How to Actually Make Money Selling Your Clothes
If you haven’t yet read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, allow us to suggest you do so ASAP. The book inspired us to discard everything in our closets that does not “spark joy,” which, as you can imagine, meant quite a few things had to go. And though the activity of decluttering and paring down felt quite literally life-changing, trashing the clothing equivalent of a down payment on a home is neither gratifying nor environmentally friendly. For the savvy clothing recycler, we’ve put together a detailed guide for making real money off of your discarded possessions.
For Designer/Luxury Goods
The RealReal - The largest marketplace for authenticated luxury consignment in the U.S., The Real Real is the lazy girl’s eBay. Shipping is free (they’ll even pick your items up for you in select cities) and their teams will photograph, merchandise and market the goods on your behalf. For those efforts, The RealReal takes 40% of the purchase price of the item (reduced to 30% once you’ve sold over $5000). Most of your products will go fast given the sheer volume of traffic to the site and, as an added bonus, The RealReal will send you a $100 Neiman Marcus gift card with the sale of your first 10+ items.
ShopHers - At ShopHers, you have the option of listing items yourself though a fairly simple process. In this scenario, you determine the price and ShopHers takes 18% of whatever you make. If you use their VIP service, in which they’ll list the items on your behalf, ShopHers will take 35% of the profits. So, if you’re planning to sell less than $5k worth of product, we might suggest using ShopHers over The RealReal for a more favorable rate. ShopHers also sets its users up with "Style Soul Mates," which means you’ll ideally have a captive customer base each time you post a new item.
Vaunte - Vaunte only takes 15% of the profits from anything you sell through their site, but your item has to be approved before they’ll post it, and you’ll be responsible for both photographing and shipping the item yourself. If the low commission rate isn’t enough to make you want to shop your items through Vaunte as opposed other consignment sites, it might help to know that your Vaunte closet will be featured alongside closets belonging to the likes of Ronny Kobo and Erin Fetherston.
For Contemporary Mid-Market or High Street Wares
Threadflip - Threadflip is an easy catch-all for big closet cleans, as they do all the work for you and will take anything from H&M to Fendi, with some caveats: the clothing must be newer than 5 years old and on their list of accepted brands. Any item they don’t take, however, will be sent back to you or donated to Goodwill. For an item priced under $30, they’ll take 70%, for an item priced between $30 and $75, they’ll take 40%, and for an item priced over $75, they’ll take just 25%. Mid-market brands like J. Crew do best here.
Poshmark - If you like Instagram, this app—which boasts millions of users—is the resale option for you. Create a virtual closet quickly and easily by uploading photos and descriptions of your products. For sales under $15, Poshmark takes a flat fee of $2.95. For sales over $15, Poshmark takes 20%. You’ll be responsible for shipping, listing and pricing the item, but the buyer covers all shipping costs. Brands like Anthropologie and Lululemon do well here.
Depop - Depop is another social selling app—think of it as Instagram meets eBay. One of the great things about this app as a means for selling your stuff is that many of its users are as addicted to checking their Depop feeds as they are to checking their Instagram feeds. This ideally means your stuff will sell fast, with Depop taking just 10% of the sale for the use of its platform. It’s also incredibly easy to use: If you’re any good at Instagram, you’ll crush it on Depop.
For Vintage Wares
Etsy - We suggest you start here when it comes to selling your old-school pieces, as many customers come to Etsy specifically in search of vintage. Also, the site takes just 3.5% of each sale. Note: Items must be at least 20 years old to truly be considered "vintage."
Vestiaire Collective - For your luxury vintage goods, Vestiaire Collective is the place to sell. This French resale company boasts 3M global users, and part of the fun of selling here is imagining your items ending up in the closet of a French style soulmate. Vestiaire is easy to use: all you have to do is fill in an online form detailing your items, wait for the Vestiaire team to approve and post them and you’re done. Most (quality) items sell within 7 days.
Wasteland - Wasteland’s staff has a well-trained eye for pieces like a ‘90s Ann Demeulemeester jacket or a ‘70s Rolling Stone concert tee. In other words, this is not the place to offload your Halloween costumes from years past, but it is the place to get fairly paid—fast—for a great vintage item that no longer "sparks joy" for you. Wasteland’s take is 65%.