Hands up who’s kicking off the new year with a big ol’ clear-out?

*Sheepishly raises hand*

Now, to be totally honest, I don’t particularly need a clear-out right now. I have, after all, spent most of the last 12 months on a seemingly endless mission to streamline my closet, and make sure everything in it has earned its place, so it’s not like I have a lot to get rid of. All the same, it wouldn’t be a new year without some kind of organisational frenzy, so I’ve been casting a critical eye over my closet, and asking myself if really NEED a kazillionty-one full skirts. (Answer: yes. Yes, I do.)

Anyway, whenever I mention these regular clear-outs of mine, I usually get questions about what I do with the clothes I get rid of, and whether I ever sell any of them. The answer to that is normally ‘no’ – not because I don’t like earning money, obviously, but because… well, mostly because I’m lazy, and I can’t really be bothered with the hassle, really. Over the years, however, I have experimented with a few different methods of selling used clothes for cash, and today I thought I’d list some of them, for those of you who’re currently standing in the middle of a clothes mountain, thinking, “NOW what?”.

This obviously isn’t an exhaustive list of ways to sell used clothes, it’s purely the things I’ve tried myself, so suggestions are always welcome!

Where to sell used clothes

where to sell used clothes for cash: 6 ways to make money from your closet clearout
01.

eBay

eBay is probably the best-known place to sell used clothes online, and some would argue it’s still the best. I’ve sold hundreds of items on eBay over the years – in fact, I once had my own eBay shop, which I had aspirations of turning into a full-time business. That didn’t work out, unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately: I much prefer blogging to retail!), but I continued to sell used clothes there for a long time. I stopped selling on eBay a while back, when they changed the rules and stopped allowing sellers to leave negative feedback for buyers. I felt it led to a real change in the community: when buyers know they can’t get bad feedback for a transaction, it makes them much more likely to not pay, to quibble over the price, or to cause other problems, safe in the knowledge that there are no real consequences for them. That was my experience, anyway, and although I did eventually come back to eBay, and will list something there occasionally, I tend to find it more trouble than it’s worth these days.

My main issue with eBay is that so many buyers now expect to get something for more-or-less nothing: many of them aren’t willing to pay what I would consider to be a fair price, even if the item is brand new with tags, and that can be very frustrating. I’ve listed plenty of items from high-end brands, some of them in brand-new condition, and had them sell for just a few pounds, which just isn’t worth it, especially when you take into account the amount of time that goes into photographing the item, creating the listing, responding to questions, and then packaging it up and taking it to the post office.

These days, when I do sell used clothes on eBay, I always list my items as “Buy it Now” rather than putting them up for auction: it can take much longer to sell them that way, but at least I know I’ll get the price I want, and won’t end up having to walk to the post office for 99p. eBay now offers sellers 20 free listings per month, which also makes the service more attractive, as you only have to pay if your item sells: previously I would sometimes end up paying more to eBay than I actually made from it: not a good idea!

02.

ASOS Marketplace

When I got tired of my eBay items selling at auction for less money than it cost me to package them up, I decided to try my luck with ASOS marketplace. This is part of the hugely popular ASOS retail site, and allows you to register for a profile and start selling your used clothes online. Unlike eBay, where items are mostly auctioned, ASOS marketplace allows you to set up your own “boutique” where you can upload photos of the items you’re selling, and set your price. It’s free to list, with ASOS taking a percentage of the value if your item sells.

I listed around 10 items on ASOS marketplace a couple of years ago, but didn’t have a lot of luck with it. Each listing runs for three months (assuming the item doesn’t sell), and I think I only sold one or two items in that time. In retrospect, I probably didn’t put enough effort into my listings: unlike eBay, where many sellers will simply photograph their item on the bed or floor, ASOS marketplace is primarily used by of professional sellers and brands, who put a lot of effort into making their clothes look as good as possible. Most items are modelled by a person, rather than just hanging on the back of a door, and the site has the feel of a “proper” online store, which means that if you want to sell there successfully, you need to make your listing as professional as possible. On the plus side, I liked the fact that I didn’t have to pay anything for the items which didn’t sell, so there was no financial risk in trying it out.

03.

Consignment stores

Consignment stores are retailers (either online or offline) who will sell used clothes on your behalf, either in their store or on their website. There’s no upfront charge for this service, but the consignment store will split the proceeds of the sale with you: the percentage they take will vary, but a 50/50 split seems fairly common.

I had my first experience of consignment back in 2014, when I took a bag of used clothes to a consignment store which had opened in my local area.  The main thing to bear in mind if you’re trying this method of selling old clothes is that your experience will differ from store-to-store (or site-to-site if it’s an online store): not only does each store have different policies, their location will also play a role in your success or otherwise.

In my case, the store I visited was in a small town which isn’t exactly known for fashion: I knew from this that I’d probably make a lot less than I would from a consignment store in the centre of a busy city, say, and I was right. I took in 15 items of clothing, of which they sold 9, with me making just under £40. It’s not a lot of money, but these were all items I’d previously attempted to sell on eBay/ASOS without success, so I figured it was better than nothing, especially considering that there was no work involved on my part: I simply dropped off the clothes, and they did the rest.

how to make money from your used clothes

04.

Depop

Depop is essentially a cross between eBay and Instagram: the layout is very similar to the latter, but instead of simply posting photos of your breakfast, or whatever, you post photos of clothes and accessories you want to sell online, and people can either hit the ‘buy now’ button, or make you an offer. All payments go through the Depop app, which takes a cut of the profit, but other than that, it’s up to you to negotiate with the buyer and handle the sale.

I do have an account on Depop, but have only tried listing a couple of items there, neither of which sold. Obviously there could be lots of reasons for that, which have nothing to do with the app itself (wrong clothes, wrong price etc), and it seems to be pretty popular, so it could be worth a shot. Of course, if you have a decent-sized Instagram following, and post a lot of outfit shots (meaning that your followers are likely to like the kind of things you wear), you might prefer to cut out the middle man altogether, and sell via Instagram. I know quite a few bloggers who sell used clothes that way, and they seem to do really well out of it, although it’s not something I’ve tried myself.

05.

Twicely

I became aware of Twicely last year, when their ads kept popping up on my Facebook feed, and I was initially really excited about it, thinking I´d finally found a way to sell used clothes without all the hassle of the other method´s I´d tried. This site basically works on a consignment model: first of all, you order a (free) shipping bag from them, which you fill with clothes and accessories, and then send back. They’ll then go through what you’ve sent, and either make you an upfront offer for it, or sell it on a consignment basis, meaning that you get a percentage of the sale price it it sells. Any items they don’t accept can be returned to you, but be aware that you’ll have to pay the return shipping for this!

I’ve used Twicely a couple of times now, with varied results. The first time, I made around £20, from two large bags of clothing, which I was really disappointed with. I decided to give them another go, though, as I liked the convenience of just being able to send them my items, and receive an upfront payment without the hassle of having to list it all myself. This time, I made around £80 altogether, which was much better: again, though, a lot of items were rejected, despite being brand new (sometimes with tags), and the ones they did accept were listed for much less than I felt they were worth. When I asked why this was, I was told that I’m “not a popular size”, and that they struggle to sell items in the size I’d sent them. That´s fair enough, I suppose, but if they know a particular size is hard to sell, I wish they’d just state that on their website, so I’d have known not to bother.

I probably wouldn’t use the service again, for that reason (although £80 seems like a decent amount, I know I’d have been able to earn much more on eBay for the same items, if I’d had the patience to list everything!), but if you’re lucky enough to wear a “popular” size, you might do much better. It’s also worth being aware, however, that Twicely are very picky about brands, and will only accept high street brands from the higher price brackets (think Boden, rather than Primark), and well-known designer items. I had quite a few retro brands and lesser-known designers rejected, even although the items were worth more than some of the other stuff I’d sent. They do have a brand list on the website, so it’s really my fault for sending those items in the first place, but it’s worth being aware of.

06.

Cash for Clothes

My last resort when it comes to selling old clothes is an organisation called Cash for Clothes, which, as the name suggests, will pay cash for your used clothes. Unlike the consignment store model, you don’t have to wait for the items to sell before you get paid: you get cash upfront, with the organisation simply weighing your bag of clothes and calculating your payment based on that. As with all of the above venues, they require the clothes to be clean and in good condition, but they don’t have any restrictions beyond that, so if you have a large volume of unwanted clothing to get rid of, it can be an easy way to make a small amount of money from it. “Small” is the operative word here, though: Cash for Clothes  pay 50p per kilo of clothing, so I don’t recommend it for high-value items: rather, it’s a way to make a little bit of money from a large-scale clearout, particularly if it contains a lot of lower value items, which you don´t want to sell individually.

where to sell used clothes onlineAs I said, this is by no means an exhaustive list, and is made up of only the methods I´ve used personally to sell used clothes. Unfortunately, a lot of the other websites I´ve found have been based in the US, and either don´t accept items from the UK, or the shopping costs would be prohibitively expensive (One of the reasons I don´t use Instagram to sell, for instance, is that I know how expensive it can be to ship items internationally, especially if you´re using a method that´s trackable…), so I haven´t tried them, but would love to hear your experiences if you have! Do you sell used clothes? How do you do it?

21 Comments
  1. I used to sell my clothes a lot on eBay but I got SO sick of people telling me that things weren’t arriving or that they were arriving damaged, but I had proof of delivery and they refused to send pictures or tell me anything further about the damage to the item, just demanding refunds – there were some really abusive people! The time it took as well to sort out photos, listings and then getting to the post office (it means a 30 minute walk on my lunch break to do so) just ending up outweighing the money I was getting for things! I’d love to try consignment stores as they sound great, but I don’t think we have any nearby which is a shame.
    I’ve had some massive wardrobe clear outs recently and I’ve sold a few things on Facebook – mostly the nicer or more niche retro brands – but everything else has just gone to charity – I feel like I’m doing some good that way!

    1. Same here: it´s just so time consuming, and most of the time it just wasn´t worth it for me. Once they stopped allowing sellers to leave negative feedback, I also started getting so much hassle from buyers – even had one girl try to return something because it didn´t fit, and tell me that if I didn´t refund her, she´d lie and say it was damaged. She then left me negative feedback saying the item was damaging, but listed it herself, saying it was in “perfect condition” – there was just way too much of that kind of thing for me to want to continue with it in the end!

      1. That takes the biscuit. So buying from a seller then re-selling and saying it’s in mint condition when they’ve rubbished it?? eBay must surely be wise to this sort of behaviour (I hope!).

        My little sister had trouble herself from a woman selling on eBay. Granted, she was silly and didn’t send an item as a signed-for delivery. The buyer said she never received it. But when my sister checked the buyer’s profile she saw countless negative feedback to sellers whose items had “never arrived”. It all seemed a little bit too much of a coincidence.

  2. I used to sell on Ebay and Depop a lot but got so fed up of buyers unrealistic demands. I once had a buyer purchase something on a Saturday and then opened a non-delivery claim on the Monday! Think some of them expect you to act like a shop and send things out on the day of purchase and want next day delivery etc. Always found it was the people buying the cheapest items (think 99p top) that were the most demanding.
    Decided it wasn’t worth it, never really made that much and found it stressful. Just pass things on the friends and family or give to the local charity shop.

  3. I’ve also largely given up on eBay these days, as it’s true that people just don’t want to pay a fair price any longer. Twicely looks quite interesting, and rather irritatingly I’ve just given some items to the charity shop that might have been suitable. Oh well, at least that way they’ll be raising some money for someone who needs it more than I do!

  4. I’ve always used eBay but I’ve lost heart with it because it is, as you say, more hassle than it’s worth. I would be tempted to try Depop. Thanks for the advice.

  5. Would you ever consider selling clothes directly off this Blog page to your followers? I have seen some Interior Designers do it with items like pillows and decorative objects… They seem to have pretty good luck… Just an option!

    1. No, I don’t really like the idea of selling to readers – there’s no protection on either side, and I think I’d really worry about people being disappointed or something … when you use a third party site, it’s just a lot less personal, and there’s normally assistance available if things go wrong. Also, the majority of my readers seem to live overseas, which makes shipping much more expensive!

      1. I totally understand that… I am in Canada so it would cost a small fortune to send your clothes to me… although it might be worth it!

  6. Thanks for the really helpful post! I have a huge amount sat waiting to be listed on eBay at the moment, but due to the same issues you’ve pointed out I’ve been trying to summon the energy to do so. My main issue is that they will now automatically refund the money if a buyer claims they didn’t receive the item – even when you can prove it was delivered. Great for buyers, not so much for sellers! I’ve been burnt a few times this way when the parcel didn’t make it’s way back to me after not being collected at the post office – often you can’t claim on the insurance when this happens and even if you do qualify for compensation, you don’t get back the time you wasted! I also got fed up of daft or cheeky requests – when I do list now I tend to have a disclaimer on the bottom stating what I can and can’t do, including reminding buyers I have a full time job and can only get to the post office on certain days as buyers also seem to expect delivery and responses to questions pretty much immediately these days. I think they forget they are buying off a real life person rather than a multi-national retailer with a sales depot and staff!

    1. I’ve had that happen a couple of times too: in both cases, the buyer ended up withdrawing the claim because the item arrived, but in the meantime, Ebay just take the money from your bank account, which isn’t fun!

  7. I have recently learned about Resale Shops. The difference between these and consignment is they make you an offer for your clothes and give you cash up front. I’m in the US and not sure if they have them in the UK, but I would imagine. Now I need to remember to make an outing some Saturday before the season is over! I’m not sure how much they pay, but even if it were less than consignment, I’d rather just make one trip and be done–no worry about whether I’m going to get paid, extra hassles, etc. I’m pretty lazy about all of this though! I would never get around to shipping any items if I were to put them online, lol!

  8. Has anyone had luck with an Etsy shop for vintage clothing? I’m thinking of going that route but I’m sure, like all the others, it’s very much a crap shoot and quite hassley. Here in the U.S. (and I’m sure elsewhere) Facebook has neighborhood and city buy/sell and online garage sale groups. I haven’t gone that route, but might. Or Craigslist in the U.S., which I’m sure is also a hassle.

    1. There are a some excellent selling groups on Facebook for both actual vintage and repro/retro vintage lines. In my opinion most vintage on Etsy is extremely over-priced, but that might work to your advantage. Many stores are quite professional in their photography and listings, too, for what it’s worth.

  9. I had some luck with ASOS Marketplace, but I believe they’ve now closed it to individual sellers. So you now have to be a business seller to have an account. They certainly did, because that’s why I stopped using it, not sure if they’ve changed it again? I’ve also had some luck selling on Instagram, but the faff of photographing and listing it all is still a pain, plus I manage about 7 instagram accounts so I had to keep logging in and out to keep track of it!

  10. I take any unwanted clothes (and the ones the kids have grown out of) down to the local clothing recycling bin. I just can’t be doing with eBay after hearing too many negative things. Plus I’ve ordered things from eBay myself that I’ve not been entirely happy with but at a couple of quid can’t be bothered to grumble. Most recent one was a Mini Boden shirt for Felix described as excellent condition. Took three weeks to arrive and then it had a few areas that looked like bleach spots. How is that excellent condition I ask you? I guess we all have different standards, at least it wasn’t riddles with holes….

    I must confess I’d not heard of most of the sites you listed here, I wonder if the same could be said for other readers? I definitely didn’t know ASOS had a resale area!

  11. Wow, I had no idea that there were so many ways/methods to sell your used clothes online. I have heard of some of these methods you mention but Twicely for example, is new to me. I like the idea of Cash for Clothes, I have a bunch of low valued items that are just taking space and would love to get rid of, I hope they take clothes from Germany. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, it is extremely helpful!

    http://www.spreadingcolor.com

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