When Kirstie (my wife) and I were still in college we didn’t party or drink. Not only are we Mormon, but we just didn’t have time for it! In addition to being a full time Physiology and Developmental Biology student, I working 40-50 hours a week managing a boy’s home. We we managing to keep our heads above water, but just barely. That is, until Kirstie got pregnant. Followed by extreme morning sickness. She was unable to eat and was losing up to 5 pounds a week instead of gaining. I knew I couldn’t keep up my pace and abandon herfor 14 hours a day for school and work. I needed to come up with a solution – and quickly – that would allow me to stay home and take care of her. Enter: selling on eBay.
While it wasn’t quick, I started selling off things around our house that we no longer needed (and some we did need…times were hard…). Within two years we had grown our little sideshow into a $100k a year business that gave me the flexibility to stay home for Kirstie’s next pregnancy! So how did we do it? What exactly did we sell? Well, since you’re here, you probably are guessing that we made a ton of money selling women’s clothes on eBay….and you’re right.
As much as it hurts my manhood to admit it, if I could attribute my success on eBay to something, it would be women’s clothing. Specifically, learning what the best clothing brands to sell on eBay are. For the first two years of selling online, women’s clothing made up more than 50% of our sales. It is as plentiful as it is profitable in almost every part of the country (and the world for that matter), so if you are interested in selling clothing on eBay, the women’s clothing section is one of the best places to start.
Unfortunately, it is also one of the most intimidating sections of any thrift store. Rack upon rack of clothing from more brands than you can possibly imagine. Even after selling online (mainly eBay) for several years, we have barely heard of half the brands we come across. Since it’s not effective to look up every single thing you find, we decided to put together a list of the most common and profitable brands for sellers to look for. After all, know what to sell on eBay is more than half the battle!
If you can recognize all the brands on this list, you will very rarely go home empty-handed from any thrifting expedition. So if you’re serious about selling used clothing online, let’s get into it!
Before we start though, I’ll warn you that you won’t find anything like Louis Vuitton or Gucci on this list. Everyone knows they’re valuable. We have done our best to talk about brands you’re likely to find (and might not know), not just the most expensive brands available. Because of that, some brands may not be exciting or flashy. While high dollar sales are fun, these “bread and butter” brands make up 80% of the orders we send out every day. Even after all these years on eBay, we are learning new brands on a weekly (and sometimes daily) basis. With that in mind, I firmly believe that this list will benefit even long-time sellers. However, if you are just starting out, knowing these 60 brands will put you MONTHS ahead of the competition! While everyone else is struggling to figure out how to find brands that will sell in the over-saturated clothing market, you will be snatching some of the best clothing brands to sell on eBay that they’ve never heard of! After you figure out what to sell on eBay, you’ll just have to figure out how to deal with that huge flux of inventory and orders!
The Best Clothing Brands to Sell on eBay
1. EILEEN FISHER
Most Common Types of Clothing: Blazers, tops, sweaters, dresses, and slacks.
What to Look For: The most profitable Eileen Fisher pieces are typically ones that are the most trendy or current. The brand name doesn’t have enough clout to make older and dated pieces valuable. Keep a special look out for pieces current enough that you can still find them on Google (using the style number). Then, you will be assured that they are current and you can use a stock photo!
The Current Market Outlook: Eileen Fisher is a popular enough brand that we often look for it outside of thrift stores (e.g. at Nordstrom Rack). Because it is both popular and expensive, the market for gently used pieces is huge. The market has dropped off a bit due to saturation but, unless the piece is overpriced, we almost always pick up Eileen Fisher pieces.
Resale Value: Medium-High
Most Common Types of Clothing: Dresses, skirts, and rompers.
What to Look For: If you aren’t familiar with it already, you’ll quickly come to know the look of linen just by thrifting. Because their clothing is made of linen (which comes from flax, shocking I know), you typically won’t find any flamboyant colors. While there are some vintage tie-dye pieces, current trends dictate that their recent pieces are subdued whites, grays, browns, etc. Their linen overalls are, without a doubt, their most popular items (some people list them as rompers but let’s be real, they’re overalls), and can sell for over $200 in used condition. Otherwise, style doesn’t seem to matter much and if the item is large but damaged, people may still buy it just for the fabric.
The FLAX tag may alternatively read FLAX DESIGNS and vintage pieces often say: FLAX by Jeanne Engelhart (she was their lead designer in yesteryear. Now she has changed her name to Jeanne Angelheart and specializes in crazy).
The Current Market Outlook: Flax is an unusual enough brand that we have had no problems moving it in the current market. We only find a couple pieces per month, so the market is unlikely to get saturated anytime soon.
Resale Value: Medium-High
3. FREE PEOPLE
Most Common Types of Clothing: Tops, blazers, cardigans, sweaters, etc.
What to Look For: In 2001, Free People went through a radical redesign in an attempt to get rid of its “Junior” stereotype. Now, they describe their perfect customer as “a 26-year-old girl, smart, creative, confident and comfortable in all aspects of her being, free and adventurous, sweet to tough to tomboy to romantic.” With that in mind, look for bright florals, sheer fabrics, and crazy boho designs. Beaded designs are some of the more valuable that can be had, while basic shirts typically won’t even bring in $10. When you see the characteristic little metal brand tag, be sure to check twice since there are many knock-offs now using the same type of labels. Also, be on the lookout for sub-brands of Free People such as We The Free.
The Current Market Outlook: Free People has been one of the brands that was hit the hardest by the massive influx of resellers. While complex and unusual items still do well, most thrift stores know the brand and basic tops can cost $10 or more, totally ruining the chance you have for any profit.
Resale Value: Low-Medium