How To Sell Clothes Online: Declutter Your Closet and Make Money in the Process

how to sell clothes online
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The pandemic has really changed the way we dress, and more importantly, the way we shop. After being stuck in the house for so long, it’s become second nature to shop online (if it weren’t already). What do you do when you want to get rid of clothing that’s no longer you? You could wait all day on a line at a consignment store trying to sell your items, or you could sell them online.

Online reselling has become a multi-million dollar enterprise. When Poshmark and ThredUp had their IPOS a not too long ago, initial stock prices soared in a matter of hours. That’s how popular selling used clothing online has become. We’ve all read the stories about people who started selling their own clothing online and then expanded to selling so much more that what was their side hustle is now their main job. How did they do that? What’s their secret? How to sell clothes online and how to make a profit? This article will explain it all.

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How to sell clothes online will discuss the following items:

  • What to sell online
  • Tools you’ll need to sell online
  • Photos and description information
  • How to set up payments
  • How to deal with buyer disputes
  • Where to sell online
  

What Clothing Can You Sell Online?

Go through your closet and create a pile of everything you’re no longer wearing. Whether you’ve lost weight, gained weight or changed your style, clothing, shoes and accessories; selling what you’re no longer using could mean major money in the bank.

Anything that’s frayed, damaged, worn or in bad condition, take out of that pile. If you wouldn’t buy it in that condition, chances are, you won’t find a buyer that will take it either. If an item needs to be dry cleaned to sell, do it. I once had a designer skirt with a small stain, after taking it to a dry cleaner for a fix, I was able to sell it online for over $200.00. A small investment can lead to a big profit.

If you own high-end luxury items, and don’t want to spend time doing all the nitty-gritty work involved in creating an online listing to sell them, I strongly suggest that you send the items to online consignment stores that specialize in that market. They do the heavy lifting, and you get the money (less a small commission).

How to sell clothes online smartly? Decide which online resale shops will take unused or lightly used briefcases, barely worn shoes, designer clothing and such. Sending as much to one shop as possible saves you from multiple shipping costs.

How to sell online clothes yourself? You can divide up items that can be sent to high-end consignment stores and then the rest, you’ll list yourself. As an FYI, when creating listings for an item, you can place that listing in more than one site or app. As soon as it sells from one site, delete it from all others. The idea here is to get as many eyeballs as you can on the item.

Finally, a warning: Online platforms that sell used clothing tend to be very selective, and for good reason. Clothing you purchased from fast-fashion stores are going to get rejected 99.9% of the time, as will anything with noticeable wear and tear. Don’t waste you time trying to sell items with deodorant stains, missing buttons or fading. In general, designer clothing and accessories will always be in demand, whereas last season’s fashions from Uniqlo or J.Crew aren’t going to work.

  

Tools You Need To Sell Clothing Online

Have you ever shopped online and came across a cool photo, but when you read the description, it was so lacking that you couldn’t bring yourself to buy it? Don’t be that guy. You want to be that guy who’s selling, selling, selling. Take a look at how product and item descriptions are written, and use the ones you like as a template. To have the most appealing listing, you’ll also need a couple of things:

1. Tape measure

It’s always a good idea to include the size and the item’s measurements in a listing. Most brands and designers cut big or small. Adding measurements is a good way to help ensure a sale.

For shirts, measure the shoulders end-to-end, sleeve length from the should down to the cuff and length from the top of the collar to the hem. For pants, measure the waist, inseam and outseam. For blazers and outwear, measure the shoulders and sleeves the same as you would a shirt, and center back from below the collar (where it sits at the back of the neck) to the bottom hem.

GDMNILO-Soft-Tape-Measure Courtesy of Amazon

GDMNILO Soft Tape Measure

$3.99

  

2. Hanging Mannequin

If there is one thing I’ve learned from selling clothing online, it’s that clothing sells better when it’s either on a person or a mannequin. Go ahead and take a selfie or two wearing the item that you’re selling. If you’re not in the mood to model clothing, you can pick up a hanging mannequin. There are plenty that are not expensive, easy to dress and if you’re planning on selling a lot of shirts or jackets, you’ll get your investment back in a few sales.

Hang it in front of a solid background, like a curtain rod or the back of a closed door. When taking photos of the mannequin wearing the shirt or jacket, don’t forget to take photos of the back too. The more photos you have of an item you’re selling, the more enticing it looks to a buyer.

Only hangers plastic mannequin Courtesy of Amazon

Only Hangers Male Torso Hanging Mannequin

$29.99

  

Photos and Product Description Best Practices

How to sell clothes online like a pro often comes down to photos and product description. When shooting photos of your items, make sure the area is clean and well lit. Whether you’ve got them on a hanger, flat on a table or draped on a mannequin, take one full picture of the front and one of the back, and detail shots of any cool details the item may have. If it’s shoes, take a photo of the soles and bottom to show how worn or unworn they are. You might also want to take close-up photos of the laces or any other details on the shoes as well.

comme-des-garcons-vans Courtesy of Grailed

When it comes to writing the listing, the more information you can provide, the more likely a buyer is to click that “buy it now” button. Write out the brand name and whether you’ve worn it. Use phrases such as “never worn,” “barely worn,” or even “given as a gift, I loathe it, please buy it” works. If the tags are still on the item, highlight that and take a photo of that as well. Add fabric content, color, if it has special washing instructions, and don’t forget to list what it actually is.

poshmark-new-with-tags Courtesy of Poshmark

  

How Do You Get Paid?

Many online clothing resellers will send you your payment either by direct deposit or mail you a check. Others will send you payment only via payment apps such as Paypal, Venmo or even their own proprietary payment system. If you don’t have a Paypal or Venmo account, set one up before you start selling. If you’re using ebay or any other platform where you are responsible for invoicing the customer, for the love of God, don’t send your stuff out until you’ve gotten the money. No money, no goodie.

  

Dealing With Disputes from Buyers

Many of the big companies will handle returns, disputes and customer complaints. To protect yourself, keep all correspondence within the site or app that you sold the item. Do not delete any emails. Some sites like ebay will not step in unless you ask them for help. If a buyer has bought an item and decides they want you to give them a discount after the item has shipped, you don’t have to. You can make the vendor support department aware with what you’re dealing with in case it escalates. Honestly, rude buyers rarely happen, but it’s always a good idea to read how each company handles such issues ahead of time.

Now that you’re armed with all that knowledge, below are 14 sites where you can sell your clothing and other gently used items online. How to sell clothes online for profit like the mega sellers do? After using a few of these sites, you’ll get a feel for what’s hot and what’s selling. Many of the sites and apps have virtual workshops where you can pick up information on now to make selling clothing online a very profitable side hustle. If you can, read all their manuals and join their virtual meetings. Who knows, maybe a few months down the road, you’ll be making 10K a month just by selling men’s jeans online.

  

The Best Places To Sell Clothes Online

When you’re ready to sell your clothing online, you’ll need to choose an auction site or online consignment store to work with. Below, we’ve ranked and reviewed the top sites for selling clothes online. While sites like ThredUp and Facebook Marketplace are good options for beginners, more experienced resellers might have more luck on sites like Etsy and The ReaReal.

Check out the top sites for selling used clothes, with comparisons of their selling options, payment process, selection system and commission rates.

1. Poshmark

With Poshmark, not only can you sell clothing, accessories, shoes and watches, you can also get rid of unwanted gifts, unopened fragrances and even unopened grooming products. Basically, you can list almost anything you need to offload right on the site. It also has a healthy designer section as well. Poshmark is women-centric, but it does have a thriving men’s selection too.

Whilst you can view items on the website, everything really happens on the Poshmark app, so download it. While you can list it and forget it, the real trick to making money there is to get involved. If you’re paying close enough attention, you might hit one of the sites themed parties. According to the Poshmark Seller Guide, parties consist of sellers who are in good standing and Poshmark Ambassadors. These sellers can also invite co-hosts to share their favorites from other Poshers.

In short, Poshmark sales rely heavily on seller involvement. The more you’re involved, the more eyeballs hit your listings, it’s that simple. Be aware that buyers will likely send you messages asking you to lower prices, or if they’re doing a bundle (buying from various buyers in one shot), they’ll expect you to lower your price. Because Poshmark handles payment via direct deposit, you won’t have to chase buyers to pay up.

When an item is sold, you download the mailing label and send it on its way. For sales under $15, Poshmark’s flat fee per item is $2.95. Anything above that price, Poshmark takes 20% of the sale of the item. On a personal note, I only make sales when I join the various themed parties and keep posting what I’m selling. If I don’t do the parties, I don’t get sales.

The Bottom Line: Because of its wide selection and easy to use app, this is our top recommendation for selling clothing online. More experienced sellers, or those with more expensive designer clothing, should also consider sites like The RealReal and ebay. However, for the average person wondering how to sell clothes online, Poshmark is a great place to start.

  

2. The RealReal

The RealReal has positioned itself as the crème de la crème of online reselling. It’s the perfect place for hoarders of luxury, high-end and designer brands to divest themselves of their excessive shopping. The company sets the price of the item, and very rarely can you talk it into raising it. The RealReal will happily resell your designer clothing, shoes, accessories, scarves and watches.

Clothing and accessories must be in nearly pristine condition, or they’ll mail it back to you. Do go through their designer directory to make sure they’ll take the brands you want to sell before you spend on sending. The only exceptions are watches and jewelry. It takes scratched watches with fraying bands and jewelry that’s slightly worn.

Items stay online until they’re sold. After a set time, it will reduce the price, and your cut will reflect the lower price it sold for. As a seller, you start out with 55% commission on items sold, after selling $1500 worth or merch, your commission jumps up to 60%, and when you’re selling 10K worth of merchandise, you get 70% commission of everything sold.

To send, you can either print out a mailing label on the site to send in your stuff, or if you live near one of the brand’s brick and mortar stores, you have the option to schedule an at-home pick up or schedule an appointment to drop the clothing off. After your initial appointment, you can stop by a store and drop off stuff anytime.

The RealReal pays via direct deposit. As someone who uses The RealReal, I’m always pleasantly surprised with an almost monthly direct deposit from them. And yes, I have gotten stuff rejected.

The Bottom Line: The best option for buying and selling used designer clothing online.

  

3. ebay

ebay is the OG of self-eCommerce, aka how to sell clothes online, aka get rid of all your extra crap. You can sell your clothing either via an auction or use the “Buy It Now” feature and operate as a more traditional store. Auctions run for seven days, and you can list up to 250 auctions per month for free. “Buy It Now” features run for 10 days, and these are best for items that have a fixed selling price. As a seller, you can add a handling fee and a shipping fee to auctions and BINs. You also have the option to sell worldwide.

After the auction ends, ebay will charge you a final value fee that can range from 10.2% for clothing and accessories that sell for under $100.00 up to 12.85% for more expensive items including watches and jewelry. Due to the proliferation of other resale sites, ebay doesn’t get as much traffic as it did before, but you can still make sales via the site, especially If you’re selling niche items such as sneakers, vintage clothing, jewelry, watches and clothing bundles.

As a seller on ebay, you are responsible for mailing out items to your customers. Do not ship anything out until you have received payment. If you have quality items, especially designer wear or collectibles such as rare sneakers, you can make some serious coin on ebay! At one point, I was making anywhere between $1,000 to $1,100 a month selling clothing on the site. That meant that I had to have at least five live auctions a week, every week.

The Bottom Line: The OG auction site is still one of the best places to sell clothes online, full stop. If you have the time to take photos, write descriptions, answer questions and ship products, ebay can be the side hustle you’ve been searching for.

  

4. Depop

Depop is where the cool kids hang out. You could easily stumble upon a DJ, model, actor or someone who’s Insta-famous selling their clothing and accessories there. It’s a good place to sell vintage, Japanese brands, and high-end merch. Based in the UK, it has a global reach with buyers and sellers coming together from across the world. Sellers are charged a 10% fee for any item sold, and you can download a shipping label right from the site or app. There’s an option where the company will ship the item to the buyer as well.

The Bottom Line: Simple and straightforward platform offering the latest fashions.

  

5. Etsy

With Etsy, you can spend 47 cents a month and have your very own storefront which allows you to pick your store name, upload your photos and set a price for each item. As with Poshmark, being social is an important part of the selling strategy. When creating a listing, ensure that you’re using keywords so that if someone is searching for a particular brand, your item may show up when they’re Googling it.

In addition to keywords, you might want to create a Twitter handle for your store and an Instagram page where you can showcase what you’re selling and generate social traffic to your shop. Etsy charges sellers a listing fee of 20 cents per listing, a 3.5% transaction fee and a 3% processing fee.

As a seller, you have an option to allow Etsy to process transactions, or get money from buyers. As someone who has an Etsy store, I say do it. Let the site do the heavy lifting, so all you have to do is pack up that shirt, download and print that mailing label and then walk it over to the post office.  If you don’t have to chase down a buyer for money, don’t do it.

The Bottom Line: In recent years, Etsy has begun to prioritize the needs of businesses over individual sellers and artisans. However, Etsy can connect you to a huge audience of shoppers, so if you have a lot of items to sell, this is one of our top recommendations. The site does charge a listing fee, so be selective in the items you add to your store.

  

6. Mercari

Mercari has both a website and an app to sell unwanted clothing. Like Poshmark, you upload your images onto the app, create a description and you’re done. However, you’re not limited to selling just clothing. The company takes a flat 10% fee off of every sale as well as a 2.9% processing fee for every sale transaction. You can opt for either direct deposit or instant cash payments from the site. I have friends who religiously shop there, but don’t know anyone who’s sold items on the site. The company also offers low shipping rates for sellers.

The Bottom Line: A good Poshmark alternative with an app that makes it easy to buy and sell.

  

7. Crossroads Trading

Crossroads Trading has stores across the country and a website, although the site doesn’t showcase active inventory. If you’re interested in selling your clothes online, simply request a pre-paid UPS bag, pack it with stuff and you’re good to go. It sets the price per item, and you have a choice of either pocketing 30% of what they would price the item for or get 50% in trade.

Crossroads Trading can be very selective on brands and types of goods it is willing to accept, so visit the website to see what it’s looking for now. If you’re looking for quick cash and have excellent taste in clothing, then this might work for you. If they do reject your clothing, you have the option to have it sent back to you or they will donate it to a charity for a small fee. As someone who has only sold at their stores, I can only tell you that the physical stores’ pricing is fair.

The Bottom Line: We love Crossroads Trading physical stores, and their online options are super convenient as well. Keep in mind that everyday clothes from J.Crew or Banana Republic aren’t likely to sell, as Crossroads is looking for more popular and designer brands. Off-season clothing may also be rejected. If you want to get your rejected clothing back or donate to charity, this is a great option.

  

8. ASOS Marketplace

ASOS does more than sell fast fashion; it has its own ASOS Marketplace where you can pick up vintage clothing as well as new stuff from emerging brands. It should be said, ASOS Marketplace is not for the casual seller. To sell on the site, you must create your own boutique that must be filled with either true vintage items or your own designs. Items cannot be drop-shipped, pre-sold or anything like that. ASOS has very stringent rules for sellers and customer service within its Marketplace, so it’s like running a small business within a mega business site.

The Bottom Line: This is only a good option for experienced sellers or business owners with a significant amount of time and used clothing to sell online.

  

9. ThredUP

When ThredUP’s IPO went live in March 2021, the ThredUP stock price shot up in seconds. It’s likely you have seen its ads on TV, and while it likes to bill itself as a thrift store, that’s not exactly true.

By definition, thrift stores are the retail arms of nonprofit organizations. Monies generated from said stores go back into said nonprofits. In reality, ThredUP is an online consignment store, just like Poshmark, Mercari, et al. This is the perfect place to dump your ex’s clothing and accessories quickly and easily. Simply request a free pre-paid bag, known as a clean-out kit, fill it up with your finest used clothing, send it back, and the ThredUP team does the rest.

They price, photograph and sell the best items, just like TheRealReal, and after your stuff is sold, you receive a direct deposit. While it sounds easy peasy, you won’t get a payment until a specific threshold is met. Even then, you never get the entire amount. Instead, you’ll have a “store credit” sitting there, and it will periodically email you, trying to entice you to shop online. However, there are some great deals to be found, so it’s not such a bad deal.

The Bottom Line: ThredUp is a super convenient option for fashionistas cleaning out their closet. If you don’t want to deal with taking photos or dealing with buyers, this is the perfect service for you. Unfortunately, right now ThredUp is only dealing in women’s clothing, so men are out of luck.

  

10. LePrix

LePrix partners with high-end consignment shops across the country and acts as their online showcase. If you’re not near any of its brick and mortar partners, it offers a “White Glove Service” for consignments and will send you a pre-paid label and kit to mail back.

Once on the site, it’s easy to lose oneself window shopping. While the site is geared towards women, it does have a respectable men’s section. The FAQ section doesn’t give any information on commissions or payments, which means it would rather have you walk into one of their partner shops instead of mailing anything in.

The Bottom Line: A solid option for sellers with designer clothing and accessories to sell.

  

11. Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is like Craigslist, may it rest in peace, only powered by Facebook technology, which is both good and bad depending on how you feel about Facebook. You can rent an apartment, sell a game console or buy a pair of shoes… all in under an hour. Upload photos, make a listing and boom! You’ve got a sale going on.

Facebook doesn’t take a cut, so 100% of the money goes back into your pocket. If you do decide to sell on Facebook Marketplace, be smart and do the transaction in a public place if possible. There’s always an urban myth or two floating around about how people have gotten mugged when selling from their house. By doing the exchange where there are other people around, if possible, it lessens the chance of you getting bopped on the head.

The Bottom Line: Facebook Marketplace is a great option for people who miss Craigslist. It’s also a good last resort for clothing that can’t be sold through the other options listed here. (Warning: some customers on Facebook Marketplace can be pushy and annoying.)

  

12. Rebag

Rebag started as a way for women to easily resell their luxury handbags. The site grew and grew, and now men are selling their designer bags, luxury watches, scarves and yes, even suitcases. Spotted on the site recently was a Gucci child backpack ($1140), a Tag Heuer Aquaracer watch ($895) and a Hermes Eiffel Briefcase Courchevel ($1480).

To sell clothing online with Rebag, you can submit detailed photos to the website or drop items off at a Rebag location. After verifying that it’s not a fake and is in near-perfect condition, you will receive an offer. Should you accept the offer, the Rebag team will send you money within a few days and voilà — You’ve made a sale.

The Bottom Line: A great option for men and women trying to turn designer accessories into extra cash.

  

13. Tradesy

While Tradesy is another site created with women in mind, the online reselling site does have menswear and accessories sprinkled in. Take a photo, create a listing and now it’s live on the site. Tradesy takes a $7.50 commission on items under $50 that are sold, and items over $50, it will take $9.80.

The Bottom Line: A perfectly fine option for selling men and women’s clothing online. The site doesn’t have as large a footprint as sites like The Real Real or ThredUp.

  

14. Grailed

If you are a buyer (and therefore, now a seller) of on-trend clothes, try selling your gently used items on Grailed. Categories include streetwear, techwear, luxury, vintage, minimal and avant-garde fashion. You can use either the app or the website, to both sell and shop. Sellers are charged a 9% commission fee per sale, and since it uses PayPal to expedite funds to your account, you will be charged a PayPal processing fee that’s determined by your destination.

The Bottom Line: An excellent platform for finding and selling recently purchased and on-trend clothing, especially in the streetwear category.

  

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