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Clean Out and Cash In : Closet Edition

Your closet is more than a rack of clothing. Your closet is an investment, a love affair, a token of fond memories, and sometimes, even an escape. 

Regardless of what definition you prefer, your closet is sacred, and we know it. 

(Too dramatic? Am I projecting?) 

Anyways, as a seasoned bargain shopper myself, I know all too well how quickly things can get out of hand. Sometimes deals can be too good to pass up, and before you know it, you’re sitting on 12 Burberry cashmere scarves and you live in a place where the lows don’t dip below 85. I know from experience.

(BTW,  keep in mind that a core value of why many are conscious / second hand / shoppers is for the environmental impact! If we’re still buying loads of things we don’t need, simply because they’re on sale, we’re backtracking!) 

This being said, if you simply have too much of all of your good pretty things, it’s time to do a closet clean out. A closet clean out can help you get rid of clutter, make some extra $, and help you get a better understanding of what you do and don’t need. 

CLEAN OUT : STEP ONE

The main idea of our clean out is to establish what items we’re going to keep, and what items we’re going to sell.

Begin to categories your items as described above. Keep or sell. 

As you start to sort through your items, you’ll notice that some pieces you’re able to mindlessly sort through. The dress you wore to dinner the night your ex-boyfriend broke up with you? It’s gorgeous, but hopefully someone will make better memories in it. SELL.

However, you will eventually come across an item that stump you. Maybe it’s the top you wore the first time you saw your favorite band play. Of course, that was 6 years ago…But it’s pink. You love pink… maybe it’s a KEEP. But is it? 

And suddenly, this is a bit harder than you anticipated. 

Which is why I’ve put together a list of helpful questions you can ask yourself to help you sort through your closet, and hopefully make the process as painless as possible. 

  1. Are you in love with it?

If you are, Keep it! Ain’t nothing wrong with that. If you aren’t, someone else might fall in love with it when they see you list it for sale. 

 

2. Have you worn it in the last 12 months?

If you wore it yesterday, and last week, and to dinner last month – Keep it! If it’s a staple in your closet and an item you’re constantly reaching for, it’s priceless to you. If you can’t remember the last time you wore it – You’ve gone without it this long….SELL! 

 

3. Does it fit?

Is it flattering? Do you feel confident in it? Keep in mind, It’s not the clothing that changes the world, but the women who wear the clothing. Therefore, your priority should always be feeling your best in what you’re wearing.

 

Once you’ve gone through your entire closet like this, you’ll be left with two piles, keep and sell. Your keep clothes can be hung back up in the safety of your closet to be worn and enjoyed in the future. Your sell pile, however, isn’t as lucky. 

CASH IN : STEP TWO

Depending on the condition / quality of your items, as well as how much time you want to invest, you have a few choices of how you can go about selling them. Below are some of the most popular :

Poshmark / eBay : 

Condition / Quality of Clothing : ANY 

Time Investment : High. You’ll need to photograph, list, ship, negotiate, and answer any questions a potential buyer has. 

Payoff : High. If you choose to sell on your own, you will likely make more money than you would anywhere else as you don’t have to share a percentage of the profits with anyone (excluding selling fees). 

Tradesy : 

Condition / Quality of Clothing : Mid Level to High End 

Time Investment : High. You’ll need to photograph, list, ship, negotiate, and answer any questions a potential buyer has. 

Payoff : High. If you choose to sell on your own, you will likely make more money than you would anywhere else as you don’t have to share a percentage of the profits with anyone (excluding selling fees) (TIP : Tradesy has notoriously long wait times for both selling items and releasing funds (up to 35 days), however their clientele is generally high end and pays higher prices than other platforms.) 

ThredUP : 

Condition / Quality of Clothing : Good / Excellent condition and any quality. Will accept brands from Forever 21 to Chanel. 

Time Investment : Lowest. You’ll get a pre-paid label from ThredUP, pack your items in a bag, and slap the label on. Done. 

Payoff : Low / Mid. ThredUP establishes prices for items once they receive them, however these prices can start as low as $2. It all depends on the item, and you can edit prices if needed, however ThredUP’s clients are mostly bargain hunters who are looking for thrift store prices online (I believe this is because they’ve branded themselves as the world’s largest online thrift store). Below is an outline of ThredUP’s commission structure : 

TheRealReal : 

Condition / Quality of Clothing : High-End  

Time Investment : Low – Mid. You’ll need to make sure the clothing you’re sending in follows their quality and brand guidelines, which can take a little bit of time to sort through. You’ll then go on their site to create a packing list and get a pre-paid label. After this, pack your items and ship them off. 

Payoff : Mid – High. TheRealReal’s clientele is luxury shoppers who are familiar with high end brands and the price tag that comes along with them. If you have a lot of high end items, I would recommend sending them here first. Their commission structure is more forgiving than some of their competitors, however you’re generally still giving up half, if not more, of the overall sale price. Below is an outline of TheRealReals commission structure : 

Chain Consignment Store (Clothes Mentor, Style Encore, Plato’s, etc) : 

Condition / Quality of Clothing : Mid to high end.   

Time Investment : Low. Bring in the clothing you no longer want and an associate will sort through and pick out any items they’d like to buy. 

Payoff : Low to Mid. These stores pick through the clothing you’ve brought in and often only take a few pieces at a time. They then offer you a pre-set amount based on the items brand, style, and condition, so especially unique items will have their attributes overlooked. These stores also exist to make a profit and therefore attempt to buy the clothing at the lowest possible price. 

Overall : If you’re looking to just get rid of stuff ASAP – use ThredUP / TheRealReal and chain consignment shops. If you don’t mind waiting for the right buyer to come along, try to sell the items yourself! You may just find out you like having a side hustle. 

GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY CLEANING!

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