Make Money From Your Forgotten Wardrobe

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Whether you've outgrown your wardrobe or just don't have space for it all, that doesn't mean you have to throw it out. Being aware of your options when it comes to reselling clothes can make a substantial difference for your wallet.

If you've discovered there's no room in your closet to cram in your latest acquisition, it might be time to think about parting with some of your less-loved items. Depending on brand, style, age and condition, there might be some money in it for you. Here's a guide to profitable closet-trimming:

Best Bets for Reselling

First of all, think labels. Anything from a high-end designer is pretty much golden: Louis Vuitton, Prada, Herm̬s. A lot of well-heeled shoppers are looking to pick up these pieces for anything resembling an affordable price. Mid-level designer names are also super-popular, like Kate Spade, Michael Kors, DKNY. Popular mid-to-upper tier store brands are also a safe bet: J. Crew, Anthropologie, Banana Republic, Lululemon. You can get away with selling almost anything except for layers that are too personal: no lingerie, bathing suits or stockings. Some selling portals include children's clothing, since mostly women are still shopping for kids. Far fewer options exist for men's clothes at this point, besides eBay. It seems that not enough men are into recreational shopping and retail therapy, yet.

Nobody Pays for Damaged Clothing

Used clothing shops work hard to justify their prices and provide a fulfilling shopping experience. This means they want to impress customers with clothing in "like new" condition. No stains, tears, pilling, frayed edges or faded pits. Freshly cleaned, of course. The item may not have the crisp finish of a brand-new garment, but the buyer needs to feel excited to be wearing it. Shoes for resale generally have to look almost new, without even a scuff mark on the soles.

She Who Hesitates...

While some online selling portals specify maximum age (not more than 3 years old on Twice), the flashier the trend, the newer the item has to be. That "mullet hem" dress you bought a year ago may have already passed its expiration date, while a simple Eileen Fisher linen top will be good for a while. Designer jeans of almost any label are perennially popular. Also, think seasonally when you put things up for sale. You don't have to have your "spring collection" ready in November, like the couture houses, but you do need to get it out there before the first daffodil is in bloom.

Choose Between Wholesaling and Retailing

You may have hesitated to clear out your closet because you have pieces that are too nice for your local Goodwill, and yet you don't have time to take measurements, upload photos, and write out listings, let alone create a personal store-front. Now there are places like Twice and ThredUp which simply invite you to bag up and send them a parcel of clothing that fits their criteria (newish, undamaged brand-name pieces). They create the listings themselves, and simply offer you a per-shipment price for the entire collection of items that you've sent. ThredUp allows you the further choice of a higher payout if you wait until the item is purchased by a customer, or a lower percentage if you sell directly to ThredUp. If you decline their offer, these outlets will return your bag-o-clothes to you for a flat shipping fee. On the other hand, sites like OpenSky and Poshmark let you create your own store-front and keep almost all your proceeds. These sites are fresh and mobile-friendly, and they weave together your clothing sales with clever apps for social networking. So, take a step into this new realm of fashion-sharing and swap out some of those things in your closet that you've stopped loving! Your wallet -- or at least your closet -- will be refreshed.   Photo Credit: Jocelyn Durston via Flickr.  


Betsy S.

Betsy S.

Washington, United States

I’m a professional content writer working exclusively through Scripted, and I have experience researching and writing on a broad range of topics. My employment background includes market consulting, real estate, non-profit organizing, healthcare-related social work and communi...

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