Sometimes, freelancers have to get creative about earning a living, or at the very least, finding ways to supplement their income. One way to do that is to sell your gently used clothing online. No more are you required to haul your closet’s contents to your local consignment shops. Now you can do it all from the comfort of your home. Online clothing consignment makes reselling your clothes and accessories a little easier, because all you have to do in most cases is ask these companies to ship you their box or bag, then you fill it up with your clothes, and send it back to them (at their cost).
What Can I Consign?
Now, you can’t send them just anything. A lot of them require your clothes and accessories to be from certain brand labels (no “big box” shops, in other words). And, of course, the clothes need to be in good shape with no stains, missing buttons, tears, etc. Even Goodwill will scrap items that they can’t resell because they are in such bad shape, right?
Can I Turn This into a Side Business?
Sure! Start by researching each consignment store to see what they usually pay for an item. Then, my suggestion would be to buy clothes at a steep discount: go to garage sales, visit stores when they put the previous season’s clothes out for clearance (and sometimes offer a discount on clearance items), or even buy clothes from eBay. The key here is to make sure that you’re buying the clothes cheap enough so that there’s a profit in it for you, or at least break even on some items.
Where Can I Consign My Clothes Online?
Here are six places I found for consigning your clothes online:
- Threadflip: Accepts vintage and designer women’s clothing and accessories. You can either list your items for sale on their site, or they will send you a resealable poly bag for you to ship your items in. It’s called their “White Glove” service, and you make up to 80% back. They also have a smartphone app to make selling your items on your own a little easier.
- Thredup: This site started out as a baby and kids’ clothing consignment shop, but they now accept women’s and junior’s clothing (no accessories are accepted, though). They ship you a prepaid bag, you fill it with your clothes, and ship it back to them at their cost. Note that they only accept baby clothing sized 12 months and up.
- Snobswap: This is an exchange where you put your clothes up for sale on their site, and you take care of the shipping. You can also swap your clothes and accessories with other folks on the site. Needless to say from the name of the store, you will probably not sell your big box store clothing on this site, but if you have some designer stuff sitting in your closet (handbag addicts, anyone? haha), maybe it’d be worth your time listing the items for sale.
- Tradesy: Promote your wares free of charge, set your own prices and keep 91% of your revenue from selling to other site members. All labels are accepted, so don’t worry if your closet is full of non-designer clothing (although it wouldn’t hurt!).
- Swap.com: You can request a shipping label or an Inbound Box and send them your clothes. They will take a look at what you sent and then let you know what they want to offer you to sell your clothes. Anything that’s rejected, you can have shipped back, or you can tell them to donate your clothes to charity.
And this list seems to be growing. Every time I do a web search for online consignment stores, more stores pop up.
My Two Cents’ Worth
Even if you’re not looking to make this a business to run out of your home, it is a good way to earn a little pocket cash, especially if you have baby and kids’ clothing. Babies and kids grow so fast that sometimes, they never get to wear the clothes you bought them. And, there may be some nicer items of clothing you’ve bought online, but never returned for one reason or another. Why not try to consign them? Even if the clothing doesn’t sell, they’ll get donated to charity, which is what happens to most of my clothing anyway. So, give online clothes consignment a try, why dontcha? 🙂