Our expert explains the apps to use, how it works, and how to maximize sales.

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preparing clothes for resale
Credit: Courtesy of Thred Up

As a new season arrives, many of us take it as an opportunity to declutter our closets and maximize our space. And when the pandemic hit, it was realization that our relationships with our clothing has changed. "Cleaning out clothes that no longer serve you can prepare you to usher in what's next," says Tomlin, "whether you're saying goodbye to the pair of sweats you've worn all year or the 'hard pants' and heels from your pre-pandemic past." While they may go to donations, have you ever consider selling your unwanted clothing?

Today, with these popular apps geared toward cashing in on your secondhand clothes, what's the secret to making the most out of their services? We asked expert, Natalie Tomlin, ThredUP spokesperson, to share her insider tips to selling your clothes on apps and maximizing your sales.

Preparing Clothes for Resale

Freshen up your merchandise—that is, wash and dry everything. Polish the hardware on handbags and buff away scuff marks on shoes. It's important to send freshly laundered clothing free of rips, stains, and holes. "Pretend you're sending it to your BFF," suggests Tomlin.

A prospective buyer deserves to know everything about the item: that includes brand, size, and its condition. In your listing, provide an accurate description alongside clear photographs that present any defects upfront as this will preserve your reputation and seller rating. Some buyers prefer buying secondhand items from a pet-free or smoke-free household, so those details are also worth mentioning.

You'll also want to be sure you know the market. If certain vintage wares are all over social media, they're trending and more likely to find a buyer. "ThredUP accepts 35,000 women's and children's brands from Gap to Gucci," says Tomlin, "and they do all the work to photograph, price, and list your items. That means you can send everything in one bag and then sit back and relax." And remember that seasonality is important—there's no sense in listing a swimsuit in mid-winter or a cashmere sweater in July.

The Best Seller Apps and Sites

Navigating the resale market can be daunting, but places like ASOS Marketplace, Mercari, The RealReal, and ThredUp are great ways to help you recoup costs. Each site caters to a different market. The RealReal, for example, specializes in luxury merchandise—think Prada, Gucci, Chanel, and Burberry. ThredUP, on the other hand, takes everything from Old Navy to Kate Spade New York. Each site has a different method of packaging and shipments, too. If you opt to sell your clothes via the ThredUP app, for example, it's as simple as printing a prepaid shipping label. "All you have to do is fill a ThredUP clean-out kit or print a prepaid shipping label," explains Tomlin, "send in your gently used women's and children's items, and ThredUP will handle the rest—photographing, pricing, and listing your items for resale."

As for the seller's commission, Tomlin shares that the accepted items are paid out on consignment. Sellers can earn anywhere from five to 80 percent of the listing price. Factors such as estimated retail price, seasonality, and condition go into consideration for the seller's total payout. "We encourage sellers to check out our Payout Estimator before sending in their clothes to get an idea of what they could potentially earn," says Tomlin. Aside from earning a commission on your gently used clothes, the convenience, flexibility, and positive eco-friendly impact are all encouraging influences when selling online.

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