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How To Make a Profit Reselling Clothing In 2023

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Are you struggling with what to do with your old garments? Do you feel guilty about adding more clothing waste to landfills?

You’re not alone! On average, each person wastes around 100 pounds of fabric annually.

Luckily, second-hand fashion solves all these problems. In this article, we’ll explain how to resell clothing so that you can make money while saving the environment!

Is it Possible to Resell Clothing?

Yes! Selling clothes online is not only possible, but it can also be a profitable business. That’s because, from a customer’s standpoint, reselling garments combines value and affordability. Plus, it’s a good way to get rid of old clothes and empty your closet.

The best part is that you can sell any second-hand clothing, whether it’s a luxury item or vintage clothing. That is, of course, as long as the item is legally obtained.

What Kinds of Clothing Sell Well?

Not all clothes are equal in the resale world. Some sell at a higher value and are more in demand. These include:

  • Branded clothes: Designer items such as Louis Vuitton bags sell well—closer to their original price. That’s especially true if they’re in good condition.
  • Baby clothes: Newborn clothes can be expensive, considering how fast babies outgrow them. Some garments have even only been worn once or are brand new.
  • Vintage items: Fashion is all about reinventing. Currently, Y2K fashion is coming back, and clothes from the early 2000s are in demand again.
  • Rare clothing: limited-edition clothes, especially from popular designers, usually sell out quickly.

What is the Value of Clothing?

Starting a home-based clothing business for second-hand items can be lucrative. The former industry is worth billions and is expected to double, reaching 351 billion in a few years.

That means your pre-loved items will still be valuable in the future. That’s especially true since retro fashion is always in style. Of course, the price can vary depending on the brand, condition, rarity, and demand.

Does Clothing Lose Value Over Time?

Yes! Like any old item, clothing loses value over time. That’s especially true for fast fashion since manufacturers cut corners on fabric quality. As a result, the end product wears and tears quickly. Not to mention, such clothes decline in popularity rapidly.

Quality clothes, on the other hand, are a great investment. You can expect to resell second-hand fashion for around 30-40% of its current price. For rare pieces and branded items, they can sell for their original retail price or slightly under.

Things to Consider When Reselling Clothing

There are several factors to consider when reselling clothes to ensure a successful business. These include:

  • Market research: Understanding current trends and popular brands will help you tailor your inventory to meet the target audience’s preferences and sell more!
  • Condition: Ensure that all items you sell are clean, well-maintained, and free from major flaws. High-quality clothes will attract more buyers and sell at higher prices.
  • Authenticity: Make sure all your branded clothes and designer items are original. Not only is selling counterfeit goods illegal, but it will also severely impact your reputation.
  • Shipping and packaging: Look for a reliable shipping and packaging company, whether through the online platform you sell on or a separate supplier, to provide a positive buying experience.
  • Customer service: Provide excellent customer service by promptly addressing inquiries and resolving issues to maintain a positive customer experience.

Where to Resell Clothing

People buy used clothes for several reasons, like recreating a fashion trend, collecting limited-edition items, or practicing careful money management.

For that reason, you can find numerous resale apps and online marketplaces that you can use to sell your second-hand clothing.

Here are some popular platforms to help you start your resale clothing business:

1. Plato’s Closet

a screenshot of the platoscloset homepage

Plato’s Closet is an online resale platform that focuses on buying and selling second-hand brand items. The process is straightforward.

All you do is bring your collection of clothes, shoes, and accessories to the store for assessment. If accepted, Plato will make an offer and pay you instantly in cash. It’s suitable for selling gently used brand items.

  • Fees/Commission: You can expect to get 30% of Plato’s retail price, which is around 70% off the original price.
  • Payment Methods: cash only

2. Vestiaire Collective

a screenshot of vestiairecollective homepage

Vestiaire Collective is an online consignment store for luxury resale and vintage clothes. The platform accepts different brands. However, they’re highly selective and may reject fast-fashion products.

The company takes care of shipping; all you need to do is follow the prompts to list the item. Once accepted and sold, you will receive a prepaid shipping label that’s eligible for only seven days.

  • Fees/Commission: Vestiaire charges 15% of the final retail price and 3% for payment processing. Items above $13,000 have a fixed fee of $2000.
  • Payment Methods: Bank transfers within 5 business days or PayPal within 24 hours.

3. Mercari

a screenshot of the mercari homepage

Mercari is a Japanese resale platform. Unlike the above options, the former marketplace focuses on all second-hand items—not just clothes. You can use Mercari Local to resell your old garments locally without meeting the buyer.

This app is perfect for casual sellers who want to declutter their closets. Serious sellers can also use the app to sell second-hand clothes, shoes, and accessories.

  • Fees/Commission: 10% selling fee and prepaid shipping.
  • Payment Methods: Instant pay to your credit card for a $2 fee, or direct transfer to a bank account within 5 days.

What You’ll Need to Resell Clothing

To launch your resale clothing business successfully, you’ll need a few essentials. Here’s a list of all the equipment you should have on hand:

  • Camera: You need to capture high-quality, vivid images to attract customers and gain their trust. A phone camera won’t cut it. Instead, opt for a high-end digital camera.
  • Lighting equipment: Even if you’re not a professional photographer, you probably know that lighting is key to shooting top-notch quality photos. You don’t have to go over the top—a few studio lamps will get the job done.
  • Selling platform: Create an account on popular online selling platforms, such as eBay, Poshmark, Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, and more, to reach a wider audience. You can also create your website.
  • Computer: You don’t need to buy a new computer or laptop. Any device that’ll help you manage your online store and keep track of your working schedule will suffice.
  • Model: Hiring a model or modeling yourself helps customers picture what the garment will look like and even gain outfit ideas. Try to use diverse body types to target a wider audience.
  • Cleaning and repair supplies: Have cleaning products for different fabrics, a steamer, and a sewing kit on hand to ensure your garments are in excellent condition before selling them.
  • Packaging material: Basic packaging supplies include boxes, poly mailers, bubble wrap, and foam—all of which ensure safe shipping.

How To Resell Clothing: Step-By-Step Instructions

Here are five steps for starting a resale business for second-hand clothes:

Step 1: Specialize in a Specific Area

Specializing in a specific area makes it easier to search for trendy second-hand clothes and, thus, make more money. The question is how to identify which clothes to buy.

That’s when market research comes in handy. It’ll help you determine popular trends and brands. For instance, you can specialize in denim; it rarely goes out of style, and you can target a wide audience, whether males, females, or toddlers.

Competition is another factor you should consider before hunting for pre-loved items. If many stores are selling branded clothes in bulk, it might not be worth the effort—you won’t likely make a good return selling 50 pieces of the same item at a low price.

Step 2: Know Your Thrift Stores

Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to go shopping. The key to making a good profit is to buy second-hand clothes at a reasonable price.

Luckily, most thrift stores have sales! You can look out for those days to purchase the garments at a low price. You can also ask if the stores do clearance racks and how often. Plus, ask them when they restock.

Make sure to go hunting in the early morning to avoid crowds and grab as many pieces as you can.

Step 3: Inspect and Prepare the Clothing

Sure, you won’t pick up a second-hand piece unless you’ve thoroughly examined it in the store.

Still, you can miss the tiniest detail, such as holes in the inner pockets or other slight defects. Of course, in that case, the clothes would sell for a low price.

To make sure the second-hand garments are in a sellable condition, you need to inspect them for any damages. Then, do the necessary repairs, clean the clothes, and iron them to make them presentable. That way, you ensure the outfit appeals to potential buyers.

Step 4: Photograph and List the Items

As you know, buyers can’t see the clothes in person or inspect them; photos are the only method to help them visualize your second-hand collection.

For that reason, you need to pay extra attention to capture clean, aesthetically pleasing images. Work with your model from different angles to shoot all the garment’s details.

Aside from photos, make sure to write a detailed description. Mention the dimensions, fabric details, colors, and any unique features. You also want to mention imperfections to avoid complaints and refunds.

Step 5: Price Your Garments and Promote

Pricing second-hand items can be tricky. You might have heard that used clothes shouldn’t exceed 50% of their original price.

However, that’s not true. Some pre-loved garments can sell for much more, especially if they’re unworn. The same goes for luxury items in perfect condition.

Generally, second-hand clothes sell for 35-40% off their current retail price. To estimate the final price, add taxes as well as shipping and packaging costs.

After listing your collection, all you do is promote the business. Your good old social media accounts can be handy for this task.

Frequent listings on different resale online platforms can also increase your visibility to buyers. However, make sure to check the inventory to avoid selling an order you can’t fulfill.

Can You Make Money Flipping Clothing?

Flipping clothing can be an excellent way to earn extra cash. It can even be more profitable than a full-time job, helping you earn up to six figures annually. 

However, unlike selling a few old items from your closet to make a quick buck, flipping clothes requires careful planning, including:

  • Sourcing quality items
  • Understanding market trends
  • Choosing the right selling platform
  • Effective pricing strategies
  • Building a solid reputation

What is a Clothing Resale Business?

A clothing resale business involves buying pre-owned and vintage clothes, usually from flea markets, and reselling them at a higher price. You can sell second-hand items through online platforms or local consignment shops.

Is Reselling Clothing a Good Way to Make Money?

Reselling clothes is a good way to make money. When done correctly, you can expect to earn thousands of dollars each month. Aside from that, reselling clothes offers several advantages, including:

  • Low startup costs
  • Flexibility and scalability
  • Wide market potential
  • Sustainability
  • Creative outlet

That said, this lucrative business also has some cons. For starters, the entire process is time-consuming, from sourcing to listing and managing the inventory.

Plus, fashion trends fluctuate rapidly. Not to mention, the resale market is highly competitive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Make Money Flipping Thrift Clothes?

Yes! You can make money flipping thrift store clothes since they’re oftentimes cheap to acquire, especially during sales. Some thrift store flippers can make up to $100,000 annually.

Can I Sell Second-Hand Clothes on Amazon?

While Amazon does allow listing used items, it’s generally not the place to sell second-hand clothes. They only accept brand-new garments with their original price tag.

Similar Tutorials to Check Out

Here are similar tutorials to check out that’ll help you with your clothes reselling venture:

  • Resell Designer Clothes: Learn how to authenticate and source designer clothes. Determine the pricing, shipping, and marketing strategies. Sell on your website or use online resale platforms.
  • Resell Prom Dresses: Identify current prom dress trends, clean and fix the old garments, list them on resale platforms like Prom Again, and decide on the pricing.
  • Resell a Wedding Dress: Clean and restore the dress to its pristine condition; take high-quality photos, list it online, or connect with local bridal shops.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, reselling clothing can be a profitable and sustainable venture. To launch a successful resale business, you need to know your thrift stores, source quality items, capture high-quality photos, and develop an effective pricing strategy.

Aside from that, stay informed about the current fashion trends and be consistent to build a strong reputation and capitalize on the high demand for second-hand fashion!

Leave us a comment below about your thoughts and experiences in the resale world. And if you found this article helpful, don’t hesitate to share it with your friends and family.

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