From Rags to Riches: A Clothing Re-Sale Story
By Adrienne Theising
e all have it. Your mother, your coworker, your best friend, they have it too. We’re not ashamed of it. It’s not some hush-hush secret. Even so, we’re not talking about it and I think it’s time we do. You know what I’m getting at: that section in your wardrobe full of clothes that you haven’t worn in years, yet you can’t muster the courage to toss out.
There’s a multitude of different clothing pieces you have stashed away, each perfectly paired with an excuse as to why you’ve kept it for all these years. The ten year old jeans you keep swearing you’ll fit back into one day. That tie-dye shirt you bought in Panama City that hasn’t left your bottom drawer in six years but would make a great yard work shirt if you ever need one. That gorgeous cocktail dress you bought for the holiday party in 2006 that is just too pretty to toss. Sound familiar? I know these problems. We all have them and they’re nothing a wholesome Saturday morning yard sale can’t fix. Who has time for yard sales these days though?
Yard sales are a lot of work. Lugging all of your junk into the driveway for your neighbors to prowl through, lugging whatever doesn’t sell back in. By the end of the day, you’ve hardly made enough money for dinner at Cracker Barrel. Your old clothing is worth more than that and so is your time.
In the age of smartphones, Cyber Mondays, FitBits, and ordering your groceries online (yes this is a real thing and it is glorious) we are knee-deep technology. Selling your old clothing doesn’t limit you to yard sales anymore, or even eBay. There is a new and upcoming world of online fashion marketplaces that have transformed buying and selling used clothing and accessories into a fun, straightforward, and rewarding experience, complete with hungry buyers eager for a great deal. Instead of dragging your clothing outside to sell, imagine selling them at your own pace, being able to describe them in meticulous detail, and setting your own price. Sounds amazing, right?
As a teenager, I remember sifting through the racks at various thrift stores in Cartersville and Atlanta looking for that gem of a find: a vintage polka-dotted sun dress or perhaps a knee-length plaid skirt. I never knew what I’d find in those downtown shops. Unfortunately, not every shopping trip ended with finding something I loved, as my purchasing power was limited to what a store had in stock. That’s the beautiful perk about online shopping; you have a surplus of options right at your fingertips. Let the filters and search boxes guide you to the perfect match. When selling online, your audience is much broader than the neighbors that stop by your yard sale. You potentially have customers worldwide. One specific word in a search term could help a random woman in Arizona find the old band t-shirt you listed. Voila! You just made a sale.
Just like brick-and-mortar stores, there is a broad range of online resale shops, all with their own particular personality. Some sites specialize in reselling luxury designer items, some only want your most stylish and trendy clothing, while other shops are more tailored towards a social platform to make shopping fun and interactive. You are bound to find exactly what fits your need.
One of my favorite online resale shops is Poshmark. Poshmark is geared towards millennials and uses a social platform approach towards clothing resale. I love it because you can chat with other sellers, answer questions about your items, join online parties to talk about fashion, and get advice from fellow fashionistas. It truly feels like a community. Not to mention it’s chock full of gorgeous and unique clothing, perfect for those who have cute and fun pieces to sell. One thing I especially like about this site is that the packaging for the clothing I purchased was hand-wrapped with a personal note inside from the seller, unlike a trip to H&M. The entire experience is unique and alluring.
For a simple and basic market with a user-friendly layout, Vinted is an easy-to-use site that makes selling your unwanted things a cinch. Upload a photo of your item, select the size and color, and set the price. Done. One feature I love on Vinted is that when you list an item for sale you have the option to flag it as swappable, meaning you can actually trade clothing with other members. This is a brilliant way to revamp your wardrobe without buying new pieces or an inexpensive way to try a new style without having to invest too much into the new look. Vinted is a sleek, smooth, and modern resale shop that is great for those just getting into selling online.
For those who relish indulging in the finer things in life, such as high-end luxury brands or haute couture, The RealReal is a perfect match for you! The RealReal is one of the highest-rated online consignment shops for authenticated luxury designers, from Rolex watches to Louis Vuitton handbags, Tiffany & Co bracelets to Gucci luggage, they offer everything high fashion. If you’re hoping to make a little money off that old Chanel bag you’ve had stashed away in your closet, or maybe looking to part ways with those Prada sunglasses you rarely leave at home, The RealReal is a great place to list those top designer items and make a buck or two.
Sometimes you make a decision that you don’t want something anymore and you simply list it for sale. Other times you walk into your closet and feel the burning desire to “get rid of all this junk” and perform a thorough purge. It happens to the best of us and ThredUp is made just for those “deep clean” days. ThredUp knows that sometimes you have to ‘go big or go home’ so they offer a Clean Out Kit that allows you to clean out everything in your wardrobe you don’t want, put it in their provided box, and ship it to them for free. Here’s where it gets good. ThredUp then inspects every item, and any items that don’t meet their standards can be passed on to a recycler who turns it into things like carpet and pillow stuffing. At ThredUp you can choose to get cash for your clothing, donate your earnings to charity, or donate all your unwanted clothing to charity. What a fantastic win-win situation. You purge the old then give to a good cause.
There are so many popular options for selling your used clothing online. Whether you need some quick cash, want to pass your pre-loved items on for someone else to enjoy, or you’re just trying to be environmentally conscious, there is a site that’s positively perfect for you out there. Not only are all of these websites designed for a quick and easy selling experience, each one has an app. You can upload new listings, answer questions, and manage your income all on your phone. Technology is changing the world one market at a time, and to be able to sell your old clothes on your phone is revolutionary. I like to start each year by setting higher goals for myself, dropping bad habits, and making fresh starts. What better time to renew yourself and your closet?
Adrienne Thiesing is a writer, mother, and dream chaser. She left Rome, GA and moved to the California coast to chase her Hollywood dreams, then settled down in Seattle to raise a family of her own. She enjoys dry humor, joy rides, and traveling the world.