Cleaning out the ol' closet is one of our favorite productive pastimes. When you've got a few spare hours (OK, sometimes days!), it can feel incredible to declutter, downsize, or more efficiently organize your wardrobe. Another motive for cleaning out your closet is to make extra money by selling some of your well-loved pieces, a practice that's become increasingly popular during the coronavirus. While local consignment stores and thrift shops are a great place to offload used items, many are currently closed due to COVID-19, which makes re-commerce sites like The RealReal, Vestiaire Collective, and Thredup an excellent place for selling clothing and accessories for cash.
While these resale sites have had to shift their day-to-day operations to accommodate the health and safety of their employees, they're still in business. They're getting creative with how they're accepting used items by offering virtual appointments, contactless pickups, and prepaid shipping labels.
To get a better understanding of what's selling best in the re-commerce world, POPSUGAR spoke to The RealReal, Vestiaire Collective, Thredup, Fashionphile, and Rebag for a firsthand account of the bestselling items and unexpectedly in-demand categories right now. But before we break down the bestselling secondhand items of the moment, we also gathered a few tips for making the most money from your used items.
Condition Is Key
Sasha Skoda, the Head of Women's at The RealReal, told us, "condition is one of the biggest factors in determining what your piece is worth. The better the condition, the higher the price, and the more commission you could receive. With your newfound time at home, now is the time to take on a few easy DIY care and repair projects, like treating your handbags to a luxe at-home spa, conditioning your leather items, or cleaning your sneakers, so they look brand-new."
Current Trends and Classic Items Always Sell Well
Sarah Davis, the president and founder of Fashionphile, says that current trends and cult-loved items are great if you're unsure of what to sell right now. "Things like comfy luxe sneakers and Hermès blankets and scarves are all selling quite well. If you haven't used [an item] in six months and it isn't seasonal, sell it! Sell those things that are just taking up space in your closets. It will be a burden lifted."
Elizabeth Layne, the chief marketing officer for Rebag, told POPSUGAR that the resale site hasn't seen any particular uptick in demand, and top-performing brands remain to be Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Hermès. "The classics never die," she said. When selling a luxury item for maximum profit, Layne says to offload the more classic bags in your closet first if you're willing to part with them. "There is always a market for timeless styles that will never go out of fashion," she said, also suggesting items that are a bit harder to find in the resale market as collectors are continually scouring for rare gems. She also suggests doing some market research before selling a luxury handbag to ensure you're getting a fair price. "[We] recommend perusing different resellers and marketplaces and checking the prices of recently sold items that are similar to yours — these are price values that buyers are willing to pay right here and now."
Affordable Fashion Can Earn You Money, Too
If you think that designer labels are all that's going to earn you money, think again. Fanny Moizant, the cofounder and president of Vestiaire Collective, said that the re-commerce site is seeing a shift toward more accessible price points under $300 with an increase in clothing deposits from sellers and a steady flow of footwear, accessories, jewelry, and menswear.
Thredup is another excellent place for selling a range of brands from Gap to Gucci, and Natalie Tomlin, a spokesperson for the website, told POPSUGAR that the site is still accepting 45,000+ brands across 100+ product categories. "It's a convenient place for sellers to clean out everything in their closets," she said, adding that it's not necessarily the place sellers will make the most money. Still, there are ways to maximize a payout, which include waiting on out-of-season pieces, ensuring items are clean and undamaged, and referencing Thredup's Seller's Guide for a list of high-demand brands (which can earn sellers a 15-percent higher payout ).
The Payout Process
As for payouts, each site varies, but Davis told POPSUGAR that Fashionphile is working to process payouts as quickly as possible since money is such a significant demand right now. "We try to make offers and pay out as quickly as possible. It can make a huge difference for some people. During the downturn in 2008, we drove out to Palm Desert and bought $100,000 in accessories from one woman's amazing collection. She needed it to make payroll. What a blessing that she had that to turn to to keep her business afloat."
Now that we've prepped you with some valuable tips for selling used clothing and accessories, keep reading for the top-selling items on The RealReal, Vestiaire Collective, Thredup, Fashionphile, and Rebag right now.