We all have those pieces of clothing sitting in the back of our closet that we rummage past every day but rarely choose for a day out. It's easy to become overwhelmed by a collection of obsolete outfits and accessories you no longer need or want. Luckily there are tons of opportunities to upcycle these items — and even earn some extra cash when doing so.
The resale industry is expanding immensely and there are tons of websites, apps and brick and mortar shops eager to purchase your pre-loved wardrobe. If you’re sick of fumbling through outdated sweaters and jeans that no longer fit then its time to rid yourself of the clutter headache.
Here are my tips if you want to get cash for cleaning out your closet.
Assess your inventory.
If it has been a while since your last closet purge, I recommend pulling everything out of your closet, emptying your drawers and spreading each item out side-by-side. This forces you to examine every individual piece and decide whether it’s a keeper or if it can go. Don't overthink it! If you're indecisive about something but haven’t worn it in a year, it’s time to let it go.
After you’ve sorted through everything and decided what to get rid of, it’s time to determine what is worth selling and what should be donated or repurposed. Damaged, stained, or ripped clothes won’t sell so focus on gently worn items and those that are still new with tags.
Pick a place to list your items.
Once you’ve found some quality items you think will sell, it's time to post them online. There are numerous apps for clothing resale that I love. Some include Poshmark, Depop, Mercari, and even Facebook Marketplace.
Most apps will take a small percentage from your sales but in return you’re protected if something gets lost or damaged in the mail. I only recommend Facebook Marketplace for higher price tag items, such as designer bags or shoes. Since Facebook does not take a percentage, you get your full sale, however it limits the number or buyers, since they need to be local. (I do not recommend making a virtual sale through Facebook Marketplace for security and safety reasons).
Although these apps take time, energy and consistency to be successful, I find the extra profit to be worth it. I have made about $3,200 on Poshmark in the past year and continue to share and post daily. However, if you’re in the mood for cleaning out your closet but don't want to deal with the hassle of reselling, look for a local consignment shop or Plato’s Closet. They will pay you a lot less than if you sold the item directly yourself — but something is better than nothing.
Put together the perfect post.
Setting up a clothing post is similar to creating a post on Instagram. Clear, clean pictures will attract more people and improve your listing. I recommend taking photos on a white flat lay with natural lighting if possible. Also, try to model the pieces if you can (buyers love to see how a piece fits). But a good post is not just about the visuals.
If you want to be successful selling your pre-loved wardrobe, you'll need to write a short description of the item in addition to having exceptional photos. If you can, try to locate the item online to get as many details from the manufacturer as possible. A detailed, honest description is important. Think about what you would want to know if you were the buyer. Include information like the measurements and material composition. If potential buyers hit you up with questions, be sure to have a quick response time to avoid losing a sale.
Finally, set your prices. Buyers can always offer less, but don't sell yourself short. List your items for what you think they are worth and don't accept low-ball offers. It may take more time for an item to sell but the higher return can be worth it.
Turn resale into a side hustle.
If you get really good at reselling your old clothes, consider turning it into a permanent side hustle to make some extra coins. Once you run out of your personal clothing stock, just hit up a local thrift shop.
Goodwill is an ideal place to find jeans, tees, sweatshirts, coats and accessories for super cheap. You can easily come across name brand items like Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Juicy Couture hiding in the racks of your local goodwill. College hoodies, retro band and Harley tees, and vintage jeans are all great options to pick up as well. Pro tip: The mens section is the first place I check for any type of t-shirt or hoodie.
While you’re in there, also scope out some of the other categories besides clothing. Books, movies, games and sports equipment can be resold as well! It’s easy to find a great deal and the best part is they receive new stuff daily, so it’s always exciting to head in because you never know what you’re going to find.
The prices at Goodwill are good every day but most locations also promote half-off days, where everything in the store is 50% off. Your town might even have a Goodwill Outlet, where you can buy items in bulk by the pound. Become an expert in your area! A little research could result in major revenue for your resale side hustle.