New year, new you, new closet? Thanks to a variety of online services, following through with the last part of that mantra can actually be pretty simple.
It’s no surprise people tend to purge their closets of clothes, shoes and accessories at the beginning of the year and at the start of a new season. Those looking to pass these products on can donate to shelters or charities or attempt to sell them to local consignment stores.
There is also the option to work with an online service to find a new home for these clothes and accessories. Some will do all the work for you (all you do is send your clothes in!); others leave the sales in your hands.
Here are five resources for selling and consigning your clothes and accessories online.
ThredUP specializes in fashion resale and does most of the work for you. Sellers request a “Clean Out Kit” that has a prepaid, pre-addressed shipping label, fill it with the items they want to sell (the company requests women’s and kids’ clothes and accessories in good condition) and send it back to the company via the U.S. Postal Service. Employees behind the scenes at ThredUP then choose what the company wants to keep. Sellers can get paid upfront for anything likely to sell quickly or paid when other items sell later (think off-season clothes). And if you’re really done with the items ThredUP doesn’t want, the company will pass them on to third party sellers or their textile recycling partners. If you want the clothes back, there is a fee. Sellers can receive their payout as credit to be used on ThredUP, cash transferred to PayPal or as a donation to a cause.
Suzy Choi of California told HuffPost she’s been using ThredUP for at least two years to sell a variety of clothes, more often her casual items than her work attire. In her experience, hearing back from ThredUP about her items took about two months, though a company spokesperson told HuffPost the average processing time is 30 days. Choi said she prefers ThredUP rather than going to a local consignment store.
“When they physically take only one thing out of your pile, you feel a little offended and almost embarrassed,” she said. “With ThredUP, you avoid that because there’s no person.”
Poshmark is for people who want more control over their clothing sales. The company’s site and app allow users to create listings to sell their women’s, men’s and kids’ clothing, shoes and accessories (buyers include a description, photos and a price). Once someone in the Poshmark community buys the item, the company provides a prepaid, pre-addressed label for the package, and once the buyer gets the item, Poshmark puts the money from the sale in the seller’s Poshmark account. Sellers can get their hands on their reward via direct deposit or by requesting a check.
Peyton Lazzari, a Poshmark user in Alabama, has had a positive experience selling her clothes online for about two years. She sometimes turns to Instagram, which she said is easier for local sales, but enjoys using Poshmark to reach a broader audience.
“It’s a little more streamlined, includes the cost of shipping when you make a sale and you get a printable label when you make a sale, so it’s super easy,” she said.
Lazzari said that her easiest sales have been products from Madewell and that as long as you keep your sales up to date and check the listings regularly, “buyers are happy to buy from you.”
Facebook Marketplace (or other social media platforms)
Similar to the use of Instagram, some people prefer to keep their sales within their social media networks. Morgan Bradwell uses Facebook Marketplace (along with her personal profile) to post listings for clothes, furniture and other items for her local community in Alabama. Bradwell told HuffPost she started using the Marketplace feature before her wedding about a year ago to purchase items for her new home and to purge her closet. After having a positive experience buying home items, Bradwell created listings of her own for clothes, shoes and other random items and was “honestly overwhelmed” with the interest in her posts.
“I offered to meet buyers in person (allowing them to pay with cash or check) or ship their purchases to them for an additional fee (allowing them to pay with PayPal or Venmo),” she told HuffPost. “I priced the majority of my clothes at just $10, with room for negotiation. In just one week, I made over $200! It was the perfect way to make some money just a few weeks before our wedding.”
Bradwell told HuffPost she loves having the sales in her control, but that communicating with prospective buyers can be difficult through Facebook Messenger, especially if she’s not friends with them on the platform. She has also run into “bad buyers” who arrange a time and place to meet to buy the items and never show. For Facebook users wanting to sell items, Bradwell suggested joining local buy/sell/trade Facebook groups, providing a thorough description and meeting buyers in public places to minimize safety concerns.
When you think Tradesy, think designer clothing and accessories. The company’s most popular brands are Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Chanel, and their best sellers are usually bags. Similar to Poshmark, Tradesy users upload photos of their items, create their listings and receive a prepaid, pre-addressed shipping kit once items sell. Tradesy will suggest a price, but users are able to override the recommendation and suggest their own. Because of the designer focus on Tradesy, the service also uses an algorithm that authenticates the product for 99.9 percent accuracy, according to CEO and founder Tracy DiNunzio.
Tradesy’s commission is 19.8 percent of the selling price for items sold at $50 or more and a flat rate of $7.50 for items that sell for less than that. Sellers can receive their money via PayPal, a debit card or an Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfer.
DiNunzio told HuffPost that bags tend to sell the quickest, in eight or nine days on average, while shoes and accessories take an average of about 11 to 14 days to sell. Clothes, she said, take “well over a month.”
Crossroads Trading Company has locations throughout the United States, and has an online sale feature. Sellers can request a free bag with a prepaid return shipping label to send their men’s and women’s clothing, accessories and shoes. Sellers via mail have the option to donate anything Crossroads passes on or to pay an additional fee to have the items returned. Mail-in payout is 30 percent for a check payment or 50 percent for store credit.
Emma Blakemore, New York district manager for Crossroads, told HuffPost she thinks Crossroads stands out because it’s a “one-stop shop.”
“We’ll buy your competitive designer pieces, and then we can also buy your basic really awesome Banana Republic, J. Crew, bread-and-butter merchandise,” she said. “You don’t have to go to a ton of places.”