Budget Hack: Turn Your Closet Into Cash

8th Jan 2014 / By Guest Contributor

It’s the beginning of January and you’ve just realized how much you’ve overspent during the holidays. Lucky for you, there is textile gold hanging in your closet. Make your 2014 resolution learning how to sell your gently used, or like new, garments. It’s an important skill that will be a source for extra cash for years to come.

1. Clothing Resell Websites

There are so many websites and apps dedicated to reselling your used clothing! They understand that women are more than happy to trade in their clothing to reinvest into new styles, and these sites are trying to make the process easier.

  • Twice – Download a free shipping label and send your clothes to them! They’ll pay you for what they keep, and donate the rest to Goodwill. If you don’t like their offer, you can reject it and get everything back for a restocking fee.
  • Thredup – Their tagline is “Like a consignment store – but all online!” They send you a free “Clean Out” bag, which you fill with your like-new clothes. If they choose your products, you get paid upfront! They have strict policies on what they will accept, and have a Return Assurance agreement if you want to pay for items not selected.
  • Poshmark – This is a peer to peer resell community. With their user friendly app, you can upload photos of your clothing with details. Poshmark lets you keep 80% of the revenue and sends you a shipping label. It requires some work, as you have to monitor your “closet”, answer product questions, and ultimately ship out the clothing.
  • Threadflip – Another community based resell site, that focuses on peer to peer selling. What sets them apart is that they also provide a “White Glove Service”, and will review, photograph, and sell the products you send them, while giving you 60% of the sale.

2. Trend-Based and Seasonal Used Clothing Stores

These are the Plato’s Closet, Buffalo Exchange, Crossroads Trading Co. of the world. Though there is the immediate gratification of hauling in your clothes and leaving with cash, there is also the displeasure when the store buyers give you less money than expected or completely reject your items all together. Make sure you go to the store prepared:

  • Resale-shop employees say they select merchandise based on what they think they will be able to re-sell. They also take into consideration the age range and styles of their customer base. So a low-budget store like Plato’s Closet typically go for Abercrombie & Fitch, H & M, and Forever 21.
  • Research the store in advance, scan the racks to see what they consider desirable brands. A pattern will emerge! Unlike Plato’s Closet, there are certain resellers that look for expensive brands.
  • Think seasonal! A pretty floral spring dress will not sell in January. Unlike traditional fashion buyers, the second hand resellers are not thinking far into the future. Try to sell your dress at the end of February, when it starts to warm up.
  • Wash, Febrese, iron, and neatly fold your clothes. Presentation matter, even to used clothing buyers.

Low budget stores typically pay $2-$3 per item. So beware, you could bring in $150 worth of items, and leave with $15. Check out Yelp to find the used clothing reseller near you.

3. Direct Sales

Selling your clothing directly to your buyer lets you keep the most profit, but also is the most work.

  • Ebay: The go to amateur seller site will allow users to sell their “properly cleaned” used clothing (minus under garments).  We aren’t going to reinvent the wheel, they are plenty of great resources to show you how to get started: Selling Clothes on Ebay. Your first 50 listings are free, and ebay takes 10% of the total sale amount.
  • Community Sale: Pitch a sale to your community/religious organization, where 50% of the proceeds go to charity. You still keep a decent profit, but also contribute to a great cause.
  • Craiglist: At your own risk! This is definitely the most rule free platform, but for those trying to sell a few high ticket items, Craiglist is a free and easy way to share your product with the Craiglist community, and your own friends/family.

Happy selling, Fabs! Hope the new year brings your health, happiness, and some extra cash in your fashionable pockets.

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