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My wife and I just moved to a new city. Maybe I’m just dumb but I could not even fathom how many clothes we had to move. Dozens of garbage bags and boxes full of them. To put it into perspective, my wife gave away or donated more than 50 PAIR OF SHOES! (and I did the same with t-shirts)
This is especially ridiculous since I literally wear like 2 pairs of pants. I have a pair of black jeans that I wear and some hiking pants. I’m so fashion. Well, long story short, we decided the time had come to do something between Matt D’avela and Maria Kondo. We decided to minimize our wardrobes and keep only pieces that we either like and could wear right now or were irreplaceable.
It was not a quick job and ended up taking us the better part of a week to make sure all our laundry was done and that we had gone through everything. We ended up with more than half of our clothes that were boxed up in Walmart moving boxes with a big “DONATE” sharpied on the side.
But when we started looking at that pile we started realizing that we were looking at a literal pile of money. Thousands and thousands of dollars had been spent (by us) on those clothes. The was a very real temptation to go and put them back in our room just to avoid admitting that we were dumb to buy them in the first place.
So, instead of dropping them off at the local Goodwill, we started wondering where we could sell our used clothes for money. We sell on eBay (which is what this blog is usually about) so our first inclination was to sell things on there. The problem was, we had a huge stack of clothes. We had bought each piece because we liked it but none of them were very expensive or designer. So the idea of selling our pile over the next year, making a couple of bucks per item, and then needing to ship them somewhere wasn’t very appealing.
We wanted to turn our old clothes into money TODAY! Obviously that limited our options, but since we were going to donate the items anyway we figured that something was better than nothing!
It took us some calling and research but here are the options we came up with for turning our old clothes into cash:
- Platos Closet
- Facebook Marketplace
- Mini Garage Sale
- Consignment Stores
In the end, we chose to do a mix of those things to get the mots money for our old clothes. And how much did we make? Well, not much.
Our #1 Choice: Platos Closet
If you’ve ever considered selling your clothes before (or are into buying thrifty clothes) you’ve probably been into Platos Closet. They are a chain store that buys cute and trendy clothing (both men’s a women’s) and resells it a price still way below the original cost.
You simply bring in your clothing, they go through it and choose what they want, pay your for it, and you go on your merry way.
- The Good: Plato’s closet will pay you cash on the spot for the clothing they want to buy.
- You can get paid in only 15-20 mins.
- Your clothing has to be in excellent condition. If it has any noticeable wear it will probably be rejected.
- Plato’s closet only buys clothing that is currently in season so if you’re cleaning out your winter clothing in the spring they probably won’t want any of it.
- Just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean they want it. The buys are often high school girls who will buy your Forever 21 cardigan but reject a Fendi purse because “they’ve never heard of it.”
How to Maximize Your Payout:
- If you get a pile of rejects at one store, you can always try another. The types of clothing purchased are based on a set of company rules which are influenced by the store manager.
- Be nice, don’t hover, and don’t argue.
In the end, Plato’s closet is an excellent option for turning your used clothing into money. Why? Because it’s fast and easy. It certainly won’t make you rich but if you’re going to donate your clothing any way you might get lucky. We went through our boxes, chose things that we thought they were likely to buy and they purchased about half of it.
2. Facebook Marketplace
If you have expensive items that Platos didn’t want (or they offered you beans for them) then one of the easiest ways to sell them quickly is to put them on Facebook Marketplace. You can take a couple of pictures and have the potential to sell an item to someone local within minutes!
- You can get paid for your old clothes almost instantly via cash, PayPal, Venmo, etc.
- If you have a desirable item (or a lot) you can sell them the same day
- You have to arrange a time to meet in person.
- It’s hard to sell older or out-of-season clothing.
How to Maximize Your Payout
- Don’t just list your items on the Marketplace. Find some local sales pages and post up your items. People are often much more active in the communities and the things that you post will often show up directly in their feed.
- Accept Offers. As long as someone isn’t lowballing you, accept what they offer. There have been several times where we’ve listed something on Facebook, had a flurry of initial offers we felt were too low, and then had crickets forever. If you don’t accept a reasonable offer because you’re greedy you’ll regret it when you can’t sell the item at all!
Facebook Marketplace is a very viable option for selling your clothing if you need money fast. You probably won’t make a ton of money and it’s not always possible to sell things quickly but the more places you try the more likely it is that you’ll have success!
3. Have a Mini Garage Sale
If you live somewhere with lots of foot traffic (and have a bunch of stuff to sell) just set up on your front lawn. You’d be surprised how many people passing by will be interested in browsing what you have.
- You have the ability to sell both high and low dollar items.
- You can give things away at the end of the sale and save a trip to the thrift store.
- You can get paid in cash and avoid in consignment or sales fees.
- You’re reliant on foot traffic.
- It’s hard to get top dollar for desirable or designer items.
How to Maximize Your Payout
- Know who you’re selling to. At the last garage sale we had I put out a Ugg Sheepskin jacket that we hadn’t been able to sell on eBay. It retailed for $1295 but we couldn’t sell it for $100 to save our lives. People usually don’t go to garage sales looking for cheap designer stuff. They are looking for absolute rock bottom deals. So your box of $2 clothing will probably do better than the nicer things you have.
- Put out a sign saying something like “The more you buy the more you save! We offer bundle discounts!” The majority of our big money sales at a garage sale happened because we were willing to offer discounts to people who bought a bunch of stuff.
- Offer several payment options. You should obviously be taking cash and Venmo/Paypal but, if possible, get yourself a card reader that plugs into your phone. People can’t buy your stuff if they can’t pay you!
4. Consignment Stores/Pawn Shops
If you have clothing that is vintage, rare, or desirable for other reasons then a consignment shop might be your best option. Consignment shops work a couple of different ways so you’ll want to look at a couple until you find what you’re looking for. A consignment shop typically will put your clothing in their store and, when someone buys it, take a percentage for their service and send the rest on to you. Why they do no strictly quality as consignment stores, there are boutiques that will pay you cash for your old clothes and then resell them.
- You can get a premium price for your premium items
- Established stores have a much larger clientele than you could hope to drum up at a yard sale or on Facebook
- Items can be slow to sell. Unless the consignment shop also sells online they are relying on foot traffic to get eyeballs to your desired items.
- Consignment store fees are steep. It’s not unusual to pay 40% or more for your item to sit on their rack
How To Maximize Your Payout
Shop around. If you don’t want to pay as high of a fee, smaller shops are usually your friend. Also, if the shop doesn’t buy items outright and you need money today, consider asking if they have a recommendation for local sellers that would be interested in the types of items you sell.
Some thrift stores will also give you money for your clothing but most of them (particularly chain stores) pay by the pound and will give you pennies on the dollar. You’re typically better off donating your items and getting a coupon.
5. eBay (for now)
Turned used clothing into cash is kind of our jam. We typically scour thrift stores, garage sale, and Facebook marketplace looking for underpriced items and flip them on eBay. So, naturally, that was our first idea for selling our own clothing. However, the type of clothing we wear is typically not the type of unusual or high-end clothing we’d pick up to flip. (To get an idea of the brands we sell try this article for men’s clothes and this one for women’s).
However, since it has an incredible audience (millions of daily views) we though we’d choose a few of our better pieces and list them for sale. We ended up selling 2 of the 11 items we listed the same day and have sold several more since.
- You have a much larger pool of potential buyers. This means that you can get much more money than would be possible at any of the above locations.
- You have a lot of competition. There are now millions of eBay people selling clothing on eBay and tens of thousands of people who make a full-time income doing it. You’ll be casting a line with all of them.
- You have to ship things. Yes, you have more potential buyers, but they live all over the world. You’ll have to pack up and ship the clothing you sell which takes time and will cut into your profits.
- Buyers expect high-quality pictures. Because they can’t handle the item, you’ll have to spend the time appeasing and enticing your buys will good shots of your clothing. If you don’t, you’ll run the risk of having not sales or the buy requesting to return the item.
- Payouts might not actually happen the same day. If you are new to eBay/PayPal then they might place a hold on your account until things are delivered.
How To Maximize Your Payout
If you want to sell your clothing on eBay you typically have to choose whether you want the most money, or whether you want money now. Undercutting the market can lead to a fast sale but you’ll obviously leave money on the table.
You can’t do anything about the percentage that eBay takes but you can try to save money in other ways. Source used boxes, ship your item online to get a discount and utilize a small handling fee when listing your item.
While there are several other options for selling your used clothing online (Poshmark, Mercari, Depop, etc.) most of them hold your payment until the buyer confirms delivery so we didn’t include them in our list here.
So if you need to sell your old clothes for money today, you’ll just have to accept that you’re not going to get top dollar for it. The main reason that it was worth it for us to try and get some money out of our clothing is that we planned to donate it all anyway.
If you have any type of high-end items, you’re typically better off to take your time and find the right buyer who will pay what the item is actually worth.
Best of luck!