How to Make Money While Cleaning out Your Closet

Man sell clothes online

With the sudden unemployment spike in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, people everywhere are seeking new ways to make a little extra cash from home. So instead of saying “yes” the next time your smart TV asks if you’re “still watching,” try taking a break from your Netflix binge to kill two productivity birds with one stone: A closet spring clean and a consignment haul for a little added income.

It’s time to ditch pieces you bought online that don’t fit right along with gifted garments that are simply collecting dust. Start on one end of your closet and lay everything you haven’t worn in the last six months on your bed (feel free to cancel any months spent in quarantine). Chances are if you haven’t worn them in that time frame, you never will. Why not give them a new home while adding a couple of zeroes to your bank account?

Ahead, we round up some of the best online consignment shops with tips on how to successfully sell your like new and gently used clothes. Note, most of these sites will not accept clothing that is worn, damaged, or majorly wrinkled. Remember, presentation is everything.

Best for Outerwear: Poshmark

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Chances are you know someone that either buys or sells on Posh. Sellers here take photos, upload and determine the price of their own items while including a short description. Think of it as a little online boutique of your unwanted items. Buyers can make an offer and you can negotiate. Once you get into the swing of things, it can become as addicting as a video game. Soon enough, you’ll rack up that account balance. The site takes a 20% commission and sends you an automatic shipping label for every sale. Brand names like Lululemon and Patagonia do well here.

Best for Vintage Clothes: Depop

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Depop is known as the creative community’s marketplace. It has a more indie, Brooklyn-hipster vibe to the items listed. Similar to Poshmark, it’s super easy to use and runs on an app only (not a website). Depop is great for your grandfather’s no-name old Hawaiian shirts hanging in the back of your closet that you’ve been saving for a costume party. Anything marketed as “vintage” here does well, whereas on Poshmark it might not. And the platform only takes a 10% commission.

Best for Streetwear: Grailed

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Although not as widely known, Grailed is one of the best online selling platforms for menswear. The interface is extremely user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing and more importantly, sales only entail a 6% commission, not including PayPal fees. The standards, however, are a bit high as the Grailed community is fashion-educated and the marketplace is curated. Streetwear brands like Supreme, Off-White, and Vetements do well here.

Best for Novelty Clothes: eBay

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Spread the joy of #WorldNutellaDay with a hoodie that keeps you belly-deep in the deliciousness. ???? ???? #eBayFinds

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As the OG buy-and-sell-from-home platform, eBay is still among the best places to sell your items online. And this goes beyond just the closet. Ebay takes a percentage of all sales, ranging from 1.5% to 12% depending on the value and shipping costs per item. Because you can buy and sell just about anything on eBay, it’s not as streamlined as the more closet-focused apps. Novelty items (like this Nutella hoodie) do well on eBay.

Best for Luxury Items: Vestiaire Collective

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Your Gucci loafers and Prada briefcases will find a second home at this online consignment platform specializing in luxury items. Selling your pieces is a breeze on Vestiaire. Simply fill out a form with your item’s info, including season, size, and designer, and a brand representative will let you know if your garments are fit for the marketplace. If approved, you’ll receive a shipping label to send your items to the platform’s Paris headquarters for authentication. Vestiaire takes up to a 35% commission.

More Great Places to Sell Clothes Online

The RealReal

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The luxury consignment store is one of my favorites for selling off designer pieces, from Tom Ford sunnies to an A.P.C sweater. You can request a mailer via the site or set up an in-person appointment at the store or your home with a specialist. Sellers get to keep up to 85% of the sale price and items typically sell pretty fast!

Rebag

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If you’re anything like me, you’re a bit of a bag hoarder, possibly from luggage to tote bags, wallets, and everything in between. If you have bags starting to linger about and take up excess space, Rebag is the perfect place to turn these bags into cash. Using CLAIR, Rebag is revolutionizing and transforming the luxury bag resale industry. Rebag has created an easy-to-use appraisal index as well as universal codes and condition grades to serve as a common pricing reference for resellers worldwide. In just a few minutes, Clair determines the value of any handbag across a list of more than 50 brands and 10,000 styles. Additionally, it offers consumers an exact and fully automated price that Rebag is currently willing to pay to acquire that item.

LePrix

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LePrix works with some of the best store boutique partners around the world that are expert purveyors of authentic and pre-owned luxury. LePrix offers a few ways to sell via the platform; on your own, through consignment, or via trades with other sellers. Although the site specializes in high-end products, you can definitely still sell more accessible priced items via the platform a well.

ASOS Marketplace

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Unlike a lot of its counterparts this online consignment option doesn’t focus on the brand, but the aesthetic of the pieces. It’s great for selling those retro concert tees, distressed denim, and repurposed vintage pieces just hanging around. You set the price but ASOS Marketplace does take a 10% commission on the sale price of each item.

Buffalo Exchange

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The popular thrift store with locations all across the U.S. now offers mail-in options for that summer closet cleanout.  It’s a super effortless process; just request a free bag online. Within a few weeks of receiving your bag, Buffalo Exchange will send you 25% of our selling price in cash via PayPal or 50% in-store trade. For any items the company is unable to take, you can have them returned for the cost of shipping or donate them to deserving local non-profits through our Clothing for the Community program!

Crossroads Trading Co.

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Crossroads has been leading the resale fashion industry for over 27 years. Catering to fashionable and eco-conscious customers, the store offers a “mail-in” option that you can request via the website. The company looks for gently used seasonal clothing for cash or trade; that’s right, not consignment, so you get paid 30% of the sale price upfront!

Etsy

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If you want to set up your own curated vintage shop, Etsy is the place to go! The site comprised of artisans who sell mostly vintage and handmade work allows you to make the platform yours with free range on setting pieces you want to sell, pricing, and content. Etsy does charge a 20-cent listing fee per each item and once an item is sold there’s a 3.5% transaction fee and 3% payment processing fee.

Instagram

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More likely than not you’re already on Instagram, so why not use it to your advantage? Simply just take some shots of the pieces you want to sell and post them on your story with the sale price. The great thing about this is that you get to avoid any tax margins or retail guidelines. You also get to offer these pieces directly to your followers who would jump on that linen suit you only wore once to a summer wedding.

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace
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Similar to Instagram selling, Facebook Marketplace allows you to be in full control of your selling. You’ll be surprised that your friend from middle school who you haven’t seen in 10 years would be into some of your pieces! It’s a super quick and easy process, just take a photo of the product and upload it to the site. Facebook Marketplace also opens your listing up to people in your area to be potential buyers. You can either decide to ship the piece out or if they’re local arrange a pickup to eliminate any shipping fees.

Mercari

Mercari
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Similar to the other self-service sites like eBay, Mercari offers a platform for you to name the price and decide your own shipping criteria. You simply post an item and, once sold, you ship it out to the buyer and viola! Mercari pays you through direct deposit every week, so it’s perfect for someone looking for quick cash turnover.

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