You’ve probably landed here because, like many fashionistas, you have too many threads.
Let us start by saying this is a safe space for spendthrifts. We pass no judgment that your wardrobe looks like a scene out of Confessions of a Shopaholic.
And while we fully support donating those past purchases to charity, it doesn’t hurt to know which items are worthy of a little side hustle.
Together, let’s virtually raid your wardrobe to see what pieces are worth selling, and how you can turn your unwanted clothes into extra cash.
Buy better quality clothes
If you’re not making the right choices when you’re buying clothes, it’ll be harder to make some of your money back later on.
For example, that $15 slogan tee you thought would be a crowd favourite probably won’t translate into a second-hand sale.
Brigid Gordon, who is co-owner of clothing exchange stores in Brisbane and Sydney, says when purchasing clothes, look for quality and durability.
Clothing exchange stores like Brigid’s buy vintage and on-trend clothes to give pieces a second, third and fourth life.
“Look at the stitching, the hem, the inner lining, the material. Just feel it — you just know when something is made really well,” she says.
Brigid recommends keeping it local with Australian-made goods, saying fast fashion doesn’t hold much value and isn’t always made “in the best circumstances”.
And take care of your stuff. Wash as per the instructions and use delicate bags for silks, for example.
Know what clothes will sell
Blogger Jodi Wilson sells her and her children’s used clothes on an Instagram account she set up just for that purpose.
She listed more than usual in preparation for travelling the country in a caravan for a year with her family of six.
Sometimes she can sell 25 items in a matter of hours. Her most popular clothes are made of natural fabrics like wool, cotton and linen.
“Labels are also important, especially those that are well known … and unisex pieces that people can really get use out of,” she says.
“What’s also interesting about this second-hand market is brands like OshKosh, which was huge in the ’90s, are now fetching big dollars.”
Brigid says vintage and unique pieces always do well in the second-hand space.
Equally, on-trend garments from six to 12 months ago that buyers may have missed out on are “pretty high-flyers”.
In terms of categories, jeans and jackets tend to have a high resale value.
“Denim is so durable and translates into every era of fashion,” Brigid says.
Prepare your items
Once you’ve selected your items, it’s time to prepare them for sale.
Brigid recommends you:
- wash the clothes, paying particular attention to stains such as sweat or make-up marks around collars
- check the garment for missing buttons, pilling, rips and broken zips
- repair where necessary.
Jodi takes care of any repairs before listing her items. And for those issues she can’t address, she is transparent about them in her listing.
I’m ready. Now what?
Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook Marketplace are the newest way to sell your stuff.
Sites like Depop, thredUP and Carousell are dedicated sites for clothing and accessories, while eBay and Gumtree remain popular. And Etsy, while well known for handmade creations, is another platform for selling vintage clothing.
Clothing exchange outlets will also take your quality clothes in exchange for cash or credit.
If you’re into garage sales sans the garage, it’s worth investigating markets, suitcase rummage events and car-boot sales in your local area.
No shame in a little self-promotion
When listing your items online, make sure to use clean, simple photography that shows off the clothes (and any faults they may have).
If you’re listing on sites like eBay, using brand names will help your listing appear in more searches.