Whether you want to start a side hustle or just need to clean out your closet.

Morgan Noll
Apr 06, 2021 @ 5:15 pm
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how to sell clothes online
Credit: Getty Images

There are so many reasons to start selling your clothes online. Maybe you're in the spirit of spring cleaning and decided to give your closet the Marie Kondo treatment. Maybe you're moving into a smaller bedroom and need to downsize your belongings. Or maybe you just want to revamp your wardrobe and need a good excuse to buy more clothes. No matter your reason, selling clothes online can be a great way to bring in extra cash, counteract the fast fashion industry, and pick up some business skills while you're at it.

If you've never sold clothes online, the number of online marketplaces and the process of listing, selling, and shipping can seem overwhelming—but it doesn't have to be. Below, we rounded up some of the best websites and apps for selling clothes and tapped some seasoned sellers for advice. (Think Depop, ThredUP, Poshmark, Facebook Marketplace, and more.) Keep reading to figure out which platform best fits your selling goals and learn how to have the most success in your small business venture. Whether you're doing a closet clean out or are interested in becoming a more consistent online seller, these tips will help get you on your way.

How to sell your clothes on Depop:

Depop has become a signifier of Gen Z culture and the platform is constantly setting and reflecting the most current fashion trends. (For reference, type "Y2K" in the search bar and you'll be hit with over a million results fitting the early 2000s trend.) So, to be most successful when selling on Depop, seller Loren Galvan, who has sold nearly 400 items through her shop @supersnailshop, says it's important to tune in to what's currently popular and selling. "I spend a lot of my time on TikTok looking at what people are wearing and I keep a close eye on the Explore page to see what is currently trendy," she says. "It's crucial to keep your finger on the pulse in regards to what's fashionable because trends and aesthetics can go in and out of fashion in an instant."

"There are two kinds of sellers on Depop: casual sellers [who sell] out of [their] own closet and resellers who source and curate items from thrift stores with the intention to sell—and I think Depop is great for both," says Hannah Kurmina, who has sold over 1,000 items on her Depop shop @PinkiesWorld. For others interested in reselling vintage clothing on the platform, she says it's important to love the process because sourcing and reselling isn't just quick money, as some may assume.

Whether you're looking to sell from your own closet or start a reselling hustle, make sure to personalize your shop. Depop is as much a social media platform as it is an online marketplace, so it'll pay off to give thought to your branding, from the name and description of your shop to the way you photograph your items.

How to sell your clothes on Poshmark:

When compared to Depop, the Poshmark audience skews a bit older, which impacts the type of clothing that sells best on the platform. According to The Penny Hoarder, when "compared with other platforms like Depop, eBay, or Etsy, Poshmark buyers are more interested in modern, high-end fashion than vintage styles or rare finds." So, if you splurged on a designer blazer or pair of boots a couple of years ago but have never really worn them, Poshmark could be a great place to resell them.

Similar to Depop, Poshmark also has a social media element, featuring a Facebook-like newsfeed where users can scroll through recent posts and interact with others on the platform. One Poshmark seller, who owns the shop @wildmagnolia, shared some tips via Instagram to help others best take advantage of the website's interface. In the post shared above, the seller encourages people to list items daily ("Even if it's just one thing!"), share their "closet" (a collection of clothing from your page) four to five times a day, and send discount offers to people who have liked your items every day. Doing these things, along with utilizing buzzy keywords in your listings and making sure to take bright, attractive photos of clothing, can help get more attention to your posts.

How to sell your clothes on Mercari:

Mercari is a general marketplace where you can sell a wide range of items, from clothing to electronics to kitchen appliances, and more. So, if you're trying to get rid of a bunch of things, this is a good place to go. The marketplace also prioritizes verification of both sellers and buyers and processes all payments to avoid either party getting ripped off.

To maximize sales on the platform, Mercari Trend Expert, Tiffany Olson, emphasizes the importance of taking desirable photos and having good customer service. For an optimal listing photo, she recommends putting items on or in front of simple, uncluttered backgrounds, utilizing natural light (no flash photography), uploading high-res images, and including shots of the item from several angles. If you plan to sell a lot of clothing, she also recommends investing in a dress form. "Unlike photographing a blouse on the floor or tabletop, this tactic allows customers to envision the clothes on their own body," she says.

When it comes to having good customer service, Olson suggests being as upfront as possible about the condition of the items you're selling—noting any tears, stains, or other imperfections—and sharing lots of specifics in your listing. "Adding all the nitty-gritty item details to your listing, like measurements and brand, signals to the buyer that you're a total pro who has done their research," she says. Then, when it's time to ship your items, consider adding a hand-written thank you note or cute packaging that will customize the order and make shoppers want to buy more.

How to sell your clothes on Etsy:

You probably know about Etsy as a marketplace for shopping for unique gifts and handmade items from small creators, but it can also be a great platform for selling vintage clothing. So, if you've been collecting great vintage pieces over the years and want to give them another home, a curated Etsy shop might be a great choice for you. While currently trending fashion items often get more attention on sites such as Poshmark and Depop, Etsy shoppers and sellers might be more interested in your niche and rare vintage finds.

The owner of the blog ResellerBible, who resells clothing across multiple platforms, explains this distinction in a blog post. "Selling that chic '60s sheath dress with the Jackie Kennedy pillbox hat might not work for Poshmark," the post reads, "but on Etsy, there may be a full audience that is looking for those Jackie O curated looks." So, if you're looking to set up an Etsy shop, make sure to use descriptive language and keywords so that your items can be found.

How to sell your clothes on eBay:

Don't turn your back on this OG marketplace. While eBay may seem dated when compared to more modern, social media-driven platforms, there are still some unique benefits to using the platform. For one thing, you have the option to list your items for auction and sit back and watch the bidding wars take place. So, if you have a rare or highly coveted item, like a limited-edition pair of sneakers or a vintage band T-shirt, you may be able to make more money by auctioning it off than you would by posting it with a flat listing price on another platform. You never know what people are willing to pay for those Yeezys you bought years ago or those hand-me-downs from your grandpa.

How to sell your clothes on Facebook Marketplace:

If you aren't looking to start up a full-blown side hustle and just want to get rid of some of your clothes, Facebook Marketplace is a great place to go. Listing items to sell is just about as easy as posting a status update. Plus, you don't have to worry about getting charged any listing fees like you will on most other online marketplaces. If you don't want to deal with shipping your items out, you can list your item for local pickup only and organize a handoff with the buyer of your items—if you feel comfortable doing so.

How to sell your clothes on ThredUP:

If the thought of dealing with shipping and processing logistics is what's keeping you from selling clothes online, ThredUP has you covered. Just fill out your address on the website and the brand will send you a "clean out kit," which includes a bag and label for shipping. Then, all you have to do is fill up the bag with the clothes you want to sell, drop the bag off with FedEx or USPS, and let ThredUP take care of the rest. Once your items sell on the site, you can choose to cash out (up to only 80% of the resale price, accounting for the convenience of the service) or get shopping credit to another digital store.