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How to Clean Out Your Closet (and Make Some $$$)

How to Clean Out Your Closet (and Make Some $$$)
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There’s no getting around the fact that you have to clean out your closet at least once a year. Styles change frequently, things wear out, rip, become stained, or simply don’t fit anymore, and those items need to either go to the trash or find a new home. Damaged items obviously need to be tossed or turned into rags. The other stuff, however, can find a new life with someone else, and you can make some money from them if you do it right.

Before you start tearing clothes off of hangers, evaluate your clothing-selling options. There are the traditional methods, and then there are the new age approaches. Depending on how much work you’re willing to put in and how much control you want to have over the transactions, you have several options to choose from.

DIY-ish Options

Take Your Unwanted Items to a Consignment Shop

It might seem easiest to sell clothing locally, but it’s harder to get them to accept pieces at all. If you choose this route, be aware that some places will buy (very select, seasonally appropriate) pieces outright and others won’t pay until the item sells.

Host a Garage Sale (if You Dare)

If you want to purge your home of more than clothes and have tons of lesser brands hanging in your closet, then a garage sale is definitely the best option. It won’t yield a ton of money, but if you advertise it enough, you can free up oodles of space in your home. Don’t forget that these are a lot of work though, and unless you think you’ll really make some money from your stuff, it’s often better to just donate those old clothes and home items to a shelter, the Salvation Army, or Goodwill.

Online Options

The best way to really make some money off of your nicer clothing is to sell it online. Now, these websites are not the place to sell those heinous Abercrombie & Fitch tees from junior high. But it is the place for all of the designer purses you’ll simply never carry again, lightly used name brand pieces, and nice jewelry—plus they do sell! Below are some of the most popular websites for selling used clothing. Each has their own specialty area so keep that in mind when deciding which pieces to send them.


Tradesy is the like an online consignment shop. You just upload an image (which Tradesy guarantees they will enhance so your goods look their best) of your designer pieces (they have to be in good condition, mind you) to the site, and Tradesy basically does the rest. Once your pieces have sold, you will receive prepaid packaging and shipping to send the item to its new owner.

The money will be deposited in your Tradesy account once everything is finalized. They do take a 9% commission from each sale, but it’s a price worth paying when you don’t have to do much of the work.


Poshmark is also a good home for your gently used designer clothes. It takes less than one minute to upload an item, and all of the packaging and shipping is sent to you free of charge. All you have to do is upload the item and place it in the mail once it’s sold. Poshmark stands out from the crowd because it’s more of a social experience. You create your “closet,” can attend themed buying “parties,” and follow other closets that speak to you. It allows you to find pieces from people who share a similar sense of style so you can discover items you never even knew you needed.

eBay Valet

This takes all of the work and confusion out of eBay. All you have to do is ship whatever you want to sell (clothing, electronics, home goods, etc) with a prepaid label and wait for eBay to notify you when their valets have sold your items. You don’t have to do anything and you’ll still make 80% of the profits.


ThredUP is a great option for anyone who doesn’t have time to go through each individual item to inspect for damage or create selling pages themselves. With thredUP, you’ll receive a thredUP bag in the mail, fill it with the items you want to sell (most women’s and children’s clothing brands are accepted—there’s a tool on the site that will tell you if a specific brand is accepted), and then just place it in your mailbox for pick-up. They’ll inspect the items for you, list them, and let you know when they’ve sold.

The items that don’t meet thredUP’s standards are either sold to third-party sellers or sent to be upcycled (the money from these transactions are used to support thredUP’s shipping/handling and other expenses.). The best part is that thredUP also offers you the option to send any money you’ve made from your items to charity. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Material Wrld

Material Wrld has very high standards, but they do most of the work for you. By ordering a free Trade-in kit, you receive packaging, a list of accepted items, and a prepaid shipping label. Once received, they check your items to see if they can be sold, send you the selling prices (based on all kinds of criteria), and give you the option to either accept the price, take the items back, or donate them to Housing Works. Once the items sell, the money goes into your account and can either be used on a Fashion Trade-in card to purchase items from other sellers or placed on a gift card and sent to you. Badabing-badaboom.

Follow Terra on Instagram: @terrabrown3

Last modified on January 10th, 2018

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