MY TOP 5 WEBSITES FOR BUYING/SELLING
I don’t know about you, but I am a big fan of shopping. BIG, BIG fan. When my husband and I still lived in West Virginia, we both had pretty high-paying oil & gas jobs, and since our company covered our living expenses….I shopped a LOT. A shameful amount. Between Amazon, Twice (my favourite online used clothing store that has since gone out of business), J.Crew and REI (to say nothing of my subscription boxes) we had at least one box on our doorstep every damn day. It was bad. It’s actually a really good thing that we don’t have that kind of money anymore, because I probably would have kept spending ridiculous amounts of money on clothes I didn’t need.
When we were prepping to move back to Oklahoma from WV, I started “spring cleaning” (it was August, but you get the idea) and threw myself in to trying to minimize my belongings. I wound up getting rid of (selling/donating) about 10 garbage bags of clothes, and we made another $1000 over the course of 3 garage sale weekends.
Have you ever heard of a capsule wardrobe? I’ll write another, more detailed, post on them in the future, but for now all you need to know is that the idea is to only have maybe 20-40 pieces of clothing (including shoes, but not including activity-specific things like running shoes, yoga pants, painting clothes, etc.) that you wear all year (or some people break them up into seasons) long by layering and mix-matching. The goal is to wind up with a smaller closet full of only the clothes you absolutely love.
My attempt at creating one didn’t go….super great. I got down to 125 pieces (mostly tops and shoes) and couldn’t get any lower. I just couldn’t bear to part with anything else, which is ridiculous, but true. So, since then, my goal has been to only add to my wardrobe with money that either was gifted to me (birthdays, Christmas, etc.), or that I earned from selling something I already had. And that has actually worked really well. From when we moved to OK in September, 2015 until March 11 of this year, the only thing I had bought was some new undies (Victoria Secret coupons) and 4 pairs of Keds (winter sale + Christmas cash!!!). My 28th birthday was yesterday, March 12, so I spent all of my birthday money on some J.Crew tops I had been eyeing for several months – and it felt goooood! They were having a sale as well, so I was able to order 9 tops with my $200 in birthday cash. #bargainlover #shoppingwithdrawals
So, aside from those special occasions where I find myself loaded with cash that didn’t come from my bank account, I’ve had to stick to selling my clothes, and then buying “new” used clothes from online consignment and thrift shops. Below you’ll find my 5 favourite sites from which to order (or sell) clothes that are used, but new to me!
- Thred Up – Since Twice went out of business (technically they were bought by Ebay, but they might as well be closed…because they’re gone) I’ve struggled to find a used clothing store that I loved as much as I loved Twice, but I think Thred Up is the best replacement. Their website is very clean and fresh, and super easy to use. They carry women’s (including designer brands and plus sizes), kids (boys and girls) and MATERNITY!! They also have shoes and purses! They offer free shipping on orders over $70, and free returns! Free returns is money – I love me some free returns. They offer Clean Out Kits where they’ll mail a giant bag to your house (for free), you fill it with the clothes you’re saying good-bye to and then mail it back. The whole process is free, unless you want them to return anything they don’t purchase, in which case they charge a $12.95 shipping and handling fee. Once they choose which of your clothes they’d like to buy you can get store credit (or cash out via PayPal) and start shopping away!
- Poshmark – Poshmark works a little differently than Thred Up, in that it is more consignment and less thrift. Once you sign up, you can take photos of any items you want to sell and then list them. Poshmark takes either a $2.95 fee from sales under $15, or a 20% commission off of items that sell for $15 or more, but that includes a “free” pre-paid shipping label and credit card processing. So, unlike Thred Up, Poshmark takes a lot more work on your part. You also have the potential to make more money, especially if you aren’t in a big hurry to sell more expensive items. It also has an Offer feature that allows you to offer a seller less than what they’ve listed their item at, and I’ve gotten many a good deal using that feature. Poshmark is supposed to be just womens items (from what I’ve gathered), but you’ll find mens and kids pieces lurking around. You can sell anything from watches and earrings to Gap tops to Gucci bags with Poshmark, and that versatility makes it a lot of fun to browse.
- Swap – Swap carries baby, kids and women’s apparel (including maternity), as well as baby gear, home decor, toys & games and more. Swap is very similar to Thred Up, but not exactly the same. Swap is technically a consignment shop, like Poshmark, but they offer a SureSell Guarantee, so that if your item hasn’t sold in 45 days they’ll buy it from you themselves. You box up your items, print a shipping label (it costs $8.95, but they deduct it from whatever profit you make off of your sold items), and send them off to Swap where they’ll store them for up to 9 months. Anything they don’t accept can be donated or returned to you for a fee. Because it is a consignment shop, you own your products the whole time they are in Swap’s possession, and can have them shipped back to you if you change your mind (for a fee). Much like Poshmark, Swap takes a commission off of anything you sell – $1.50 + 25%. I haven’t sold anything through Swap yet, so I can’t comment on how well that works, but it seems like a nice set-up. With Poshmark you have to find somewhere to store anything you are waiting to sell – Swap takes that problem out of the equation. Swap also offers free shipping on orders over $50.
- Tradesy – Tradesy is basically a fancy Poshmark, with a few twists. Like with Poshmark, you take photos of anything you want to sell (that meets their standards) and list your item. Tradesy will “enhance” your photo for you to make it look…more appealing, I guess. When you make a sale they’ll, “send you a pre-paid, pre-addressed shipping kit, complete with beautiful packaging.” Tradesy takes a 9% commission off of anything you sell. Because Tradesy is more high-end, they have an Authenticity Guarantee, as well as financing options through Affirm. Tradesy is great if you have expensive taste, but don’t have an expensive wallet that carries wads of cash in it. I don’t use it very often, but if there is a specific designer handbag or dress you’re looking for…check Tradesy.
- Schoola – Schoola is super cool, mainly because of its mission. Schoola has been described as an, “amazing mash-up of community building, upcycling and commerce.” Esentially it started as a fundraiser for a school that needed more art supplies. They had parents and students donate their gently-used clothing, and used the proceeds from re-selling them to buy paintbrushes and other supplies. Now Schoola is nationwide, and any school can set up a fundraiser through them. You can also just donate your used clothes via a postage-paid donation bag, and know that 40% of the proceeds will go to help a school (you can choose which) buy supplies they desperately need. They sell infant sizes through juniors and women‘s (including petite, plus-sized and maternity). They offer free shipping on orders over $50. If you’re looking for somewhere to simply donate your used clothes – this would be my pick. And I love knowing that any money I spend with Schoola, well 40% of it, will go to a school for supplies. Both of my parents are teachers, as were two of my grandparents (and an uncle), so I know how badly teachers are always in need of more…everything. Shopping at Schoola is a great way to get a bargain on a gently used dress or top, while feeling great about the money you spent.
And there you have it! Those are my top 5 websites for used clothes – both buying and selling. I love that the stigma of buying used or thrift store clothing is lifting away. It makes so much sense financially, and reduces waste as well. Have you ever shopped at any of the above stores? How do you feel about buying gently-used clothing? Leave your thoughts in the comments box!!