I have a confession to make. I am a man, and I buy used clothing online. This might not strike you as odd (it shouldn’t, if you’re an aspiring reseller), but the majority of people we meet are surprised to find out that not only does used clothing sell extremely well online, but that most of the top selling clothing brands on eBay are men’s! But wait, isn’t it women that love shopping? Well, yes…maybe. That is, there are a lot of women that DO love shopping. Couple that with the fact that most clothing resellers are women, and you end up with an eBay marketplace that literally has 10x the amount of women’s clothes as men’s clothes listed. Even with the massive influx of new sellers, if I want to buy a pair of used Levi’s in my size (511s, 34×36, preferably black) there are currently only 3 used options available and the cheapest is $25.50!
So if you want to set yourself apart from the gaggle of basic resellers who make less than a part time wage on eBay and stall their business for years on end… quit heading to the women’s clothing racks! I can guarantee that those who insist on heading straight to the women’s workout apparel and sweater racks so they can find Lululemon and Free People stuff will continue to see their businesses shrink over the coming year or two. While the men’s clothing market may eventually reach the saturation level of the women’s market, it is currently a ripe plum to be picked! (Get it? picked?)
We currently have about $60,000 worth of clothing listed on eBay. Each year, it generates more than $60,000 in profit while growing our business! If you have a computer, a little ingenuity, and a place that sells used clothes nearby, it is within your power to create a second income, get out of debt, travel, or even – if you want – build a full-time, thriving business! All on the back of someone else’s used long-johns. Well, maybe not quite. But you get the idea.
In the circles of resellers that we hang out in, people are staunchly divided: either you sell mainly clothing, or you sell mainly hard goods. While I absolutely love hard goods (and they account for more than 40% of our profit), ignoring clothing is foolish in the extreme. In fact, if you are running a reselling business, ignoring ANY brand, item, scrap of information, etc. that can give you an edge and increase your profits is foolish. While some sellers preach that you should choose a niche and stick with it, we find that it’s helpful for most resellers to keep their options open, particularly if you are counting on eBay to provide a living. The more selective you are about the type of product you sell, the more likely it is that you leave the thrift store empty handed.
We recommend that new eBay sellers start by selling things they have around their home, but once that source of inventory is exhausted, clothing is typically a good first step into the world of buying for resale. Why clothing, you ask? Well:
- It’s ubiquitous. Clothing is everywhere and everyone needs clothing. You would think that this would mean the market is saturated, but that is far from true. The more people there are, the more unique tastes exist, and the more likely it is that there is a buyer out there who wants your specific piece of thrift store-found clothing.
- Clothing is easy to store. Our first storage unit was 10 feet x 15 feet. In addition to storing a ton of personal belongings in it (we had a tiny apartment at the time), we stored almost 1,000 items of clothing there. Unlike hardgoods, clothing is relatively uniform in size and shape once it’s folded, and can easily be stored in baskets or totes.
- It’s cheap and easy to ship. Clothing can be had for a pittance at yard sales, thrift stores, liquidation auctions, etc. If it doesn’t sell, you can always re-donate it and find something else. Good luck finding another business that you can start today with less than $20 and no technical skills.
- Clothing fulfills the perfect “side hustle business model.” Perhaps you are not like most people, but when the majority of people start a business or side hustle, they need three things: a business that is cheap to start, easy to understand, and has the potential to provide instant profits. If you become adept at recognizing some of the top selling clothing brands on eBay you’ll be able to start profiting within days or even hours!
If none of that lights your fire, maybe entrepreneurship and reselling are not for you. I’ll be the first to admit that it takes hard work and dedication which not everyone is willing to give. However, if you’re here, you are probably one of those action-takers who is ready to start making money (or maybe you already are and want to make way more money!) Whichever of those groups you are in, if you are still reading, let’s talk about the first step in recognizing profitable clothing!
So What Makes Used Clothing Valuable?
When I first started selling on eBay, I was super excited to find a heavy leather trench coat at a local thrift store. While I’m not really the trench coat type, I thought that someone would love it for sure, and despite the mediocre brand, bought it for $14.99. Six months later I was finally shipping it. It had generated absolutely no interest in the time it had been online and had finally sold for $19.99 when I put it on auction. Shipping it was expensive and after all my work, I barely managed to break even. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was violating one of the most basic rules for reselling clothing: BRAND IS KING. While there are some items that can sell without a brand (cashmere for example, or unique one-off pieces), the fact remains: people love brands, and people search for brands. No matter what level you are in the reselling game, learning new brands is the fastest way to level up. Trends change, there are only so many exotic fabrics to learn, but the infinite number of brands in the world means that the more brands you know, the more your business will grow. Let’s talk about 47 of the best brands to sell on eBay:
“Well, I reckon I got to light out for the territory ahead of the rest because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and civilize me and I can’t stand it. I been there before.” – Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Territory Ahead makes “Quality Casual Clothing,” meaning shirts, pants, shorts, and shoes.
What to Look for: The best sellers in the used market are bright and colorful button-down shirts. Particularly in the heavy textured cotton that is so characteristic of the Territory Ahead brand. Also keep an eye out for tall sizes, as they are typically harder to find and, therefore, more valuable.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: The market for The Territory Ahead can be hit or miss. I’ve had shirts sell overnight for $40 and others that have taken a year to sell for $20. If a shirt is interesting and cheap, definitely pick it up, list it, and forget it.
Most Common Label:
Ermenegildo Zegna is a luxury brand that was launched in 1910 and remains one of the best known Italian brands.
What to look for: Zegna is a dedicated menswear designer that creates business and business casual looks. The most common items we find are dress shirts, but also keep an eye out for dress slacks, polo shirts, blazers, and even full suits. You’ll need to be checking tags, as the company does not have a style which differentiates it from the hundreds of other business casual items on the racks.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: The market for basic shirts and items has dropped off a bit because of new sellers low-balling the price to move inventory. If you have a nice item, take nice pictures and price it high. The more current an item is, the better it will sell. Older/vintage Zegna items have not done well for us.
Most Common Label:
Filson is a privately held, Seattle-based company that manufactures outdoor goods and clothing. It was founded in 1897 as C.C. Filson’s Pioneer Alaska Clothing and Blanket Manufacturers to meet the needs of prospectors passing through Seattle on their way to the Klondike Gold Rush.
What to look for: Filson is a high-end outdoor brand which specializes in wool and canvas products. As can be expected from a company with a logo like, “Might as well have the best,” their clothing can be very expensive, running $500-600 for a coat. Keep an eye out for their characteristic red and black buffalo check (similar to Pendleton’s), and for leather/canvas bags. Filson also makes belts, hats, and other men’s accessories.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Anything Filson will sell fast and for great money. The market has not felt the effects of saturation and there is a ton of money to be made in Filson items from thrift stores, yard sales, and even store outlets.
Most Common Label:
Carhartt is a U.S. based company that is still owned by the founding family, despite having revenue of more than 600 million dollars annually!
What to look for: Anything Carhartt will sell, but you’ll make the most money from their signature canvas workwear. Look for jackets, vests, and (to a lesser extent) pants. Anything vintage or Made in the USA is a great seller as well.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: While it’s not exciting, most of the best brands to sell on eBay aren’t. The majority of Carhartt items on eBay are underpriced. Get a good idea of how much your item sells for new and then price it at 50-75% of MSRP.
Also, don’t avoid Carhartt items that are dirty, stained, or have logos. People generally want beat up Carhartt items for one of two reasons:
- There is a “breaking in” period for new Carhartt items where they are typically stiff and uncomfortable. Buying used bypasses this.
- They don’t want to be the guy at the construction site with the brand new shiny work jacket. Rugged and used speaks volumes about “work ethic.”
Most Common Label:
Schott NYC was founded by two brothers in 1913 in (surprise) New York City. They have several claims to fame, including:
- Being the first company to put a zipper in a jacket
- They made clothing for the U.S. Air Force during WW2 and, later, for law enforcement
- The latest claim to fame is the “Perfecto” motorcycle jacket which is named after Irving Schott’s favorite cigar
What to look for: Keep your eyes open for all forms of leather jackets including moto jackets, bombers, greaser jackets, etc. The most valuable jackets are shearling bombers from WW2, and we often search Craigslist and other local avenues for them to flip on eBay.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Excellent. Items are getting harder to find, but if you source them intentionally (rather than wandering thrift store aisles) you will find them. Expect to pay up, but the pay-out is typically worth it.
Most Common Label:
Founded in 1830, Woolrich is the oldest manufacturer of outdoor wear in the United States. The original purpose of the company was to buy furs from trappers, but they soon branched out to wool milling. They provided clothing for soldiers during the civil war and several expeditions to the Antarctic. Now, the company’s production has been significantly downsized and moved overseas, but vintage items are still plentifully available in thrift stores.
What to look for: The best Woolrich items are vintage work-wear items and current jackets/coats. We skip any ugly jackets or blasé, earth toned fashion items from the 90’s. Look for items made of canvas, denim, or leather, typically lined with the characteristic red and black plaid wool.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: The market for low level Woolrich items is now non-existent due to market saturation. Clothing brands that sell well on eBay are either currently fashionable or at least hard to find. Luckily, in this case, the current fashion trends, however, have resulted in a huge demand for the style of clothing Woolrich manufactured pre 1980. If you see it, grab it!
Most Common Label:
Loudmouth Golf is a relatively new and small company, founded in 2000 by a former graphic designer. Despite their young age, their golf attire has been worn by some of the greats in the game and are desirable for parody as well as serious play.
What to look for: If you see something on the rack that is an assault to all your senses, you should probably be checking it out. That is the way I have typically found Loudmouth Golf items – seeing extremely lurid and loud prints in shorts and pants, and then checking inside the fly zipper for the brand tag.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Loudmouth is only growing in recognition and desirability. Items seem to be getting a bit more common at thrift stores, but the market doesn’t show signs of getting saturated any time soon.
Most Common Label:
Like Carhartt, Harley Davidson is a brand that has become a lifestyle. People feel that the brand represents their very being, and because of this, they are willing to pay top dollar to represent!
What to look for: There are actually a ton of different things that make Harley items valuable look for items that:
- Are vintage. The older the better.
- Made in the USA
- Are actually made by Harley Davidson and not just licensed by them.
- Are from an unusual location (we’ve sold shirts from Germany, Alaska, South Africa, and even Moscow!)
- Are made of leather
- Are for a specific bike/model/etc.
- Have crude or profane pictures/sayings
- Are distressed or worn out
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Excellent, especially for vintage items.
Brooks Brothers is the oldest men’s clothier in the United States! For this reason, Brooks Brothers items have had a long time to accumulate in attics and closets – which results in them getting donated all the time! I find Brooks Brothers dress shirts every time or two I thrift.
What to look for: If you can name it, Brooks Brothers makes it. Men’s items are the most valuable, with leather items being on the top of the list. Brooks Brothers produces coats, shoes, belts, shirts, suits, etc. so you never know where you’ll find it next. The most valuable pieces are in excellent condition and are recent, as opposed to vintage.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Fair. Stick to nice dress shirts, sweaters, and jackets.
True story: the first time I heard of Orvis is when I found a leather and canvas Orvis bag in a dumpster. It felt so quality that I looked it up, cleaned it up, and flipped it for $150!
What to look for: Look for canvas, leather, or wool items. Vintage items should get special treatment here, as they are some of the best Orvis items for flipping. Look particularly for fishing gear, hunting clothing, and sweaters with elbow patches.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Unfortunately, the bottom of the market has totally fallen out for newer Orvis jackets and shirts. Stick to vintage or unusual items.
Chubbies started out as a shorts company owned by some frat bros who loved vintage short shorts. Since then, it has grown into a multi-million dollar business which sells shorts and Hawaiian shirts.
What to look for: Keep an eye out for short shorts (sometimes mistakenly put in the women’s section) with bright and fun patterns. New shorts sell for $50-60, and some used ones with awesome patterns can sell for about the same!
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Chubbies are a fairly unusual find, so the market is still strong. As long as Saver’s isn’t trying to sell them for $9.99, pick them up!
While they now make women’s and children’s clothing as well, Vineyard Vines started off as a men’s clothing company that produced preppy beach and casual wear. (Actually, they started off selling ties out of the back of their car at the beach…)
What to look for: Look for ties, hats, shorts, swimwear, and shirts, particularly in plaid. Condition is pretty important because of the preppy kind of fan base that Vineyard Vines has. The only exception to this is distressed looking t-shirts (think beach wear). Vineyard Vines has also done collaborations with several companies/stores (such as Target), and those items are typically not worth picking up.Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Fair. The market remains strong for more current pieces in good condition. Faded polos or grungy button downs will be hard to move.
The market for outdoor brands is super hot right now, and ICEBREAKER is right there among them. ICEBREAKER tends to make slightly more purpose driven or technical gear (as opposed to fashion), so their items are often a bit harder to find – but hold their value better.
What to look for: Merino Wool should be on your list of fabrics to look out for, and Icebreaker is one of the kings of Merino. They make base layers, shorts, jackets, hats, etc. and all of their items are worth picking up. To give you an idea of the value of Merino, a regular old crewneck t-shirt from Icebreaker will run you about $60. The cool thing, is that they tend to hold their value extremely well on the used market – as the value is in the material. So don’t put something back because it’s “just a t-shirt” or “just a base-layer,” because it’ll probably pay for your groceries. The more complex a piece is, the better so also be sure to check for jackets, shorts, etc.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Very good. No signs of slowing!
What to look for: Although t-shirts and hoodies can be good sellers (particularly in bigger sizes), keep your eyes open for:
- Leather Jackets: particularly ones with anniversary patches or from a specific event
- Antique or vintage items. One of our best finds was a vintage “Rodeo Mickey” button down shirt which we paid $5 for, and sold for $300+shipping to a Disney fan in Japan.
- Current jackets. It happens all the time that someone forgets their jacket and has to buy a replacement at the park. When they get home, they donate the jacket they bought…and you buy it! Savvy buyers typically shop for souvenirs BEFORE leaving on their trip, so be there to meet that need!
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Believe it or not, Disney clothing has made us more money than almost every single other brand on this list. We typically source several Disney items per year that sell for $300+. As with most things, the bottom half of the market has slowed, but if you’re willing to pay up a bit or hold out for better pieces, you’ll still have luck.
What to look for: The more embellished an affliction shirt is, the better. Look for leather trim, rivets, spikes, etc. Those embellishments are the easiest way to find Affliction shirts, but unfortunately, this will also find you a plethora of knockoffs (Dedication, Affection, Sinful, etc.) that are worth nothing, so be sure to leave those on the rack!
As far as jackets, look for their hand numbered line (not the “Black Premium” mass produced line).
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Before the market caught up, we intentionally sourced Affliction leather jackets from Mercari, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, etc. and sold them eBay for up to $500 a pop! The market is a bit more saturated now, but we will still pick up everything Affliction, from t-shirts, to jackets, to dresses.
Although Willis & Geiger is no longer around in its original iteration, its items are still in high demand. W&G provided the gear for multiple world wars, arctic expeditions, and record breaking flights. Keep an eye open for outdoor clothing such as shirts and jackets, as well as the holy grail: the leather bomber jacket. You’re unlikely to find one at a thrift store, but you can intentionally source them at auction houses, online, etc.
What to look for: Willis & Geiger was a company that we learned about by luck (or I guess you could say “persistence”). At the beginning of our thrifting career, I was working my way down the men’s clothing rack, looking up everything I didn’t recognize. I came across a shooting shirt and decided to look it up…BAM! Selling for $200. The next shirt on the rack was the same shirt in another color, and another… We found 3 Willis & Geiger shirts that day and 1 the next week. Easiest money I’ve ever made. Look for safari type hunting clothing, coats, jackets, and pants.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Very good, especially for clean pieces in mint condition.
What to look for: Men’s LuLuLemon items are very difficult to find because of their knuckle-brained idea to not include clothing tags. I typically find jackets or shirts when I’m looking through all the items on a rack and find something that feels very high quality but is missing a tag. If you think it’s LuLuLemon, you can always find the logo on the zipper pulls and typically embroidered on the hood, back, or hem. The size should be on a tiny rubber dot inside one of the pockets. All items sell well and are typically priced well too, because thrift stores don’t recognize them.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Very good. We will pick up pretty much any men’s LuLuLemon item that we find.
We learned the hard way that Robert Comstock is one of those brands that does not hold its value on the used market. We found a heavy leather jacket at Savers for $39.99 and when we looked it up, we found that the MSRP on similar jackets was around $1,000. eBay didn’t show many solds, but we figured we could move it quickly at $200, so we picked it up. Over a year later, it’s still for sale (for the price we originally paid). These days we only pick up Robert Comstock items if they are cheap or very unique.
What to look for: Look for leather or wool jackets, particularly those with patterns or unique features.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Unique items tend to sell slowly, but for a good price. If you can get it for a good deal – grab it, list it, and let it ride.
What to look for: Look for vintage items, particularly those made of good fabric/filler (eg. Lambswool/down) or those that have large logos on them. Also look for:
- Sweaters and sweatshirts with the Tommy Flag: the more prominent the better.
- Look for “Spell-out” shirts with the logo either on the chest or sleeve
- Nautical and sailing jackets with the flag and logo can sell for well over $100.
While most of these have now been remade, the original pieces are worth more, and are more commonly found at thrift stores.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: The market is currently great, but it’s likely to slow down soon as the trend fades.
Scotch & Soda is a Dutch men’s clothing company whose items have been rocked by Justin Timberlake, Eddie Redmayne, and Benedict Cumberbatch
What to look for: look for items with prominent and bright patterns, particularly jeans and shirts. They canvas/military type jackets also sell well but you’ll need to be checking tags to find most of their items. If you’re looking for Scotch & Soda in the pants/denim sections, also keep an eye out for the name “Amsterdams Blauw” which is their dedicated denim and urban goods line.Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Very good. Scotch & Soda release a new collection every season, so there are always desirable goods (particularly discontinued ones) to be had.
Named after its founder, Hugo Boss AG is a luxury fashion brand based in Germany. Hugo Boss has commanded significant respect in the American market for many years, and the brand is available in high end department stores such as Nordstrom.
What to look for: The most common Hugo Boss items we find at thrift stores are dress shirts and sweaters. Neither have a unique look, but there is almost always a prominent “BOSS” tag that you can spot as you walk past. Current dress shirts in white do very well. You can find the style name (it’s literally a name) on the materials tag.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Very good for current or unusual pieces. We haven’t had much luck with mid-range, but out of date pieces. Hugo Boss makes a full line of men’s casual and dress clothing, but be sure to authenticate the items you find, because the market is absolutely bursting with fakes.
What to look for: Nat Nast’s button downs earned the name “The King of Bowling Shirts,” and he actually presented a $1,000 bond to anyone who bowled a perfect game while wearing one of his shirts.
While the company is no longer associated only with bowling, the style of the shirts still screams BOWLING! to me. Look for the type of shirts your uncle would wear if he had sensitive skin and had a bowling game followed by a yacht race. In other words: silk with fancy designs, and very expensive.
Look for button downs with unique patterns or, if you’re lucky, embroidery.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Nat Nast shirts can be slow sellers, but if you have found a truly unique design, you’ll get a much better price if you’re willing to sit on it for a while, and wait for the right buyer to come.
What to look for: Everyone has heard of Oakley in relation to sunglasses, but we’ve had better luck with backpacks and snow pants! Keep an eye out for hoodies, jackets, polos, and other outdoor gear. Condition is pretty important here, so don’t grab anything that is too grungy or worn out.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Low level items like polos and shirts never had much value, but items that are expensive new hold their value and can move very quickly on the used market.
What to look for: Keeping with the “flip clothes your strange uncle would wear” theme, also keep an eye open for brightly colored western shirts, particularly those with pearl buttons. The brighter and more outlandish the patterns, the better the shirts will do. The brand is not as important as the look, so also pick up similar Roper, Wrangler, and Levi’s shirts on your sourcing journeys.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Very good. Outlandish western wear is very trendy at the moment, and you should be able to move anything unusual very quickly.
What to look for: Ted Baker makes a full line of men’s wear, which is typical of European fashion. Look for button downs and sweaters for quick flips, the more unusual the colors and patterns – the better.
Also, note that Ted Baker uses a European Sizing System which translates to U.S. sizes as follows:
- 1 – XS – 34
- 2 – S – 36
- 3 – M – 38
- 4 – L – 40
- 5 – XL – 42
- 6 – 2XL – 44
- 7 – 3XL – 46
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: The market for Ted Baker is steady, and I consider them to be bread and butter items.
Smartwool is an outdoor company that works almost exclusively in Merino Wool. They treat their wool clothing with a special procedure which they claim makes all its products itch free and resistant to shrinking. Whether or not it’s true, people love it and are willing to buy!
What to look for: Smartwool is a very similar brand to Icebreaker, so look for shirts, base layers, shorts, jackets, and socks.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Excellent. Technical outdoor gear holds its value extremely well.
If you’re on the older end of resellers, you’ll probably remember when London Fog was THE brand to have. Whenever my parents see something London Fog that I’m selling, they tell me how popular it would have been when they were young. Fortunately for us, there are plenty of people who still want London Fog items and are willing to pay big money for them!
What to look for: Leave the traditional vintage trench coats (with the button out liner) on the rack, and look for more current pieces, typically wool items such as dress/pea coats.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: The market for older items has completely fallen off unless they are unique (such as sweaters, buffalo plaid, etc.) More current items continue to sell well and for good money.
What to look for: While they have several more categories on their website, True Grit really only specializes in pullover fleeces for men. The softest, warmest, most comfy pullover fleeces. They run about $140 new, and in good condition, sell reliably for about half that used. Look for the tell-tale plush teddy bear fleece and check the tag. The sweaters typically have to be in good condition to sell well, but their shirts can move quickly in any condition, the stranger the pattern the better. True Grit also works with linen, and those pieces hold their value well.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Although the market has slowed recently, we have got as much as $70 (50% of retail) for one of their fleece jackets within the past month.
What to look for: There was a time in my thrifting career when I wouldn’t even pick up Lacoste polos. I had accidentally picked up one too many fakes, and was
to put in the hours to educate myself on what to look for, and have saved myself a bunch of money on fakes since (while also being able to recognize the genuine articles, which are great sellers). Look for polos, t-shirts, and button downs. Just be sure to put in your due diligence!
Izod Lacoste: We get questions from time to time whether Izod Lacoste pieces are actually Lacoste. The short answer is yes, kind of. Izod (an American company) purchased part of Lacoste in 1952, and produced Izod Lacoste items in the U.S. under licence from Lacoste. These items (generally polos and jackets) are worth picking up to flip. This partnership ended in 1993 and the companies are now completely separate – so if you see something that looks too new, it’s probably fake.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: The market has slowed (due to saturation and the influx of fakes) but if you find authentic items in very good condition, you can still get a premium price out of them.
What to look for: KUHL has come a long way since they first launched their company based on a new ski hat design. Kuhl pants are one of my absolute favorite things to find, because it’s an automatic $30-40 in my bank account. Other items are harder to find, but jackets, base layers, shorts and tops are all excellent sellers.
And before you waste away wondering, KUHL just means “Cool” in German. We were pretty disappointed when we learned that.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Excellent. The market is still strong, don’t be tempted to underprice things. Kuhl items are very rarely on sale when new, so we typically price things at up to 50% of retail.
What to look for: John Varvatos does not have much of a presence in my area, so it’s always surprising to me how many people find it and make great money with it. John Varvatos is very supportive of the music industry and his clothing reflects that: high-fashion clothing with an edgy look. While we’ve found mainly button downs and sweaters, we are always looking for jackets (especially denim), as they have the potential to bring much more money.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Very good. If you can find it, you can profit from it.
What to look for: Robert Graham is a menswear designer that designs all of its “American Eclectic” fabrics in-house. There are several Robert Graham lines and styles, but the most valuable ones are always the most colorful and ridiculous looking shirts. Look for button down and polo shirts, but be very wary of fakes. Robert Graham shirts feel quality, and you can find several guides online for weeding out impostors.
Also, if you live in an area where you can find Robert Graham shirts easily, consider saving them up for a while. Robert Graham has a practice of naming a shirt after anyone that has a collection of more than 100 of his shirts!
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Very good. Unusual prints continue to sell for hundreds of dollars, and even tame prints are great bread and butter items.
What to look for: Under Amour is one of those every day brands that has enough of a following to sell well on the used market. Pretty much anything Under Armour is worth picking up if you get a good enough price on it! We specifically pick up hoodies, jackets, polos, and workout shirts. If you can get shirts for a couple bucks apiece, you’ll have better luck putting them in lots of 3-5 and selling them that way.
We also source NWT Under Armour items regularly on clearance at Ross and TJ Maxx.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: The market seems to have steadied. Don’t pick up most women’s items or very basic men’s items – unless you plan to sell them in a lot – and you’ll be alright.
What to look for: L.L. Bean is one of those companies that you see so often that it might not occur to you that it can actually be worth very good money! At least, that was the case with me.
Look for fisherman sweaters, wool items, down parkas, and the traditional duck boot. Most basic vintage items, such as jackets, are not worth much unless they are classic or unusual.
Also be sure to look up anything with a vintage tag or anything that is made in the USA.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Very good for vintage items or current items in good condition.
What to look for: There are many different brands included under this umbrella, but they all have Tiger Woods in common. Any clothing item that is golf related and has a relationship to Tiger Woods is usually worth picking up to resell. Because of their long standing relationship/sponsorship, most of the items you find will be Nike.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: The market is good currently, but may wane as Woods passes out of the spotlight.
What to look for: While it’s best known for its shoes, Timberland also makes a full line of men’s clothing, most of which is great for resale! Look for leather, canvas, and denim goods, as they were the most valuable when new, and tend to hold their value better. We pass on shirts of all varieties, although some people have luck with button down and mechanic’s style shirts.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: The Timberland brand has withstood the ups and downs of trends, and their used clothing has done the same. If it’s nice, it will sell.
What to look for: Abercrombie & Fitch is another one of those commonplace brands with the potential to bring in huge money. We’re talking hundreds of dollars. There are two major items in the A&F line which will bring you the most money:
- Canvas jackets & parkas. Any type of canvas jacket (usually made in olive drab or khaki) has the potential to bring big money. The best ones have a fur hood or are fleece lined. Each of these jackets has a specific style name that (if you can find it) will boost the value of your listings.
- The “Muscle Fit” line. Abercrombie’s slim and muscular line is difficult to find, but highly sought after. We pass on smaller sized polos and t-shirts, but pick up Larges and 2XLs. Muscle Fit hoodies can bring $80 or more if you find one with a good logo!
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Good. Most items are bread and butter, but we still pick them up!
What to look for: Rag & Bone is a relatively new clothing company that hand makes all of its clothing in New York. They do make a full line of men’s clothing, but we’ve had the most luck with jeans and button downs. If you’re bored with clothing, they also make shoes! Men’s shoes and clothing from Rag & Bone typically do much better than their womanly counterparts.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Very good. Demand will likely grow as more people become followers of the brand, and it will be interesting to see how the market plays out.
What to look for: Reyn Spooner is a maker of Hawaiian shirts that actually makes shirts in Hawaii. While all of their shirts sell decently, look for bright colors and florals, as they will attract faster buyers at higher prices. Also keep a look out for their team and college collection, which creates Hawaiian shirts around a team logo or history. We’ve only found a couple of these, but if you get lucky, price it high as they are rare and highly desirable!
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: The market is very good, but tends to be seasonal. We’ve had more luck moving shirts when we include the words “cruise wear” or “beach wear” in the title.
What to look for: Tommy Bahama is another brand that has really suffered from the market saturation on eBay. To add to the problem, most thrift stores around us are familiar with the brand and price button downs at $9.99. At this price, we only pick up shirts that are unusual/unusually good. Look for very bright florals, especially those with an Asian flare, and any shirts with embroidery or extra designs.
We’ve also had luck with Tommy Bahama jackets, sleepwear, and shorts, but all items tend to do better when sold in a lot. When we find boring Tommy Bahama shirts at the bins, we usually save them up and sell them in lots of 5 (similar or same sizes of course).
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Fair. The market seems to have hit the bottom, but we’re still having decent sales if we’re picky about the items we source.
What to look for: Jos. A. Bank Clothiers is one of those high-end clothing companies that always seems to be having a massive sale. If you see anything that is NWT at a thrift store, don’t get suckered into over-paying, because the person who donated it probably got it for 50-75% off that price, and the used market moves accordingly.
We’ll typically only pick up nice button downs and sweaters, but other sellers report luck with suits as well.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Fair. The market is pretty saturated, but people will always buy nice items.
What to look for: Nike is plentiful, and Nike stuff can be extremely valuable. But you should know by now that it is not the plentiful stuff that is valuable. Rather, look for:
- Nike “Tech” Line
- Hoodies in good condition
- Nike items made for specific colleges or teams
- Vintage t-shirts
- Very large/tall sizes
- Windbreakers with large color-blocks or logos
We leave behind shorts, most t-shirts, basic jackets, and all other sorts of riff raff that wasn’t expensive to begin with.
NWT Nike items can also be sourced at Nike Outlets, Ross, TJ Maxx, etc.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Good (at a bread and butter level).
What to look for: POLO is one of those brands that has explosively regained popularity recently. So what does the company do? Dilutes the popularity of all its classic styles by remaking all of its old clothing looks and lines….
Look for vintage pieces – namely polo shirts, jackets, and sweaters. Anything with a flag, the POLO name, or the POLO bear on it can mean big money!
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Very good for vintage pieces. Fair for current pieces or remakes.
What to look for: Eddie Bauer is a giant of outdoor gear that makes pretty much every clothing item imaginable. Unfortunately for us, most of that clothing is not worth reselling. Keep an eye out for down items, especially those with fur (or faux fur) trim. Also watch for bomber jackets, hiking pants, and non-clothing items such as sleeping bags.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Very good for down, gore tex, or other high end items.
- General Mills owned Eddie Bauer from 1971-88.
- Eddie Bauer made and patented the first goose down jacket, and still makes a version of it known as the Skyliner.
What to look for: A couple of years ago, there was a ton of money in the used Champion market. Due to their remaking several popular styles, this has slowed somewhat – but there is still profit to be made!
Look for team-related items (college sports, especially) and jerseys from professional teams. Also, be sure to pick up windbreakers, shirts, hoodies, or anything else with the Champion logo embroidered or spelled out.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: The market isn’t as hot as it was 2-3 years ago, but there is still money to be made. Just be picky!
What to look for: G-Star is a Dutch company that specializes in “raw” denim. That is, untreated & unwashed denim straight from the factory. Their jeans resell extremely well, as do their jackets, most of which are based on a military style.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Very good. Items are hard to find which has prevented market saturation.
The last brand on this list is unique because it isn’t a tradition brand. KITH is a New York based store that is owned by Ronnie Fieg and specializes in collaborations with other brands. Starting with Asics, Ronnie has gone on to collaborate with over 50 brands, including Nike, Adidas, Caminando, Chippewa, Clarks, Converse, Harris Tweed, Herschel Supply, New Balance, Polo Ralph Lauren, PUMA, Red Wings, Saucony, Sebago, Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen, and Timberland.
What to look for: Anything with the KITH name on it is worth selling but look for hoodies and t-shirts. The more in demand the collab brand is, the more the piece is worth.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Good. Runs are limited and the products are often worth just as much used as new.
You are now 47 brands richer! Every time you learn a new brand, you add future sales to your eBay store and bank account. So let’s keep this ball rolling and check out some other Premium Access Articles: