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How to Sell Used Clothes Online [In 6 Simple Steps]

Clothes are a major part of our lives as humans. Not only do they keep us warm, but they’re also a form of self-expression. 

People can show each other how they feel and think by dressing a certain way. As we grow older, our taste in clothes changes, along with the message we’re trying to send to the world. 

Because of that, most of us have closets full of garments we no longer wear. Thankfully, there’s a way to turn your forgotten outfits into profit. 

So, if you’re interested in learning how to sell used clothes online, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the process.

Why You Should Consider Selling Used Clothes Online

Selling used clothes is an easy way to make quick money. Other than that, there are quite a few other advantages to this venture. 

  • Easy Step Up: Used clothes businesses are typically incredibly simple to set up. You won’t need to spend a lot of time figuring out the ins and outs of the company. Plus, the initial investment should be minimal. 
  • Helps the Environment: Selling old clothes is another type of recycling. That way, you can do your part to keep our environment safe.
  • Limited Running Costs: You don’t need a big budget to run a used clothes business. The overhead expenses are minimal since you won’t need an office.
  • Flexible Hours: Since you’ll be operating from home, you can work any hours you like. This means you can keep your job while you get the business off the ground. 

Problems With Selling Used Clothes Online

While selling clothes online can be profitable, there are a few issues with the business. In this section, we’ll look at the disadvantages of selling used garments. 

1. Changing Trends

The fashion industry is constantly changing and evolving. Designer brands from all over the world are always trying to create the next trend. 

For that reason, clothes can fall out of style in a flash. This can make selling your used garments a tough challenge.  

People aren’t usually interested in last year’s collection. So, unless you update your closet often, clients may not want to buy your used clothes. 

2. Loss of Value

We all know that cars lose about 20% of their value as soon as they leave the dealership. The same applies to clothes.

Once you purchase a clothing item, its value will drop. Even if you’ve never worn the garments, they lose some of their worth. 

Because of that, you’ll always be selling at a loss. 

3. Not All Items Sell

After a while of operating a used clothes business, you’ll notice that not all the items will sell. Some garments will stay on your shelves for a while with no interest from clients. 

This can happen for many reasons. For instance, the item may be out of style, or it’s in poor condition. 

That means you have to be selective about the products you put up for sale.

4. Limited Options

Unwanted clothes businesses can only offer a limited catalog to their clients. They don’t have garments in all shapes and sizes to fit all your potential customers’ needs. 

Typically, what you see is what you get. That means clients won’t have control over the size of the clothes, or what color they are. 

This may deter many people from shopping in a used clothes store. 

What You’ll Need to Sell Used Clothes Online

There are a few items you’ll need to launch a used clothes company. In this section, we’ll cover all the supplies you should have on hand. 

Woman handling her used clothes to sell them online

1. Camera

The first thing you’ll need is a camera that can shoot high-quality photos. This is so you can take pictures of your clothes and promote them. You can use a phone camera as a replacement, but it’s not the best idea. Remember, the more vivid the images of your items, the more likely people will buy them. 

2. Computer

A computer is necessary when running an online store. You’ll need it to keep track of orders and your work schedule. You don’t need to buy a new device. A family computer or an old laptop should do the trick. 

3. Model

When buying vintage clothing online, seeing a picture of the garments isn’t enough. People want to see the clothes on someone else to get a feel for what they’ll look like. You can model all the garments yourself to save money.

4. Lighting Equipment

Lighting is key to getting a good photograph. So, you’ll need a few bright lamps to help your used clothes shine. This isn’t all that necessary, but it’ll greatly improve the quality of your images. 

5. Packaging

You’ll need some sort of packaging to ship out the used clothes. Some of the options include plastic bags or small cardboard boxes. You can be as creative as you like with the packaging. 

Where to Sell Used Clothes Online

Now that you know what you need, we can move on to where you can sell used clothes. There are countless options that you can opt for. 

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the best apps to sell things with

1. ThreadUp

ThreadUp is one of the largest online thrift and consignment stores in the country. It’s the perfect place to sell pre loved clothes for beginners. 

That’s because the interface is easy to use, and the platform offers many guides to help you out. Plus, ThreadUp recycles any items that don’t sell. 

  • Fees/Commission: You can list your products on ThreadUp for free, but it’ll take a couple of weeks. To shorten this duration, you can pay a $16 fee. Moving on, ThreadUp can charge up to 2% in sales fees. 
  • Payment Methods: With ThreadUp, you can use PayPal, Stripe, or Cash App. 

2. Poshmark

Poshmark is an e-commerce website with a focus on fashion. You can sell both new and used garments on the platform. 

To make listing clothes easier, Poshmark offers an app. That way, you can check on your items while you’re on the go. 

Plus, the platform will promote your garments to ensure they sell. 

  • Fees/Commission: There are no listing fees on Poshmark. Yet, the platform charges a flat rate of $2.95 for items sold under $15. For more expensive garments, Poshmark charges a 20% sales fee. 
  • Payment Methods: With Poshmark, you can use Affirm, PayPal, Venmo, and Google Pay, to name a few. 

3. The RealReal

If you’re planning to sell high-end garments, then The RealReal is the way to go. The platform specializes in designer items like Louis Vuitton. 

Not only is the service incredibly easy to use, but you also get the best value for your clothes. That’s because RealReal has professional authenticators. 

  • Fees/Commission: You can list your clothes on The RealReal for free. However, the platform can take anywhere from 15% to 80% of your sales. 
  • Payment Methods: With RealReal, you can use American Express and PayPal. 

How to Sell Used Clothes Online: Step-By-Step Instructions

A young woman selling her used clothes online

With the basics out of the way, you’re ready to find out how to sell used clothes online. In this section, we’ll take you through the different steps you can follow to get started. 

Step 1: Choose the Items You Want to Sell

The first step of the process involves you looking through your closet. Pick out any items that you haven’t used in at least a year.

As you do that, it’s a good idea to check the condition of your clothes. Make sure there are no visible tears and that the stitching is still holding strong. 

Any damaged or worn-out clothes won’t sell. Even if they do, it’ll cost more to ship them out than you’ll make selling them. 

Step 2: Wash the Garments

After sitting in the back of your closet for a while, the clothes need a little freshening up. So, it’s a good idea to throw all the garments in the washer. 

Once the clothes are fully dry, you’ll need to inspect them again. Make sure there are no stains or discoloration.

Step 3: Photograph Your Garments

With the garments freshly cleaned, it’s time to photograph them. Grab your camera and begin taking snaps of your clothes. 

There are a few rules you can follow to ensure you get stellar images. For starters, you want a neutral background in all of your pictures. 
A beige or off-white backdrop should do the trick. 

It’ll allow the garments to shine, no matter their color. Besides that, ensure your workspace is properly lit.  That way, potential buyers will be able to see all the features of the garments. 

Finally, don’t forget to take detail shots. If your garments have special stitching or accessories, be sure to show them off. 

Step 4: Style the Garments

It’s typically best to photograph the clothes on a person. This helps clients imagine what they’ll look like in our material world. 

That’s when your model will come into play. Dress them up in the garments and snap pictures of the clothes from all angles. 

You can also create full outfits out of your used garments. That includes adding accessories and jewelry. This will show customers how they can potentially style their attire.

If you enjoy this step, then consider becoming a stylist. It’s an amazing way to make a little extra money. 

Step 5: Write Descriptions for Your Garments

Even though a picture is worth a thousand words, sometimes it’s not enough. Clients will want to read a written description to help them decide if an item is right for them. 

So, you’ll need to create detailed listings for all your clothes.  Try to describe every aspect of the garment as best you can. This can be a little tough, so don’t be too hard on yourself. 

If you struggle with the listings, you can hire a professional content writer. 

Step 6: Price Your Garments

Now comes the difficult part. You have to decide on a sale price for each of your items. This can be a little tricky if you have no experience in the fashion industry. 

In that case, you’ll need to do plenty of research. Find out the original value of each garment. Then write down how long you’ve had it for. 
After that, visit an online thrift store and see if you can find a similar garment. 

A combination of these factors will help you decide on a price. As an alternative, you can use one of the platforms that we talked about earlier. These include Poshmark and ThreadUp. 

For a luxury item or designer clothes, check out The RealReal. 

Things to Consider When Selling Used Clothes Online

A young woman taking photos of her used clothes to sell them online

There are a couple of factors that you need to take into account when selling used clothes online.

Check if the Used Clothes Industry Is Right for You

The fashion industry is highly competitive. Because of that, it can be a little tough to break into the sector. 

You may spend months before you see any profits from the venture. This means you may need to hold onto your job while you get the company off the ground. 

That can be disheartening to any small business owner. So, if you don’t have a passion for the industry, it’ll be tough to stay invested. 

Chances for Growth

A used clothes company has the potential to become a full-fledged clothing business. Although, this will take a bit of time. 

You may have to wait years for this possibility. Yet, there are many benefits to doing so. Not only will that increase your potential buyer base, but also your profits. 

Similar Tutorials to Check Out

If you’re undecided about selling second hand clothes, here are a few similar ventures. 

Wrapping Up

Figuring out how to sell used clothes online is easier than it sounds. Start by choosing the items you want to sell. 

Then, wash them and photograph them from every angle. After that, you can style a few outfits on a model to help attract customers. 

Next, write descriptions for the garments and decide on a price for each item. 

Did our guide on how to sell used clothes online help you get started? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to share the article with your friends and family.

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