Sell Clothes Online: The Ultimate Fashion-Focused Side Hustle
It’s no secret that the fashion industry is a lucrative one. According to experts, the global fashion industry is estimated at around $2.4 trillion.
In both high-fashion and the consumer industry, there’s money to be made.
And luckily, you don’t have to be Kate Spade or Giorgio Armani to make a living in the world of clothes.
These days, there are plenty of ways to make money selling clothing. All you need is a smartphone, some basic industry knowledge, and a good bit of determination.
Read on to learn how to sell clothes online.
Why Sell Your Clothes Online?
Selling your clothes is a great way to clean out your closet. But you can also turn it into a profitable side hustle, or even a full-time job.
When you sell clothes on the internet, you have more freedom than you would if you opened your own brick-and-mortar store. Instead of restricting yourself to one demographic, you can sell to customers in a range of different markets.
And, you can sell things at all different price points. You can sling novelty t-shirts for low prices on one platform and sell high-end clothing on another.
Plus, you’re able to work at your own pace and on your own schedule. Whether you want to make this a career or are just doing it to make some extra money on the side, you’re able to work whenever and wherever you wish.
First, What Clothes Do You Want to Sell Online?
Ready to get started? If you have an internet connection, you’re already halfway there. The next thing you have to do is decide which type of clothing you want to sell.
You have two choices: used or new.
The underlying strategy for selling both is more or less the same. But there are some key differences you should understand, so we’ll discuss them separately.
Option 1: Sell Used Clothes Online
Some folks might cringe at the idea of wearing someone else’s old clothes. But, there’s a reason why secondhand stores and consignment shops have been around for years.
Fashion is cyclical. Old styles always come back. So, there’s always a market for old, outdated clothing.
Plus, buying used clothes has become increasingly popular among the environmentally-conscious crowd. In response to the textile industry’s environmental impact, many people are buying used clothes to limit their eco-footprint.
In the world of secondhand retail, you have two options: selling your own stuff or “flipping” clothes.
“Flipping” means buying something cheap at a thrift store or yard sale and then reselling it for a profit.
To do this successfully, you must have a keen eye for fashion. And, you have to be willing to forage through the racks at secondhand shops. But if you know what you’re doing, you can make some serious cash.
Think about it. People pay between $20 and $100 for a shirt (sometimes more). If you find a great piece of clothing $5 and turn it over for $25, you’ll make a $20 profit.
Not bad, right?
Where to Sell Your Used Clothes Online
If selling clothes sounds appealing to you, you’re in luck. There are plenty of online consignment apps where you can sell your items.
Here are a few of our favorite apps:
Poshmark is a platform where people sell high-quality and name brand items. Post photos of your clothes online and sell them to people all around the world.
When you make a sale, the company sends you a prepaid label to expedite the shipping process. The app also integrates well with social media, making it easier to market your products.
More information: Everything You Need to Know About Poshmark
Another online marketplace, Tradesy specializes in women’s luxury and designer clothes. One nice feature is that if the buyer wants to return an item, it goes to the company and you keep your money.
Don’t feel like taking photos and monitoring your items? Use ThredUP!
This company sends you a prepaid “clean out bag” that you fill with clothes and send it back to them. They post the items, share them, and sell them. All you need to do is sit back and wait.
Formerly called Snobswap, LePrix is designed specifically luxury items. So, if you’ve got some old Chanel or Louis Vuitton items to sell, this could be your spot.
Shortly after an item sells, you’ll have cash deposited directly in your PayPal account.
Keep your sales within your network by posting them on Instagram and Facebook. If you want to work locally, you can use Facebook Marketplace to sell to people in your area.
One benefit here is that you don’t have to pay commission fees as you do on Etsy, Poshmark, or ThredUP. You set your own price and keep the profits.
Looking for some real exposure? Consider taking out a few FB Marketplace ads to boost your page’s visibility.
Option 2: Start an Online Clothing Store
If you don’t want to sell used clothes, you might want to make and sell your own clothes. By setting up an online store, you can market and sell your creations to buyers from all over the globe.
Starting your own clothing company has the potential to be far more lucrative than selling secondhand stuff.
But it’s also way more difficult. To succeed as a fashion entrepreneur, you need to understand how to run a business. To run your own company, you have to learn how to market your products.
Luckily, there are a number of online platforms you can use to sell your clothes.
How to Set Up An Online Clothing Store
If you want to sell clothing online, you will need to address the following questions:
Starting an online clothing store looks easy. But actually doing it requires a lot of work.
However, if you put the time in, you can surely make a profit from clothing sales.
Want to make money off your passion? Check out these 9 Hobbies that Make Money!
Where to Sell New Clothes Online
There are a number of platforms that make it easy to sell your own fashion. Here are a few of the best options:
Early on, eBay built a reputation for being the biggest online consignment store on the internet. But lately, it’s become a popular place to buy new stuff. If you want to make money selling clothes, this could be a great place to run your business.
There are currently around 168 million active users on eBay. Roughly a million items sell on the site each day. In other words, this site gives you access to a vast pool of potential customers.
Amazon, the titan of eCommerce, is a great place to sell because it’s where almost everyone goes to buy their stuff.
However, this marketplace is kind of flooded. It definitely takes some time to appear near the top of their search results. So, you may want to spend some time learning how to sell on Amazon before you dive right in.
For example, you might consider sponsoring a few listings (paying to have them near the top) to get your first sales and earn a few reviews. Then, you’ll have a better shot at appearing in organic Amazon search results.
Fulfillment by Amazon
Once you build up some sales volume, you may also want to take advantage of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).
In this arrangement, you send your products to the Amazon Warehouse instead of the customer. They take care of all the logistics, including packing, shipping, returns, and customer service.
This can save you a ton of money and frustration, especially when you run a high-volume operation. And, it’s a surefire way to ensure that your customers get their shipments on time.
If you offer handmade, specialty, or artisan clothes, Etsy is the platform for you.
It may be tricky for you to handle large volumes, as you have to do the shipping yourself. But, Etsy is a great place to connect with the types of people who buy handmade clothing.
There are plenty of ways to earn good income selling on Etsy. Check out this guide to learn some best practices.
Shopify is great for those who want to set up their own online store. It allows you to design a website where you can quickly and easily accept payments and ship products.
Using Shopify, you can also create a blog, which helps you engage with your audience and boost your SEO.
The great thing about this platform is that they make it super easy to start dropshipping. This method enables you to run a clothing business entirely online, without ever having to touch the product yourself.
Magento is one of Shopify’s biggest competitors. This is another platform that allows you to set up a website with a shopping cart feature.
Both companies offer a number of plans ranging from Basic to Enterprise. While the Basic versions are free, you have to option to pay for access to additional features as your business grows.
CafePress is a platform that makes it easy to create printed merchandise without having to silkscreen them yourself.
All you have to do is upload your designs to the site. Then, CafePress makes on-demand products for anyone who orders your design. They even ship it for you.
When CafePress first started, it was specific to t-shirts. But now you can use it to sell sweaters, pajamas, hats, fashion accessories, and more.
Tips For Successfully Selling Clothes Online
Whether you sell used clothes your own products, there are certain things you’ll have to do to be successful.
Here are a few pieces of advice:
Whether you’re embarking on a new career journey or just want to make some extra cash, selling clothes online is a great option.
And it’s never been easier!
As long as you take a smart, strategic approach, it’s totally possible to make money selling clothing. In the US alone, ecommerce sales grew by more than 15% during 2018. There’s no shortage of money to be made here.
Of course, you must have a little patience. Take it slow, think strategically, and learn everything you can along the way. Before you know it, you could be working from home as a retail mogul.