You are standing in-front of your open closet. The overwhelming expanse of your entire wardrobe is staring you in the face. You glimpse through the chaos of clothing and know that you need to get rid of what you no longer wear. But how are you supposed to get rid of that hot pink BCBG banded dress with the cutout in the back? You wore it once and it became that useless piece that you know you should take to the thrift store or consignment shop, except that you can’t. It was a remarkable dress and you paid $125 for it. That was hard earned money, made slaving over Iced Venti Soy Caramel Macchiatos for wealthy middle aged women (who don’t need to think twice about dropping that amount of cash on a dress, to only wear it once). You can’t bear the thought of giving it away or only making $10 on it.
So don’t go the traditional thrift/consignment route. Even E-bay is old news. Two new sites, Threadflip and Poshmark, are virtual thrift stores that are revolutionizing the secondhand clothing market. You can safely sell items to other fashionable women who will value your old clothing and accessories, and where you can find new, chic, inexpensive pieces to add to your own collection.
Technology is making a great impact on selling and buying secondhand clothing. Sites like Threadflip and Poshmark are more convenient than using eBay or consignment shops because with those outdated methods, you don’t get the money that your clothes deserve and you don’t have access to the same fashionable pool of buyers. These are two truly innovative, highly functional ways to shop and sell unwanted items from your closet. Here’s how to get started:
On Threadflip, you can follow other users and can choose categories to shop from, much like that of any clothing store’s website. You can make your results show only items of your size, and narrow it down by brand, price, rank, popularity, and newness. The format of the results appears very similarly to that of the popular site Pinterest.
Threadflip takes a 20% commission on each item sold, so as a seller, you make 80% of your asking price. When you sell an item, you get a balance in your account. This money can be spent on others’ items, and once you make $25 or more, you are eligible to withdraw your money. In my personal experience, users seem more quick to buy on Threadflip.
They describe their innovative service as a “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.”
“We hope to revolutionize the world of online shopping by providing a new way to discover, buy and sell fashion,” reads Threadflip’s site. The CEO of the company came up with the idea when his wife had a unique and expensive pair of boots that she did not wear but also did not want to part with, unless she knew someone else would find them as special as she did.
On Poshmark, you create your closet, and follow and shop from others’. It has a very nicely functioning app that goes along with its website. Their impetus for the service is for women to have access to what they describe as their “style-mate.” According to their “About” page, you can list your items “in less than 60 seconds.”
Unique aspects of Poshmark include creating a “Cover-shot,” that has Instagram-like qualities to the photo uploader, and attending themed, virtual shopping parties. Just like with Threadflip, you send your items in pre-paid and pre-addressed shipping, which the buyer pays for.
The most difficult aspect of using Poshmark is bargaining with potential buyers. Due to its more social-media styled functionality, you interact with others and gain many followers (I have over 600 and have only used it for a month or two). Sometimes, buyers want to pay for their items through Paypal rather than through the site’s service, which can make the process more complicated. Poshmark takes a 20% commission on all sales, but you do not have to wait to retrieve the money you make. You have to work harder to sell on Poshmark, but there are unique aspects to the site that may make it worth using.
Selling unwanted clothing and accessories on Threadflip or Poshmark is great because you name your price for each item. That way, you don’t allow yourself to be ripped off by thrift stores like Plato’s Closet, or consignment shops. You can interact with potential buyers, and you don’t have to worry about paying for shipping. It’s much easier for people to find stylish items that they like in your “closet” than people using sites like Ebay for the same purpose, because you can follow people with styles like yours. Both Threadflip and Poshmark take a 20% commission from each item, but you are still making 80% of whatever you ask, so it is still a better deal than handing your clothes over and being told how much you can get at a thrift store/consignment shop.
- Go through your wardrobe and remove items that haven’t been worn in 3-6 months: Once this has been done, see if there are new ways that you can wear these pieces before confirming that you no longer want them.
- Once you have completely decided on what needs to go, take pictures of yourself in them. It is beneficial for potential buyers to see the clothes on you to see how it fits, and if their body type is similar to yours. Also, take multiple photos from different angles and distances. If the clothes no longer fit, take a picture of them lying nicely on a single-color background. The same goes for jewelry and accessories.
- Download the “Threadflip” or “Poshmark” app, or create an account on their websites, threadflip.com or poshmark.com
- You can upload your photos with your smartphone to both Threadflip and Poshmark. The upload tool works similarly on both smartphone apps. You can also upload manually through their websites.
- Come up with a reasonable price. Keep in mind that others using these apps are just as shopping savvy as you are, so they’re not likely to be enticed by an insanely overpriced top from Forever 21. The more expensive an item is, the more it is okay for you to ask for it. People pay more for top designers. It is helpful if you remember how much the items your selling originally cost. Keep in mind that both sites get 20% a commission on sales, and the buyer pays for shipping.
- Add an interesting description of your item, and make sure to include if there are any major problems with it, like holes. You don’t want to deceive your buyer, as you will likely lose your credibility. If you want, say what each piece would look great with. That will help the buyer know how to wear it when they buy it, and make them more interested in your “closet.”
- Wait for people to become interested in your “closet.” If you’re using Poshmark, it is best to interact with others; follow people and gain followers yourself, ask people if they’re interested in your items when they “like” them, and like and share others’ items. You can also post the link to your page on your other social media sites to generate more interest. Who knows, maybe one of your friends has been looking for that exact pair of boots you put up to sell.
- Once someone buys your item, you will be provided with a means to ship their item (paid shipping label), and all you need to do is send it out!
Finding cute and inexpensive clothes, jewelry, purses, or shoes is incredibly easy through sites like Threadflip and Poshmark. It is simple to find other girls with similar styles or sizes. In many cases, you can see how much the items cost originally, and see how much of a deal you will be getting. Also, sometimes sellers post items that are still unworn, with the original tags intact.
- Make an account and follow users with similar styles to yours. Both sites start you off with a few people to follow.
- Find clothes and accessories that you’re interested in. You can “like” them. On Poshmark, there are “Posh Parties” that make it easy to find things from a specific brand or style.
- On Poshmark, it is easy to negotiate with buyers if you feel the price is unreasonable. On Threadflip, the price is pretty much what you will have to pay.
- The shipping is included in the price displayed to you. Once you decide to buy something, the seller will be provided with a means to ship your item.
Try It Out!
Using sites like Threadflip and Poshmark to buy and sell nice but unwanted clothing and accessories is a great new way to get extra money for clothing collecting dust. It is also a great tool to get new, exciting, and remarkable pieces for the empty spots left in your closet. If you want to get your money’s worth out of your closet, these guidelines are worth a try.