How To Sell Used Clothing Online For The Highest Return, Fastest Payout, & Lowest Lift

From Tradesy to thredUP, here’s the 411.

by Danielle Naer
Originally Published: 
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We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Every spring brings on the itch to perform an audit on your closet — but this year a clean-out feels especially merited. There’s a chance that your wardrobe might be packed with a mix of lockdown-era lounge sets, workwear from “before times,” and now, your re-emergence pieces — which are patiently standing by for the arrival of brighter days ahead. The question is: where’s the best place to take those pre-loved pieces to see the best possible return on your investment? Navigating the facts and figures of how to sell used clothing online — including commission structures, payout speed, and personal testimonies from each site’s most ardent sellers will help you decide.

Before you dive in, you’ll want to give your closet an honest look. If it’s a pair of Chanel earrings that you’re looking to flip, or if you’re ready to part with that investment bag from a few seasons ago, you may want to focus on resale sites like Rebag or Fashionphile, which focus primarily on luxury accessories and one-off items. For larger closet cleanouts spanning five or more pieces, you’ve come to the right place. “Doing a closet clearout can sometimes be time-sensitive, so the approach can be different [from selling a luxury item online],” shares Amy Jovel, resale veteran and top seller at Vestiaire Collective who has 20-plus years of experience converting her closet into cash. “For larger cleans, I prefer Vestiaire Collective to The RealReal or Rebag because the site gives me [access to] its wide range of buyers in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and lots of marketing during its sales. If you're doing a big closet clearout, you will have more eyes on your profile and therefore more sales.”

Visibility is one of many things that should go into your decision on where to sell pre-loved clothing. For instance, whether you’re willing to play the long game to see a higher return on your investment, or whether you want to convert that cash into a new Gucci Jackie bag, like, yesterday. (Both are fair answers.) There’s also the question of how creative you’re willing to get with your listing. On certain sites, shoppers will pay a higher premium for a thoughtfully curated shopping experience — something that’s well worth considering if you’ve been loyal to a certain personal style for years on end. The moral of the story is, there’s a lot to consider along with the final payout. To make things easy, TZR rounded out the top four consignment shops with competitive commission structures, so that you can choose the selling experience that suits your lifestyle.

Scroll ahead for the details — along with an edit of pieces from each site, to get a sense of the styles they’re best known for.

We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

How To Sell Used Clothing Online: Depop

A sanctum sanctorum for vintage curators and small-batch designers, Depop’s shoppers are loyal to the platform because of its thoughtful boutique experiences — so sellers that dive in with that mindset are guaranteed promising results. While its commission structure is one of the most competitive (the platform takes 10% of all sales and charges no fee to list), it takes a bit more than dumping dozens of passé pieces onto the market. “Getting set up on their app is as easy as having a smartphone, good lighting, and trendy clothes — [but] the real key is having knowledge of current trends or unique items that are coveted or hard to find,” says Tori Kobayashi, the 28-year-old curator behind @nostalgic_threadz on Depop. All this is to say that Depop can definitely be a higher lift for the seller, but it comes with the opportunity to keep a larger chunk of the change once sold than many of its competitors.

Many of its buyers are drawn to its ‘70s vintage and circa-Y2K pieces — so if your closet ticks either of those boxes, Depop should definitely top your list. For high-end accessories (say, your Chanel flap bags and Dior book totes), you may want to consider consigning with a retailer with an IRL authentication process. While Depop’s is done digitally (and thoroughly!), many luxury accessory shoppers are drawn to sites that enlist expert authenticators from the luxury brands themselves to examine the items in-person, separating the real pieces from the most deceiving of fakes. In other words, that level of trust could make your bags and shoes sell quicker elsewhere.

How To Sell Used Clothing Online: thredUP

For sellers, thredUP has employed a tiered commission system — the higher the value of your listing, the more bang you get for your buck. Pieces worth $49.99 or less have a maximum payout of 30%; then, from $50 to $99.99, the maximum hits 60%. From $100 to $199.99, thredUP will grant you a max of 80% — and it caps out from there. Its unique seller format invites shoppers to submit entire bags of garments, making it a great option for those who may not want to spend hours creating individual, stylized listings. Because thredUP does the heavy lifting to get your pieces listed, it keeps a larger piece of the final profit once sold. “The ease with which I can sell a large number of items is unmatched,” says loyal ThredUP seller Robin Camarote. “You place them nicely in the huge bag (or, if you’re like me, stuff as much as you possibly can before it won’t close anymore.) With other sites, I’d be required to take multiple photos, draft descriptions, and list items individually. I simply don’t have the time or patience.”

Once you’ve sent your pieces in, thredUP reviews each piece, having them thoroughly inspected by two different authenticators. Though ThredUP says it lists within 1-3 weeks, many users have reported it taking months to hear what their payout will be — making it not as quick if you’re in a pinch and need some quick cash. That said, if you are in need of a deeper overhaul of your closet, the platform is the one to consider. “thredUP is absolutely for anyone who loves clothes and, as a result, has a lot of them,” adds Camarote. “Because they’re busy, they need a quick and easy way to submit many items at once. This creates space and money for new items to come into their lives.” If this sounds like you, grab your free cleanout kit and get sorting. There’s a catch: they only accept like-new or new clothing, so take that well-loved Speedy bag elsewhere.

How To Sell Used Clothing Online: Tradesy

For sold items under $50, Tradesy will deduct a flat commission fee of $7.50. On sold items $50 or more, Tradesy deducts 19.8% of the sale price (that leaves you with 80.2% all to yourself). You can enjoy your earnings via Paypal, a debit card, or an ACH transfer. Its authenticity policy is also competitive — Tradesy uses technology to detect counterfeit pieces with 99.7% accuracy, and if you have any doubts about your piece, you can send it in to Tradesy’s HQ free of charge, where its team of expert authenticators will perform a thorough inspection. In the instance of a fake, the buyer will receive a full refund. This level of trust, combined with its consistent commission structure for pieces well into the thousands, makes Tradesy an extra-competitive spot to sell your designer bags — especially if you’ve been deterred by the large chunks of change claimed at buzzier consignment shops.

“Tradesy is an ideal platform for all types of sellers — [those] who are looking to either venture into entrepreneurship, and individuals who would like to periodically streamline and update their wardrobes,” says Laurie Trott, Head of Brand at Tradesy. As far as seller and shopper support, Tradesy ticks that box, too: “We pride ourselves on human-to-human customer service. Sellers and buyers can contact our amazing team by email or phone around the clock for any support, authentication questions, and overall shopping guidance, says Trott. “Plus, any purchase you’re not 100% happy with can be returned and refunded entirely.” This boost in consumer confidence is a veritable win-win for both parties, making shoppers far more eager to pull the trigger on that bag they’re eyeing.

How To Sell Used Clothing Online: Vestiaire Collective

Vestiaire Collective is known and loved for its famous celebrity charity sales, through which the likes of Kate Moss and Chloë Sevigny have offered up their most prized pieces. It’s not just It-girls and A-listers consigning their closets, though — anyone can sell through the platform, and its terms are compelling. From zero to $50, Vestiaire deducts $17 from the sale of your pre-loved item — then, from $50 to $250, they’ll take 10% — well below the 60% claimed by sites like The RealReal for pieces under $145. From there, they deduct 15% on every sale from $250 to $500, and 25% on every sale from $500 to $8,000. After that, it’s a flat deduction of $2,000 across the board.

“I have been reselling for 20 years and have tried many platforms, but I can honestly say Vestiaire Collective is my favorite,” says Jovel. I love that my items have more eyes in the European and Asian markets — which is unlike any other fashion secondhand marketplace. I started by selling items I owned and excess merchandise from my own online business to test the waters and now, I've sold over 65 items in the past year, with minimal effort.”

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