Reselling Clothing: Best Practices

Reselling old clothes is a 16 billion dollar industry. With the help of the internet, you can sell your old clothes more easily than ever before. But convenience doesn’t guarantee instant success. Here are some of the best ways you can navigate the world of clothing resale:

1. Buy the Right Brands

Designer labels will get you the steepest percentage discounts on your resale purchase. Compared to retail price, the price of designer labels average upward of 75% in savings. Do some research to find out which brands are the most popular among customers, and invest in buying up as many clothes belonging to that brand as possible.

2. Sell the Right Clothing Piece

Not all pieces of clothing sell at the same rate or in the same quantities. Seasonal items will be more popular within that season, while clothing pieces that follow hot fashion trends sell for higher amounts while the trend is still popular.

3. Take Good Pictures

You may possess a beautiful piece of fabric, but it won’t sell for much if you are unable to convey its quality to the customers. Invest in a professional grade camera and some basic photography lessons to make sure the pictures you put up on websites do full justice to the items you are selling.

4. Be Honest

No one expects clothes to be in a perfect condition during resale, but take the time to make the items you sell as close to new as possible. Don’t try to oversell the condition of the clothes. If you are caught lying, the website may warn customers against doing business with you, or even ban you from continuing as a seller on the website.

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Chelsea Horne

10 thoughts on “Reselling Clothing: Best Practices

  1. My daughter and I buy from 4 to 6 storage lockers a month and mostly the large ones with lots of inventory. She separates out the good brands for sale on the ebay store and gives the rest to a privately owned thrift shop or to a charity for the disadvantaged. Not enough profit by selling low end individual pieces. She only lists the very good condition ones and accurately describes the items. This reduces buyers disatisfaction and returns.

  2. I don’t think this article applies very much to storage auctions as most clothing I find is in a tote or garbage bag. As I go through it, I pull any new/great items and put them online (not many fall in this category). Another option for clothing in nice condition is consignment stores. Or check out places like Once Upon a Child, Plato’s Closet, and Style Encore, which pay you cash. For everything else, I have a garage sale in spring and fall to sell seasonal clothing. I put it all out and don’t mark individual pieces. All kids stuff is 50 cents and adult stuff is a dollar. If you have more time, pricing individually will net you more money. Stained and damaged items are trashed. If the clothes are all the same size, selling groups of them on Craigslist also works.

  3. I’ve found that selling hoodies, sweaters, blue jeans and jackets are the fast movers. Selling them during the correct season is paramount. I normally donate shirts and dresses, keep the socks 🙂

  4. Turning the clothes you find in storage auctions into cash is a important part of this business. One you need to master to be successful. The best way to sell really depends on what kind of buyer you are.
    When I first started this business I would buy a few units a month and have a huge garage sale or go to local swap meets. When I did this I would pick out the expensive stuff that had value online and put on ebay. What I had left I would put out on tarps at my garage sales with plastic grocery bags and let people stuff as much as they could in one for 3 bucks and believe me if you have done your garage sale right(most don’t) you will be amazed how much you can sell. As far as selling online most clothes are not worth the trouble and time it takes. But if you do hit one of those lockers full of Neiman Marcus new with tags lockers you defiantly want to utilize online sales. One of the local buyers in my market has been living of one of those units for the last year at least 30k plus sold online. Fast forward to my current business model, I own a thrift store and buy around 20 to 30 units a month. You can image the amount of clothes I need to turn. I do it in 3 ways 1) I have a clothes room and everything is 1.00 it has huge draw for the store and takes little labor to pull out the best clothes hang and sell. 2) I use ebay to sell more expensive stuff (first I try and sell it in my the store for 1/2 what I could on ebay because of the time it takes to list, sell, ship and the problems associated selling clothes online). 3) I bag up everything else and sell by the pound for .15 cents. In every city there are non profits who will buy fabric, clothes by the pound. So in a typical month I might get between 8 and 10k pounds.
    Like everything in this business you need to find the most effect way to make money and to turn you inventory.

    1. The best I can find is .04 cents a pound in Virginia. Any suggestions on buyers in our area. Any assistance would be appreciated.

  5. I have approximately 1000 pieces of old clothing, mostly womens, and some mens. Some still have the original price tags on them. I would like to find a home for all. Any suggestions as to where I could sell all. Garments are located in Dallas, tx. Thank you

  6. LOL – Where and to whom should we sell clothes? Are you suggesting selling single articles of used clothing online? Where do we sell clothing like non-designer T-shirts?

    1. We sell on ebay but only the better brands and conditions. Yes, ebay should be called Feebay but they do have a place and many people shop there for thier goods.

  7. I make most of my money from clothes. It is time consuming and not the exciting part of the job. I did learn over the years that the clothes can turn a losing room into a winning room.

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