of brands,” Gall said.
To help you get started, here’s a quick cheat sheet of some awesome resale sites:
- Poshmark: Have a mix of high-end designer brands and fast-fashion items? This site just might become your new go-to.
- Mercari: From Abercrombie & Fitch to Chanel, you’ll find a wide range of clothing brands on this site, in addition to accessories, home goods and electronics.
- Facebook Marketplace: You can sell just about anything on Facebook Marketplace! So if you’re cleaning out your entire house and have a mix of clothing and other items, it’s a good bet.
- Depop: Have an eclectic taste in fashion? Rare, niche finds do well on this resale site.
- Tradesy: If you’re looking for a place to sell luxury items, this peer-to-peer marketplace rewards you for cleaning out your closet.
- thredUP: You’ll find everything from women’s and kids’ apparel to shoes and accessories (brands ranging from Gap to Gucci!) on this online consignment and thrift store.
5. Consider how much you’ll make off your items
Clearing out your closet is pretty satisfying, but most of us are also hoping to earn some cash while using resale apps, so doing your research about a website’s policies can pay off (literally).
“Look up a few sites, and see what their protocols are and what, if any, expenses do you have to cover. For instance, how do they handle shipping?” fashion stylist Krista Roser said.
You should also research how each resale app handles payment to make sure you’re getting a cut that’s worth your time.
“If you have high-value items like a Chanel handbag, sites vary in how much you get to keep of the final sale price. It’s worth doing the math to see where your item will sell well and what percent the site takes as a commission,” Gall said.