Spring cleaning is very real and very important. Shaking out the cobwebs is a crucial step to welcoming spring, but you shouldn't reserve it for your house –– it's just as important to use this season change as a time to reevaluate your wardrobe. And if while doing so, you find some pieces that don't exactly compel you as they once did, there are now so many super easy, super convenient ways to rid yourself of unwanted clothes and accessories. Whether you favor the ease of shipping off all your goods for someone else to photograph and sell or you'd rather take on the challenge of getting the lighting just right, there's a site or a shop for you. Read on for the details on seven reselling options, what they're all about and how much you should expect to make from each.
eBay is the classic go-to for selling something you don't want anymore. Getting started selling is pretty easy, what with adding photos and information about your items for sale. Getting your stuff noticed on eBay is another story, though the site does try to give new sellers some helpful hints. eBay has a varying fee table for how they charge sellers. They tend to start with an "insertion fee," which is the cost for getting your auction started. You don't have to really worry about it unless you're listing upwards of 50 pieces a month. Once your item sells, eBay will keep 9% of the selling price. There are all sorts of ways to pay extra fees on your listings by adding a ton of extra pictures or adding subtitles or bold text. And having a "buy it now" option will cost you a bit, too. Shipping costs (and work) are covered by the sellers and are typically passed on to the consumer.
ASOS is our first stop for trendy everything, but we've seriously neglected the "Marketplace" portion of the site. It's a place for indie brands and fashion resellers to flock and sell their wares. Upload a photo (they insist on the item being worn, and in natural daylight) and item information through the site –– when it sells, you ship it off with your own materials. ASOS skims 10% off the asking price for its troubles.
More of a luxury hoarder? You may find The RealReal, a new members-only site, more your speed. First, your potential sellables must be by a brand on their approved designers list. From there, you can either request a "white glove" service –– where they'll do much of the work for you provided you have 10+ items to sell and live in a major city –– or you can choose to do it yourself, sending them your items along with a form you've filled out, the cost of which they reimburse you. After that, your pieces will likely be put into a special sale, typically based on the designer or a trend. You can expect to earn 60% of the selling price (or 70% if you are a high-roller and have something like $5,000 in sales over the course of a year.)
Etsy is well-known as a marketplace for handmade goods, but the site also deals in vintage. The rule is that the piece must be true "vintage" which is defined by Etsy as at least 20 years old. Etsy charges for each listing ($.20), which lasts for four months, or until the piece sells, and collects a 3.5% commission for each item sold. Listing items involves a decent-sized questionnaire, presumably to help buyers find your items a little easier –– a welcome addition to another site overrun with things. We like that the site has a large community and advice focus, intending to give sellers a leg-up.
Tradesy is another newer site (founded last year) where sweet deals on contemporary pieces are the MO. You'll find mall favorites like J.Crew and Forever21 among pieces from Norma Kamali and Charlotte Olympia –– think of it as the ultimate fashion yard sale. Listing items happens through the site's quick interface; once something sells, the site sends you a shipping kit. For all its troubles, Tradesy makes a 9% commission on each sale, which is really pretty low.
This brick-and-mortar experience will vary greatly. The shop mostly specializes in low-priced, trendy goods, so selling to Buffalo Exchange might not always be a moneymaker. You just show up with a trash bag full of your unwanteds and that's that, but it may make sense to give your local branch a call to see what it is they're looking to buy. Once you're there –– and likely, after a bit of a wait –– a salesperson will go over your goods, picking out what the shop wants to buy from you, which could be a lot or a little. From there, you're either offered cash or store credit –– store credit will be of a higher value. It's up to you if you want to take the cash or repeat the buying cycle with the store credit.
Another all-encompassing site, Twice is a kind of hybrid between your typical reselling e-commerce site and the brick-and-mortar Buffalo Exchange. To sell with Twice, you send them all the stuff that you don't want (with a little insight about what you're likely to earn and which labels they like.) From there, the site plugs an offer into their website, which you can accept or reject (getting your goods back incurs a slight fee.) If there's anything they don't want to buy, you can elect to have it sent to charity. After this, you're pretty much done. Twice handles the photography and shipping itself.