Photograph courtesy of 2006 Twentieth Century Fox via IMDB.

How to Monetize Your Closet, According to Resale Experts

Everything you need to know from the best in the biz.

There’s no shortage of memes circulating right now speaking to the different stages of quarantine. There is of course the filmed workouts stage, the banana bread phase, the TikTok dance phase – the list goes on. Also included in the round-up of quarantine activities is a closet clean out, à la Marie Kondo. Whether you’ve already sorted your clothes into those that bring you joy and those that don’t, or you’re planning on tackling your wardrobe in the weeks to come, we’ve rounded up the top tips on how to monetize your closet. As it turns out, there are plenty of ways to turn the clothes you no longer need into cash. We tapped expert sellers from The Fashion Edit, I Miss You Vintage, VSP Consignment and Poshmark to answer your burning questions and give you all the intel you need to get started. Here’s a breakdown of the basics for how to monetize your closet from some of the best in the biz:

What to Sell

The consensus is that pieces in very good to excellent condition sell best. Zeina Esmail, founder of The Fashion Edit, explains, “The condition should be what you would expect a piece to be if you purchased it resale.” Any needed cleaning or repairs can effect the value and sale price of the item. Designer brands like Chanel, Gucci and Hermès are highly sought after. “More and more women today think about the future resale value of an item before purchasing them new,” says Julie Yoo, owner of I Miss You Vintage. There is still a market for brands beyond luxury labels, too. Sites like Poshmark and The Fashion Edit additionally accept brands outside of the luxury price point. Esmail will consult on any pieces through virtual consultations and Poshmark is governed by the seller so any piece can be sold on a seller’s account. The Poshmark platform lists trending designers and often includes brands like Aritzia, Lululemon and Levi’s.

When to Sell

“Start off with pieces that you won’t regret saying goodbye to. If you’re cleaning out your closet, think realistically about when you’ll next wear the piece, if it’s still your style and whether the fit still suits you,” says the team from VSP Consignment. Comb through and clean out your closet regularly to be able to sell the most relevant pieces. According to Yoo, items from the last five years are the best consignment candidates since they still feel current and fit with contemporary styles. To find out what pieces a store or site will take, reach out directly or check their website. Fall/Winter pieces are generally accepted as early as June and Spring/Summer as early as December. Keep in mind inventory dropped off before a seasonal selling period (i.e. coats ahead of the winter season) means the pieces will be most relevant to shoppers and will be on shelves during the best possible window for selling.

What to Expect

Depending on the shop, consignment sites or stores offer around 50% of the selling price back to the seller. Some specific in-demand brands or special pieces will have altered breakdowns in favour of the seller. Poshmark takes 20% of sales over $20 and a flat fee for anything under while offering printable shipping labels to eliminate the hassle of sending a sale. Some brick and mortar shops may have a limited selling period and only hold inventory for a set amount of time so check with your chosen store to confirm the time frame.

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