Did you know that landfills received about 10.5 million tons of textiles in 2015? Don’t worry, our jaws dropped too. We’re all about cleaning house to rid of unwanted or unworn clothes, but don’t just send them to the dump. For all the money spent on those items in the first place, wouldn’t it be nice to get a few bucks back? Heck yes!
We’ve selected five companies that offer cash or a Visa gift card in return for gently used clothes. Before you hand over any garments, double check that there are no holes, permanent markings, stains, or other issues. Most secondhand operations hold high quality standards in order to turn a profit, as do nonprofit clothing drives and charitable organizations (i.e., Salvation Army, American Red Cross, Big Brother Big Sister Foundation). So, for well-loved items that have seen better days, try repurposing them or making a donation to an animal shelter.
This franchise accepts gently used brand name clothing for teens and young adults. They prefer items that are still in style, typically 6-12 months old, but it’s always worth a shot to bring older items. You can bring a bag/hamper of your pieces to a local store, shop around for a bit while an associate sifts through them, and then get paid out. For a total of $39.99 or less, you’ll receive cash; for a sum of more than $39.99, you’ll get a check. While the payout for either is immediate, the drawback of this option is that you have to visit a brick-and-mortar store. If there isn’t one near you, check out the following ecommerce alternatives.
Another way to upcycle your clothes is via ThredUP. First, choose whether you want to sell your clothes or waive your payout for ThredUP to donate $5 per bag. If you choose the former, the company will send you as many blue polka dot bags as needed to clean out your closet. With free shipping, leave your bag on the doorstep for the mailman and wait to hear back from the ThredUP team in a few weeks about the value of your clothes. Unfortunately, they only accept about 40% of clothing and the payout percentages are slim, but it’s better than nothing and the process is easy.
Once ThredUP calculates a value, you then choose between three compensation methods:
- Most profitable: Wait until your items sell on their website. You can set the listing price for each item, although bidding and discounts can affect your payout. This method is for those with patience and no need for urgent funds.
- Most gratifying: Request to be paid out asap. You’ll receive a smaller dollar amount than if you chose to sell the clothes yourself, and you’ll have to wait 14 days before you can cash out with a Discover gift card. But, you’ll be able to use the credit sooner.
- Most indulging: Apply your credit to purchase items from ThredUP’s assortment. This option is a great way to replenish your wardrobe while keeping your wallet unscathed.
You can sell pretty much any clothing on Poshmark. So, if you’re looking to set prices for garments and accessories on your own terms and earn greater profit, this is the platform for you. The first step is to list an item under your account. Take a few pictures, add a detailed description, and determine the price point. Once an item sells, Poshmark emails you a prepaid shipping label so all you have to worry about is putting the item in the mail. (Typically, the buyer pays $6.49 for shipping.) Similar to ThredUP, you can use the credit on the site, but what’s different about Poshmark is you get paid out anytime – no waiting period. Poshmark’s fees are also smaller than most: a flat $2.95 fee for sales under $15, and a 20% fee for items over $15.
This marketplace is just as simple as Poshmark but with two nuances that differentiate it. The first difference is that you, the seller, can choose whether you or the buyer absorbs the shipping cost. The second difference is that Mercari only charges a flat 10% fee once a sale is complete. Yes, you read that correctly! If you’re selling a large number of items, then Mercari would be worthwhile.
This consignment company specializes in reselling luxury items via both ecommerce and brick-and-mortar stores. Authenticity is at the core of their mission with in-house experts who inspect and confirm that each product is legitimate. With The RealReal’s in-home pick up, direct shipping, or drop-off options it’s easy to fit selling into your schedule. If The RealReal accepts your product(s) after the authentication process, they determine the initial price based on the item’s deemed value. Heads up though, they often immediately apply a 20% discount to push the sale. Commission rates also vary depending on an item’s list price, so make sure you’re fully aware of The RealReal’s terms before signing up.
We know that was a mouthful, but hopefully this guide will help put a few dollars back in your wallet. Now, go get selling!