Online consignment shops make it simple to unload rarely used outfits and make money at the same time. Thanks to online consignment shops, Addie-Jane Lynn has found an affordable way to dress her children in brand-name clothes. The 33-year-old real estate agent from Charleston, South Carolina, says she “churns” her kids’ clothes, selling the outfits they outgrow and using the proceeds to buy newer items from favorite brands such as Matilda Jane Clothing, Hudson and Shrimp & Grits Kids.
“I heard from a friend about Facebook groups,” Lynn explains. With names like Smocking Hot Mamas, the Facebook groups were her first foray into the world of online selling. Since then, Lynn has discovered online consignment stores and apps like Poshmark and Kidizen, which make it easy for her to update her and her children’s wardrobes on a budget.
As people tighten their financial belts during the COVID-19 pandemic, now might be a particularly good time to sell clothes online. “A lot of people are looking for bargains,” says Oz Etzioni, CEO of Clinch, a platform that helps businesses deliver personalized experiences across all channels. To get the best price as a seller, he recommends using an online consignment shop that appears dynamic and includes features such as alerts and notifications. “If it’s very stagnant and hard to navigate, that’s a red flag,” Etzoini says.
[See: Best Buy and Sell Apps for Used Stuff.]
Here are top online consignment shops for selling clothes online:
— The RealReal.
— Vestiaire Collective.
If you want to cash in on this trend, read on to learn more about some of the best websites to sell clothes.
Best for: Women’s, kids’ and maternity wear in a wide range of value, mall and premium brands, including J. Crew, Motherhood and Carter’s. Also accepts shoes, handbags and designer items.
While other consignment shops focus solely on luxury brands, ThredUp makes online clothing sales accessible to the average person. “Our sweet spot is those brands you can find at the mall and wear every day,” says Samantha Blumenthal, a ThredUp spokesperson. That means popular names like Old Navy and J. Crew are welcomed.
Sellers can request a clean-out kit to send in their clothing, shoes and handbags for consideration. The postage is prepaid by the company. ThredUp uses an algorithm that looks at the brand, style, season and current inventory to price items. Sellers have the opportunity to adjust the listing price in many cases though. Payouts range anywhere from 5% to 15% of the sale price for items listed from $5 to $19.99 and up to 80% of the price of goods listed for $200 or more.
ThredUp has a payout estimator on its website for those who want to value their goods before sending them. Items that are not accepted or that do not sell are recycled. Sellers can also ask for their clothing to be returned, but they must pay a fee to do so.
Best for: Luxury goods. The RealReal is one of the top online consignment shops. Burberry, Chanel and Hermès are just a few of the brands sold on the site.
Like ThredUp, sellers can request a shipping package with prepaid postage to mail their clothes. In some areas of the country, The RealReal also offers in-home pickup of goods for consignment or operates consignment offices where people can bring items to be valued.
Sellers get paid on a sliding scale. Those with sales of less than $1,500 will get a 55% commission, while items with an original resale list price below $145 bring in a 40% commission. Top consignors receive a 70% commission if their annual sales exceed $10,000. Watches with a resale list price of $2,500 or more are entitled to the largest commission on the site: 85%. Items that haven’t sold after a year can be sent back to sellers, at their cost. Otherwise, unsold clothing is donated to charity. Price estimates can be found online before sending in a piece of apparel.
Best for: Women’s, men’s and kids’ clothing in a wide variety of brand names such as Forever 21, Under Armour and Old Navy.
Poshmark isn’t a traditional consignment shop because sellers must manage their own listings. Sellers take photos, upload descriptions and determine their own price. “It’s easier than you think,” Lynn says. She recommends downloading the company’s user-friendly mobile app.
Sellers also keep far more of the sales proceeds than they would through a traditional consignment shop. For items with a sale price lower than $15, Poshmark charges a flat fee of $2.95. More expensive items are subject to a 20% commission. When an item sells on Poshmark, the company provides a prepaid shipping label that sellers use to mail the purchase directly to the buyer. Items with a value of $500 or more are eligible for free authentication through the Posh Authenticate feature.
[SEE: 10 Best Apps for Saving Money.]
Best for: Women’s and men’s clothing, as well as bags and jewelry, from luxury brands such as Coach, Prada and Versace. High-end vintage items and some lifestyle goods are also accepted here.
Focusing solely on high-end brands, Vestiaire Collective is making a name for itself as a site for pre-owned luxury goods. The website caters to a global audience and operates on a hybrid system that combines elements of a traditional consignment shop with peer-to-peer sales.
Sellers send photos and descriptions of their items to the site for review. If approved, Vestiaire Collective lists them on their site, and sellers hold on to the clothes until they are sold. Once a sale is made, the consignor is provided a prepaid label to send the item to the company. The purchase’s authenticity is then confirmed and the item is shipped to the buyer. Those who meet certain sales criteria can be designated trusted sellers and ship directly to buyers.
The site collects a commission that starts at a flat $17 for items up to $170 in value. Then, the commission is 15% to 25%, depending on the selling price. Items valued at or above $8,500 are assessed a flat $1,700 fee.
Best for: Diamonds and high-end jewelry as well as luxury watches in brands such as Rolex, Tag Heuer and Cartier.
For high-end jewelry and watches, try selling on Worthy. “We have a very big footprint in the buyer’s market,” says Roy Albers, chief gemological officer. Rather than selling items to consumers, Worthy auctions off fine jewelry to more than 1,000 professional, vetted jewelry buyers.
Items sold on Worthy must be valued for at least $1,000. Potential sellers start by describing their jewelry to see if it meets the site’s criteria, and a prepaid label for insured shipping is provided once an item is accepted. A third-party authenticator does an independent review of the item’s quality upon receipt by Worthy. Jewelry is then auctioned with a reserve price of the seller’s choosing. If an auction ends below the reserve price, the seller can accept the lower price or have their item returned. Worthy pays the return shipping for any unsold good.
“The whole timeline takes approximately 12 to 14 days,” Albers says. Worthy doesn’t charge a fee until a sale is made. Then, it collects a commission that ranges from 18% on items up to $5,000, to 10% for those selling for $30,001 or more.
Best for: Affordable baby, kids’ and women’s clothing in brand such as Gymboree, Gap and LuLaRoe.
Kidizen is one of Lynn’s favorite places to sell kids’ clothing. The company, which has a website and an app, isn’t an online consignment shop in the traditional sense. Rather than sending items to Kidizen, sellers set up a virtual shop, snap and upload photos of their clothes and manage their own prices.
“Photos are a big deal,” Lynn says, noting that a quality picture can attract buyers. However, it doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. Lynn takes pictures of her items either lying flat or hanging up. She uses her phone and uploads the photos using the app. When an item sells, Kidizen provides a shipping label for her to send the goods. The service charges a marketplace fee of 12% plus 50 cents for each transaction. Sellers are responsible for covering the shipping cost, so Lynn recommends people factor that into their prices.
[See: 35 Ways to Save Money.]
If you have a closet full of items you no longer wear, now may be the time to reevaluate your wardrobe. Don’t let your clothes gather dust when you could be selling them for cash on one of these top online consignment shops.