Sometimes you need to clean out before you can clean up. For the next series of blog posts, we are going to look at a number of ways to turn your life into a minimalist paradise instead of an overgrown jungle of personal possessions. First stop: tonight we're cleaning out our closet. The real one. I'll let your therapist take care of the one in your head.
We all have those clothes that we might fit into or may come back into fashion again, but chances are if they've been sitting in your closet untouched for ten years, you're probably going to be happier with the space than with the maybe-somedays. You can either donate them to a local organization—Goodwill, the Salvation Army or a local thrift or consignment shop are the most likely candidates, or you can try to convert them into some cash.
Before you sell your stuff online (or at a flea market), go over it carefully and make sure you've documented and, if possible, fixed any flaws. Take detailed photos of the entire outfit and any stains, dangling threads, wear or tear, and really assess the value by doing research online. The more highbrow your labels and the more "gently worn" they are, the more likely you'll be able to turn a profit. Then you just need to figure out the best place to sell.
Thredup.com does almost all the work for you, but takes a significant cut of the proceeds. If it costs more for them to sell than the clothes will generate in profit, then you don't see a dime. They pay you somewhere between 5-80% of the purchase price, with more expensive items generating more of a payout. Of all the resell sites, it's one of the easiest. They send you a bag. You send them your stuff (with a label they provide). When your items sell, you can cash out or trade in. Win-win if you really don't have the desire to do the work yourself.
Poshmark.com offers prepaid labels and authenticates luxury goods. It's probably the most well known resale site which means it will also probably also have plenty of shoppers. You can sell not just your clothes but also beauty, electronics, and home goods. Selling items that have some kind of brand name or awareness usually lends itself to greater success as there are thousands of items on this site and that will help distinguish and categorize your offerings.
TheRealReal.com works like Thredup but it's all about the bling baby. They will only take your name-drop designer items, but you can ship to them free, they do all the work for you, list it, price it, and they offer a commission structure based not only on the value of the piece but also on how much you generate for them in sales per year. The Real Real has brick and mortar stores in Santa Monica and Newport and, like Poshmark, also sells art, housewares, watches, and jewelry.
Vinted.com operates similarly to Poshmark. You snap a photo of it, upload it, ship it, and cash in, all with zero selling fees. Their offerings are more casual (T-shirts and jeans) an a bit more mass market, so if you have non-designer, non-branded items you'd like to offload, you're more likely to find an audience for those items here.
Tradesy.com is what you get if you cross TheRealReal with Poshmark. Designer clothes, jewelry, and bags but you do the work, listed at your prices, and you keep the cash. They also allow listing of cult and defunct brands like Staley Gretzinger. If your buyer isn't happy with their purchase, they have four days to return it and Tradesy takes care of the postage.
A few other mentions: if you're looking for a menswear site, Grailed.com is the largest online marketplace for resellers. Etsy.com is great if you are selling bespoke pieces that scream steampunk, hand crocheted, or vintage (my favorite was a T-shirt that said "Popularity is a Social Disease"). And of course, there's Ebay.com where you can sell just about everything—which is good and bad because everyone looks there but anything get lost in the shuffle.
Next week, we'll tackle donations. But in the meanwhile, if you are in need of commercial or event cleaning, we hope you'll consider PopUP CleanUP for your needs.