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How to Actually Make Money Selling Your Used Clothes

Jun 6 2015 - 7:30am

The saying goes "one person's trash is another's treasure." But when I've tried cashing in on my closet castoffs in the past, I've learned that sometimes my trash is everyone's trash. The act of reselling clothes, for me at least, is the ultimate lesson in humility, and when my duds (no pun intended) have gotten rejected, it's felt like a personal blow to my sense of style. Convinced consignment just wasn't for me, I'd given up . . . until now.

In honor of National Thrift Shop Day, we're revisiting an enlightening report [1] released by fashion resale site thredUP.com, which offers best practices for both selling clothes and shopping resale. Pay attention to these tricks of the secondhand shopping trade, and never feel the pain of fashion rejection again.

Live in These Cities
According to the report, residents in these 10 cities are the most fervent online resale shoppers and have collectively saved nearly $1.8 million in 2013. Although most of these cities are new additions, both San Francisco and Seattle have been key resale destinations for years.

  1. San Francisco
  2. Brooklyn in New York City
  3. New York City
  4. Seattle
  5. San Jose, CA
  6. Chicago
  7. Houston
  8. Los Angeles
  9. Miami
  10. Portland, OR

Buy These Brands
Want to get the steepest percentage discount on your resale purchases? Look for designer labels. Yes, prices might seem higher, but compared to the retail price, they average upwards of 75 percent in savings. Just note: while premium brands have the best value, one third of resales are on lower-priced trendy brands like H&M, Forever 21, and Zara.

Sell These Brands
When it comes to resale, brands that stand the test of time — both in terms of style and in durability — naturally do better.

Grab These Labels the Instant You See Them
Savvy secondhand shoppers have a sixth sense for brands that are resale needles in the haystack. Don't hesitate when you spot a piece from one of these brands in your size. They're the fastest-selling resale brands of the past year.

Focus on These Pieces
It's not all about the label. Certain product categories fare better than others. Resale shoppers often scope out seasonal items (think Winter coats) and fashion trends that they weren't willing to buy at full price. These were the most popular searches this year.

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