The pros and cons of reselling your old items online


When your closets can’t hold any more items, when your kids have grown too big and you want a little extra cash to spruce up your wardrobe, there is a solution: sell your clothes and accessories online.

To verify: The delicate business of reselling – and how you can achieve it
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There are a plethora of sites you can work with: eBay, Poshmark, Mercari, ThredUp, and The RealReal are just a few of them. Each has a different fee structure, items they will accept, and sales policies – some buy your items directly, some accept them to sell on consignment and keep a share of the proceeds, some allow sellers to directly post and post. negotiate with buyers. Or, you can control the process and sell to local buyers through platforms like Facebook Marketplace.

Selling your used clothing and accessories online will also help the environment by diverting discarded items from landfills. And the twin benefits are propelling the industry, according to a 2021 report from ThredUp.

Read: 10 things in your home to sell instead of donating

The second-hand industry is expected to double over the next five years to $ 77 billion, the report says. In 2020, there were 36.2 million first-time sellers among the total 52.6 million sellers throughout the year. It is expected that there will be 118.8 million future sellers.

In terms of the environment, the ThredUp report states that each year, around 36 billion items of clothing are thrown in the trash every year, 95% of which could have been reused or recycled. And Gen Z members are also fueling the push, now thinking about sustainability and the future clothing resale market when making a new purchase.

Putting money in your wallet and helping the environment are great benefits of selling your clothes online. Read on for more pros and cons.

If you plan to sell: The best items to sell on ThredUP right now
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The advantages of selling online

You won’t sell your products for a profit, but quality brands could provide a decent return on your investment.

Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at, a shopping comparison website, sees the benefits of online sales.

“Something is better than nothing,” she said. “Clothes lying around and taking up space can be a pain, and while it can be nice to just give them to someone in need, if you’re strapped for cash, you’ll probably want to get at least one. little something to your liking. . It might not be much, but selling online means the potential to get something for your clothes rather than just giving them away for a tax deduction, and if you sell enough, these things can really go downhill. add.

To verify: How to earn extra money while decluttering your home

The number of sales platforms also improved the experience, she said.

“It’s relatively easy to do,” Ramhold said. “Years ago, if you wanted to sell something online, eBay was basically your only option. Nowadays, this site has been joined by a ton of others, many of whom are only focused on selling lightly used haute couture pieces. … And the more sites you add, the easier everything becomes. There is enough competition now that with a little research you can absolutely find a highly rated site to sell your clothes with relative ease no matter what you are trying to clear out of your wardrobe.

While many sellers want to sell on their own, the best online resellers have the marketing infrastructure to facilitate sales for those who want to work directly with potential buyers.

“One of the biggest benefits of using an online marketplace is the fact that you’ll quickly be connected to a large community of shoppers who are already looking for clothes and other items,” said Eden Cheng, who specializes in digital marketing and is the co-founder of PeopleFinderFree.

“Also, the benefit of being part of an established online marketplace is that it will provide a level of trust between you and the buyer which will make it easier to get sales conversions. … Most of these markets also have their own digital marketing programs, with tools designed to help you pitch products to all the right customers, at the right time, 24/7.

Following: How to make money by being a savvy collector

The disadvantages of selling online

Selling online is also a challenge. It takes a long time to put the articles together, make sure they are clean and rushed, and find the best site for your particular article. RealReal, for example, only accepts the biggest names in fashion. Then, depending on which site you choose, you might be tasked with writing a winning description, photographing the items, and haggling with buyers.

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And then there’s the cost comparison. With The RealReal, for example, you will receive up to 85% of the sale price. ASOS Marketplace charges a 20% commission fee.

“Perhaps the biggest downside to selling clothing online is that you probably won’t receive payment for what it’s actually worth,” Ramhold said. “Even if you choose to sell it yourself on eBay, it is possible that if you price it too high, you may not be able to sell it, and if you allow the bids you may not see them go up that high.” than you think. the article is worth. And if you are selling to another service to allow them to sell it for you, it is almost certain that you will not get what it is worth because they have to make a profit on their service, so they are probably going to underpay you, for the much higher price when they turn around to sell it themselves.

To learn: 5 collectibles worth selling for more money

And selling alone has potential pitfalls.

“It’s not always a smooth process,” said Diana Zola, founder of Nina Zola, a brand of accessories in silver and leather. “I have experience selling my clothes on the Internet and have had less than tasty interactions. Some people try to negotiate with you and tell you that your items are not worth what you are selling them for. A lot of the clothes I sell are vintage and in good condition so I always try to be fair with the prices.

“Also, a lot of people don’t show up, which can be very frustrating. Some people prefer to pick up items and never come to pick them up. Meanwhile, there are other people who wanted to get the same things, but I had to refuse them because I promised them to the person who never showed up.

Despite the expense and inconvenience, Ramhold said the process was worth it.

“The advantages of selling online outweigh the disadvantages, because you can enjoy clothes that you may never have even worn. In addition, the items do not go to the landfill and someone can take advantage of the clothes a second time. “

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Last updated: October 20, 2021

This article originally appeared on The pros and cons of reselling your old items online

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