Do you have too many clothes and too little room in your closet? It’s a common problem, so it’s a good idea to take stock of your wardrobe once in a while. One way to get rid of excess items is to donate them to your local thrift store. It’s generous and, in most cases, you’ll get a receipt for any tax credit. For more immediate returns, however, selling your clothes online is the way to go. Is your prom dress gathering dust in the attic? There’s a millennial fashionista out there who would grab it in a second. Conversely, if you’re looking to update your wardrobe, there are plenty of resale shops online that allow you to buy clothes from popular brands and individual sellers. Keep reading for tips on how to do both.
Consignment stores — that is, stores selling gently used designer clothes at discounted prices — have been around for decades. But the internet has brought the joys of consignment shopping to a much wider audience. RealReal, one of the most popular online consignment stores, has a truly dizzying selection of designer clothes, shoes, bags, and even homewares. If you can name an expensive designer, chances are The RealReal will sell it – and at a steep discount, no less.
One of my favorite things about The RealReal is that you get $25 site credit when you sign up. Once you have an account, you will regularly receive additional $25 credits and enjoy curated sales with discounts of up to 80%. You can create your own homepage for items you like, and if you see something you like, you can save it to your “Obsessions” and check it periodically before you buy, as prices usually drop with time.
I don’t have any surplus designer clothes that I’m looking to sell, but if I did, I’d sign up on The RealReal’s shippers page. They’ll pick up the clothes you want to sell — you can also ship them or drop them off at one of their stores across the country — and you’ll earn up to 85% of the sale price.
Other online stores focused on second-hand designer goods include Rebag and Vestiaire Collective.
Looking to buy and sell used clothing at a discount, but don’t care so much about a fancy tag? While a consignment site like The RealReal acts as a middleman for selling your clothes (since the products must be vetted and priced accordingly), sites like Poshmark, Depop, and Mercari allow you to sell directly from your closet. These resale sites have a low barrier to entry – just create an account, take a few photos of the piece you are considering selling (phone photos work well, if you make sure they are well lit and not blurry), write a quick description, and sit back and wait. There’s no guarantee that your garment will sell immediately, of course, but once it does, these sites offer easy shipping instructions that ensure your package is delivered and you get paid quickly. You can also accept offers on items you’re selling and bid on things you want to buy, which adds an interactive element to the shopping experience and could get you a nice discount on a part you have. watched.
An old fashioned vigil
Ah, eBay. A leader in online auctions for 25 years, their site looks almost the same as it did in the 90s. You can find just about anything on eBay, from rare parts to electronics to a random number one. teen magazine you remember reading decades ago. eBay also has a great selection of clothing from all kinds of designers. It’s not as well presented as a consignment store, but that’s part of the fun. eBay is all about digging and finding hidden gems at bargain prices.
While eBay is traditionally an auction site, some sellers allow users to “buy it now” and will often include a “Best Offer” option. If you save an item to your Watchlist, the seller may contact you to offer you a special discount. Bidding can get intense if there are a lot of people bidding, but that’s part of the fun! If you see a piece you like offered for auction, go for it. Just make sure you have an upper limit in mind for what you’re willing to spend so you don’t get too caught up in the competition and overspend. Plus, if you want to follow specific designers, it’s easy to set up an alert and get notified by email whenever new articles are listed that match your keyword.
Since eBay has been around for so long, they have detailed guidelines on how to sell on the site. Some users have been auctioning items there for 20 years, so you know it’s a reliable place to buy and sell. Sellers also receive star ratings from buyers, and eBay encourages buyers to provide feedback, so it’s easy to check out your potential purchases.
Bonus: Online Shopping Tips
If there’s a designer you like, you don’t need to check all of the above sites individually for their items. The Gem site acts as a general search engine for all things vintage fashion. You can enter any designer you want and Gem pulls together results from all the sites mentioned above, plus other resale sites like Etsy and Grailed, as well as individual vintage shop websites. Carefully review the pictures and descriptions. If the description says your dream dress has a flaw, ask yourself if you’re still ready to buy it.
Bidding is fun, but while it’s tempting to ask for a deep discount, don’t underestimate too aggressively. A seller can always make a counteroffer, and often they are unwilling to go below a certain price. Yet, once you’ve made an offer, you can have a conversation with them; just make sure everything is kept professional and respectful.
Finally, confirm in advance that you know your bust, waist, hip and inseam measurements. This is especially important if you’re buying vintage or designer clothing, as sizing can vary widely and knowing your measurements is the surest way to ensure a perfect fit.
Not only is buying used a more sustainable and eco-friendly option than buying new, but one woman’s trash is often another woman’s treasure – so give it to someone else the opportunity to strike gold with your discarded items today.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, World Woman.