How To Sell Used Clothes: The Complete Guide To Make Top Dollar

Sell Used ClothesLearn how to sell used clothes to make money. This complete guide covers what clothing brands sell, where to sell, taking pictures, shipping and more!

So You Want To Make Money Selling Used Clothes...

Whether you want to clear out your own closet or flip clothes for profit, you’ve come to the right place.

This guide will get you cash in your pockets fast.

(Affiliate link disclosure: this article may contain affiliate links from which I make a small amount at no additional cost to you to help keep this site running.)

Selling Your Own Clothes

Whether you want to make money to update your wardrobe, pay down debt, or buy something fun, I’ll help you figure out how to maximize the cash you get.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll have so much fun doing this you’ll want to become a reseller!

That’s what happened to me. Now 5,000 items and $60,000+ later (over $40,000 net!) (from working during naptime, mind you), I’m helping people like you learn how to make money in this easy, fun and incredible way!

Flipping Clothing For Profit

In case you weren’t aware, did you know there are countless resellers who make great money flipping clothing for profit?

For some people it’s a side hustle – a way to make some quick cash.

For others its a part-time job. And for many others, it even provides a full-time income!

So Why Re-Sell Used Clothes?

1. They are easy to find. You won’t spend countless hours hunting down the perfect item to flip.

2. They sell well. Because, well, everyone needs clothes!

3. They are easy to list online. With some practice it takes just a few minutes.

4. They are easy to store. And they don’t take up a lot of room.

5. They are easy to ship. Anyone can do it!

6. They are small. You won’t need a truck to transport your items.

While the profit margin may be less than reselling large items, they take less time to source/list/ship. And time is money.

In fact, just by selling easy-to-find thrift store clothes, I make over $30+ hour!

And I’m confident you can too!

Reseller Bootcamp

If reselling clothes and other items online sounds like something you would be interested in, you’re in luck!

I’ve put together a FREE 5-Day Course called “Reseller Bootcamp.”

In it, I teach you exactly how I make a steady, reliable income from reselling, and how you can too.

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What To Sell?

So your first questions is probably, “What used clothes can I sell?”

And the answer is EVERYTHING.

Okay, almost everything – with the exception of underwear and socks.

Here are types of used clothes you can sell:

  • Tops
  • Pants/Jeans
  • Dresses
  • Lingerie
  • Bras (yes, used bras!)
  • Jackets/Coats
  • Sweaters
  • Shoes
  • Accessories such as handbags, scarves, etc.
  • Fan apparel
  • Sports gear (ski jackets, equestrian pants, motorcross jackets, you get the idea!)

The Best Clothes To Sell

Now that you know what types of items you can sell, you’re probably wondering which items are worth selling.

Yes, you might be able to sell everything, but is it worth your time?

And it’s not just a matter of knowing brands, you will also want to look at:

  • Style
  • Material
  • Size
  • Vintage

Used Clothing Brands That Sell

Yes, brands do matter. But I would agree that they only matter to a certain extent.

We’ll get into the other factors you will want to consider. But first, here’s some of the top-selling clothing brands.

  1. J. Crew
  2. Free People
  3. Levi’s
  4. Eileen Fisher
  5. Carhartt
  6. Lululemon
  7. Nike
  8. Patagonia
  9. The North Face
  10. Harley Davidson

This is a very abbreviated list of the many best-selling brands.

If you want to learn more, I’ve put together a list by category of The 100 Best Brands To Sell On Poshmark. (These brands are top sellers on other platforms as well.)

Styles To Look For When Selling Used Clothes

While it’s good to know brands, you will also want to keep up on the latest styles.

Other Styles

Here are some of the hottest trends selling right now:

  • Hi-Rise
  • Wide-leg jeans
  • Overalls/shortalls/overall dresses
  • Jumpers/rompers
  • Crop tops
  • Boho
  • Fringe and tassels
  • Platform shoes

If you’re a little rusty on the latest styles (like me!), a lot of brands make it really easy!

They will have the date printed on the tags. Try to aim for dates within the last 3 years.

Of course, the newer the better!

There are also other styles that sell well that are definitely NOT what you would call “trendy.”

These include:

  • Long skirts made with heavy material (I use the keyword “modest”)
  • Jumper dresses
  • Tiered skirts
  • Anything unique

You can see some of these types of items I’m talking about in Make Money Selling Clothes That Are Unique, Modest, and Just Plain Ugly.

Materials That Sell Well

Another thing that you will want to keep in mind is the material content.

Buyers prefer (and will pay more for) natural fibers.

Here is a list of the materials you should look for when selling used clothes:

  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Wool
  • Alpaca
  • Flax
  • Lambswool
  • Merino Wool
  • Silk
  • Cashmere
  • Leather/Suede/Nubuck

Sizes That Sell Well

In addition to brand, style, and material, size can affect how well your clothes sell.

There are certain sizes that are swamped. Other sizes are less competitive. And it will be easy (and more profitable!) to sell in these sizes.

Based on my experience, here’s some of the sizes that sell especially well:

  • Women’s plus size
  • Men’s big & tall
  • Tall sizes in both men’s and women’s
  • Extra large bras (band size and/or cup size)

Vintage Clothes That Sell

At the other end of the latest styles spectrum, is vintage clothes.

Vintage clothing tends to be a highly sought after (and lucrative) subset of clothing you can sell.

Here are some of the items to look for to sell:

  • Vintage Lingerie including corsets and bustiers (look for the ILGWU – International Ladies Garmet Worker’s Union tag)
  • Vintage denim jackets (especially sherpa collars)
  • Vintage jackets (men’s sell better than women’s)
  • Vintage shoes
  • Vintage women’s and girls dresses
  • Vintage military

A couple other hints to find vintage clothes:

  • Look for “Made in the USA” on the tags. That’s a good bet it’s vintage as very few brands are currently made in the US.
  • Look for any union tags or labels such as “Union Sanforized.”
  • This article will help you date ILGWU tags.

Ready To Learn How To Resell Clothes & More?

Best Sites To Sell Used Clothes

Now that you know what you can sell, the next thing is to decide where to sell your used clothes.

Thankfully, there are plenty of sites to pick from.

Here are some of the best:

 

1) eBay

eBay is by far the biggest platform to sell used clothing and other items on. eBay will get your items in front of millions of buyers.

However, it has the biggest learning curve to sell on.

In addition, the shipping can be confusing for new sellers. Another drawback is their app, which could use some improvements.

The fees for most items are 10% of the total sale (including shipping and sales tax). There are also additional payment processing fees.

You get 50 free listings a month. If you want to list more than that, you will need to pay “insertion fees” or open an eBay Store.

Because I know all this can be confusing, I’ve written an entire, comprehensive article on How To Sell On eBay in 8 Easy Steps to help you out.

2) Poshmark

Poshmark is a favorite of a lot of sellers for used clothes. It is easy to use and is fool-proof when it comes to shipping.

***If you are new to Poshmark, sign up with my code LEEP20 to get a $10 bonus!***

However, the reach isn’t as big as eBay. Also, it requires a lot of hands on activity (such as sharing and following) to really be successful.

There are also limited categories if you are looking to sell outside of the clothing category.

And the fees of 20% for over $15 and $2.95 for under $15 are relatively steep.

However, unlike eBay, you get unlimited listings and don’t have to pay store subscription fees.

3) Mercari

Mercari is an up and rising star. Like Poshmark, it is very easy to sell on and has a great app.

Shipping is also very easy. And fees are simple to calculate at 10%.

If you are new to Mercari, they also have a great deal going on where you can easily get $30. Here’s how:

  1. Download Mercari app
  2. Sign up using my referral link: Mercari Sign Up (must access from mobile device)
  3. Get $10 off your first order.
  4. Get $20 when you make your first $100 selling on Mercari.
4) ThredUp

ThredUp works a little bit differently.

Instead of having to take pictures, list and ship yourself, ThredUp does the work for you!

All you have to do is box your things up and send them in.

Here are some drawbacks:

  • On average, only 40% of items are accepted
  • The payouts can be pretty low
  • They only accept women’s and kid’s clothes
5) Grailed

Grailed is a platform that sells “high-quality men’s streetwear and designer pieces.”

It is easy to get your items listed. You can also price drop and “bump” (put your items to the top of search results) for free.

They claim they have the lowest selling fees out there at 6% plus payment processing fees.

They also have a site dedicated for women’s clothes as well called “Heroine.”

6) Kidizen

Kidizen is a platform for buying and selling kid’s clothes and shoes.

They offer two ways to sell: listing yourself or a service where they handle everything for you.

The fee to sell is 12% plus $0.50.

7) Tradesy

Tradesy is one that has been around for quite a while.

It tends to be for more expensive items as the fees they charge are $7.50 for items up to $50 and 19.8% for $50+.

8) The Real Real

The Real Real offers luxury consignment for brands like Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and more.

You start by either booking a virtual consignment appointment for your items or by shipping your items in.

The amount you make depends on the list price and what it is. You can find their fee schedule here.

So Which Is the Best Site To Sell Used Clothes On?

The best site is going to depend on what you are selling and your goals.

You will also want to consider if you want to do all the legwork of photographing, listing, pricing, and shipping. Or if you want to use a consignment option.

Here’s my take:

Most Potential Buyers: eBay – can be confusing as a first time seller, great if you plan on selling things other than clothes

Easy For Selling Clothes: Poshmark – easy user interface, but it is time consuming, less buyers than eBay

Best For Least Amount Of Work: ThreadUp – just send in your box of items, but you won’t get too much.

Best for Luxury Items: The Real Real – you don’t have to worry about authenticating your items, shipping, or customer service.

But What If You Could Easily Sell On Multiple Platforms?

Also know as cross-listing or cross-posting, this is a tactic used by a lot of sellers.

Sounds like a lot of work, huh?

Fortunately there are cross-listing tools such as Vendoo that make it super easy to list on multiple platforms at once.

They also make it easy to manage inventory across multiple platforms and even delist/relist items. (Follow the link to get 25% off your first month!)

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How To Take Amazing Pictures

Probably the most important part of selling used clothes, is learning how to take amazing pictures.

Pictures are the first thing buyers see when searching. More importantly, they are what sells your item.

There are four important things to keep in mind when taking pictures:

  1. Background
  2. Lighting
  3. Layout
  4. Pictures to include

We’ll walk through each of these in detail. If you follow these guidelines you will have amazing pictures that get your used clothes both seen and sold.

Background For Taking Pictures

The background is almost as important as the item itself.

First, you will want to find a clean background. Choose somewhere to take pictures where you will not end up with other items in your picture.

Yes, I’ve seen pictures showcasing hoarder’s houses piled high to the ceiling! You definitely don’t want that!

Next, choose what you will use for your background.

Light colors, especially white, will draw buyers’ eyes to your items.

Free/Cheap Photo Background Ideas:

Here are some options for using items you may already have as your photo background:

  • Tile/linoleum floor
  • Wood floor
  • White sheet
  • Blank wall
  • Back of door
  • Poster board (dollar store!)
  • Foam board
  • Contact paper
  • Plywood painted white
Photography Backdrops:

For a more professional look, you will want to invest in a photo backdrop.

I find the 5’x7′ size fits any clothing item you will come across – including 5X-6X sizes and overalls.

Thankfully they don’t cost very much.

Here are some options that meet the criteria of a light, non-distracting background:

Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Note that backgrounds will come folded and will have fold lines in them. They do come out in time, but it can take a while.

I suggest rolling them around a yoga mat to help them unwrinkle.

Also, you do not need any fancy equipment for setting these up. I simply use these 3M velcro strips to attach to the wall:

Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Easily convert between upright pictures and flat lay pictures with these velcro strips. More on photo layout in a bit.

Lighting For Taking Pictures

Lighting is another essential component of taking amazing pictures.

Pictures must be bright and well light.

In addition, lighting needs to be a natural color and not yellow.

Depending on the layout of your house and where your windows are, it may be possible to take great pictures using natural light coming in.

Doing it this way can take some playing around to get your pictures looking just right.

You will also be limited by the time of day. So if you need to take pictures in the evening, you will definitely want to invest in a lighting kit.

Lighting Kits:

Basic light kits start at around $50, including the light bulbs.

To help you out, I’ve put together a list of 10 Affordable Lighting Kits Under $100.

This is the one I use:

Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Layouts For Taking Pictures

There are several ways to take pictures.

Here are the 4 basic methods for layouts for your pictures:

  1. Flat Lay
  2. Hanger
  3. Modeling
  4. Mannequin

There is no right or wrong way here – which ever works for you. You can even mix and match.

For example, I use a mannequin for tops. Whereas, I use flat lays for bottoms.

1. Flat Lay Pictures

Styled Flat Lay

Flat lay photos are probably the best option for taking pictures without a mannequin.

You can either do a:

  1. Styled flat lay where your items is pictured with other objects.
  2. Basic flat lay with just the item you are listing.
Styled Flat Lay

While styled flat lays are cute, there’s no need to get super fancy.

If you choose to go with styled flat lays, make sure it is clear which item is included in the listing.

The other objects should not detract or distract from the object you are selling.

Basic Flat Lay

With a basic flat lay, just your one item will be in the picture.

Items look best when you can make them into a relatively square shape. For example: fold in the arms of long sleeve shirts.

2. Using A Hanger

If you don’t have a lot of floor room for taking pictures, a simple hanger can be a good option.

You can use this method for both tops and bottoms.

For tops, while it won’t give the shape that a mannequin will, it is a cheap and easy alternative that will still give you good results.

If you choose to go this route, a nice wood hanger looks much more professional than a cheap plastic one.

3. Modeling Clothes

If you’re comfortable with it, you can model clothes yourself or have someone do it for you.

You can always take pictures from the neck down if you don’t want your face to show.

If you don’t have someone to take pictures for you, you can either use the timer feature on your phone or take pictures in a long mirror.

This option really only works for clothes that are your size.

Otherwise, you will want to use one of the other options (mannequin, hanger, or flat lay).

Modeling Clothes Yourself

4. Using A Mannequin

Using a mannequin is the best option as buyers like to see how the clothes will look on.

There are 6 different types of mannequins for all price points and needs. This article covers the pros and cons of each type, what to look for, plus tips for using mannequins.

I’ve also conveniently rounded up The 10 Best Mannequins To Improve Your Photography (and sales!).

Pictures To Include

Now that you’ve gotten the perfect background, great lighting, and an awesome layout, the next thing is to make sure you are including the right pictures.

You will want to take pictures of:

  • The front and back
  • The side (if you are modeling or using a mannequin)
  • Any unique details
  • Any flaws
  • Brand tag
  • Material tag
  • Care tag, especially if there are special care instructions

It is especially important when you sell used clothes to accurately depict the condition. Be as up front and honest as you can.

Including Measurements For Used Clothes

When you are selling used clothes, it is especially important to include measurements.

You will want to provide measurements for the following reasons:

  • Clothing (especially jeans) can often shrink from their original size
  • It minimizes buyers asking for measurements
  • It reduces returns

Here are the measurements you should provide for some common items:

Shirts/Dresses
  • Armpit to armpit
  • Length
Jackets/Coats
  • Armpit to armpit
  • Length
  • Shoulder to shoulder
  • Sleeve length, top of shoulder to sleeve cuff
Bottoms
  • Across waist
  • Rise
  • Inseam

Some additional tips for including measurements in your listings:

  • If elastic, measure un-stretched and stretched
  • For jeans, include the actual measurements in the title along with the tag size: for example “32×32 (actual: 31×30).” This will help buyers find what they are looking for.
  • One option is to include the measurements in your pictures with a fabric measuring tape(s) laid across the item.

How to Ship Clothing

Thankfully, clothes are one of the easiest things to ship. Of course, if you are using one of the “easy to ship” platforms like Poshmark, you don’t have a whole lot to worry about.

To make this as easy as possible, I’ve broken this down into:

  • Shipping supplies for selling used clothes
  • Shipping methods for common items

Shipping Supplies For Selling Used Clothes

Here are the shipping supplies you’ll need to ship clothes:

USPS envelopes and boxes are all FREE. Plus, they can be ordered online and shipped to you, FREE ALSO!

Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Shipping Methods For Common Items

Before I break out the best shipping methods for common items, it’s important to know this when it comes to shipping clothing:

First class shipping is ALWAYS cheapest. Up to 16 ounces can be shipped first class with commercial shipping rates.

Now that that’s out of the way, here are typical shipping methods for common items:

Shirts

Almost all will be under 1 pound and can be sent first class in a poly mailer.

Some very large or heavy may be over 1 pound. For these, use a poly mailer, then insert into a USPS Flat Rate Envelope.

Jeans/Pants

Almost all will be over 1 pound (with the exception of kid’s and very small women’s sizes). Use a poly mailer, then insert into a USPS Flat Rate Envelope.

Shoes

Lightweight (under 1 pound) such as Crocs can go first class in a poly mailer.

Over 1 pound, the next best option is a USPS Padded Flat Rate Envelope.

If it doesn’t fit in that, you will probably need to go to a USPS Medium Flat Rate Box.

Hoodies/Jackets

Most are over 1 pound. If it fits in a USPS Flat Rate Envelope, that is the cheapest option. Otherwise you may need to go to a USPS Medium Flat Rate Box.

To learn about little-known shipping methods to save you money that aren’t discussed here, read this:

Conclusion For How To Sell Used Clothes

I hope this guide covered everything you needed to be successful selling used clothes!

If you have any questions, just let me know in the comments below!

-Lee

P.S. Don’t Forget To Sign Up For FREE Reseller Bootcamp!

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