Got a few bits of clothing you simply don’t wear anymore? Looking for somewhere through which you can easily sell second hand clothes? Your luck’s in – as there’s never been more choice available online.
With charity and second-hand shops becoming overwhelmed with the amount of clothing that arrives at their doorsteps nearly every day, it is important for us to find new and eco-friendly ways to deal with our old clothes.
Nowadays, more and more people are interested in getting second-hand clothing due to the fact that you can find real vintage treasures at bargain prices. That is why so many people look for second-hand clothing – the vintage boom is by no means over.
It’s also a result of more and more of us choosing second-hand clothes over newly-produced items – which create more carbon, and sometimes arrive without the assurance of fair labor. It’s a conscientious choice, on the whole!
Now, not all of us have the ability to make it to yard sales with our old clothes, and there’s a good chance you will go home with most of them even if you do! That is why so many of us are now looking at selling our clothes online via trusted websites that can help us to deliver our unwanted items to eager buyers – and at a decent price.
In this article, I’ll guide you through the environmental impact that donating clothes and fast-fashion shopping are having on our world, and where to sell second-hand clothes with conscience.
Is it bad for me to donate clothes?
This happens to be a particularly difficult question because the answer is yes and no.
On the whole, no, donating is never a ‘bad thing’. It is a great way of recycling your stuff, letting it go to someone who really wants it, and helping out a charity in the process (for example, if you take a bag of clothes into your local thrift or Goodwill store).
However, charitable donations aren’t always eco-conscious. That’s because these shops and retailers are struggling to fight against a rising tide of poorly-made clothing that just doesn’t stand the test of time. As you can imagine, the clothes that just don’t sell have to go somewhere.
Eventually, even the thrift shops have to send the clothes away to a landfill, or overseas to be dealt with. So, you can imagine the kind of impact that this is having on the environment – by donating a seriously poor garment to a thrift shop, you may actually be doing more harm than good.
That being said, second-hand stores still need clothes to sell, and they are still popular. So, if you have good quality clothes, even older or outdated items that you happen to not want anymore, then donate them when you can – you can’t control what happens to them.
The real problem at stake is too many of us filling up charitable stores with poor quality clothes. So, what can we do to help?
Well, one of the best things that you can do right now is learn how to sell your clothes online. Here, you’re more likely to come across buyers who are genuinely interested in keeping the clothes you’re selling – and what’s more, you can also help to make yourself some extra money and keep clothes away from landfill.
But where is best to start? I’ve got a few ideas.
Where to sell used clothes online – the rundown
Selling anything online nowadays is amazingly easy. It’s likely you may have heard of a few of the following apps and websites before – but have you ever sold unwanted clothes through them? Let’s guide you through the top picks.
Were we really going to start this list with anything else? eBay has been around for decades and remains one of the best platforms for selling second-hand items. That is due to the fact that it reaches a global market, therefore opening you up to more potential buyers.
As a seller, you also have a huge array of selling tools and options, including selling your items at a set price and allowing interested buyers to negotiate with you. You can also auction your items off in the classic eBay style, where buyers will compete for the best price proposal.
All you will need to get started is the eBay app or log onto an account online to set your item up for sale. Be sure to take a few good photos and be honest with your description – and eBay will also help you set postage rates.
What can be a real let-down with eBay is the fact that it’s fairly expensive if you sell lots of items, or high-value clothes on a regular basis. That’s because the service takes seller fees from your checking account – and these rates can really vary.
On the whole, however, eBay remains perhaps the most user-friendly marketplace for used clothes. Whether selling or buying clothes online, you also have a lot of protection.
Again, this one may be obvious, but if you only ever use Facebook to share the odd meme or to keep in touch with your loved ones, their Marketplace is easy to overlook. Highly competitive with eBay, you can easily set up buy-now ads for unwanted clothes and encourage people to contact you for details.
Facebook Marketplace does rather compete with the likes of traditional ads that you’d otherwise see in the local papers or on public notice boards from years ago. The benefit to this service is, of course, that it has a much broader audience.
What’s more, there’s a laid-back appeal to Facebook Marketplace. Yes, there are rules to follow, but many people choose to buy clothes through the app simply because they are using it already for entertainment!
However, you may prefer to sell second-hand clothes online through eBay for the simple fact you get more protection when doing so. The choice is yours, of course!
The best part about selling on Facebook Marketplace is that there’s no fees to get started. That said, you’re less likely to meet a niche audience for specific clothes – if that’s important to you!
Much like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist has taken over the classified ads of old. In fact, the amount of different categories available for you to buy and sell through on Craigslist is quite staggering!
However, there are, of course, rules to follow – as always – meaning it’s worth looking closely into how it all works before going in too deep.
Craigslist tends to attract a little more of a discerning shopper than most, as many people choose Facebook Marketplace – however, if you do have some great quality clothing to sell and you are willing to hold out for the right buyer, it’s absolutely worth being patient with.
Many people choose Craigslist to sell on as the process can seem a little less stringent than eBay.
If you’re into online clothes shopping, you will most likely have heard of Vinted as it has increased in popularity tremendously over the past few years. Sell through Vinted, and you’re more likely to meet a specialist buyer – as the site only ever handles clothes and accessories.
Another great thing to remember about Vinted is that there are no selling or postage costs. Instead, you get the total of what the item sells for, and have to deal with the postage yourself.
Vinted also plays to an audience of people who are looking for vintage clothes and outdated items – hence the name. Therefore, if the clothes you want to sell are considered time capsule-ready, it’s absolutely worth checking out Vinted in your spare time.
Depop is another specialist selling platform mainly for clothes, shoes and accessories. In this regard, it competes well against the likes of Vinted. They lean heavily into the ‘preloved’ label for unwanted clothes, and the site’s well-known for its focus on community as well as clothing sales.
Depop works similarly to eBay in that you list your items for sale, and the retailer takes a fraction of the selling price. However, they include the postage fees in that percentage.
Depop is worth selling through if you’re simply not getting the hits or interest you’d like through Vinted, or if you simply want to see if you can get your old clothes up and moving at a higher price.
If you’ve heard of Etsy before, it may be that you know it as an online custom-creations marketplace. It’s rather like eBay but with an emphasis on the bespoke. You can even sell second-hand clothes through Etsy, perhaps by adding your own custom designs and twists on old garments you simply don’t want anymore.
Etsy can be quite stern when it comes to pricing and item viability, so it makes sense to take a careful look at their terms and conditions before you decide to set up shop.
Otherwise, if you have enough in the way of old clothes that you’d like to get rid of, Etsy can make you a pretty penny or two if you are willing to keep up to the marketplace.
Thrift+ occupies a similar space in second hand clothes sales to Depop and Vinted, however, this app service focuses more on the convenience side of things – which might just tip the balance for you if you’re thinking twice about selling clothes online.
Thrift+ is a great option for those of us who do not want to take the time to have to list the clothes and go to the post office. Instead, Thrift+ will send you a pre-paid bag for your sale items to send back at your leisure.
However, be careful, as Thrift+ will only accept high street brands, premium lines, and designer labels. Due to the fact that Thrift+ does so much of the work for you, they also take a cut of each item sold.
It’s clear to see why people love selling old clothes through Thrift+, however, it can be quite a costly choice.
We’ve saved Rebelle for last for a reason – when it comes to selling and buying old clothes online, this is a true luxury marketplace. That’s because Rebelle specializes in the resale of old designer clothing, handbags and more.
The pricing at Rebelle is also leveled at a premium – with a large commission charged on sales. That said, you can also let the website sell your items for you at an extra fee per item (providing they sell successfully). This might be worth the money and effort if you know your old clothes are likely to pick up a lot of money.
While Rebelle may not appeal to the everyday clothes seller, it fills a useful niche for finding interested buyers for high-end clothing labels. It’s certainly worth considering before you risk sending any Louis Vuittons to the charity shops…
What else can I do with my old clothes?
If you’ve had a go at trying to sell second-hand clothes online and just aren’t seeing the interest you’d like, there are still some great ways you can make your old fashion go that little bit further, and not head to landfill any time soon.
Consider cutting up for rags
If you really want your clothes to live on and you can’t bear to part with them, can you take a pair of scissors to them instead? If so, this is a great way of reusing your garments, giving you lots of free dusters and cleaning cloths.
Now, obviously, not all materials make great cleaning rags, but rags can be used for anything! Get a few empty boxes and separate the materials into what they can be used for. You could use denim to mop up oil spills or dust down surfaces. More absorbent material such as cotton can be used to create tea towels – the list goes on.
It may seem a little counterintuitive to have entire boxes full of rags, but consider how many dusters and cloths you normally go through on a regular basis. It’s likely to be more than you’d think, and let’s face it, it’s all money saved.
Exchange clothes with your friends and family
Ever swapped an item or two with your loved ones? Chances are, if you have a few items of clothing going wanting, there may be someone waiting in the wings to offer you something you’d like in return.
If your friends have always admired your taste in clothing, then this is all for the better – why not offer a few hand-me-downs?
Of course, it still makes sense to ensure that the clothes you share are in good order – no one is likely to want to take your old clothes if there are holes or ladders galore in them.
Reach out to those closest to you and see if there’s any interest in seeing what’s in your wardrobe – this could help your clothes to travel a little bit further, and what’s more, you’re giving someone you care about first refusal.
Use old clothes to create new items
Of course, not all of us are creatively inclined, but we can all learn how to make cool things from our old stuff, giving them a new lease of life. You can easily use your old clothes to make quilts, cushions, pet beds, bags, or use them for arts and crafts.
This is a great idea if you yourself are an artist, but if you have kids, nieces or nephews, things get that little bit more exciting.
Making toys, quilts and shawls is nice and easy – in fact, all you need is some thread and a needle, and you can pretty much get to work.
The best thing about this side of clothes recycling is that you can give items that mean a lot to you further purpose – why throw them away when you can get creative?
You might even choose to make gifts out of your clothes, too – within reason! This could be a great money-saving option at Christmas, and it’ll cut carbon when it comes to buying new presents outright.
Should I sell second hand clothes online?
There are plenty of reasons why you should consider giving your clothes a little more of a lifespan by selling online. The best place to sell second hand clothes for your wardrobe may well be in our list above – but don’t feel guilty if you choose to sell on rather than donate your items.
As mentioned, donating clothes doesn’t always mean that they are going to end up going to someone in need. By selling directly, you can at least ensure that you connect with someone, and that your clothes are going somewhere other than landfill, unsold and unloved.
What’s more, there are lots of creative ways for you to give your clothes second wind. Some of the apps and platforms we’ve listed above specialize in designer labels – others let you get creative with your unwanted garments.
No matter which way you look at it, you are recycling items that would otherwise go to waste – and you should never feel guilty about getting a little bit of money back in return.
Take a look at the various apps and services listed above and see how you get on – start with Facebook Marketplace, for example, and then consider niching down. You could be sitting on a fortune!