I don’t know about you, but when the new year rolls around, one thing that I always want to do is clean out my house. I get fed up with all the “stuff” that I’ve accumulated, and I just want to be rid of it. I’m in the middle of a big clean out of my drawers and my closet and I have a huge bin of clothing that I just don’t wear anymore. It’s in various stages of wear – some of it is getting dropped off at a local clothing recycling deposit location. But much of it is still in great condition. And while some items will absolutely be donated, I have a number of items that I know have resale value. But the question is how to turn these old clothes to cash.
I’ve talked about ThredUp before. ThredUp is probably the easiest way to get some cash for your old clothes, but you are likely to get the lowest amount through them. ThredUp is great if you don’t want to do a lot of work – they act as the middleman for your sale. All you do is ship a bag of clothes to them (using their postage paid bag), they evaluate all of the items and list them for sale. If they sell, you get a percentage. Now, as you can expect, your percentage isn’t all that high, and if your items don’t sell within 90 days, your chance for a payout is gone. You do have the ability to adjust the prices they set, so as that 90 days winds down, you can start dropping your price. You can also pay a fee to have the unsold items sent back to you, known as reclaiming the item. ThredUp is also pretty picky about what they accept – so unless you’ve paid for unaccepted items to be sent back to you, those just get sent elsewhere. (However, this is great if you’re a buyer – you know that ThredUp has evaluated the item.)
While I’m likely to get the least for my items, ThredUp is currently my preferred sales site. For me, the ease and speed is worth it. I can get the items out of my home in one fell swoop. I don’t have to deal with shipping or monitoring sales or worrying what happens if I’m on vacation when an item sells.
I have also talked about Poshmark as well. I like Poshmark for things I have that I know have a good chance of selling well, often things that I bought and never wore (and thus that still have tags) or things that have very little wear. Here, you get to set your own price. Buyers can make offers that are lower than your selling price, so the site does allow for some haggling, which is nice. When a sale is made, you package up and ship the item, and once the buyer accepts (or within a few days of the tracking showing delivery of the item), the money is released to you. Pretty easy.
The downside is that you have to keep these items in your home and keep them in good condition. However, if you’ve got some extra closet space or a free bureau drawer, it might be worth it. It’s also great if you’ve got something that you’re emotionally struggling with getting rid of – list it for a price at which you would be comfortable giving it up.
eBay and Facebook
eBay is the old standard for selling items. This tends to work best with items that are still new with tags or barely worn, but it’s definitely worth a shot. I’ve sold off a few pairs of running shoes that I bought that didn’t work well for me, so had only been worn for a couple of miles.
Facebook Marketplace is also growing and is a great way to find local buyers for your items. It seems that baby and kids items sell best this way, but it can’t hurt to list other items as well.
Local Consignment Stores
Have you looked into whether there are consignment shops in your area? Do a quick Google search and see what’s out there. These stores work in different ways – some will give you cash or store credit up front, others will put your item out for sale and then pay you if it sells. The in-person aspect definitely gives you a bit more control.
Selling Luxury Items
If you have a lot of luxury brands, there are some consignment sites out there for you too. I don’t have any personal experience with these sites, as I’m not a luxury brand girl, but having looked at these sites, I understand why people are! Two sites that have good reviews are The Real Real and LePrix. As you’re selling luxury goods, the service you receive as a seller is pretty great, and depending where you live, they may actually come pick up the items you’re selling.
Donating for a Tax Deduction
With the recent changes in tax law, donating your items doesn’t bring you as big of a deduction as it used to, but it’s still worthwhile if you have items you want to get rid of. I recommend finding a place that can use your specific items rather than just dumping everything at a Goodwill store. If you have business clothing, there are charities that will take those items and provide them to people trying to get back on their feet and back into the business world. Even if you don’t get a penny back, it always feels great to know you were able to give a small bit of help to another person.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.