The most important questions to ask when comparing the best sites for selling your clothes, accessories, and jewelry.
If you’re cleaning out your cupboards, you don’t have to toss your old – or not so old – clothing. You could be making money from it instead, especially if it’s still in good condition and is on trend, designer, or in demand. There are a whole bunch of resale sites online that will help you to sell your pre-owned clothing, accessories, and jewelry, but choosing the right one is key to making the most out of your items. Here are the main questions to ask in order to find the best site to sell your clothes.
What Type of Clothes Will it Take?
Matching your clothes to the online consignment store that’s most appropriate will help your clothes sell faster and for better prices, because all visitors to that site are looking for exactly what you’re selling. There are some sites like eBay which accept just about any clothing, but most of the best stores have restrictions about what they’ll sell.
Realreal and Vestiaire Collective share a focus on designer brands. They’ll both put time and effort into investigating and authenticating the clothing, watches, and brands that you send so that buyers can rely on their items. Realreal offers a free valuation service and Vestiaire Collective requires you to send in photographs and descriptions of your clothing for approval before they agree to list it on the site.
If you’re selling regular mall brand clothing, you can turn to ThredUp, which focuses on brands like Gap and J.Crew. Poshmark also accepts a wide range of brands and unlike many online clothing resale stores, it accepts children’s and menswear as well as women’s clothing. Men who want to resell their clothes can also sell mall brands, streetwear, designer brands, or special collectible pieces on Grailed. Finally, Tradesy has a unique focus on wedding clothing.
Who Pays for the Shipping?
Some resale sites pay for the shipping for you by sending you a prepaid shipping box or label while others leave it to you to sort out shipping. Material World, ThredUp and Tradesy all help you out by sending a prepaid shipping bag or shipping label so that you can package up your clothes and get them out of your way while they sell. With Material World you’ll never have to worry about the cost of shipping because they’ll pay to take your clothing, sort through it, and will return anything they don’t accept, free of charge. Vestiaire Collective will also cover the shipping for you, but only after an item has sold.
Realreal has the best shipping service. If you have 10 items or more to sell and you live in one of their eligible cities, they’ll come to pick your clothing up from you in person. In all other cases they’ll still pay for shipping by sending a prepaid mailing label. In fact, about the only clothing resale site that leaves you to deal with shipping yourself is eBay, which isn’t surprising given that it’s a very DIY sales platform.
Who Does the Selling?
Are you willing to do all the sales work yourself or do you want to hand it over to the site? You might be happy to take photos of your clothing, write up a description and listing, and share your listing across social media.
Poshmark requires you to do all those things, but it still holds your hand by dealing with shipping and returns – it will send you a prepaid mailing label once your garment has sold. The advantages are that commission is generally lower the more you do yourself and your listing gets up and running faster – within just a few minutes. Refashioner requires you to create the listing yourself, but you have to invest a lot of time into describing the item and sharing its backstory as well as giving photos. ASOS Marketplace has a setup that requires you to host an entire boutique with at least 15 items in it at all times, so it isn’t really for the casual seller who’s making space in their cupboards. As part of this you need to create your own listings for all of your clothing.
If you prefer to hand the process over to somebody else, you could turn to ThredUp. ThredUp invites you to send over all of your clothing for it to sort, photograph, and sell. ThredUp pays you on receipt for the clothing that it accepts so you don’t need to wait to see if it sells. Realreal has a similar setup in that you’ll send your clothing for its staff to sort, authenticate, and add to the website. It chooses what price to ask for your items. Because of the time they take to check out your old clothing, Realreal takes about 10-15 days to get a listing posted.
Vestiaire Collective asks you to send in photos and descriptions of your items which it then turns into a full listing, but you hang on to the actual item until it sells. It does offer a concierge service for an extra fee, which lets you send your second hand clothing and leave it to the company to sort through and prepare it for listing.
Finally, Tradesy occupies a sort of middle ground. You’ll prepare the listing with a description and photos and set the price for your items. Once your listing is up and running, you can send in your clothing and leave it to Tradesy to handle shipping.
What if My Stuff Doesn’t Sell?
For some clothing resale sites this isn’t a big question because the items didn’t yet leave your cupboard. You’ll just be forced to hang on to them for longer or to give up and take them to the thrift store. However, sites like ThredUp and Realreal which take your clothes and sell them for you have different policies regarding unsold clothing. ThredUp will donate any clothing that they don’t accept to charity, but if you want it returned you have to pay a fee of $12.99. Realreal will send back items that remain unsold after one year at the sellers’ expense or donate them to charity. Material World shines here because it sends your unsold clothing back free of charge if you don’t want it donated to charity.
How Much Commission Do I Get?
It can vary widely. Those sites which offer a greater level of service do tend to take it out of the commission, while the more DIY platforms take a much smaller cut. ThredUp can take up to an astonishing 95% of your sale price, although this is more likely for the lowest-priced items. The more an item sells for, the lower the commission that ThredUp takes, down to a minimum of 20%. On the other hand, Realreal charges at least 30% commission on the lowest-cost items, rising to 45% of items selling for up to $120, 55% up to $1,500, and $60 for those going for more than $10,000. Vestiaire Collective charges a flat fee of $25 on every item sold for under $70 plus 18% - 33% of the item’s sale price. Still at the more expensive end, ASOS Marketplace takes 20% commission and a monthly fee of around $32 for hosting your boutique.
If you want to keep more of your sales price, you could turn to Poshmark which charges just 20% for anything that sells for over $15 and a flat fee of $2.95 on anything below that price. Tradesy charges just $7.50 on every sale under $50 and a commission of 14.9% on anything above that, while eBay charges only 10% of the final price and Grailed keeps commissions to 6% plus PayPal fees.
How Do I Get Paid?
Options vary more than you might think at first, all the way from electronic bank transfer to PayPal to in-store credit. Poshmark gives the best options, offering to pay via electronic bank transfer or check. ThredUp pays through PayPal, a pre-paid Visa card, or in-store credit, while Material World also offers a pre-paid debit card or in-store credit. If you want to get the funds from Material World via PayPal you’ll have to accept losing 15% off the total. Refashioner is the only site that doesn’t offer any form of actual remuneration. In line with its vision of building a community of vintage clothing lovers, it only offers swap credit to be used on the site.
Make Money From Your Clothes
With so many options to choose from, there’s nothing to hold you back from selling your pre-worn clothing, accessories, and jewelry. Whether you take a DIY approach or pay for extra service, you could be making money from your old garments.