7 Tips to Sell Your Clothes {Earn Top Dollar for Your Unwanted Goods}

Posted On Thursday, May 5th, 2016
Filed Under: shopping, Thrift Stores

Last week I did something I’d never done before…I sold some of my clothes to Buffalo Exchange! If you’re not familiar with Buffalo, they’re a chain of thrift shops, but in addition to shopping, you can also sell your gently used clothes. I’ve heard of people who are reluctant to sell to shops like this because they can be sticklers and either reject your clothing or price it pretty low. Luckily, I didn’t have this problem and I think it’s because I adhered to a few rules.

If you’re looking to clean out your closet and sell your clothes, either online or to a store, here are 7 tips to get the most for your unwanted goods!

Is It Seasonal?
Does H&M sell parkas in July? Nope! So why would you try to resell an item if it’s not seasonal? You can have the most amazing winter coat, but it will be rejected if it’s not fall or winter. Like most stores, Buffalo Exchange is in the business of moving merch as quickly as possible and selling what people are buying right now. So take in your pieces that are able to sell right away.
Is The Quality Sub Par?
If you wouldn’t buy it in stores, then you probably shouldn’t try to sell it. The garment or accessory should be free of stains, tears, busted zippers and more. Though you’ll occasionally come across items that may be missing a button or two, associates will reject a piece that has obvious defects. When I sold my clothing I inspected everything closely, as if I was the one buying it. When I did my massive closet purge last year {see below for all the bags I donated!}, I didn’t exactly inspect everything. I just wanted to get rid of things and donate them to the thrift store! This is the exact mindset you shouldn’t have if you plan to sell items. You need to be extremely mindful of your selection.
Sell the Trends
This fits in with selling items that are from the current season, the same applies for what’s trending. Big trends like flare jeans, off the shoulder tops platforms can sell well because these are the season’s must haves. And because fashion is so cyclical, you might have a few of these items hanging in your closet. So cash in on them!
Sell Timeless Pieces
On the flip side, some items are just classics and never go out style. These are your trench coats, denim, structured blazers, pencil skirts and more. There will never be a time that women don’t wear these items, so these pieces will always sell. Again, just make sure they’re season appropriate. For example: a trench is timeless but it probably won’t sell too well in summer.
Take Inventory of the Store’s Selection
Before attempting to sell your clothes, take a look at what current brands the store carries. If the shop is more high end, then your Forever 21 dress won’t make the cut. Also, observe how they price their clothes. This will help you temper your expectations, because even a never worn, new with tags piece is usually priced at half the original value.
Cash or Store Credit
When I sold my bag full of items {about 10 pieces} to Buffalo Exchange, I had the option of receiving around $60 in cash or $107 store credit. I ultimately chose the store credit, but if you have the option of cash or credit, think long and hard on this. Of course the store will make it more enticing for you to take the credit, but if it’s a shop that you wouldn’t actually purchase clothing from, take your cash and run. I chose store credit because I walked around the store and saw they had some items I really wanted, like the Byron Lars dress below.
Don’t Take Rejection Personally
And finally, it’s okay if some of your items aren’t accepted to be re-sold {I had four items that they didn’t take}. This isn’t a personal reflection of you or your style. Instead, revisit some of the tips above. Maybe it’s not the right season, the hottest trend or maybe there’s a rip or stain you didn’t notice. Also, everything is subjective. So one sales associate might say no to something and a week later it can earn a few dollars based on another associate. Whatever the situation, don’t take it personally.

Hopefully these tips will help you earn a few bucks from the clothes that are just taking up space in your closet.

Have you ever resold your clothes to a thrift or consignment shop? What tips would you give to someone who’s never sold?
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6 thoughts on “7 Tips to Sell Your Clothes {Earn Top Dollar for Your Unwanted Goods}

  1. From my personal experience I stopped trying to sell to Plato’s closet. I had items that I’d worn twice but couldn’t fit anymore. They were in season, like new, etc. The funny part is the items they did take they wanted like $2 for it and resold it for $8. I’m not sure what this particular store bases their buys off of. I saw them take some old dingy sandals from a girl that I definitely wouldn’t have bought lol

    • I totally hear what you’re saying.

      What the associates accept and how they price everything is so subjective, but I’d say try again. Another person may price items higher. You never know!

      And yeah, sometimes I’m baffled by what gets accepted and placed on the sales floor! lol

  2. I tried to sell a bag to Plato’s closet a while ago and they accepted nothing saying it was all over a year old. I found that a bit discouraging. Who buys stuff and gets rid of it less than a year later except for children who outgrow things? The stuff wasn’t super trendy, but mostly classic like trouser pants and ranged from junior brands like Aeropostle to Banana Republic. Now I either donate or list certain things on e-bay if I think it may sell. Sometimes I make just a few dollars, but there have been times where I have been pleasantly surprised by a high selling price.

    • That’s so odd for them to mention the items being more than a year old. I know people, self included, who have successfully sold things that have been years old!

      It can be so random and hit or miss, but I’d suggest trying again, because I’m sure most associates accept items over a year old.

  3. your tips are right on the money . . . excuse the pun! I would add a couple more tips that have helped me — I’ve found that I do better when I take in a smaller amount of clothing that are wrinkle-free and when I pick a time that isn’t super-busy, like a week-day night. I’ve watched sales associates buzz through large bags of clothing really quickly and not pick much to buy. Clothes Mentor and Plato’s Closet are the main options for selling used clothing where I live , and each has multiple locations. Take what one location rejects and try it at another location! I sold 11 of 12 items this way. One store bough eight of the pieces I wanted to sell and rejected the other four. I took the other four to another location the next day, and they bought three! The only thing ultimately passed on was a somewhat dated jacket, which I then donated.

    • Thanks Sarah 🙂

      And thank you for sharing those tips. That’s great advice to bring in a smaller, well curated bag and it’s really true to go during a time when it’s not crazy busy. So spot on!

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