In this in-depth post on how to sell clothes and bags online and make money, I want to take you through all the options to help you choose a method with a comfortable price point and level of effort that is right for you.
Are you looking to declutter your wardrobe or is your budget telling you that you need extra income this month?
Perhaps you are a bit bored of your clothing and want to switch up for something else?
Did you buy something recently that you meant to return but missed the deadline?
Well, selling (and optionally re-buying something else) could be your answer.
Is your first thought eBay? It was mine, but little did I know at the time how many cheaper and better opportunities there are out there.
The primary thing that put me off selling clothes online initally was the packaging, shipping, and dealing with customers. If you don’t want or have the time to do that either, there are options for you too.
How does selling clothes online work?
It totally depends on what app you choose as to what steps are involved in the selling process.
If you have no time there are sites where you can simply send off a bag of items and they will do the rest skip to that bit here.
If you have time and want to make more money, here is what’s involved:
- Decide what you’ll sell/give away.
- Think about the condition. If it is hardly worn then you have a good chance of selling it. If not then it might be better off sent to a charity shop instead.
- How much do you think your items(s) could fetch? Do your research.
- Choose the most suitable app/website for the type of item you will be selling and the time you have available to sell.
- Prepare your clothing for sale. Wash and iron. Clean accessories.
- Take good photos.
- List and describe your item.
- Ship the goods to the seller.
How to sell clothes and bags online
What do you need to sell clothes online?
If you have no time, or inclination to get into the nitty-gritty of selling, then you don’t need anything other than the clothes themselves. You can simply send them off and wait for a quote.
If you are going to do more of the selling yourself then you will need:
- a good camera or a decent smartphone
- packaging material
- access to a printer for the shipping labels
- you might need a Paypal account for some apps
Where to sell clothes online from home
First off there are several sites where you can sell clothes and bags and pretty much anything else too.
With these sites, the responsibility is on you to list, package and mail the item to your buyer. These are good options if you have the time because the fees are less than the full-service options.
Quick heads up. I’ll be upfront and say I use Vinted and love it because it is so simple and easy. The selling fees are zero so there is potential to make the most profit. If you are in the US there is an equivalent site here.
- How it works. Auction or buy-it-now method of selling anything.
- Suitable for. Anyone who has the time to list, package, ship and respond to queries.
- Returns. You will need to stipulate your returns policy on the auction. However, accepting returns will get you more interest.
- Fees. 10% final value fee plus Paypal fees, but check for free listings at weekends.
- Shipping. You have the responsibility to send your item to your buyer.
- Verdict. A safe and easy way to sell with high exposure.
- How it works. Similar to eBay without the auction element.
- Suitable for. Anything, not just clothes and bags.
- Returns. You are not obliged to accept a return unless the item was not as described. See more conditions here.
- Fees. 10% seller fee plus 2.9%+$0.30 payment processing fee.
- Shipping. Use their prepaid shipping labels to save 60% or arrange it yourself.
- Verdict. Mixed reviews from users. Some say the company will take the buyer’s side in disputes.
- How it works. Selling with a social element. The more followers you have the greater interest you can generate for your items.
- Suitable for. Quick sales of clothing, bags and accessories.
- Returns. Arranged by Poshmark but will only be accepted if the item is misdescribed. Buyers are encouraged to sell the item back via Poshmark if they change their minds.
- Fees. $2.95 for items with a sale price of $15 and below. For items above $15, the seller fee becomes 20%. Fees include shipping, credit card fees, customer support, and sales tax if applicable.
- Shipping. Free.
- Verdict. Great for circling your wardrobe. Create a profile and get started quickly.
Vinted (good for UK people)
- How it works. Sell your items using their app, print a free shipping label and send them to the buyer. You get paid once the buyer confirms all is well.
- Suitable for. All clothing and accessories.
- Returns. If the item is as described and undamaged the buyer covers the return cost or lists it for resale.
- Fees. None
- Shipping. Free. Buyer pays to ship.
- Verdict. Great free method to easily sell your clothes and keep all the profit.
- How it works. Create a listing and upload at least 3 great photos of your item.
- Suitable for. Selling men’s clothing and accessories.
- Returns. It is your responsibility to manage refunds.
- Fees. 6% commission plus PayPal fees.
- Shipping. The buyer pays the shipping cost. Print a shipping label via PayPal.
- Verdict. The commission is cheaper than eBay. Only for men.
- How it works. Create your own shopping store to sell your second-hand clothes. Buy clothes cheaply in thrift stores and sell at a higher price.
- Suitable for. Those who want to create a business.
- Returns. The app allows you to manage returns.
- Fees. Starts at $29 per month for a basic store.
- Shipping. Shopify will help you simplify shipping by allowing you to buy postage through them and printing shipping labels.
- Verdict. If you have a lot of items to sell or you want to start your own business Shopify is a good option.
Where to sell clothes online from home if you don’t have any time
Below I list the no-fuss options where the bulk of the work is done by the website instead.
- How it works. List the item on their site. You will get prepaid packaging to send to the buyer or you can print a shipping label.
- Suitable for. Clothes, bags and accessories.
- Returns. All returns and customer service are handled by Tradesy at no extra cost.
- Fees. Flat commission fee of $7.50 for sold items less than $50. On sold items $50 or more, it’s 19.8%. 2.9% payment processing fee on funds transferred to your checking account.
- Shipping. Free. Use their prepaid packaging or print a shipping label.
- Verdict. The fees are pricey for higher value items, but this is balanced out by removing the hassle out of dealing directly with buyers and finding the right packaging. The returns policy is very convenient for sellers as well as buyers.
- How it works. A clean-out closet service. Order a clean-out kit and they will send you a bag to fill with your unwanted clothing which you send back for free. You will hear back with the purchase price which you can accept as cash or shopping credit on the ThredUP website. If you refuse they will return your items for a fee or recycle them.
- Suitable for. Gently used or high-quality women’s and children’s clothes.
- Returns. If you refuse the offer there is a fee for the return or you can allow them to recycle.
- Fees. N/A.
- Shipping. Free. Fill up the bag and drop it at FedEx or USPS.
- Verdict. This is perfect if you don’t have the time to take pictures and ship. The turnaround time could be very long (you can check it here). You can also use it as a donation service and pick a charity.
- How it works. Similar to ThredUp. They send you a mailing kit for a $5 deposit which you fill and return. In a few days, you will receive an offer that you can accept for a PayPal payout or store credit.
- Suitable for. High-quality and branded clothing and accessories which are lightly used or unworn.
- Returns. 10$ flat fee per transaction.
- Fees. N/A.
- Shipping. Request a free FedEx pickup.
- Verdict. Only particular brands are accepted.
Where to sell high ticket branded and designer clothes online
- How it works. Locate a boutique partner near you or request their consignment service and they will send you a shipping label. If the items are accepted you receive a purchase price.
- Suitable for. Those who have high-end designer clothes to sell such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Celine, Cartier, Rolex, Goyard.
- Verdict. A convenient option for designer labels goods.
- How it works. List your item for free on their app. When sold ship it to them and they check quality and authenticity before sending it to the buyer.
- Suitable for. Vintage and on-trend pieces: bags, accessories, shoes, sneakers, watches, jewellery and clothes.
- Returns. Arranged for you. The item is kept in their stock until it is resold, or you can have it sent back to you.
- Fees. You earn 80% of the sales price.
- Shipping. Free, just print one of their labels.
- Verdict. Nice and convenient. If you love designer gear it is a great way to circulate your wardrobe.
- How it works. Similar to Leprix. You send items to them for free and they will authenticate the item and list it.
- Suitable for. Branded items such as Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Louis Vitton.
- Returns. Arranged by them.
- Fees. You make 55%-70% of the sale price depending on how much you sell with them.
- Shipping. Free shipping to them and they arrange to ship to the buyer.
- Verdict. A great hand-off approach for designer gear, all you need to do is send items to them and they do the rest.
The cheapest way to sell clothes online
Person-to-person selling is the cheapest way to sell your clothes and accessories and often the simplest because you don’t have to deal with the complications and costs of packing and shipping.
Having said that, it’s worth considering the market reach and the price you want to achieve.
If you have a high-value item to sell such as a designer jacket then you really want the maximum exposure possible to get the best price. Person-to-person selling limits you to local buyers only. Either you won’t get the price you want, or it will take longer to sell.
I found local selling works well for children’s clothing sold in a bundle, and of course, you can ask for cash rather than PayPal which makes things a lot simpler.
How to sell clothes online locally
Fun fact: we bought our family dog on Gumtree!
How to sell clothes online for free
There are several places where you can sell clothes, bags and other accessories online with no fees.
- Facebook marketplace. If you are not selling branded goods (Facebook doesn’t allow it) this is a great no-fee option. Simply tap the Market Place icon, fill in a form, add a picture and category, and the location you want to sell. Potential buyers will then contact you via a Facebook message.
- Instagram. This is not an obvious choice, but totally possible. Set up a separate Instagram account for sales. Then add pictures and use suitable hashtags such as #instasale, #instacloset, #shopmycloset, #clothesforsale.
- Craigslist. A basic site for buying and selling but it does the job and it’s free. You will need to find your local site, here is the link for Craigslist in the UK.
- Shpck. Short for ‘shop in your pocket’. For local people to pop over and buy for cash. You can list for free.
- VarageSale. List for free and then arrange to meet up.
- Search ‘cash for clothes’ in your area. Find local companies that will pick up and pay a sum per kilo of clothes.
Fun fact: My husband is called Craig, but he didn’t invent Craigslist (unfortunately).
How to sell handmade and custom clothes online
Can you make your own clothes? If so, there are places to sell especially for you too!
You can of course sell your handmade items on eBay, but what if you need something specialised with a more targeted clientele?
- How it works. Open a shop and sell your handmade or vintage items or craft supplies.
- Suitable for. Handmade or vintage clothing (over 20 years old). Not for one-off selling because you would need to open a shop.
- Returns. It is your responsibility to handle returns.
- Fees. There is a very small fee to list. When you sell you pay a 5% transaction fee plus a payment processing fee.
- Shipping. Your responsibility.
- Verdict. As you are running your own shop on the Etsy platform the responsibility is yours to handle shipping, returns, and customer service. If you have a lot of vintage clothing and accessories to sell this could be your answer.
- How it works. This is another online store where you can sell your own goods.
- Suitable for. Designers who want to create their own label.
- Returns. You are responsible for returns.
- Fees. Set up a free account and you can sell up to 1,000 products.
- Shipping. Integrates with ShippingEasy to help you manage the shipping and benefit from better pricing.
- Verdict. Great for creatives who want to sell their own designs.
How to sell fashion accessories online
If you have a good quality high-ticket handbag to sell, check out Rebag. They are pretty particular about the condition, it has to be nearly new to be accepted, and of course, authentic too.
- How it works. Submit a photo of your bag through their app or take it to a store. Here are their guidelines for getting accepted. If you are approved you will receive a quote for your bag.
- Suitable for. High-end designer handbags.
- Returns. Arranged by them.
- Fees. Depends on their quote.
- Verdict. You won’t earn as much as if you sell it directly to a buyer. This way you are protected, and you don’t have the hassle and worry that selling an expensive item directly entails.
Tips for selling your clothes and bags online
In this section, we are going to discuss how to sell clothes online effectively to get the most out of your efforts.
Here are some tips on how to sell clothes online.
1. Prepare your items for sale
If necessary wash and iron clothes and clean your bags and accessories.
2. Take a good picture of the item
- You don’t need a fantastic camera, a decent smartphone camera is fine.
- Take several photos. Natural light is best, especially on a smartphone.
- Find a nice hanger (wooden looks good) and take a front-on view or arrange your item in a flat lay and take your picture from above.
- It’s not necessary, but consider modelling your item. It’s an opportunity to frame your photo in a way that it might be used or worn.
- Make sure you don’t cut bits off. People want to get a view of skirt length, neck style etc. Don’t force people to ask questions, most won’t bother and will move on instead.
3. Describe your items well
- Check the categories on your chosen app or website and the descriptions used on similar items as a guide. Make sure you include the right keywords so that your item comes up in a search.
- Include all the relevant details, size, leg length etc.
- Make sure you point out any flaws, marks or stains.
- Use hashtags if applicable.
4. Try to sell clothes in season and currently in demand
- Clothes and accessories that are on-trend and in-season will sell the best.
- Hold back items in readiness for the perfect selling time.
- Keep an eye on trends.
5. Respond to questions quickly
Always respond to queries in a timely manner for the best customer service experience.
6. Consider bundling your items
If your items are less than perfect or on the lower price bracket consider bundling them with other things. This works especially well for children’s clothing.
7. Decide on a competitive price taking into account seller fees and shipping costs
- Always check the seller fees and shipping fees and make sure that your take-home pay makes it worth it for you. If not check out the free options or consider a donation instead.
- Keep an eye on eBay. Sometimes they have no-fee weekends.
Frequently asked questions
Is selling clothes online worth it?
I think you must do your homework before you embark on this. Your profit will suffer if you don’t check out the costs of each selling platform.
Is it hard to sell clothes and bags online?
Selling online is not hard because there are so many websites out there to help. If you don’t have time opt for a site that does most of the work for you.
How to sell clothes online without PayPal or for cash?
If you prefer cash or don’t have (or want to use) a PayPal account, then selling locally is your best bet. Some sites will give you credit instead which is a good choice if your aim is to circulate your wardrobe rather than making money.
Is it legal to sell clothes online?
Absolutely. However, don’t sell counterfeit branded goods of course. Facebook Marketplace doesn’t let you sell branded goods through their app for that very reason.