3 Ways to Cash in on Your Closet

With cold weather season approaching, you may be thinking about clearing out your closet to make room for the return of bulky sweaters and boots. Why not make some extra money and sell your gently used clothing online? Here are 3 companies that can help you do just that.

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Best For: A busy mom handling a change-of-season bulk clean out.

How it Works: ThredUp is an online consignment store for women’s and kid’s clothing brands. Simply visit their website to request a “Clean Out Kit,” dump a laundry-basket’s worth of good condition apparel, shoes and accessories into the bag, and send it back for free via USPS or FedEx with a pre-paid, pre-addressed shipping label.   Within 2 weeks of ThredUp processing your bag, they will send you an email with your earnings which you can either use to shop the site, receive cash back via PayPal, or donate to a charity. For a small fee, ThredUp will ship your unused items back to you.

What to Sell Here: Items for sale tend to be name brand but not as high-end focused as some other sites. Think J. Crew, Gap, and Hanna Andersson.

What they Pay: ThredUp either pays upfront or by consignment. Any item with an initial listing price of $59.99 or less qualifies for upfront payment. You earn between 10-40% of the anticipated selling price upfront. Any item with an initial listing price of $60 or above qualifies for consignment. Once the item is sold, you will earn 50-80% of the selling price.

What the Site is Like: ThredUp has the feel of being in a thrift shop — there is a ton of stuff, the clothes are wrinkled, but you just know that there is a diamond in the rough one click away. ThredUp has both a website and app; the website is a little bit easier to navigate if you are looking to shop.


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Best For: A fashionista who wants to mix buying and selling with social networking.

How it Works: Poshmark is an app-based community where women can buy and sell clothing and accessories from virtual closets. You create a covershot for your items which they encourage you to style. Other members “follow” you, “like” your listings and even “share” them. You can attend “Posh Party’s” which are virtual, real time buying and selling events which have themes such as “Hot Handbags” or “Daytime to Nighttime Style.” When you make a sale, they provide a pre-paid, pre-addressed label all ready to be put on the box. Once your sale is packaged, you can drop it off at USPS.

What to Sell Here:  Women’s clothing and accessories. The app has a very diverse collection of styles, brands, and sizes. Try some of your trendier clothes but consider saving some of your really high end stuff for the next company we’re going to mention.

What they Pay: You set the prices and Poshmark handles the financial transaction for you. For all sales under $15, Poshmark takes a flat commission of $2.95, you keep the rest. For sales of $15 or more, you keep 80% of your sale and Poshmark’s commission is 20%. You can spend your earnings within the app or withdraw your money as cash whenever you like.

What the Site is Like: The app has a similar feel to Instagram — they even provide a set of filters for your closet photos. The diverse brands and wide range of quality photos is reminiscent of eBay. The amount of social networking involved in Poshmark can be overwhelming for some unless that is something you really enjoy. It is also time consuming to list all of your items so this app might be good for those slowly working through their closets and listing items in a piecemeal fashion.


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Best For: A mom with a high end dress or handbag that needs minimal help to get a premium price.

How it Works: Another app-based selling and buying site, Tradesy has the sleekest look of these 3 sites. The app walks through taking the specific photos of your items and even Photoshops your cover image within 24 hours to make it look like a professional listing. They send you a free shipping kit when your item sells.

What to Sell Here: Your pristine Tory Burch shoes or DVF dress. The site does accept anything “in good condition from Zara to Chanel.” There is also a wedding section where you can unload your bridesmaid dresses or even your wedding dress.

What they Pay: The site proposes a selling price or you can opt to choose your own. When you keep your earnings on Tradesy, they take a 9% commission. If you cash out to PayPal, debit card or bank account, they take a 9% commission plus a 2.9% safe transfer fee.

What the Site is Like: You can easily forget that you are on a consignment site on both Tradesy’s app and website because they are both so visually appealing. The listing process is slightly more time consuming than the others we’ve mentioned, but its thoroughness may lend itself to a higher quality listing. The step-by-step instructions might be better for users who are less interested in “styling” their items.

Let us know if you try any of these sites and what you think about them. Happy selling!

Once you’ve earned all your new cold hard cash, check out some thrifty ways to spend it with Successful Secondhand Shopping Tips. 

Photo credits: Emily May (CC by 2.0), Cate Thorin



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