One of the niche pursuits that I have tried out in the past in selling used clothes online. Don’t ask me why. It just sort of happened. I saw an opportunity and took it!
I suppose it all started as I was looking through eBay one day and was surprised to see that used clothes were selling quite well. This was an idea I had never really considered before. In particular, any name brand or higher-end clothes were selling very well.
For the right brand, some people were willing to pay a lot for unwanted clothes.
I don’t personally own any name brand clothes, it’s just not my personal style. I buy the brand of jeans that no one has heard of for $5 on the discount rack. Once I paid $25 for a shirt once and I felt kind of guilty about it (kinda expensive for me).
I’m pretty cheap when it comes to clothes for myself. The reason for this is because this is the way I was raised (large family with hand-me-downs).
So the idea of spending a lot of money on designer items at a clothing store just wasn’t a thing. We were all about the thrift store, the consignment store, and secondhand items.
But it turns out that some secondhand clothes can have impressive resale prices.
Plus being in business, I also know that the EXACT same material is used to make the cheap clothes as is used to make the designer stuff. So, when someone pays more, they are not get a better quality product, they are getting a tag with a brand name on it.
Anyway, I could go into a bunch of details as to why people buy high end clothes, but let’s just say that people do, and there is money to be made because of it. Essentially, perception is reality for people. (Even though name brand clothes are made out of same material as cheap clothes, people perceive they are getting better value due to the brand name…even though they are not).
- How To Sell Used Clothes Online
- What Are the Best Apps for Selling Secondhand Clothes?
- Best Place To Sell Clothes Online
- Selling Used Clothes FAQ
- Are You Going To Sell Clothes Online?
How To Sell Used Clothes Online
There are a wide number of options when it comes to selling used clothes. The best options can depend on a variety of factors, but there are many types of clothes in high demand.
Figure out what you can get ahold of, what you’re most interested in, and what’s selling for the best prices.
If you do these things and match old clothing to the right potential buyer then you have a chance to make some serious profit.
Where to Get Used Designer Clothes?
So, if I don’t have my own used clothes to sell, where can I get designer clothes? There really are lots of places like flea markets, garage sales, Craigslist, or other people or community sales. However, my main source was thrift stores.
Second hand stores like Goodwill or Salvation Army are constantly getting a new supply of clothes donated to them. You can often find name brand or designer labels on these racks.
The great part is that these thrift stores are not in business of trying to appraise what everything is worth, they are just trying to move the merchandise as quickly as possible.
As a result, they usually price everything right around the same. So, all mens shirt might be around $2 for example. Or all women’s jeans might be around $4 to $5. It will vary from store to store, but everything is usually pretty cheap.
Lots of brands of jeans for example can sell for over $50 a piece on eBay even though they are used. However, its pretty rare to find something of this value. However, being able to buy a piece of clothing for $5 and selling it for $15 to $20 is certainly not that unusual.
For example, if you look at some of the completed listings on eBay for used True Religion jeans, or Prada, or Diesel, you will see many of them going $50 to $100 or maybe even more.
I searched for “used diesel jeans” and here’s what I got:
If you can buy a $10 pair of jeans at a consignment store and resell them for $30, that’s a 200% return on investment! Good luck getting that through your mixture of stocks and bonds.
Know the Resell Price Before You Buy
However, as I quickly learned, the key to being successful in selling used clothes is knowing what will sell before you buy it. This can be a very difficult task because there are literally hundreds of brands. Also, some brands tend to do well with women and others do well with men. So, you really have to do your homework.
Because I knew absolutely nothing about name brands (because I’ve never owned them), I spent hours of research on the eBay completed listings trying to figure out what sold well. I was able to write down 20 or 30 brands or so that I should keep an eye out for.
So, when I went to the thrift shop, I smuggled in my list of name brands and starting hunting through the racks.
As I recall, I could have purchased a lot more than I did, but I think I ended up with 7 or 8 articles of clothing on my first trip.
This would give me a good idea of this stuff would sell.
I went home and started taking pictures of the clothes. After that, I simply listed them up on eBay and waited for the bids to come. One important thing that I did was to make the minimum price the profit margin that I needed. In other words, if I bought the jeans for $5, then I might have made the minimum bid $12 or something.
Used clothes is not something that is going to start a bidding war (unless they are vintage or collectible for some reason). So make sure your minimum bid is high enough to get the profit you’re wanting.
In addition, the buyer will pay the shipping costs, so make sure you don’t underestimate how much it will cost to package and ship or you will start eating into your profits.
Out of the 8 articles of clothing that I first listed, I think 4 sold right away. The others I had to re-list to get any bidders. Its unrealistic to think that all of your merchandise will be sold; especially, when you are first getting started out.
I made a profit on my little niche business of selling used clothes; although it wasn’t much. I didn’t spend more than a couple of months trying it out. I really think that I could have done better the more I learned and worked out a business system.
However, I learned enough to know that there really is potential in selling used clothes online.
I think this potential is even better if you’re just looking for some part time income. There’s a great opportunity here for ambitious college students, stay-at-home parents, or people on the hunt for a job.
If you’re just wanting to get your feet wet into entrepreneurship, this is as good of a start as any.
However, if you really want to make decent profits selling used clothes, you will probably need to open a retail location. If you can get a store front and sell used designer or vintage clothing to customers in person, you can easily double the price that you would charge on eBay.
Part of the reason is that people won’t have to pay a shipping charge which obviously means they are willing to pay a higher price for the product. In addition, when you can touch and try on a pair of jeans, you are more likely to buy it as well.
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So, if you are looking for some side income perhaps you should try buying and selling used clothes online.
Then if you get good at it, you can open up a retail location and really increase your profits.
What Are the Best Apps for Selling Secondhand Clothes?
When you learn how to sell used clothing online for a profit, you’ll find pretty quickly that online consignment shops and used clothes selling apps pretty much go hand in hand. While there are plenty of options, that doesn’t mean all of them will work for you.
Do your research and find out where you can make the most as a used clothes seller.
Make sure to at least check out these options as you start as a seller:
The ASOS marketplace has quickly gained a huge following in the world of used clothes. They take a 10% cut off sales price, but also create a marketplace where people are looking to buy. That means better prices.
ASOS focuses heavily on vintage clothes as well as retro clothing. While there are other types of used clothes here, you’re going to have the most success on ASOS focusing on the vintage or old school clothing.
However, if you have a lot of unwanted clothes that fall into this category, then ASOS is a place you will want to check out.
Look eBay isn’t just the best place online to find good deals buying vintage or designer clothes cheap. Depending on what you have you can also get good prices selling here, as well. This is a place you should be checking out both for buying and selling of used clothes.
A clothes selling app that gives you access to a large marketplace that may want your used clothes. They take a 20% cut of whatever sale price you manage to get.
This is an active marketplace and still offers plenty of options for selling.
In general designer clothes or designer items are the main focus here.
Tradesy is another online site where you get to set prices and have an active marketplace looking to buy your used clothes.
Instead of a percentage commission Tradesy take a flat fee based on how much your used clothing sells for.
An interesting option but if you’re creative, like dressing up old clothing in unique ways, or can create that vintage look that’s popular then going with an Etsy store could be a very intriguing option for increasing your revenue.
Learn how to make money on Etsy here.
Best Place To Sell Clothes Online
It used to be that eBay was by far the best place for buying and selling clothes online. Now, there are a couple more places you can try out. I would recommend trying out the best one or two and then mastering those before moving elsewhere.
When I tried out this side hustle, the best two places to sell clothes online are eBay and Amazon. It wasn’t even close. Both allow you to list your products, set your price point, and get your stuff out to buyers.
Amazon even has an area now where you can create and sell your own brand of clothes. It’s called Merch by Amazon.
Now there are many options for selling your secondhand clothes, but do any of them beat eBay or Amazon? In general, I’d say no, but depending on what you specialize in you should give them a look.
Especially if you specialize in a certain type or style of clothes like old clothes, vintage clothes, designer clothes, men’s clothes, women’s clothes, or children’s clothes. The truth is that there are always apps or sites looking to carve out a niche.
Keeping an eye out on who is doing what is crucial to making good money selling used clothes online.
Even if a platform doesn’t last for the long-term, taking advantage of good selling terms while they last can help you make more off each and every clothing item you sell.
Selling Used Clothes FAQ
Q: What is the best way to sell my old clothes?
A: Online options give you more opportunities than traditional garage sales or consignment shops. If you hit the right apps or the right online site you can turn a pretty decent profit from your second hand clothes.
Q: Where can I find in-demand used clothes for cheap?
A: I still stand by eBay as being one of the best options out there. Among online options this is probably your best bet but you never know what you might find in-person at a local garage sale, thrift store, flea market, or consignment shop.
Q: Where are the best sites for selling used clothes?
A: There are many online consignment shops like Le Prix, Tradesy, Poshmark that focus on used clothes. However, for many people eBay and Amazon are still some of the best options out there. The ASOS Marketplace is another name that comes up and has some pretty positive reviews from users. It is definitely worth checking out.
Q: Is ThredUp worth selling unwanted clothes on?
A: The general consensus seems to be no. The waits are long for all the clothes to be sold. Then it seems like a huge number of reviews from users focus on being surprised at just how little cash came back. While it might work for some, the general consensus seems to be that this isn’t the best option for selling used clothes. Especially if you’re hoping for some solid profit numbers.
Are You Going To Sell Clothes Online?
There are more options than ever since I originally published this blog post. Is selling second hand clothes a side income you’re interested in pursuing? Do you think the new tools available mean more opportunity to make money online selling unwanted clothes?
What do you think? Is selling used clothes online in otherwise a viable small business option? Is it something you want to see me try out and document on this blog? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts!