Rags to Riches: How to Make $1000+ Reselling Clothes Online
Are you looking for a side hustle that allows you to work from home and make extra money? Reselling used clothes online is an easy, low-risk way to make $1000 or more each month. With the rise of online thrift stores and resale platforms, selling used clothes is easier and more profitable than ever.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through how to start a lucrative clothing resale business from the comfort of your home. You’ll learn insider tips on sourcing high-value inventory, preparing and photographing clothing for online sales, pricing items accurately, and scaling up your clothing resale empire. Whether you’re looking to declutter your closet, save money shopping for clothes, or start a full-time online business – reselling used clothing can be your ticket to earning $1000 or more each month.
How Reselling Clothes Online Works
The concept is simple – buy used clothes from thrift stores, garage sales, online liquidators for super cheap. Then resell those same clothes online for a profit. While it may seem too good to be true, reselling used clothing is a proven business model. In 2021 alone, the global used clothing market was valued at over $28 billion.
With the rise of online resale platforms like Poshmark, eBay, Mercari, ThredUp, and more – selling used clothes online is easier than ever. These sites provide the platform, payment processing, and shipping – allowing anyone to open their own online thrift store in minutes. As an online clothing reseller, you provide the product and set the prices.
The key is to source high-value garments for low prices from your local thrift stores and resell them online at a sizable markup. With some research and strategy, people are earning thousands per month reselling clothes from the comfort of their home.
Below we’ll explore step-by-step how you can join the ranks of successful clothing resellers.
Step 1: Choose Your Resale Platform(s)
The first step is deciding where you want to sell your used clothing online. There are many options to choose from, each with their pros and cons.
One of the most popular resale platforms, Poshmark has over 80 million users and specializes in women’s, men’s, and kid’s fashion. Poshmark takes a $2.95 flat fee for sales under $15 and 20% commission on sales over $15.
- Huge existing buyer base
- Easy listing process with integrated shipping
- Social shopping experience
- Competitive platform with lots of sellers
- Must share and follow other closets for visibility
eBay is the largest and most well-known online auction platform. They charge insertion fees to list items and 10% final value fees when items sell.
- Massive reach with 159 million active buyers
- Low fees compared to other platforms
- Allows auction-style and Buy It Now sales
- Less community than other resale apps
- Must manage own shipping
Mercari is a fast-growing resale app with fees of 10% on sales less than $10 and 20% on sales over $10.
- Very fast listing process
- Local pickup option to save on shipping
- Growing user base – especially with younger users
- Smaller seller & buyer community than eBay
- Only ships within the US
Facebook’s Marketplace allows buyers and sellers to connect locally. No selling fees, just optional shipping costs.
- No fees or commissions
- Tap into existing local Facebook network
- Arrange local pickup to avoid shipping costs
- Less seller protections than other platforms
- Local-only, no shipping integration
- Less structured than dedicated resale platforms
Specialized Resale Sites
There are also specialized resale platforms like ThredUp for women’s and kid’s apparel, Grailed for luxury men’s fashion, The RealReal for authenticated luxury consignment, and more. These cater to niche markets but have less broad appeal.
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We recommend starting out selling on just 1-2 platforms that best fit your niche. You can experiment with other sites once you’re up and running.
Step 2: Set Up Your Online Shop(s)
Once you’ve chosen your platform(s), it’s time to set up your online shop. Each resale site will have its own seller onboarding process to list your first items. Here are some tips for setting up a polished, professional resale closet:
Choose a memorable username: This will be your storefront name on most platforms. Pick something short, recognizable, and relevant to your niche.
Write an engaging bio: Briefly share your reselling story and brand vision to build trust and connection with buyers.
Add a profile picture: Showcase your style and personality with a smiley headshot. Avoid stock images.
Link your bank account: You’ll need to connect a PayPal account or bank account to receive your payouts when items sell.
Set competitive shipping rates: Research typical costs for different package weights and zones to accurately price shipping. Offer free shipping occasionally to boost visibility.
Take advantage of features: Use promoted listings, spotlight ads, or other exposure options sites provide – even if it costs a few dollars. This will boost your store’s visibility.
Cross-list items: Once established on your primary platform, cross-list or dual publish items to secondary sites for maximum exposure. Apps like Vendoo can help streamline multi-channel selling.
Step 3: Source Quality Inventory to Resell
Sourcing clothing inventory to resell is a critical piece of the business. Your goal is to find trendy, high-demand items in excellent condition for ultra-low prices. Here are some of the best places to source used clothing to resell online:
Thrift stores like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Savers get clothing donations constantly, pricing items affordably to move inventory quickly. Visit often and look thoroughly to find hidden gems. Inspect for flaws – only grab items in excellent condition.
What to look for: Popular fast fashion brands, vintage tees, denim, outerwear, shoes, bags, costume jewelry.
Garage & Yard Sales
Garage and yard sales can be hit or miss but are worth checking on weekends for clothing scores. Look for wealthy neighborhoods for higher-end brands. Negotiate bundle deals if possible.
What to look for: Outdoor gear, baby clothes, formalwear, vintage or collectible pieces.
Estate sales empty out entire households, often with clothes from varied eras. Arrive early for best selection. Be respectful and offer condolences to the family.
What to look for: Vintage or designer items in flawless condition.
Websites like Liquidation.com and B-Stock Solutions offer bulk batches of customer-returned or overstock clothing for pennies on the dollar. You get mystery boxes shipped to your door for one flat rate.
What to look for: Search lots by your niche or brand. Women’s clothing lots, plus size lots, Nike lots, etc. Read item condition details before purchasing.
Your Own Closet
Sort through your own overflowing wardrobe for quality pieces you no longer wear. Resell these items to earn back some cash. Anything worn less than 3 times and in excellent condition is fair game.
What to look for: Designer items, fitted formalwear you’ll never re-wear, clothes that no longer fit your style.
Friends & Family
Ask friends, family, and neighbors if they have any unwanted clothing in great condition you could buy off them for reselling. Offer them a small cash payout or split of any profits.
What to look for: High-end brands, specialty items like bridesmaid dresses, vacation souvenir tees, etc.
Get creative and explore alternative sources like social media groups, clearance sales, university surplus, and more. With some persistence, you can find amazing clothing to stock your online thrift store.
Step 4: Clean & Prep Items for Sale
Once you’ve sourced killer used clothes, it’s time to transform them into sellable inventory. Follow these tips to clean, repair, and prep clothing for your listings:
Wash and dry: Launder items to eliminate odors, stains, and pilling with gentle detergent. Use color-safe bleach on whites. Air or machine dry.
Steam or iron: Wrinkled clothes don’t sell! Neatly press or steam items flat. Hang delicate fabrics immediately to avoid new wrinkles.
Spot treat flaws: Lightly spot treat any stubborn stains, holes, or pilling with dedicated spot removers and a fabric razor. Don’t over-treat.
Make minor repairs: Re-stitch loose seams or hems, replace missing buttons, mend small holes. Know your limits – extensive repairs may not be worth your time.
Check for damage: Thoroughly inspect each item for rips, tears, holes, stains, shrinking, fraying, etc. Price condition flaws accordingly or avoid listing flawed items.
Add custom details: Replace generic garment tags with your own branded tags or thank you notes. Pack items in tissue paper or include free gifts for an elevated unboxing experience.
Taking the time to properly clean, press, and repair used clothing makes items look fresh, new, and sale-ready.
Step 5: Photograph Clothing Attractively
Great photos are crucial for sales success on resale platforms. Follow these tips to photograph clothing:
Use natural lighting: Shoot clothing next to large windows on an overcast day. Avoid harsh shadows or yellow indoor lighting.
Style items attractively: Photograph clothing on a model or dress form if possible. If flat, stuff it with tissue to mimic the human shape. Style complete outfits for context.
Shoot straight-on and detailed close-ups: Take images flat against a clean, solid surface and close ups of fabric details, care tags, or flaws. Shoot 10+ photos per listing.
Use props and backgrounds: Elevate shots with pretty backgrounds like wood tables, wall art, plants. Style with layered necklaces, bags, hats, etc.
Edit sparingly: Apps like Snapseed, Lightroom, or VSCO allow you to color correct, straighten, and subtly edit listings photos. Don’t go overboard.
Watermark if selling locally: Add a small, blended watermark to images if also listing on Facebook Marketplace or locally to deter theft. Avoid watermarks on formal resale sites.
Consistently take crisp, well-lit, and appealing photos to showcase your items beautifully online and drive sales.
Step 6: Write Descriptive, Keyword-Optimized Listings
Your listing title and description must compellingly market the item to potential buyers. Follow these tips for writing stellar listings:
Start with a keyword-rich title: Include the key brand, style details, size, and color. E.g. “NWT Free People Floral Lace Mini Dress Sz S in Ivory”.
Describe condition accurately: Note any wear, defects, signs of use, etc. Disclose all flaws upfront to avoid returns. If flawless, say “pristine condition, no flaws”.
Add all relevant details: Include fabric, materials, measurements, features, style name, current trends, release date, etc. The more info the better.
Share provenance if known: Mention the item’s origins if you have them, e.g. “From the 2015 fall collection”, “Purchased at the Beverly Hills estate sale of a noted stylist”.
Use emotive descriptors: Paint a picture of how the item looks and feels with words like luxe, tailored, cozy, statement, bold, delicate, retro, sleek, boho, preppy, etc.
Mention ideal buyer: Describe who would love the piece, e.g. “Perfect for gallery openings” or “Ideal for marathon runners”.
Check for errors: Double check for typos, missing info, duplicated text across listings. Proofread before publishing.
Optimize with keywords: Work primary keywords naturally into title, description, and item specifics. This boosts search visibility.
Compelling listing copy helps buyers instantly visualize themselves wearing the clothes. Take the time to write great descriptions.
Step 7: Price Items To Sell
Determining the optimal asking price is both an art and a science. Price too high, and your items sit unsold for months. Price too low, and you leave money on the table. Follow these guidelines to price profitably:
Research sold comps: Search for your exact brands/items on the platform and filter for sold listings only. Note competitive prices of similar condition items.
Check historical retail prices: Visit manufacturer websites or resources like Fashionphile to estimate original MSRP for context.
Factor in fees and shipping: Deduct all selling fees, payment processing, and shipping costs so you make your desired payout per item. Pad prices to create wiggle room for offers.
Consider demand and desirability: Trendier or luxury brands can demand higher premiums. Basic fast fashion likely won’t resell for much.
Price condition appropriately: Items with any flaws should be priced at least 30% below perfect condition. Be honest about wear and adjust price accordingly.
Start high, decrease over time: You can always lower an item later if it doesn’t sell. Start at the higher end of your comps for more profit potential.
Take the time to research and determine fair asking prices aligned to market demand. Adjust as needed if items sit for too long.
Step 8: Scale Up Your Resale Business
Once you’ve perfected your process – from sourcing to listing – it’s time to scale up your clothing resale side hustle into a steady income stream. Here are tips to take your business to the next level:
Commit consistent time: Treat reselling like a part-time job and dedicate set hours each week to sourcing, photographing, listing, and shipping items.
Reinvest profits to grow: Use your earnings to buy more inventory in bulk, invest in supplies, and upgrade equipment as needed.
Streamline with systems: Organize inventory and streamline operations. Box and label unsold items. Create listing templates. Set pricing formulas.
Analyze data: Track metrics like profit per item, ROI for sources, sell-through rates by brand and category. Use data to optimize efforts.
Hire help as needed: Consider hiring assistants to photograph, list, package, or ship items to scale faster.
Automate what you can: Use repricing tools to automatically adjust prices based on competition. Automate notifications, inventory management, cross-posting to save time.
Specialize in a niche: Become an expert in categories like plus size fashion, athleticwear, formalwear, vintage tee shirts, etc. Cater to that audience.
Market outside platforms: Share closet highlights on social media and link to your online resale sites. Collaborate with influencers in your niche.
Provide exceptional service: Build loyalty through incredible service, quick shipping, and a stellar return policy. Prioritize long-term relationships over one-time sales.
With consistent effort and strategic growth, many sellers are earning $1000, $5000, even $10,000+ per month reselling used clothing online. You can absolutely hit your income goals with focus and perseverance.
Frequently Asked Questions About Reselling Clothes Online
How much money can you make reselling clothes?
The earning potential reselling used clothing covers a wide range. As a side hustle, expect to make $500 to $2000+ per month. Top full-time sellers make over $10,000 per month. With effort and efficiency, you can make $1000 or more monthly reselling clothes.
Do you pay taxes on reselling clothes?
Yes, income from reselling clothes online is taxable. Track all sales, expenses, fees, inventory costs, and mileage. You’ll receive a 1099 tax form from PayPal and resale platforms documenting annual sales. Report this additional income when you file taxes.
Is it legal to buy clothes and resell them?
Reselling used, secondhand clothing you’ve purchased is perfectly legal in the USA. The first sale doctrine allows resale of lawfully purchased goods. Direct reproduction or distribution of trademarked items can violate copyright. But reselling authentic used clothes is allowed.
Do you need a permit to resell clothes?
Selling used clothing you’ve sourced secondhand does not require a resale permit or license in most states. If you begin wholesaling new bulk clothing or operating a physical thrift store, you may need to register your business. Check your state and local business permit requirements.
How do you start selling clothes from home?
To start reselling clothes from home, set up accounts on one or more online platforms like Poshmark, eBay, or Mercari. Set up listing templates and photo stations. Start small listing items from your own closet. Then expand to source inventory from thrift stores, yard sales, wholesale lots and more. Scale up operations over time.
What sells best on Poshmark or eBay?
Some of the best-selling used clothes on Poshmark include Lululemon, Free People, Anthropologie, Nike, Adidas, and trendy casual brands. On eBay, popular clothing items are Levi’s denim, Coach bags, U
GG boots, and branded athleticwear. Look up sold comps in your niche to identify profitable brands to source for resale on each platform.
Starting an online used clothing resale business allows you to tap into the lucrative secondhand clothing market from the comfort of your home. With some grit and hustle, you can realistically make $1000 or more in extra monthly income reselling used clothes online.
Implement the strategies in this guide to get started – from sourcing inventory on a budget to writing compelling listings to shipping items promptly. It does take consistent time and effort to scale up sales. But the profit potential is immense.
Be sure to track income, expenses, profit margins, and other metrics to optimize your clothing resale operation. Reinvest earnings to grow your inventory and reach. Provide exceptional customer service. With focus, you can turn reselling used clothing into a steady side income or even full-time business.
Now you have the blueprint – it’s time to start sourcing quality used clothing and get listing to make your first sales online. We wish you immense success on your reselling journey!
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