by Brennah Dallaire
Each year we ditch the old for the new, spending another fortune on the latest trends of the season. With these tips, you can put some money back in your pocket before you run out and buy those new sneakers.
Grab a cup of coffee and turn the music on. The caffeine and good tunes will give you that extra motivation to purge all of the unworn clothing taking up space in your closet, and turn it into extra cash in your wallet. The best way to go about this process is to take an item out, then decide if it is a “keep” or “sell” item. Lay the “keep” items out on your bed and neatly fold the “sell” items, putting them in a garbage bag or reusable tote.
Ask Yourself The Important Questions
Deciding if an item is “keep” or “sell” is the hardest part. Here are a few tips to guide you to making a decision.
1. Is it a staple piece, meaning, is it timeless and can you pair it with many different outfits? If the answer is yes, throw it in the “keep” pile. If it is a trendy piece that your not sure is still in style, let it go, it’s a “sell”.
2. When was the last time you wore the item? If you have not worn the item in over a month, consider putting it in the “sell” pile. If it’s been three months or longer, it’s definitely a “sell” item.
3. Take a look at the pile of “sell” items. Make sure they are gently worn. They should have no holes, snags, or stains on them. They shouldn’t be older than a year a half.
Set Aside the High Ticket Items
Take a look at the pile of “sell” items one more time. Are there any designer or high end pieces? If so, set those pieces aside. If they are in excellent condition, you may want to put a little more effort in and sell them on a specialty site like Tradesy, Poshmark or Ebay. It is more work to set up an account, write a description and wait for a buyer. But if you get close to what you paid for the item originally, it will definitely be worth it.
Find Your Favorite Buy/Sell Service
Plato’s Closet is the easiest place to sell your gently used clothes. To sell, they require a valid photo ID. They take items that are up to 1.5 years old. The store will resell your items for 50-70% of what the item sold for at its original price, and you are given 30-40% of that, said Enfield Plato’s Closet Associate, Laura Kuphal. If the total of your sold items amounts to $40 or more, you will be paid by check. If the total is less than $40 you will be paid in cash, Kuphal said. Plato’s Closet does buy accessories including hats, headbands, belts, necklaces and jewelry (excluding body jewelry). Plato’s Closet excepts authentic designer brands including Coach, Michael Kors and Dooney and Bourke. Specially, trained employees verify that designer bags and accessories are authentic. Plato’s Closet offers a military discount, as well as a stamp card. Each stamp represents a $10 transaction, whether it be for buying or selling. Once you fill your stamp card, you can use the card as a 20% off coupon.
You will see the largest return on those high ticket items that were set aside in the purging process on a specialty site like Tradesy. Tradesy is an online marketplace to buy and sell gently used brand name clothing. The site boasts “Selling on Tradesy is Simple.” After creating an account, you can post the items you would like to sell. Tradesy will even enhance your photos to help them sell. Worried about the stress of shipping your items after they sell? Don’t be. According to tradesy.com, when you make a sale, Tradesy will send you a “pre-paid, pre-addressed shipping kit, complete with beautiful packaging.” Tradesy will take a 14.9% commission. Access your earnings using PayPal, a debit card or an ACH transfer. Make sure your items are 100% authentic before listing them. If they are not, a buyer can flag the item. If a buyer returns an item they purchased from you, Tradesy will take care of the refund, unless it is because it was not as you described. If your item is not as you described or is not authentic, you as the seller will be charged back for the refund.
Cash It In
Do you need some convincing to spend the time cleaning your closet out and selling your clothes? Shown here is a receipt from my personal transaction at Plato’s Closet. I brought in a small reusable tote full of my gently used clothes I haven’t worn in months. The proof is in the purchase. I purge my closet and sell at Plato’s Closet often, so this haul wasn’t as grand as some. See my receipt. Plato’s Closet offered me $21.90 for my clothes. There was a clearance sale happening in store, and I purchased two Old Navy shirts and an Old Navy skirt from there Summer 2016 inventory for $3.80. I left with $18.10.
Straight to Donation
The most important guideline to abide by is that anything you don’t sell at Plato’s Closet goes to donation. Plato’s Closet in South Windsor will take your unsold clothes and donate them for you. Call other locations to confirm they offer a similar service. Don’t put something you don’t wear back in your closet. The goal is minimalism, a decluttered closet and money is your pocket. If it has been over a month and you haven’t sold an item on one of the specialty sites mentioned, try selling the high ticket item at Plato’s Closet.
Enjoy Your Cash & Closet
You may have a favorite local thrift store in mind to sell to. That will work as well, but be aware of the commission they take.
Inside tip: Shop your items around. Inventory at used clothing stores are different, and will need different pieces or accessories. If some items don’t sell at one store, bring your haul to another before dropping it off at a donation drop box.
Consumer Expenditure Surveys from 2013 show the average spending per year of people under 25-years-old is $1513.00 . For a college student, that is a decent chunk of change. The saying “it takes money to make money” is true when you can make money off the clothing you’ve already purchased. Purge items from your closet as soon as you feel it getting cluttered. Try it at the beginning or end of every season.