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If you’re like me, you’ve probably got a closet full of clothes that you haven’t worn in months.
Mostly because you feel bad about getting rid of them or “they’re really cute!” and you’ll probably fit into them one day…
Well, I’m giving you permission to get rid of them! However, we’re not going to donate them. Let’s figure out how we can get some money for them!
So let’s start with Goodwill. Does Goodwill buy clothes? Or will we have to find somewhere else where we can cash in our old duds for fresh cash…
Does Goodwill Buy Clothes?
Goodwill is the country’s largest chain of thrift stores, narrowly edging out The Salvation Army. You’d think that a chain with thousands of stores may run short on inventory and resort to buying clothes at times. But you’d be wrong.
Goodwill does not buy clothes, either from individuals or corporations. They rely entirely on donations to fund their thrift stores and pay their employees, many of whom have disabilities or have other difficulties finding jobs.
They will give you a receipt for the value of your items that you can use as a tax write-off, although it might not have much of an effect for individuals unless you’re donating large quantities of expensive items.
The new-with-tags clothes that Goodwill sells are typically from stores that have gone out of business or had a problem with production and need a way to dispose of unsellable inventory.
Afterall, a corporation looking to sell clothes might be able to take better advantage of the tax write-off, but in most cases would probably still prefer the revenue from selling.
Which Local Thrift Stores Will Buy My Clothes?
If your clothes are name-brand and in good condition, you might be able to sell them online on Poshmark, eBay, or Mercari, but the process could take a while and the cost of shipping could negate some of your profits.
It may be easier to find a thrift store in town that will buy clothes, especially if you need the money quickly, but what’s the easiest way to find one?
You can try a Google search for “thrift stores that buy clothes near me”, but based on my experience, there’s no guarantee that will work. It just gives a list of all the second-hand stores near you, including ones that don’t buy clothes.
Your best bet if you’re looking to sell your used clothes for cash is to try boutique shops that sell gently-worn clothes (as opposed to thrift stores). Near me, there are options such as Plato’s Closet, Buffalo Exchange, and Crossroad Trading.
Buffalo Exchange has 40 locations across the country and Crossroads has about 35, but if there isn’t one near you, both do offer a mail-in service where they will send you a postage-paid bag for you to fill up and send in.
At a physical location, they will pay cash upfront, so you won’t have to wait for your item to sell. Both stores offer 30% of each item’s value as a cash transaction or 50% if you’re willing to accept store credit.
For higher-end items, Buffalo Exchange will sell the item on consignment and give you 70% of the sale price, if you don’t mind waiting a bit to get paid.
One easy way to get money for old clothes is to look for a consignment store, although most are very selective about what they’ll take and if it isn’t a name-brand dress, suit, or another luxury item, they might not be interested.
A consignment store is a type of thrift store that usually sells clothing and accessories on other people’s behalf. You take your clothes to them, they sell them in their shop, and then they give you a percentage of the profit.
It can take a while to get your money, however, as most will only pay you after the item has sold, which could take some time.
Other Online Thrift Stores
Similar to these stores’ online models, there are also various clothing resale websites that will pay you for your clothes, either on consignment or upfront, depending on the company.
ThredUp is a great place to buy and sell clothes. Their website has a calculator that estimates the resale value of your clothes, which you can send in one of their prepaid bags. They pay 80% of the item’s value.
If you have a lot of clothes to get rid of, Swap.com will handle all of the processing, picture-taking, and selling, and will give you up to 70% of the items’ resale value. They do also charge a flat $11.90 fee per clothing package, so the more items, the better.
Businesses Looking to Sell Clothes
The above options are great if you’re an individual looking to sell designer clothes, but what if your business has hundreds of items of clothing you’d rather sell than take a tax break for?
Businesses can use all of the above ideas to sell clothing items, as well as open up their own online presence to sell many items of the same type.
If you’re running a print shop that made up 750 “2022 Philadelphia Phillies World Champions” t-shirts and, being that they lost to the Astros, your customer probably won’t want them. You could sell them online as a novelty instead of donating.
Although Goodwill, Salvation Army, and most other national thrift store chains don’t buy clothes or other items, there are many other options for selling your gently-used textiles, both in-person or online.
If you have the time, you can sell them individually and probably make more money on Poshmark, Mercari, or eBay, but if you have a lot of clothes, this can be very time-consuming.
Whether you’re looking to make some extra cash or clear out your closet space (or both), there are many great options available! Good luck!