Thursday, April 5, 2012

How to sell your clothes for cash

I have been selling my clothes for cash for years. Since I love shopping and update my wardrobe frequently, I try to sell my old or unwanted clothing to fund the cycle. Over the years, I have learned quite a few tips about selling used clothing and I am excited to share them with you!

1 – Clean out your closet often. I have written about how I manage my closet before, but basically it’s important to sell clothes when they are most current. Many people let a shirt that they never wear hang in their closet for a year or two before they finally get rid of it. By that time, it’s out of style and no one wants to buy it. If something stops fitting correctly {it shrinks, you lose/gain weight, you realize you got the wrong size/style but can’t return it}, get rid of it as soon as possible, when it’s still a trendy purchase for someone else. If you notice you haven’t worn an item in six months or if you make it through the winter or summer season without wearing some of your seasonal clothes, get rid of them ASAP. The newer the clothes, the more likely you are to get cash for them.

*Remember, you can also sell accessories and gently used shoes.*

{clean it out!}

2 – Cut out tags. I’ll let you in on a secret. If you are getting rid of clothing from GAP, Banana Republic or Old Navy, you need to cut out the season tag. If you look UNDER the main tag on any GAP Inc. item, you will find a smaller tag that says the season the item was sold {ex: Spring ’08 or Holiday ‘10}. The people at the store who assess your clothes and give you cash look for these tags. If the item is too old according to the tag {more than a year or two usually} they will NOT buy the item from you, even if the item is still in style and in great condition. If you cut these season tags out, they will buy the item based on the quality and not on the year it was produced.

3 – Make sure clothes are washed, pressed {if needed} and folded nicely. You don’t have to iron every single thing, but make sure clothes look clean and neat. Iron out any big wrinkles or spritz items with a wrinkle release spray. Fold them very nicely in a box or a bag. I think bags with handles from reputable clothing stores {Banana, Ann Taylor, Old Navy, Abercrombie, etc.} are more appealing when you drop off your clothes at the store than big garbage bags. It’s also a nice touch if you tuck a dryer sheet into the bag to give all your clothes the same fresh scent.  This is especially important if you have pets or live in a house with smoke. Just try to remember to remove the dryer sheet before you take the bags into the store.

4 – Sell at the start of the season. Resale stores sell by season just like any other clothing store. If you would like to sell your fall/winter clothes, you should drop them off in August, September or October. The stores I sell at start taking winter inventory at the very end of July. If you are selling spring/summer clothing, the best months to drop off clothes are February, March, and April. You are more likely to sell your clothes if you sell at the start of each season. This means that when you clean out your winter clothes to prep for spring like we talked about yesterday, you actually need to save those clothes in a clean, dry space to sell at the end of summer. For example, if I have a really nice sweater to sell, but it’s March, I will save it in a bag in my closet until August and try to sell it then.


5 – Take clothing to two stores. Find two different stores where you can sell your clothing. Some stores, such as Plato’s Closet, Crossroads Trading Co., and Buffalo Exchange, pay cash for clothes on the spot. If you choose to take the money, you will usually get 35% of what the item’s selling price will be. You can also choose to take an in-store credit, which means you will receive credit to shop in that store for 50% of the selling price of your items. Other stores run as traditional consignment stores, where you drop your items off at the store {they still choose which ones to accept} and you only get money if they sell. Depending on the store, your items will be on the sales floor for 30-90 days and you can go in and pick up your cash at a later date.

I usually take my clothes to a big, upscale consignment store chain in Phoenix called MySister’s Closet FIRST. Their customers are mostly middle class women, so they are more likely to take my higher end brands – such as Anthropologie, Nordstrom, Banana Republic, J.Crew, designer jeans, etc. I then take everything they don’t accept down the road to Plato’s Closet where they are more likely to accept “younger” brands such as Forever 21, H&M, etc. because their main customers are teenagers and young adults. By selling at both these stores, since they appeal to different customers, I am able to sell more of my items and earn more money than if I just went to one store.

*If you have time, try to sell on weekdays, instead of weekends, when stores are less busy.

6 – Goodwill it! After I sell my clothes at these two different stores, I immediately take whatever was rejected to the Goodwill to be found by happy thrifters. The whole process of selling at both stores and dropping the remainders at Goodwill takes me about an hour and half total.

If you go through this process twice a year, once for the summer season and once for the winter season, you will benefit from a clean, manageable closet and have some extra cash in your pocket as well! Happy closet cleaning!


Shauna said...

Those are some good tips! I didnt even think of the season tags. Thanks for sharing.

Michelle P said...

All great tips!

Kate @ said...

I had NO idea about the season/year tags. I got up in the middle of reading this post to check my closet. Sure enough - there they are. So very sneaky! Good one!

Ruthie Hart said...

I love Platos Closet and think I need to do a run there during our move!

TC30s said...

great tips...i've never heard of Platos Closet!