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12 Ways to Make Money from Your Closet Clearout

Anyone ever tried to sell used clothes for cash?

If you have, you probably know what a giant headache it can be. From fielding questions from people wanting to know which brand your Topshop dress is, to the constant queues at the post office, trying to sell used clothes can sometimes feel like waaaay more trouble than it’s worth. And by, “sometimes,” I mean, “almost all the time.” Over the years, however, I have experimented with a few different methods of selling used clothes for cash, and today I thought I’d list some of them, for those of you who’re currently standing in the middle of a clothes mountain, thinking, “NOW what?”.

where to sell used clothes for cash: 6 ways to make money from your closet clearout
01.
eBay

eBay is probably the best-known place to sell used clothes online, and some would argue it’s still the best. I’ve sold hundreds of items on eBay over the years – in fact, I once had my own eBay shop, which I had aspirations of turning into a full-time business. That didn’t work out, unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately: I much prefer blogging to retail!), but I continued to sell used clothes there for a long time. I stopped selling on eBay a while back, when they changed the rules and stopped allowing sellers to leave negative feedback for buyers. I felt it led to a real change in the community: when buyers know they can’t get bad feedback for a transaction, it makes them much more likely to not pay, to quibble over the price, or to cause other problems, safe in the knowledge that there are no real consequences for them. That was my experience, anyway, and although I did eventually come back to eBay, and will list something there occasionally, I tend to find it more trouble than it’s worth these days.

These days, when I do sell used clothes on eBay, I always list my items as “Buy it Now” rather than putting them up for auction: it can take much longer to sell them that way, but at least I know I’ll get the price I want, and won’t end up having to walk to the post office for 99p. eBay now offers sellers 20 free listings per month, which also makes the service more attractive, as you only have to pay if your item sells: previously I would sometimes end up paying more to eBay than I actually made from it: not a good idea!

02.
ASOS Marketplace

When I got tired of my eBay items selling at auction for less money than it cost me to package them up, I decided to try my luck with ASOS marketplace. This is part of the hugely popular ASOS retail site, and allows you to register for a profile and start selling your used clothes online. Unlike eBay, where items are mostly auctioned, ASOS marketplace allows you to set up your own “boutique” where you can upload photos of the items you’re selling, and set your price. It’s free to list, with ASOS taking a percentage of the value if your item sells.

I listed around 10 items on ASOS marketplace a couple of years ago, but didn’t have a lot of luck with it. Each listing runs for three months (assuming the item doesn’t sell), and I think I only sold one or two items in that time. In retrospect, I probably didn’t put enough effort into my listings: unlike eBay, where many sellers will simply photograph their item on the bed or floor, ASOS marketplace is primarily used by of professional sellers and brands, who put a lot of effort into making their clothes look as good as possible. Most items are modelled by a person, rather than just hanging on the back of a door, and the site has the feel of a “proper” online store, which means that if you want to sell there successfully, you need to make your listing as professional as possible. On the plus side, I liked the fact that I didn’t have to pay anything for the items which didn’t sell, so there was no financial risk in trying it out.

Related:

How to clear out your closet

03.
Vinted

Vinted works along similar lines to most other online consignment stores: you list your item for free, and deal directly with interested buyers. Payments go through the Vinted website, so buyers can feel safe in the knowledge that if their purchase doesn’t turn up, they’ll be able to get a refund, and if you don’t want to sell your used clothes for cash, you can also swap them for other items – assuming the other buyer agrees. 

 

how to make money from your used clothes

04.
Depop

Depop is essentially a cross between eBay and Instagram: the layout is very similar to the latter, but instead of simply posting photos of your breakfast, or whatever, you post photos of clothes and accessories you want to sell online, and people can either hit the ‘buy now’ button, or make you an offer. All payments go through the Depop app, which takes a cut of the profit, but other than that, it’s up to you to negotiate with the buyer and handle the sale.

I do have an account on Depop, but have only tried listing a couple of items there, neither of which sold. Obviously there could be lots of reasons for that, which have nothing to do with the app itself (wrong clothes, wrong price etc), and it seems to be pretty popular, so it could be worth a shot. Of course, if you have a decent-sized Instagram following, and post a lot of outfit shots (meaning that your followers are likely to like the kind of things you wear), you might prefer to cut out the middle man altogether, and sell via Instagram. I know quite a few bloggers who sell used clothes that way, and they seem to do really well out of it, although it’s not something I’ve tried myself.

05.
Instagram

Speaking of Instagram, the photo-sharing app can also be used to sell clothes for cash: just post a photo of the item you want to sell, and either state your price, or accept offers. As Instagram doesn’t have a payment engine, you’ll have to manage the sale privately: most Instagram sellers take payment via Paypal, but it’s worth being aware that there’s obviously a lot of trust involved here – unlike sites like eBay or Depop, which are set up for online selling, all sales conducted via Instagram are private ones, so the platform wont get involved if things go wrong.

For this reason, I haven’t sold anything via Instagram myself, but I do frequently see other bloggers list clothes there, and it seems fairly popular. Of course, for Instagram to work as a place to sell used clothes for cash, you will need to have an audience interested in fashion : if you generally only post about food or cars, say, don’t be surprised if your followers aren’t particularly interested in that amazing dress you just listed there.

06.
Poshmark

Poshmark is an online community of fashion lovers, all looking to buy and sell used clothes for cash. Once signed up, simply snap a quick photo with your phone, and upload it to your virtual closet, where it can be viewed by the site’s thousands of members. There’s buyer protection, and, once your item sells, they’ll even send you a pre-paid shipping label, to make posting it easier. The big catch? It’s US-only, so those of us in the UK will just have to keep hoping they open an international site soon…

07.
Preloved

Preloved is an online classifieds site, much like Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace (Both of which can also be used to sell old clothes for cash, obviously: I’ve had no luck whatsoever with either of these myself, but you never know…), where you can list pretty much anything for sale. As this one isn’t solely for clothes, I’m not sure how good it’ll be, but there is an extensive clothing section, so it could be worth a look.

08.
Vestiaire Collective

If your old clothes are valuable enough, you may be able to sell them via designer consignment store, Vestiaire Collective. This site is based in France, but I’ve successfully used it to sell a handful of designer items, all of which have to be sent first of all to the site itself, where they’re checked for authenticity and condition, before being forwarded to the buyer. If you have a number of items to sell, there’s also a concierge service, where you can simply send the items to them, and they’ll take care of every aspect of the sale for you, from photographing and listing the items, to posting them to the buyer. 

The main thing to bear in mind here is that Vestiaire Collective will only accept high-end designed pieces, so it’s not a good place to offload high street bargains. For the right items, though, you’re likely to make more than you would on eBay or similar sites, so it’s definitely one to consider. 

09.
The Real Real

Also for high-end designer goods (And ONLY for high-end designer goods…) the Real Real authenticates each item before accepting it for sale: this will inevitably make the process a little slower than selling on eBay, say, but, on the plus side, it also means you’re likely to get a fair price for more valuable items. 

10.
Hardly Ever Worn It

Yet another designer consignment store, but Hardly Ever Worn It allows you to list items yourself, much like Depop or Vinted. 

11.
Consignment stores

Consignment stores are retailers (either online or offline) who will sell used clothes on your behalf, either in their store or on their website. There’s no upfront charge for this service, but the consignment store will split the proceeds of the sale with you: the percentage they take will vary, but a 50/50 split seems fairly common.

I had my first experience of consignment back in 2014, when I took a bag of used clothes to a consignment store which had opened in my local area.  The main thing to bear in mind if you’re trying this method of selling old clothes is that your experience will differ from store-to-store (or site-to-site if it’s an online store): not only does each store have different policies, their location will also play a role in your success or otherwise.

In my case, the store I visited was in a small town which isn’t exactly known for fashion: I knew from this that I’d probably make a lot less than I would from a consignment store in the centre of a busy city, say, and I was right. I took in 15 items of clothing, of which they sold 9, with me making just under £40. It’s not a lot of money, but these were all items I’d previously attempted to sell on eBay/ASOS without success, so I figured it was better than nothing, especially considering that there was no work involved on my part: I simply dropped off the clothes, and they did the rest.

12.
Cash for Clothes

My last resort when it comes to selling old clothes is an organisation called Cash for Clothes, which, as the name suggests, will pay cash for your used clothes. Unlike the consignment store model, you don’t have to wait for the items to sell before you get paid: you get cash upfront, with the organisation simply weighing your bag of clothes and calculating your payment based on that. As with all of the above venues, they require the clothes to be clean and in good condition, but they don’t have any restrictions beyond that, so if you have a large volume of unwanted clothing to get rid of, it can be an easy way to make a small amount of money from it. “Small” is the operative word here, though: Cash for Clothes  pay 50p per kilo of clothing, so I don’t recommend it for high-value items: rather, it’s a way to make a little bit of money from a large-scale clearout, particularly if it contains a lot of lower value items, which you don´t want to sell individually.

where to sell used clothes online

As I said, this is by no means an exhaustive list of places to sell used clothes for cash, so if you know of any other clothing retail websites, I’d love to hear from you!

 

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30 Comments
  • Magda
    January 11, 2017

    Try vinted. In my country it’s very popular.

  • I haven’t had much success selling my old clothes… though maybe that goes down to me not trying very hard at all. Usually I just donate them to H&M because I can get discount vouchers in exchange.

    Charmaine Ng
    Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Sian
    January 11, 2017

    I used to sell my clothes a lot on eBay but I got SO sick of people telling me that things weren’t arriving or that they were arriving damaged, but I had proof of delivery and they refused to send pictures or tell me anything further about the damage to the item, just demanding refunds – there were some really abusive people! The time it took as well to sort out photos, listings and then getting to the post office (it means a 30 minute walk on my lunch break to do so) just ending up outweighing the money I was getting for things! I’d love to try consignment stores as they sound great, but I don’t think we have any nearby which is a shame.
    I’ve had some massive wardrobe clear outs recently and I’ve sold a few things on Facebook – mostly the nicer or more niche retro brands – but everything else has just gone to charity – I feel like I’m doing some good that way!

    • Amber
      January 11, 2017

      Same here: it´s just so time consuming, and most of the time it just wasn´t worth it for me. Once they stopped allowing sellers to leave negative feedback, I also started getting so much hassle from buyers – even had one girl try to return something because it didn´t fit, and tell me that if I didn´t refund her, she´d lie and say it was damaged. She then left me negative feedback saying the item was damaging, but listed it herself, saying it was in “perfect condition” – there was just way too much of that kind of thing for me to want to continue with it in the end!

      • Emerald
        January 11, 2017

        That takes the biscuit. So buying from a seller then re-selling and saying it’s in mint condition when they’ve rubbished it?? eBay must surely be wise to this sort of behaviour (I hope!).

        My little sister had trouble herself from a woman selling on eBay. Granted, she was silly and didn’t send an item as a signed-for delivery. The buyer said she never received it. But when my sister checked the buyer’s profile she saw countless negative feedback to sellers whose items had “never arrived”. It all seemed a little bit too much of a coincidence.

  • Jen
    January 11, 2017

    I used to sell on Ebay and Depop a lot but got so fed up of buyers unrealistic demands. I once had a buyer purchase something on a Saturday and then opened a non-delivery claim on the Monday! Think some of them expect you to act like a shop and send things out on the day of purchase and want next day delivery etc. Always found it was the people buying the cheapest items (think 99p top) that were the most demanding.
    Decided it wasn’t worth it, never really made that much and found it stressful. Just pass things on the friends and family or give to the local charity shop.

    • Regine Miller
      November 5, 2017

      Jen – I’ve had exactly that same result from people buying stuff for a pound and then being the biggest complainers – I even had a buyer open a case on ebay because she didn’t receive the dress 2 days after purchase – I had a tracking number so found out it had been delivered – but to her neighbour as she wasn;t in, address was correct. Then I had to chase her to close the case so I didn’t have negative feedback!! she got a lovely dress for £1 which was at the very least worth £10. really want to just give everything to charity shops now as it’s not worth the hassle to try to sell things 🙁

  • Fran
    January 11, 2017

    I’ve also largely given up on eBay these days, as it’s true that people just don’t want to pay a fair price any longer. Twicely looks quite interesting, and rather irritatingly I’ve just given some items to the charity shop that might have been suitable. Oh well, at least that way they’ll be raising some money for someone who needs it more than I do!

  • Louise
    January 11, 2017

    I’ve always used eBay but I’ve lost heart with it because it is, as you say, more hassle than it’s worth. I would be tempted to try Depop. Thanks for the advice.

  • Brenda
    January 11, 2017

    Would you ever consider selling clothes directly off this Blog page to your followers? I have seen some Interior Designers do it with items like pillows and decorative objects… They seem to have pretty good luck… Just an option!

    • Amber
      January 11, 2017

      No, I don’t really like the idea of selling to readers – there’s no protection on either side, and I think I’d really worry about people being disappointed or something … when you use a third party site, it’s just a lot less personal, and there’s normally assistance available if things go wrong. Also, the majority of my readers seem to live overseas, which makes shipping much more expensive!

      • Brenda
        January 11, 2017

        I totally understand that… I am in Canada so it would cost a small fortune to send your clothes to me… although it might be worth it!

  • Steph
    January 11, 2017

    Thanks for the really helpful post! I have a huge amount sat waiting to be listed on eBay at the moment, but due to the same issues you’ve pointed out I’ve been trying to summon the energy to do so. My main issue is that they will now automatically refund the money if a buyer claims they didn’t receive the item – even when you can prove it was delivered. Great for buyers, not so much for sellers! I’ve been burnt a few times this way when the parcel didn’t make it’s way back to me after not being collected at the post office – often you can’t claim on the insurance when this happens and even if you do qualify for compensation, you don’t get back the time you wasted! I also got fed up of daft or cheeky requests – when I do list now I tend to have a disclaimer on the bottom stating what I can and can’t do, including reminding buyers I have a full time job and can only get to the post office on certain days as buyers also seem to expect delivery and responses to questions pretty much immediately these days. I think they forget they are buying off a real life person rather than a multi-national retailer with a sales depot and staff!

    • Amber
      January 11, 2017

      I’ve had that happen a couple of times too: in both cases, the buyer ended up withdrawing the claim because the item arrived, but in the meantime, Ebay just take the money from your bank account, which isn’t fun!

  • Dana
    January 11, 2017

    I have recently learned about Resale Shops. The difference between these and consignment is they make you an offer for your clothes and give you cash up front. I’m in the US and not sure if they have them in the UK, but I would imagine. Now I need to remember to make an outing some Saturday before the season is over! I’m not sure how much they pay, but even if it were less than consignment, I’d rather just make one trip and be done–no worry about whether I’m going to get paid, extra hassles, etc. I’m pretty lazy about all of this though! I would never get around to shipping any items if I were to put them online, lol!

  • Jean
    January 11, 2017

    Has anyone had luck with an Etsy shop for vintage clothing? I’m thinking of going that route but I’m sure, like all the others, it’s very much a crap shoot and quite hassley. Here in the U.S. (and I’m sure elsewhere) Facebook has neighborhood and city buy/sell and online garage sale groups. I haven’t gone that route, but might. Or Craigslist in the U.S., which I’m sure is also a hassle.

    • Ginger
      January 11, 2017

      There are a some excellent selling groups on Facebook for both actual vintage and repro/retro vintage lines. In my opinion most vintage on Etsy is extremely over-priced, but that might work to your advantage. Many stores are quite professional in their photography and listings, too, for what it’s worth.

  • Dana
    January 11, 2017

    BTW, I love the photos on this post…so cheery!

  • Gemma
    January 11, 2017

    I had some luck with ASOS Marketplace, but I believe they’ve now closed it to individual sellers. So you now have to be a business seller to have an account. They certainly did, because that’s why I stopped using it, not sure if they’ve changed it again? I’ve also had some luck selling on Instagram, but the faff of photographing and listing it all is still a pain, plus I manage about 7 instagram accounts so I had to keep logging in and out to keep track of it!

  • Lynn
    January 12, 2017

    Vinted is fab, very easy to use & a lovely community. Would definitely recommend it 😊

  • What Lou Wore 365
    January 13, 2017

    I take any unwanted clothes (and the ones the kids have grown out of) down to the local clothing recycling bin. I just can’t be doing with eBay after hearing too many negative things. Plus I’ve ordered things from eBay myself that I’ve not been entirely happy with but at a couple of quid can’t be bothered to grumble. Most recent one was a Mini Boden shirt for Felix described as excellent condition. Took three weeks to arrive and then it had a few areas that looked like bleach spots. How is that excellent condition I ask you? I guess we all have different standards, at least it wasn’t riddles with holes….

    I must confess I’d not heard of most of the sites you listed here, I wonder if the same could be said for other readers? I definitely didn’t know ASOS had a resale area!

  • Spreading Color
    March 14, 2017

    Wow, I had no idea that there were so many ways/methods to sell your used clothes online. I have heard of some of these methods you mention but Twicely for example, is new to me. I like the idea of Cash for Clothes, I have a bunch of low valued items that are just taking space and would love to get rid of, I hope they take clothes from Germany. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, it is extremely helpful!

    http://www.spreadingcolor.com

  • Eirlys
    February 1, 2018

    e-Bay isn’t what it was. I now prefer to offer Buy it Now so that I can be sure I get what I consider my item to be worth. If that fails after a certain time I donate it to a charity shop.

    I use “signed for” a lot now to safeguard both seller and buyer.

    Car Boot Sales are probably the fairest way of selling unwanted clothes. It’s a hassle, though, especially if the weather isn’t good.

  • Yvonne
    March 5, 2018

    thank you for all your comments. I have also found that ebay do not care about their sellers. you sell an high value unused item for next to nothing, take great care describing it, supply 10 detailed photos and an unscrupulous buyer will claim that it does not match description. there is no point in arguing. just be grateful that they have not sworn at you. then you add up the cost of sending, the return postage at a premium because you have to purchase the return label from ebay, the ebay commission is charged on top of the postage and the few pounds of the actual price, of course. Oh yes, you still pay, even if you have the item returned. I have talked to some buyers and it has become obvious that more and more so-called buyers are having fun on ebay…. and some are even more encouraged when the unlucky seller opts for not paying the return postage and letting them have the item for nothing. I have been asked by ebay whether I wanted to report an abusive buyer, which I have done and in response…. I have been asked whether I wanted to report the buyer… which I did again… and in response…. I have been asked whether… Get the gist? NOTHING happened. Ebay keep on encouraging me to list more and more. Now I have another buyer making a spurious demand and I have not relented. Let us see what happens. I do not hold much hope as ebay make quite a lot of money from returns.

  • Sam
    May 4, 2018

    I have sadly had similar dealings with eBay recently. I’ve been selling on eBay for 13 years, (mainly my childrens pre-loved clothes) and they have just permanently suspended me from selling due to a handful of disputes, where buyers have taken full advantage of eBays ever increasing rules and restrictions on sellers, meaning disputes of any kind, are always being resolved in the the buyers favour. Ebay have now made it so that buyers can do what ever they want and get away with it and it is being exploited big time!!

    One example… I sold a brand new, boxed, Toy story, Woody soft plush toy in December last year. It was accurately described and photographed. When the buyer received it, she requested a refund as it was not a talking, pull string toy, which is what she wanted. I emailed her to say, it was not described as a talking, pull string toy, but as a soft plush toy, therefore I would be unable to except the return. As others have mentioned in this feed, I am not a shop, I am a working single mum who sells a few items now and again for a bit of extra pocket money. I clearly state on my listings that I do not except returns, (because the costs involved, as previously stated, are so high). So what did the buyer then do? She escalated it to eBays resolution centre and reported that the item was fake!!!! I was so annoyed, as at that point, I knew I would have to refund the item. The buyer knew exactly what they were doing and how to exploit the unfair, biased system eBay has in place. Then to top it off, after she lied and had the item refunded, at my expense, she then left negative feedback for me!!

    This is just one example of my recent dealings with eBay. I was gutted when they banned me from selling, as it had been a lucrative way to make some extra cash from my children old clothes, that would of otherwise gone to the charity shop. Also, it made me feel like I was being punished for something I hadn’t done, which has left a bitter taste in my mouth.

    Ebay served me well for many years, especially when my children were younger and I was unable to work many hours. Those days are now gone and it is no longer a pleasant selling experience. After reading this blog and realising its not just myself as a seller who has been treated badly, I now think eBay has done me a favour in suspending my account. They are not the only selling platform available, so I will be checking out some of the suggestions here, in search for a site where both buyers and sellers are treated fairly and equally.

  • Kaye
    May 5, 2018

    Same here. Buyer claimed sweatshirt had not arrived. Opened a claim after 3 days, was abusive and threatening.

    I ended up refunding him despite having signed for delivery (eBay kept ignoring plea to intervene and just upheld his case). I then saw a pic on his Facebook profile of him proudly wearing the £55 shirt. It was very unique so unlikely he’d gotten it from elsewhere.

    I’ve also had abuse from buyers using the GPS system where eBays shipping has delayed or lost the parcel overseas. Buyer opens a claim and eBay come after ME and refund the buyer from my account even though their terms and conditions say they are liable after it’s posted in uk. I had proof of postage and tracked as well.

  • Nancy Clinton
    July 8, 2018

    My mother-in-law died recently leaving behind wardrobes full of good quality clothes. Some of the clothes were worn once to weddings whilst others were barely worn, if at all. Her taste was very colourful and elaborate.
    I feel that the clothes are too good to go to charity shops, although many have. I was wondering if you are aware of somewhere that would buy the clothes from me and then sell them on at their outlet.

  • Mike
    July 24, 2018

    Hi I’ve just found this site as I’m looking to move a good quantity of clothing – I’ll explain quickly I run a charity shop and we have been generously give loads of clothing this year so much I can not shift the stuff fast enough even at a £1 an item and I’m not talking primark Tesco’s or Sainsbury’s Asda these all get sent to the clothing bins. I’m talking top brands top makes I’m selling Gap joules ASOS fat face all at a pound and still have more to put out. eBay is packed the lowest I can sell is £5 that makes 55p to the charity after three fees and postage but still I struggle. Thought on this please

    • Anna Jagric
      December 27, 2018

      Mike – we are starting to run second hand clothing events in London for charities. How can I contact you?

  • Patricia
    July 29, 2018

    EBay are nothing like they where when I first started there shops cost 6.00 a month now 30.00 a month for a basic shop….. It’s the little people that put ebay where eBay is now not the big stores.. EBay seam to forgotten this.. Not sure where the buyers are shopping now it’s not ebay.. I hardly sell anything now.. I tried vinted they just follow you don’t seam to buy…. Any ideas where to sell now… I have made a website for new and preloved clothes foot wear not sure if to spend money and send life that’s expensive… I have new shoes and boots and preloved clothes all in excellent condition… Would like to sell at a reasonable price
    Any ideas must be something out there like eBay but look after there sellers

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