Want to clean out your closet and get rid of some of your used clothes? Selling your used clothes online has never been easier – and more profitable! But with so many platforms for selling, how do you know which is right for you? How do you get started selling your preloved clothes online?
In this extensive guide, we make selling your used clothes online fast, simple, and lucrative. I’ll go through why you should sell your used clothes, how to pick a selling platform, how to choose which clothes to sell, how to make money, and why you should consider selling with Current Boutique as your top choice. So, let’s dive right in!
Why should I sell used clothes online?
There are a lot of reasons to sell your used clothes online! Selling your secondhand clothes is better for the environment, better for society, better for your closet, and better for your wallet!
Better for the environment
The average American throws away 81 pounds of textiles every year and unfortunately, 85% of our clothes end up in landfills or burned. This is majorly wasteful. Not only is it a waste of materials, but also the degradation of certain clothes – like synthetic fabrics made from plastic – actually releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. The fashion industry is, on the whole, one of the most unsustainable sectors second only to oil. We go deeper into fashion sustainability here.
Selling your used items and reintroducing your clothes into the circular fashion world means fewer textiles get thrown away, fewer resources wasted, and fewer greenhouse gasses emitted into the environment. If you want to make good, eco-friendly choices when it comes to your wardrobe, selling your clothes rather than throwing them out is a slight shift that can make a huge difference.
Better for society
Selling preloved clothing also has a social impact along with an environmental one. Oftentimes, by reselling your clothes on consignment, you’re providing high-quality clothes to other women at a lower price. This helps keep quality goods in circulation, while also giving others the potential opportunity to have their dream wardrobe. Items that you no longer want or wear could be a dream purchase for someone else, and by selling your clothes, you’re giving them the chance to own that piece. At Current Boutique, we are creating a community of fashion lovers who care about clothes and the people who wear them, and we invite you to be a part of that community.
Better for your closet
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as cleaning out your closet. I love pulling out all my clothes and seeing which pieces I love and which I can rehome. There is evidence that clean, organized, not-cluttered closets are better for your brain and happiness too. Selling your used clothes is a great way to get rid of the clothes you don’t use or wear anymore… while also giving you cash to repopulate your closet with investment closet pieces you’ll wear all the time.
Not sure how to go through your closet? Check out some of our decluttering articles here:
- Let’s Do a Sustainable Closet Audit Together
- Quarantine Closet Cleanout: Love Your Wardrobe and Make Money
- Clean Out and Consign Your Closet for the New Year
Better for your wallet
Selling your used clothes online also means that you can make some extra cash. Who can say no to some more green coming in as you’re cleaning out your closet? Some people use selling clothes online as a way to get some quick cash for everyday expenses, or they add the money earned into their budget for new, high-end investment clothes that they’ll wear more frequently than the clothes they’ve sold. Some people even make selling used and vintage clothes their side hustle or primary source of income. There’s a lot of money to be made reselling pre-loved clothing, and I’ll give you some more tips below on how to get the most money for your items and your time.
Why sell used clothes online instead of donating?
Donating clothes is fast and easy, and donating to those in need makes you feel like you’re helping your community. However, there are a few reasons that donating clothes might not always be the right move for your used clothes. 84% of clothes end up in landfills, according to the EPA, including those that have been donated. That means those donations you hope will do some good might not actually be finding a new home or helping people – they’re just taking a little bit of a longer journey to find their way to the trash. So, in that case, selling your clothes is actually more eco-friendly and sustainable!
In addition, you want to make sure your donations are going to the right place so they are effectively used. For example, if you are donating a pencil skirt you wore to work, a woman who works with animals and is trying to make ends meet might not have a lot of use for a pencil skirt. Unless you’re donating to an overarching company like Goodwill or have found specific nonprofits that work for your types of clothes, you want to be mindful of where your donations are likely to end up.
Giving to others and donating your clothes is such a beautiful way to help your community. Just make sure your donations are truly helping, because oftentimes selling your clothes can do even more good for the environment and for your local society by ensuring the pieces stay in circulation while giving women the autonomy to purchase the clothes they want.
How to pick a platform to sell used clothes online
Types of platforms for selling secondhand clothes online
There are two main types of platforms for selling your secondhand clothes online: social marketplaces, like Poshmark and Facebook, and consignment or thrift stores, like Current Boutique and ThredUp. There are pros and cons to both types of platforms, which we’ll go through below. Ultimately you just have to decide what’s right for you. We’ll
Social marketplaces are platforms where you – the seller – interact directly with the buyer. Facebook Marketplace and Poshmark are both examples of this kind of platform. You create a selling account, list and market the products yourself, and then customers browse the platform and can purchase items from different sellers.
For sellers, social marketplaces can be decently profitable. You retain most of your profits from the sale of the purchase, except for the commission that the marketplace takes. For example, on Poshmark, their commission is 20% for sales over $15. So if you list a dress for $200, you’ll end up taking home $160. That’s a lot more than online reseller, like ThredUp, would offer you for the same dress.
You also retain control over your sales. You can decide how much you’ll sell your goods for, to whom you’ll sell them, and how you’ll market them. If you’re looking to create a side hustle or business reselling clothes, a social marketplace is a great way to build a “storefront” (without an actual ecommerce store) with a lot of organic traffic.
The potential for high profits brings with it a lot more risk and work. With a selling platform, you are responsible for:
- Selecting the clothes that will sell to customers (which is more challenging than you might think; it’s hard to predict what will sell well with a given customer base, which is why clothing brands hire designated “buyers” to forecast customer trends)
- Photographing the clothes in a flattering, aesthetic way
- Marketing your listings (the marketplaces offer organic traffic, but you’ll still need to create the written content and bump your listing, whether through social media traffic or paid ads)
- Handling general customer service (some marketplaces help with more advanced customer service issues, but you still have to work with customers one-on-one)
- Addressing scams or selling concerns
- Shipping your products to customers
… And all with no guarantee that your items will even sell! You could put all this work in, and you may never get a bite on your clothes listings.
If you love marketing and the business side of fashion, selling on a social marketplace might be the right choice for you. But, if you want something fast, simple, easy, and with lower risk for your time and effort, keep reading to learn about online consignment stores.
Some social marketplaces to sell used clothes online:
Poshmark is a reputable, trustworthy platform for a variety of goods in fashion, home décor, beauty, and more. Poshmark has a lot of consistent followers, so it’s great for getting eyes on your products. You also can create your own “store.” Poshmark takes a 20% commission for sales over $15.
eBay is a classic buying marketplace go-to for reselling your clothing, and you have the freedom to sell how you want. eBay takes a 15% commission up to $1,000 and 6.5% between $1,000 and $7,500. Just be mindful of scams and take care of yourself on this platform.
Tradesy specializes in designer bags, shoes, and clothes. They guarantee authenticity and offer sellers up to 80% of their sales.
The RealReal is also a luxury marketplace with authenticated goods with a particular focus on trade-in watches and designer handbags. They have a commission structure that means the more you sell the more you earn; so, if you have a lot of items to sell, you can do well on this site.
Mercari is a trusted social marketplace that makes it easy to declutter and make money. They let you sell everything from clothes to Pokemon cards to home goods and more. Although you might not make as much on your designer clothes as you would on other platforms, Mercari gives you flexibility and ease of use. They charge just a 10% commission with occasional other fees.
Etsy is a useful platform if you are selling vintage, one-of-a-kind items. Creating an Etsy store typically isn’t the right move if you only have a few pieces to sell, but it can be useful if you’re looking to build a small business reselling vintage clothes.
There are many other platforms as well like Depop, ASOS Marketplace, and more. If you’re going to sell on a social marketplace, make sure to do your research to find a platform that best suits your situation, clothes, and selling goals.
Online consignment stores
On the other end of the spectrum, online consignment stores post and sell your clothing for you. Customers won’t see who the seller is (you), they will just see the clothes sold in the store, just as they would if they went into any other retail store. This creates a more seamless shopping experience for consumers, which also means more sales and a higher level of consumer-brand trust. Some consignment stores will pay you a flat fee upfront for the goods they “buy” from you, while others will pay you a commission after one of your items sells.
If you want a quick and easy way to sell your clothes, selling to an online consignment store is the right move for you. Your clothes are much more likely to sell with the help of professionals, and in some cases, you are guaranteed payment upfront so it doesn’t matter when or for how much your clothes sell. You get cash in hand, your closet is decluttered, and you don’t have to worry about selling anymore. Even if the consigner offers payment only once an item has sold, it is also in their best interest to sell that item, so they’ll help promote and market it for you.
The online consignment shop makes it easy for you to send in your clothes, and then they take care of the rest. They have teams for quality inspection, cleaning, photography, marketing, promotion, shipping, customer service, and more. You just sit back and let them handle everything – and then you get paid. It really is that easy.
We recommend online consignment stores for any woman who is just looking to clean out her closet and make some cash from the items she no longer wants. It’s simple, fast, easy, and low-risk, and you can get your cash in hand quickly.
You might make less money than you could selling through a social marketplace. However, for a lot of women, the ease of handing their clothes over to professional fashion sellers is worth the slightly-lowered proceeds.
Also, the consignment shop might not accept all your items. They might only select or buy those pieces that they believe they can sell. For example, Current Boutique only accepts designer and brand-name clothes (we explain why more below). If you come in with an unknown designer or boutique piece, we may not want it (but we also might – so don’t be afraid to show us everything you’re looking to get rid of!). If we don’t accept it, we can donate the rest of your clothes to a reputable donation organization where your clothes can truly do some good (without ending up in landfills)!
Some online consignment stores to sell used clothes online:
Current Boutique is a beloved consignment shop for preloved designer pieces. At the end of this article, we get into the details of why you should sell with Current Boutique over other platforms, like how we offer competitive rates, make it easy to send in your goods, and how we curate a community of fashion lovers. If you’re wondering where to sell designer clothes online, Current Boutique is the number one option for a majority of women.
ThredUp is a well-known consignment store that offers buyers incredible deals on thousands of items. They make it easy and flexible to send in clothes and get paid. However, we know of some people who have tried ThredUp and been disappointed with their payouts. I know someone who sent in an unworn, tags-on Nike athleisure set and got 10 cents for it. She was pretty disappointed about that. While it’s reputable and flexible, ThredUp isn’t always the right decision for everyone.
Swap.com is a no-frills site that lets you send in and sell your items through their platform. You have to meet certain acceptance criteria to become a premier seller. This is a good option if you have clothes that may not be accepted elsewhere, like sleepwear or swimsuits. Their prices are typically low, which means their payouts to sellers are often on the lower end as well.
A note about thrift stores
There’s a difference between consignment stores and thrift shops. Some thrift stores are online, but these are generally not as reputable and easy to work with as reputable consignment shops. When looking to sell your used clothes online and make a good chunk of change, we recommend looking into consignment. Consignment shops have higher margins and payouts, may have selling specialties, and want to build a long-term relationship with you. Most thrift stores do not.
Should I sell on multiple platforms?
You might feel pressured to sell on multiple platforms to get your items sold faster. This typically isn’t the right decision for most beginning or intermediate sellers. If you have a reselling business, then selling on multiple platforms might be a smart way to diversify your customer traffic. But if you’re selling just a few pieces from your closet, offering it on multiple platforms will spread you thin and it’ll be hard to track everything. We typically recommend you sell through one avenue at a time – like selling all your clothes to Current Boutique or listing a few on Poshmark – to see what works best for you.
How to choose which clothes to sell
So, you’ve gone through your closet and you’re not sure which clothes you can or should sell. Here are some of our top tips for selling secondhand clothes from our expert fashion buyers.
- Don’t sell damaged clothes. Consignment shops and customers won’t buy clothes that are torn, ripped, stained, or have pilling.
- The easiest clothes to sell are designer, name-brand clothes. Unbranded clothes, even those from boutiques, don’t sell as well, particularly with designer consignment. Customers typically want to buy clothes from brands with which they are familiar, especially for preloved pieces. That’s why Current Boutique focuses on selling designer clothing because our customers trust the quality and longevity of these brands.
- Vintage, classic, one-of-a-kind pieces sell well. Outdated styles do not sell well. For example, a vintage Chanel tote will always be a top seller because it’s classic and timeless, but a baguette-style bag from the 2000s might lose its value quickly once the Y2K revival is over.
- Some pieces and designers are always in high demand. Learn which brands make the most money during resale.
- Unworn clothes with tags on or shoes still in the box generally have the highest resale value (except for appreciating vintage clothes). “Like new” condition is the next best.
- Ultimately, high-quality clothing will sell much better than low-quality, fast fashion that starts to wear down after the first wash.
Need help going through your closet? Check out our closet cleanout resources below:
How much money can I make selling secondhand clothes online?
How much money you can make selling designer clothes online depends on the platform, the clothes you’re selling, the season, the style, and the support from your platform.
Tips to make the most money selling preloved clothes
- Clean your clothes thoroughly before bringing them to a consignment shop or selling directly to the consumer. With online consignment, they’re more likely to take clothes that are clean and well-cared for. And if you sell clean clothes on social marketplaces, you’re more likely to get good reviews and customer feedback. Learn how to care for your clothes so they’re ready to sell here.
- Sell your clothes seasonally. If you aren’t in a rush to get rid of your clothes, try to sell them to consigners or list them on marketplaces when they’re in-season. For example, bathing suits are much more likely to sell in the spring or summer than the winter, and gloves and hats will be much more sellable in colder months. Consignment shops will buy out-of-season clothes, but they may offer less than in-season pieces.
- Know what’s trending. Although secondhand clothes are not always on-trend pieces from the current season, there are some timeless styles or cyclical trends that sell best. For example, peplum tops are not considered timeless or trendy right now, so they’re harder to sell; a little black dress, on the other hand, will always sell.
- Choose your platform wisely. Some consigners or social marketplaces take huge commissions, leaving you with nothing for your efforts. Do your research to find the platform that works best for your price point and what you’re selling.
- When you’re buying new clothes, consider their future resale value. Fast fashion clothes don’t resell well, while high-quality designer garments will hold greater value even after lots of use and love.
- If you’re just selling a few preloved items from your closet, sell to a consigner instead of a social marketplace. To be taken seriously as an inexperienced seller on platforms like Poshmark, you’ll need to knock at least 50-75% off the retail price, if not much more. While this might still be more than you might make from a consigner, trusted consignment stores like Current Boutique offer competitive pricing with a lot less work – and you don’t have to worry about creating an entire business or side hustle out of selling your clothes.
Why sell designer clothes online with Current Boutique
If you’re looking for where to sell designer clothes online, look no further than Current Boutique! We make it easy and convenient to sell your preloved clothes. Here are some of the benefits of selling with us:
- Competitive commission means you earn more for your beloved items
- Professionalism and experience, with a trained team who know the ins and outs of selling designer clothes
- Choose how you get your earnings: deposit into your bank account or get credit to buy more goodies from Current Boutique
- Easy ways to sell: drop it off, send it in, or pick up (pick up offered for 50+ items)
- Promote sustainable fashion by giving new life to your clothing and accessories
Most importantly, we treat your clothes with the love and respect they deserve. They hold your memories! Even though your style might have changed, your clothing is valued by Current Boutique and our customers. So, sell designer clothes online to Current Boutique to get your pieces seen by the perfect buyers who are ready to give them a new home (and put cash in your wallet).