Here's how to make some extra cash and avoid burdening landfills with your unwanted garments
Resale is the new retail. If you have a smartphone, you can start selling your clothes online within minutes. This isn’t just a trend, it’s a movement that even retail giants are participating in. Global brands from Gucci to Madewell to Levi’s have already launched their own second-hand resale platforms.
And while brand names do sell, it’s not a prerequisite. Indie brands and even popular high-street brands can do brisk business. Depending on how motivated you are, you can clear out your wardrobe pretty quickly. Price and brand aside, there are a few other tips that can help you make sales quickly...
- Provide accurate and honest descriptions of your items and think of words you’d use yourself when searching online for a specific item. “Cute dress” is useless. Instead, use keywords such as, “Navy blue pleated midi cotton dress long sleeves size S”. And be honest about any flaws.
- Provide measurements. This is an extra step that will be rewarded in multitudes. Online shopping is always a gamble when it comes to sizing so, understandably, buyers are much more likely to purchase an item when they’re confident the garment will fit.
- Provide lots of clear pictures. Take photos of the full garment, close-ups of any distinct details, brand labels, fabric care labels and, if possible, of the garment being worn (you can always crop your head out of the picture). And don’t forget to include pictures of any flaws such as snags or pilling.
- Provide excellent customer service. Try to be flexible with your pricing—that’s part of the fun of second-hand selling/shopping—and always reply to questions promptly. If you establish a good reputation as a kind seller who ships quickly you’ll be amazed at how fast this will snowball into repeat customers.
With current fees listed as of publication date, here are a few online reselling platforms to help you get started selling...
1. Facebook Marketplace
Unsplash: Timothy Hales BennettIf you have a Facebook account, this is the simplest way to reach a lot of people. It’s essentially your local digital classified ads where you can post everything from boats to houses to jobs to clothing. The interface is simple: load up to 10 pictures, then fill out the form with item description, price, condition etc. You can even opt to keep this hidden from your Facebook friends if you prefer to keep your side hustle private. Some things can go within minutes, others need some time. If your listing is up over a week, make sure to go into your listing and click “refresh” and consider lowering the price.
Details online; Fees: $0, and your listed price is yours to keep; Payment: Cash or e-transfer
PoshmarkPoshmark launched in Canada in 2019 and the community has grown to over 2.5 million users in Canada. Popular brands include Lululemon and Aritzia, with leggings, sweatshirts, hoodies and cardigans the most-commonly searched items. Shipping costs $13.49, which is paid by the buyer. When you make a sale, Poshmark emails you a pre-paid, pre-addressed label that comes with tracked shipping. All you have to do is package up the item, affix the label and either pop it in a mailbox or drop it off at a post office. Poshmark also automatically authenticates all items sold for $700 and up.
Details online; Fees: For sales under $20, a flat fee of $3.95 / For sales over $20, Poshmark takes a commission of 20 percent; Tax is applied on shipping (dependent on province); Payment: Direct deposit
eBayThis is the OG of online resellers and a goldmine for selling anything you can find in your closet. Last year, Canadians spent more than C$600,000 on Pokémon cards alone. Another enthusiast category is sneakers with Nike topping searches. Handbags are also popular with Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton most sought after. When you post on eBay, you get access to their global marketplace and 150 million active buyers across 190 markets.
eBay; Fees: List up to 200 free posts before eBay charges an “insertion fee” with different “final value fees” for different categories, and sellers are also responsible for the cost of shipping; Payment: PayPal or direct deposit
4. Vestiaire Collective
Facebook: Vestiaire CollectiveThis is the go-to online marketplace for luxury pieces. Save your designer pieces for Vestiaire, where their 15 million members are already positioned for an upscale purchase. To list, you need to first submit your item’s details and pictures, which are then reviewed. Only if it’s accepted will it be available for sale.
Details online; Fees: Sales fee of 12 percent for items between $120 and $25,000, with items below $120 positioned at $15 and above $25,000 at $3,000, in addition to a payment processing fee of 3 percent ($2 for items less than $80); Shipping is covered by Vestiaire Collective; Payment: PayPal or direct deposit
DepopDepop is the online homebase for Gen-Z resellers and last year was bought by Etsy, another online reseller (focused more on handmade goods). You can sell anything from vintage to luxury, though the bulk of items will reflect what influencers were promoting last month. Most of the items are fashion-current and the platform prioritizes quick turnover (read: expect a lot more offers and negotiations). There are over 30 million users worldwide with about 250,000 in Canada.
Details online; Fees: Free to list, with a 10 percent commission on sales, although payments are handled through PayPal, which charges its own fee; Seller pays for shipping; Payment: PayPal or direct deposit.