This post will provide a brief outline of buying and selling clothing online. The last two websites I discuss, Poshmark and Tradesy, are the two I personally use and I will go into more detail about my experiences with these websites. If you want to join those sites, please let me know and I send you an invitation which will give YOU extra spending cash and me a bonus as well. For the remainder of the sites, please feel free to let me know if something is incorrect, as these companies change how they work over time and I may not have all of the information.
I enjoyed noting the messages, or experiences, each of these sites wants to sell. Whether quality, community, choice, a lifestyle, or environmentalism (you are keeping designer handbags out of landfills– otherwise they would have gone in the trash! /sarcasm), the experience each site sells differentiates them, along with logistical differences of course. Let me know what you think!
Just a note that I did not review eBay, which is still a major hub of clothing resale and has lots of great stuff. These websites are customized for clothes and more user-friendly for selling items, particularly for an e-commerce newbie like me. You can also list items for a long time with these websites, while I believe eBay lists items for a limited time.
As Oprah says, here we go…
While I haven’t used this site, it would be the one I would choose if I were to buy designer goods based on their authentication process and the prices. The creator knows her stuff (and is from Silicon Valley) and maintains that you do not need to handle an item to know its authenticity: a true authenticator needs only pictures. Because brands are SO specific, Lollipuff sells only a limited number of brands to ensure expertise. I haven’t found another website so thorough. The blog is excellent, too. This website has gotten much less press than the other websites on the list, but I think it is a hidden gem and I hope it succeeds because of the integrity with which they maintain in their authentication. There are a good amount of international sellers and customers on this site.
Their message: “Always Authentic at Brag-Worthy Prices”; quality and authenticity truly guaranteed.
Type of site: Peer-to-peer, with authentication process before listing goes live on website.. Flat price listing or auctions available.
Type of items: Select designer brands for women, including clothes, shoes, and accessories, including many handbags.
Buying: You can search by brand, size, and item type. Paypal guarantee, and website will help with buyer-seller disagreements. Returns are seller-dependent. Shipping not included in list price. The prices are quite reasonable because the company does not physically handle the item.
Selling: Lollipuff takes 9% of the sale price, one of the lowest cuts I’ve seen. You handle shipping and returns.
You send Thredup your clothes in a bag they provide (“Clean Out kit“), for which they pay for shipping, and they sell the clothes for you. Some clothes they give you money for upfront, while with other clothes you are paid for with a consignment model (only once the item sells do you get money), and other items are donated or returned to you for a fee.
Their message: “Clean out with Thredup”; convenience and they help keep clothes out of landfills (environmental message).
Type of site: They sell items for you. They both buy clothes and consign items.
Type of items: A broad range of brands, though not all, including women and children’s (both genders) items, from clothes and shoes to accessories.
Buying: Easy to search for items by brand, size, color, and price. Most items, excluding handbags, are eligible for refunds with some exceptions. Most reviews suggest items are of good quality.
Selling: Because the company does a lot of the work, you do not in general get a lot of money for your items. Think 3-5 bucks for a nice Ann Taylor skirt that cost $79.99 originally. Here is a random bag payout. Most items have a link at the bottom of the listing “More items from this seller” which shows the bag payout.
Threadflip is a hybrid of peer-to-peer sites where you list your own clothes, and sites offering full service where you send a bag in and they list the items for you. Full Service is consignment (you get money once an items sell). They have a partnership with Goodwill for unaccepted or unsold accepted Full Service items.
Their message: Directly from them: “Threadflip is pioneering a new social shopping experience by offering women a simple way to convert their closets into a dynamic boutique-like experience, connecting buyers with sellers, and capturing the collaborative energy of shopping with friends.”
Type of site: Both peer-to-peer and they will sell items for you via a consignment model.
Type of items: Women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories.
Buying: Search for items by category, brand, price, size, color, and condition. Shipping is included in the price of the item. You can negotiate listed prices.
Selling: Either send them your items for Full Service listing or list items yourself. Full service is ‘free’ and you can pay $15 to have unaccepted items returned. More information, including Full Service commission rates, are here. They have a strict list of items and brands that they will accept. If you list items yourself they deduct a 20% fee and you either pay shipping yourself or have $6 deducted from the sale price for a shipping label. Full Service will handle returns, while if you list items on your own you can choose whether or not to accept returns (with protections for the buyer that the items is not fake or not as described).
One of the older companies that has a loyal following. They have a nice app, which I tried out but I was already invested in the other sites I was trying so I have not sold anything using this.
Their message: “Make second hand the 1st choice”
Type of site: Peer-to-peer. Flat price listing.
Type of items: Any brand you choose to sell, for women, including clothes, shoes, and accessories, including many handbags.
Buying: Search for items by brand, size, price, and condition. Shipping price is not included in item price and is listed separately. Returns possible for damaged or improperly represented items.
Selling: Easy to list items yourself and set the price you want. Vinted takes 19% of the selling price.
A high-end luxury goods site which seems to be very successful. The most intriguing thing is that they entered into an agreement with Nieman Marcus where you can redeem your sold item profits as a Nieman Marcus gift certificates. This is an interesting step in making people more comfortable buying luxury goods with the knowledge that those items have a strong resale value, allowing one to buy more luxury goods later on. They are one of the leaders in VC funding! There are a lot of international customers and sellers on this site.
Their message: “Authenticated Luxury Consignment”
Type of site: Consignment, where they take the item and sell it for you.
Type of items: A large but finite list of luxury brands for men and women (clothing, shoes, accessories), as well as art. They buy and sell fine jewelry of all sorts– you can find engagement rings there, for example.
Buying: Search by brand, price, size, and color, once you can get to the item listings. Returns appear to be available on most non-final sale items. Shipping is not included in listing price. The prices are on the higher end, but tend to be in good condition and they have a nice selection.
Selling: Ship your items to them for free or for those with many luxury items living in select cities, someone will come to you. The items are kept by The RealReal, photographed, and sold by them. Sellers make a maximum of 70% of the sale price, but usually less depending on how many items are sold within a given amount of time (the company does a lot of the work). Their process is a tad more confusing than others on this list, so check here for more details.
I don’t know much about this site aside from that it is very high-end and targeted towards the Upper East Side set. The website has a very international customer and seller base.
Their message: “The most stylish global marketplace for pre-owned luxury and designer fashion”
Type of site: Hybrid of peer-to-peer and peer and having them serve as intermediary. You list items, and once a sale is approved they provide a shipping label for you to ship the item to the company, where they authenticate the item(s) and then complete the sale. Offers on listed prices are allowed.
Type of items: Sells men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, shoes, and accessories, as well as lifestyle items.
Buying: Search by brand, price, size, condition, and even material. You can make an offer or just pay the list price. Shipping fees are not included. Returns are not facilitated, though re-listing an item you purchased is. The prices are often quite high, and not a huge difference from retail prices sometimes. Since they appear to authenticate items after they are purchased, it is possible fakes are listed but are caught before they are sent to the seller.
Selling: Their cut depends on the sale item price. You list an item and when it sells you ship it to the company (they provide a shipping label), and they release you the funds once the item is approved and ships out.
I have sold 7 items to date on Poshmark, and it has been the quickest way for me to sell the greatest variety of items (my husband likes to ask, “Are you Poshing again?!”) My brands sold included Ralph Lauren, Express, and Lucky. The majority of items I have sold were bid for, meaning I accepted a sale price lower than that listed. This is completely optional, and you can easily compensate for this by have prices listed slightly higher than the lowest price you are willing to accept. Poshmark is very community oriented and social; people will comment on your items and be very personal. Many “Poshers”, as they are called, take great care in wrapping up packages and often include free gifts with purchase. Poshmark is also encouraging more women to become their own business by introducing a retail program, encouraging people to buy retail items in bulk and sell the items on their application. It makes the excellent point that ANY women can participate in e-commerce via Poshmark because all women have clothes to sell. Overall, I have enjoyed Poshmark, though there are a good amount of hagglers and counterfeits. I have bought three items via Poshmark, entirely using money earned from my sales: one pair of jeans (very happy), a cute summer dress (love), and another semi-formal dress which was probably bought in bulk and was slightly disappointing (the material didn’t look as nice as in the picture). I personally target individual sellers who operate more as personal sellers rather than a business, since the items have a known history.
I use their iPhone app and it’s very user-friendly. You’ll be alerted to daily “Parties”, which are themed listings of items (by brand, style, or other novel them). Here are two screenshots of a listing I am editing, to give you an idea of the information you enter when you list an item:
Note that the listing is $25, so you make $20 and the Poshmark fee is $5. Shipping is on top of this and displayed separately for buyers.
Their message: “The new way to buy & sell fashion”; community oriented.
Type of site: Peer-to-peer. Bidding allowed by default.
Type of items: Any brand you choose to sell, for women, including clothes, shoes, and accessories, including many handbags. People also sell makeup and other beauty products.
Buying: Search by category, brand, price, color, condition, and set your size for easier searches. Shipping price is not included in item price and is listed separately. Shipping label is provided electronically upon confirmation of sale and can be used on a box of your choice for shipment via USPS. Returns possible for damaged or improperly represented items.
Selling: Easy to list items yourself and set the price you want. Poshmark takes 20% of the selling price. While this may seem high, Poshmark has a lot of traffic and is a quick way to sell items.
I have sold 5 items on Tradesy and it is easy to use and has one of the lowest cuts around– only 9%. My brands sold include Anthropologie and Ralph Lauren. Tradesy takes away almost all of the inconveniences associated with selling: it has a clean, sleek interface which minimizes the flea market feel other sites might have, it accepts all returns without question and neither the seller nor buyer has to deal with it, and it provides a shipping kit, so the package and labeling are all hassle free. The website has a crazy amount of sales, and I haven’t quite figured out how it affords this (sales are typically 10% the list price, which winds up being more than they make, unless they are taking a bigger part of the shipping fees than is clear). The branding is strong with this company, and they have pretty sophisticated ways of suggesting items for you to buy: the entire website and experience is very appealing. They encourage you to think of buying high quality items, but wearing them more and recognizing they have resale value, so you can have items in constant rotation. I have bought one item from Tradesy, which was a NWT (New with Tags), nicely priced Ann Taylor dress which I was very happy with, and have also cashed out some of the money from my sales.
Their iPhone app is very user-friendly, though it doesn’t allow the full range of search options as the full website does (for buying). Here are some screenshots of a listing I am editing, to give you an idea of the information you enter when you list an item (note: they have already removed the background out of my cover shot):
The buyer pays $25, which includes shipping (they don’t see the breakdown), and you make $15.92 (91% of the $17.50 selling price) and the Tradesy fee is $1.58 (9% of the $17.50 selling price).
Their message: “There’s cash in your closet”; think about your closet as having “endless possibilities”. They encourage you to think of buying high quality items, but wearing them more and recognizing they have resale value, so you can have items in constant rotation. Think in “cost per wear”, instead of just “cost per item”.
Type of site: Peer-to-peer. Flat price listing.
Type of items: Any brand you choose to sell, for women, including clothes, shoes, and accessories, including many handbags. They gear towards being more upscale, though anything is allowed.
Buying: Search by brand, price, color, and condition, though mobile searching is limited. Very easy buying process overall. Shipping is included in the item price. Many people opt to use the shipping kits, which must be mailed to the seller, thus adding extra time on an order before the buyer receives the item. Returns allowed for any reason. Note that while they advertise an authenticity guarantee, they do not actually authenticate, so do your research on designer labels before taking the chance. They sell returns via their “Penny Lane” account, which has been accused of selling fakes.
Selling: As easy as can be. They even clean the background of your cover shot for a cleaner, more professional looking appearance. For most items they will suggest a sale price, and they take 9% of your sale price. Shipping is added on top of the item price, so the seller just sees one price.
Thank you for checking out my list of ways to sell clothes online! Your feedback is most welcome, and I’m curious if anyone is using any other sites. Let me know if you try anything, and if you want to sell on Poshmark or Tradesy I will invite you so we can both get discounts in the future!