Want to know where to sell old clothes for cash? Read on…
I mentioned in my closet clearout post that I’d be following up with an article on where to sell old clothes, and here it is!
If, like me, you’ve been having a bit of a clearout, chances are you’ve ended up with at least a few items of clothing you don’t know what to do with. One of the most common solutions to this is to simply donate them to one of the many charity organisations which accept old clothes and footwear to re-sell. Donating is a great thing to do, and I highly recommend it, but if you’re low on cash yourself, or simply want to minimise your loss on a purchase that didn’t work out, this post will tell you where to sell old clothes and make a bit of money from them.
Before I get started, I just want to point out that there are TONS of places where you can sell old clothes, both online and off. In this article, however, I’ve focused only on the methods I’ve used myself, so I can give you my honest opinion on what works, and what doesn’t. If you’ve sold clothes using a service I haven’t mentioned, however, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!
Read on to find out where to sell old clothes with the minimum amount of hassle…
Where to sell old clothes: eBay
Where to sell old clothes: eBay
eBay is probably the best known place to sell old clothes (and everything else!) online, and some would argue it’s still the best. I’ve sold hundreds of items on eBay over the years – in fact, I once had my own eBay shop, which I had aspirations of turning into a full-time business. That didn’t work out, unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately: I much prefer blogging retail!), but I continued to sell old clothes there for a long time. I stopped selling on eBay a couple of years ago, when they changed the rules and stopped allowing sellers to leave negative feedback for buyers. I felt it led to a real change in the community: when buyers know they can’t get bad feedback for a transaction, it makes them much more likely to not pay, to quibble over the price, or to cause other problems, safe in the knowledge that there are no real consequences for them. That was my experience, anyway, and although I did eventually come back to eBay, and use it every so often, gone are the days when it was possible to make decent money there.
My main issue with eBay is that buyers there expect to get a bargain: many of them aren’t willing to pay what I would consider to be a fair price, even if the item is brand new with tags, and that can be very frustrating. I’ve listed things like designer jeans, say, which still had their tags on, and had them sell for just a few pounds, which just isn’t worth it, especially when you take into account the amount of time that goes into photographing the item, creating the listing, responding to questions, and then packaging it up and taking it to the post office. These days, when I do sell on eBay, I always list my items as “Buy it Now” rather than putting them up for auction: it can take much longer to sell them that way, but at least I know I’ll get the price I want, and won’t end up having to walk to the post office for 99p. eBay now offer sellers 20 free listings per month, which also makes the service more attractive, as you only have to pay if your item sells: previously I would sometimes end up paying more to eBay than I actually made from it: not a good idea!
Selling on eBay: PROS
♦ Huge marketplace, which means your item could potentially be seen by hundreds of potential buyers.
♦ Auction format, or option to set a fixed or reserve price, so you don’t end up selling for less than you’re willing to accept.
♦ 20 free listings per month: you only pay if your item sells with eBay taking a percentage of the sale price.
♦ Paypal seller protection makes it safer to sell online, and protects you from fraudulent claims from buyers.
Selling on eBay: CONS
♦ Can be very time consuming to photograph, list and ship items
♦ People want a bargain, making it hard to sell for a high price
♦ Lots of competition from other sellers
♦ Sellers can’t leave negative feedback for buyers, so if you have a bad experience you can’t warn other sellers.
♦ Buyers can be problematic, and create lots of difficulties, especially now that they can’t be given negative feedback.
Read on for more suggestions on where to sell old clothes …
Where to sell old clothes: ASOS marketplace
Where to sell old clothes: ASOS Marketplace
When I got tired of my eBay items selling at auction for less money than it cost me to package them up, I decided to try my luck with ASOS marketplace. This is part of the hugely popular ASOS retail site, and allows you to register for a profile and start selling your used clothes. Unlike eBay, where items are mostly auctioned, ASOS marketplace allows you to set up your own “boutique” where you can upload photos of the items you’re selling, and set your price. It’s free to list, with ASOS taking a percentage of the value if your item sells.
ASOS Marketplace: my experience
I listed around 10 items on ASOS marketplace last year, but didn’t have a lot of luck with it. Each listing runs for three months (assuming the item doesn’t sell), and I think I only sold one or two items in that time. In retrospect, I probably didn’t put enough effort into my listings: unlike eBay, where many sellers will simply photograph their item on the bed or floor, ASOS marketplace is used by a lot of professional sellers and brands, who put a lot of effort into making their clothes look as good as possible. Most items are modelled by a person, rather than just hanging on the back of a door, and the site has the feel of a “proper” online store, which means that if you want to sell there successfully, you need to make your listing as professional as possible. On the plus side, I liked the fact that I didn’t have to pay anything for the items which didn’t sell, so there was no financial risk in trying it out.
♦ Another large site, with plenty of potential buyers to see your listings
♦ As it’s part of ASOS.com, users tend to be much more fashion-oriented than eBay buyers, so they’re more likely to know the value of particular brands, and understand what items are worth.
♦ No listing fees.
♦ Professional looking site, reminiscent of an online shop rather than an auction
♦ Lots of competition from professional sellers, which means you have to put more effort into your listing, and ideally show the item being modelled by someone.
This way for more ideas where to sell old clothes…
Where to sell old clothes | Consignment stores
Where to sell old clothes: consignment
Consignment stores are retailers (either online or offline) who will take your old clothes and try to sell them for you, either in their store or on their website. There’s no charge for this service, but the consignment store will split the proceeds of the sale with you: the percentage they take will vary, but a 50/50 split seems fairly common.
Selling via consignment stores: my experience
I had my first experience of consignment earlier this year when I took a bag of clothes to a consignment store which had opened in my local area. The main thing to bear in mind if you’re trying this method of selling old clothes is that your experience will differ from store-to-store (or site-to-site if it’s an online store): not only does each store have different policies, their location will also play a role in your success or otherwise. In my case, the store I visited is in a small town which isn’t known for clothes shopping: I knew from this that I’d probably make a lot less than I would from a consignment store in the centre of a busy city, say, and I was right. I took in 15 items of clothing, of which they sold 9, with me making just under £40. It’s not a lot of money, but these were all items I’d previously attempted to sell on eBay/ASOS without success, so I figured it was better than nothing, especially considering that there was no work involved on my part: I simply dropped off the clothes, and they did the rest.
PROS of consigning old clothes:
♦ Zero hassle: you give the store the clothes you want to sell and everything else is taken care of for you.
♦ No fee to sell: the store will take a percentage of your sale instead, so if the item doesn’t sell, you pay nothing. Most stores also operate on a sale-or-return basis, so if they don’t manage to sell your item, it’s returned for you to do as you wish.
♦ Potential exposure to a large marketplace: if the store/website is a busy one, your item could sell quicker, and for a higher price.
♦ Option to set your own price: this may differ from store to store, but the one I used allowed me the option to set a reserve price on my items. I chose not to do this, as my items weren’t worth a lot, and I trusted them to know how much they’d be likely to sell them for, but this would be really useful if you’re selling a high-value item, and have a particular price in mind for it.
CONS of consigning old clothes:
♦ Restrictions on the type of clothes they’ll accept. It goes without saying that the clothes you’re selling have to be clean and in good condition, but there may be other requirements, too: for instance, most of the online consignment stores I’ve seen will only accept vintage or designer brands, and the store I used required the clothing to be in-style and in-season – i.e. they won’t take winter coats in the middle of summer, or swimwear in December.
♦ Location can also restrict your potential audience: if the store doesn’t get a lot of visitors, you might find your clothes don’t sell.
Read on for one more suggestion where to sell old clothes…
Where to sell old clothes: Cash for Clothes
Where to sell old clothes: Cash for Clothes
The final option I’ve tried for selling old clothes is an organisation called Cash for Clothes, who, as the name suggests, will pay cash for your old clothes. Unlike the consignment store model, you don’t have to wait for the items to sell before you get paid: you get cash upfront, with the organisation simply weighing your bag of clothes and calculating your payment based on that. As with all of the above venues, they require the clothes to be clean and in good condition, but they don’t have any restrictions beyond that, so if you have a large volume of unwanted clothing to get rid of, it can be an easy way to make a small amount of money from it. “Small” is the operative word here, though: Cash for Clothes pay 50p per kilo of clothing, so I don’t recommend it for high-value items: rather, it’s a way to make a little bit of money from a large-scale clearout.
♦ Money upfront: no wait for items to sell
♦ Very few restrictions on what they’ll accept.
♦ Hassle free: you can either drop your clothing off at the store, or, if you have a large volume of clothing, they’ll come and pick it up free of charge.
♦ Very small pay-out: this isn’t a good way to sell valuable items, and even if you have a lot of clothing to sell, you won’t make a huge amount of money
♦ Restricted by area: this is UK organisation (I’ve linked to the Scottish website above, as it’s the one I’ve used), and you may find there isn’t a store close to you.
So, where’s the best place to sell old clothes?
Where to sell old clothes? Personally speaking, I’ve made the most money from eBay (despite all of the downsides mentioned above), and had the best overall experience with consigning: I didn’t make as much money from each item, but I find eBay selling quite time-consuming, and I really appreciated the fact that when I consigned my items instead, all of the hassle was taken out of the process. I think I’d have done better with consignment if I’d chosen a store in a busier location, and I’m also not discounting ASOS marketplace, as although I didn’t have much success with it personally, I suspect I’d have done better if I’d put in more effort.
What about you? If you’ve sold your old clothes, I’d love to hear about it, so drop me a comment and tell me where to sell old clothes!