How to make money from your wardrobe

Kalpana Fitzpatrick
·6-min read
Photo credit: Chloe Mallett
Photo credit: Chloe Mallett

From Red Online

Most of us wear less than half the clothes we own, so why not make money from the rest by tapping into the online market for preloved fashion by selling your clothes online?

Working from home has given us a new perspective on what we consider to be workwear, and fewer opportunities to socialise resulting in previous go-to garments staying unworn on their hangers, making it time to rethink the contents of our wardrobes. Even if just in the short term.

Likewise if you’ve found yourself questioning whether you really need everything you’ve collected over the years, it’s worth bearing in mind that the process of decluttering could be more than just cathartic: your unworn pieces could make you money, too. The average woman in the UK is likely to have amassed £3,000 worth of unworn clothes*, and now could be the time to cash in.

Here's how to sell your clothes online...

SELL CLOTHES ONLINE: APPS TO SELL CLOTHES ONLINE

In recent years, pre-loved fashion sites such as depop.com and vinted.co.uk have grown in popularity.

Depop attracts shoppers with an eye for vintage style looking to get their hands on anything from pre-loved scarves and handbags to clothes and trainers (there’s a 10% fee on all sales). To start selling, download the free app (on App Store orGoogle Play). You’ll also need a PayPal account to take payments. Treat Depop like Instagram – the pictures really matter here as you’re limited to four per item.

SIGN UP FOR DEPOP

Alternatively, Vinted makes it simple to sell anything from vintage pieces to popular high-street styles (it’s free to sell, but buyers pay a fee). You can sign up with your Facebook, Google or Apple account. Vinted has its own payment system, which means it is easier to take payments. You can sell online or use the app.

SIGN UP FOR VINTED

Don’t forget eBay, which continues to grow in popularity. The site saw a 120%rise in new sellers in 2020 compared with the previous year. eBay is great for selling things in bundles, such as jeans or tops. It takes a 10% cut of anything you sell. You can list 1,000 items for free, then it’s 35p per item after that.

SIGN UP FOR EBAY

TOP TIPS FOR SELLING ON EBAY

  • Wherever you choose to sell, think carefully about your descriptions and how people might search. Use hashtags (#vintagehandbags, for example) that will help make what you’re selling visible to those searching for specific items. Using the name of a celebrity who’s worn something similar can also help; Holly Willoughby comes top of the list of most searched-for celeb style on eBay!

  • Research what similar items sell for first and price yours accordingly. Factor in postage costs, too – go to royalmail.com/price-finder to get help with this.

  • Prioritise items for the right time of year for quicker sales. For example, sell winter clothes in colder months and summer clothes when we start seeing warmer days. If you’re selling on eBay, the site is busiest between 7pm and 9pm on Sundays, so time auctions to end around then.

To get the best prices for your designer pieces, head to Vestiaire Collective. You can sell online or via its app. Popular designer brands such asBurberry, Stella McCartney, Cartier, Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent (to name a few) do well on here.

SIGN UP TO VESTIAIRE COLLECTIVE

When your pre-loved item is sold, you send it to Vestiaire Collective, where a team of experts checks its authenticity. It’s then shipped directly to the buyer and the payment is processed. You can expect to get 80% of the purchase price. There’s a handy guide at vestiairecollective.com to help you price your items, too.

SELL CLOTHES ONLINE: SELL ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Instagram is becoming an increasingly popular way to sell items from your wardrobe direct to your followers. It’s worth setting up a dedicated selling account if you have a few things to sell. Share the posts on your own Instagram accounts and stories to increase visibility.

Facebook Marketplace is also popular and free, and you can start selling straightaway if you have a Facebook account. List your item using the ‘Marketplace’ button. Most people on Facebook deal face-to-face and sell locally, but you can always post something if you prefer.

SELL CLOTHES ONLINE: PAY SOMEONE ELSE TO LIST FOR YOU

If you don’t want the hassle of listing items yourself, get someone else to do it for a fee. ‘Selling can take time, but there are services that will sell items for you; it also means you don’t have to worry about storing unwanted clothes,’ says Vicky Silverthorn, decluttering expert, founder of youneedavicky.com and author of Start With Your Sock Drawer: The Simple Guide To Living A Less Cluttered Life.

‘I like cudoni.com – it collects the items contact-free, values them, and will pay you when they sell. You’ll earn around 70% of the sale price, which goes straight into your account.’ Cudoni’s focus is on luxury items; go to cudoni.com/designer-directory to see the full list of brands it accepts.

SIGN UP TO CUDONI

For non-designer pieces, try Rethread (rethread.uk). Simply order a ‘selling kit’ from the site, fill the bag, then post it to Rethread using your local Collect+ point for free. Rethread will pay you when your items sell. Expect to earn 70% from what’s sold if it’s more than £99.99, but only around 40% if it’s below £20. If you nominate your payout to a charity, Rethread will add 10%. Brands such as Zara, ASOS and Boden are all popular.

SIGN UP TO RETHREAD

SELL CLOTHES ONLINE: RENT FOR NOW

As your highest heels and chicest bags probably aren’t getting much use at the moment, why not make them earn their keep?

‘A great way to make income from pieces you’re not currently wearing is By Rotation (byrotation.com), where you can rent them out,’ says Alex Stedman, founder of The Frugality blog, who rented out her clothes when she was pregnant. ‘Your items come back professionally cleaned and looked after, which is incorporated within the 15% site fee.’

Download the free app, create an account and you’re ready to go. A Dior bag, for example, can be rented out for £75 a day. SIGN UP FOR BY ROTATION

Hurr Collective (hurrcollective.com) is also worth a look (15% fee). A Needle & Thread dress, for example, can be rented out for £40-£123 a day. Rent out an item enough times, and it could become a profitable investment. SIGN UP FOR HURR COLLECTIVE

SELL CLOTHES ONLINE: TRADE IN FOR MONEY OFF

Not every unwanted item in your wardrobe will make enough cash to justify the time it would take to list it, but there are other options, such as exchanging them for vouchers when shops are open again.

Take a bag of clothes of any brand to...

...Arket to get 10% off your next purchase

....H&M to get a £5 voucher off your next £25+ spend.

...M&S for a £5 voucher off a £35+ spend (one item must be from M&S and you take the bag to its partner charity, Oxfam, to collect your voucher).

Or send...

...jeans of any brand to M.i.h Jeans to get 25% off a new pair. Go to mih-jeans.com/send-us-your-denim.

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