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Sellers only need to list and ship — and sometimes, not even all that.


Key points

  • A majority of Americans resold clothes, shoes, and other apparel in 2021.
  • Selling used clothing and apparel can earn sellers $100 or more monthly.

Last year, my friend made thousands of dollars selling used clothes. My returns have been much more modest: fifty dollars here, a hundred there. After all, I don’t intend to turn my side hustle into a full-time business.

That’s cool. Most people don’t. Even so, the business of selling used clothing is popular. According to ThredUp, 57% of consumers resold apparel in 2021. That’s an absurd number of sellers, but the demand for gently-worn Nikes remains strong.

You only have to spend a little time flipping clothes to earn $100 or more each month. With all the resources out there, running a resale business is easier than ever. Here’s how to go about it.

Source clothes

Your closet makes a great start for sourcing clothes, but only some sellers are blessed with closets stuffed with brands that sell for high prices. Sometimes, H&M is all you have.

If you’re like me, you’ll want to start by doing a little research: Which brands sell well?

You can find affordable clothes at thrift stores, consignment shops, garage sales, and even online sources like Poshmark and eBay. Friends may be willing to donate their old clothes in exchange for a cut of profits — don’t count them out!

List clothes for sale

These days, there are dozens of ways to sell used clothes. My friend and I prefer to sell clothes online. We’ve had the most success selling clothes on Poshmark and eBay, and we stick to what works.

Here are five low-maintenance platforms on which to sell clothes:

  • eBay and Poshmark will work hard to get your clothes in front of interested shoppers. You can list any brand on these platforms.
  • ThredUp and The RealReal will advertise and ship your clothes — all you need to do is label them and get them ready for pickup.
  • Depop will advertise your clothes to a crowd of young, trendy shoppers.

Remember, the more work a company does for you, the bigger bite they’ll take of your profit pie. If you want to keep all your profits, you’ll want to consider selling on social media — but you’ll have to do your own advertising.

If you decide to turn your side hustle into a small business, have a look at the best e-commerce platforms on which to build a website.

Take great photos

When I shop for used clothes, I avoid low-quality pictures because they make clothes look worn out. Natural lighting (like the sunlight coming through your bedroom window) looks excellent. So does artificial lighting created by light boxes and similar products.

Get ready to ship

Be ready for your first order by ordering free packaging supplies from USPS. Feel free to use any used boxes you have on hand — if they’re in good condition, they’re good enough for reuse. Just remove old labels and tracking stickers.

Consider purchasing other products like packaging tape, a printer (for labels), and loose plastic (like bubble wrap) you can use to stuff boxes. Prepare to connect a checking account to your selling platform if you haven’t already.

Tip: Remember to take good photos in clear lighting and ship items fast! That’ll give you a leg up on the competition.

Selling used clothes is an excellent way to make an extra $100 or so each month. It’s cheap to start, low-maintenance, and helps sellers clean out the lonely outfits gathering dust in the back of their closets. With these tips, it’s easy to join the millions of Americans already selling used apparel.

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