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CLOSET CLEAN OUT: how to refresh and sell vintage clothes

If you decided it's time to sell your old clothes, you need to freshen them up first (which can be harder than you think - they often still smell funny after a normal wash) and then also pick where to list them for sale. If you bought something vintage and it stinks, well, there's a way to fix this too. Below is the interiorvert recipe for making clothes smell new again and a list of places where vintage sells well.

Clothes on hangers on a rack

HOW TO MAKE YOUR CLOTHES SMELL NEW AGAIN

~ recipe ~


Step 1. Mix 1 cup of white vinegar in a bin of lukewarm water and soak the clothes for a few hours.

Step 2. Put 1 cup of baking soda in the powder compartment of your washing machine, add the clothes and start the wash.

Step 3. Make sure the clothes are fully dry before putting them away (one of the main reasons they develop a nasty smell is because they had been stored before they've totally dried).

Step 4. Add a freshener to the drawer/box. This can be a muslin bag with coffee beans/lavender/soap. I prefer lavender for knits because it keeps flea away and soap for everything else because it literally smells clean.


Pretty soap bars
Photo: @interior_vert

WHERE TO SELL YOUR CLOTHES


So all refreshed and ready to go, but where? Different items sell better at different places, so you might use more than one platform. Here's the list of places where vintage clothing sells best.


Pink sweater and pink shoes


1. Facebook groups


Perfect to sell: cult favorite and niche brands


There's no better place on Facebook to sell clothes fast other than facebook groups designated to brands. Groups like DÔEN BST & Chat, Other Stories - Buy/sell/swap, Sézane Addicts, Rouje Paris IRL Buy Sell & Trade, Zara Kids Obsessed, etc., etc. built around cult favorite brands each have a few thousand followers and the response is usually almost immediate.


Pros. If you want to try and sell some of your clothing in literally minutes, see if there's a facebook group around that brand. I mean, it's not guaranteed somebody will want it, but either way you will know that same day. After that, there's no point in waiting because your post will be buried under many others. If it sells, there's no commission and no listing fee, and who doesn't like that!


Cons. The etiquette within brand dedicated facebook groups usually suggests that you are not going to try to resell something way above what it retails for. So if you got up in the middle of the night and hunted down a rare Sézane Archives piece and feel like you should be compensated for that lack of sleep too (so understandable!), places like Poshmark would be a better place to list it on.


To sum up: very quick, no commission, no listing fee, gentle or fair price, only an option for certain brands



2. Facebook Marketplace


Perfect to sell: well-known and wanted brands


There are basically two ways to sell on Facebook Marketplace: one is when you'll be offering shipping (in that case FM will generate a shipping label for you and it's pretty easy from there), the other way is to sell locally and have a buyer pick it up from you directly. If you offer shipping, the selling fee is 5% per shipment or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8 or less. For local pick-up, there's no fee.


Pros. Most likely you already have facebook, so you won't need to sign up for anything, wait to get approved, etc., etc. You just take a picture of what you're trying to sell and create a listing (it won't show on your actual facebook profile unless you choose to do so). Small commission (when you offer shipping) or no commission at all (with pick-up) is the biggest plus. With pick-up you also get the money right there and then and there're no worres about if the package gets there ok, and no waiting for the payment to be released.


Cons. For some selling from their doorstep can be nothing but a plus - you don't even have to go to the post office to drop a package, buyer comes to you. But not everybody likes doing business with total strangers from the internet coming to your house.


To sum up: moderately quick, no need to create a profile or sign up, none or very small commission, no listing fee, immediate payment, buyer comes to your door



3. Poshmark


Perfect to sell: mass market and luxury brands in good condition


Pros. This might be the most popular platform for selling clothes (and more) in the US because of how it's all in one place and you have full control over it. Advantages of platforms like this are their convenience, assistance with payment/shipping and exposure (and even promotion) of your listing to a rather big audience.


Cons. The seller pays commission of about 20% (or a flat fee of $2.95 for all sales under $15). Technically you can build this into your price though, no one is judging. Also, PayPal (which most of these platforms use) is now supposed to generate tax forms for sellers that made over $600/year. If you have an original receipt that shows that you paid more than what you are selling the item for and you don't mind the hustle, you can dispute this or deduct from your taxes but anyway, something to be aware of.


To sum up: tech support (your own page, listing exposure and promotion, prepared shipping label), no listing fee, subject to tax if you generate over $600 in sales, 20% commission


Jackets and coats laying on bed
Photo: @interior_vert

4. The RealReal


Perfect to sell: luxury and haute couture brands in bulk


This website sell consigned luxury high-end goods and offers some very white-glove services, like pick up from your home if you need it.


Pros. One of the best things about RealReal is as described in their name: they check the condition and authenticity of the items and you never have to deal with customer questions or complaints over its condition or authenticity. All you have to do on your end is send/drop off or have your items picked up and wait for them to get evaluated, listed and finally, sold.


Cons. Unless you're planning to sell luxury items more or less consistently, the process might be a bit complex and not worth the hustle. The price that your items are going to be listed at, depends on the evaluation where they check condition and the status of the item: contemporary (like a Rag&Bone t-shirt for example), luxury (Acne Studios sweater) or marquee (like a Chanel purse) and also on your tier within their membership program (where the more you sell, the less is the commission going to be).


To sum up: minimum work from your side, complex pricing and commission process unless you're a member and sell consistently




4. Fashionphile and Yoogi's


Perfect to sell: luxury and haute couture brands


These two places are being compared to RealReal all the time but the major advantage is they would give you a quote before you send the items in. For whatever reason Fashionphile most of the time offers more than Yoogi's, so below is the pros and cons for just that one (Fashionphile).

Pros. Getting a pretty much exact quote before sending the item in is quite comforting. The evaluation process can be as easy as hopping on a video call and to send something in you can either use a pre-paid label or have the item picked up from your home if you live within their white-glove service area.

Cons. Since Fashionphile got acquired by Neiman Marcus, processing time of getting the payout released became longer and can take about 1-2 months. Also, if you're have doubts the item you want to sell is authentic, make sure you check that first - Fashionphile has a super serious authenticity check process and if they conclude something is fake, they will send it back to you only after you pay a release fee of about $75-125.


To sum up: quotes before you send the items in, slightly slow payout time 



5. Versataire Collective, Vinted, Mercari


Perfect to sell: European or popular American brands


These are all European websites which could probably be compared to Poshmark or eBay.


Pros. Commission charges are small (Mercari, VC) to no commission (Vinted). You also might have less competition because most sellers would be offering something purchased in European stores and the collections are often pretty different.


Cons. You'll have to make your own shipping label and the whole process will take longer with the package going overseas.


To sum up: none or low commission, shipping overseas: more time consuming and having to create the label manually



6. ThredUp - mass market friendly


Perfect to sell: almost all mass-market brands


Pros. When you have a lot of clothes to sell, no place to store them at and are in a rush to part with your stuff (like when you're moving and need to get rid of plenty of things), ThredUp is perfect. They accept almost every mass market or higher-end brand you can think of, ship you a pouch where you put everything as well as the shipping label. All you have to do is just to put all your things in the pouch and drop it off at the post office. A few weeks later they'll email you the link to your new page where the clothes are already photographed and listed and you can either accept the suggested price or update it with the one you think is fair. Whatever doesn't sell, can go back to you (for a small shipping fee) or they can donate it for you. This last option, sets it apart from most similar services and makes it perfect for things that you just don't need anymore but feel bad throwing out.


Cons. This service has become so popular over the years that: 1) they often run out of pouches (not a big deal, coz you can use any other box) 2) it takes longer than before (about 6-8 weeks) to get things listed 3) the payout for a mass-market brand item is only about 20% of what it sells for.


To sum up: no need to photograph items, you get rid of unwanted items immediately, process of getting your items listed takes 6-8 weeks, payout is only 3%-80%, depending on the status of the item


7. Etsy


Perfect to sell: real aged vintage, tailored and no-name pieces


Unique items are typically harder to sell compared to brands that everybody knows but what if you want to let go of that straw bag you found in a small corner shop in a Provence village or a vintage clutch from Navigli market in Milano. One place where shoppers actually don't mind things to be really old (vintage) or missing the tag is Etsy.


Pros. Vintage with actual signs of wear is welcome, which most other selling platforms would never let pass. There's no strict pre-approval process but If you list an item as vintage you'll have to confirm that it's at least 20 years old or more. Handmade, tailored, no tag, etc. items are okay and go under "handmade". Shoppers on Etsy are often looking for a one of a kind thing with history and what you have to offer might be a hit.


Pros. Etsy collects a 6.5% transaction fee for every sale you make, which is pretty nice compared to most consignment stores commission rates.

Cons. You will need to set up an Etsy store, which might not be worth the hustle if it's just to sell one or few things.


To sum up: relatively low commission fee, flaw/signs of wear friendly (things don't have to be from a known brand or in perfect condition), sign-up process/setting up Etsy store makes more sense if you have a bunch of things to sell



8. Through the same website/brand where you originally shopped


Perfect to sell: brands that run this program


Brands like Doen, Viscata Barcelona and websites like Farfetch and even IKEA these days (which is not clothes, but how amazing that they do that!) now have a second-life program that allows you to resell what you bought from them through their original website.


Pros. Your items are going to sell just as surely as everything else on their website, because they are displayed right there too. Just like RealReal they pre-check condition and authenticity, so you'll never have to deal with customer complaints.


Cons. Typically it's not up to you to decide on the price, so if this is something brand new and you just missed a return window, it might be upsetting to only get a portion of the money you paid back.


To sum up: easy (all you do is send the item back to the store), very big chance it sells, no control over the price



Walk in closet
Photo: @interior_vert

9. Local: your building app, Nextdoor, second-hand shops, etc.


Perfect to sell: anything


It's 2024 out there but people still do shop offline too. Check and see if there's a local second hand store close to where you are because if they take anything from your stash, you will make money right there. For really nice things there are also fancy ones like WGACA (What Goes Around Comes Around).


If you live in a building that has a website or a facebook group, try and post about what you're trying to sell there first. I had things I posted about off my hands within 15 minutes when somebody from a different floor saw the ad and just stopped by.


Pros. Super quick.


Cons. With the second-hand store it's walking/driving there and the fact that they will likely not take all you offered.


To sum up: extremely quick, immediate payout, might not be available where you live




10. Goodwill.


Perfect to sell: absolutely anything in decent condition


Okay, now this is not really selling because you basically donate stuff. However, Goodwill gives you a coupon which you can add to your taxes and write up to $500 off per tax year. Sounds like the best way to finish this article.


Pros: You put everything in a box and drop it off, super easy.

Cons: Couldn't think of any, this is like a perfect closet detox ritual to do once a year.


shoes on the floor
Photo: @interior_vert

HOW TO AVOID GETTING SCAMMED SELLING YOUR CLOTHES


- Never agree to go outside of the platform you listed your item at if a "buyer" suggests you both should "avoid fees". If somebody sends you a message on Facebook Marketplace asking to text them on their phone or comments under your Poshmark item and asks to text or email them more information (instead of just asking a question that you can answer right there), just know that chances it's not scam are microscopic.


- If you are selling something through a Facebook group, never use Friends & Family on PayPal instead of Good&Services unless this is somebody you really know in person. When you send a PP invoice, there will be an option to print the shipping label from their partner service (Shipstation or Pirate Ship) and after that once the package gets marked as delivered, you should be protected.


- If you are selling something pricey like a designer purse, you can make a video of packing it up and handing it to the post officer for extra protection.



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