Whoever decided that back-to-school shopping season doesn’t necessarily have to coincide with actual student status is a genius. We’re always thinking about what to buy next, but what about where to put it? And what to do with those clothes that — admit it — aren’t going to see the light of day anytime soon?
That’s what resale is all about. Sure, you can take your stuff to the local consignment shop, but you could also mail it in without having to leave your house. And fortunately, there are plenty of sites that will let you do just that.
Over the past few years, there’s been a huge evolution in regards to how each online resale site operates and differentiates itself from the next. From signing up to receive a bag that you simply stuff full of clothes to doing the entire selling process yourself via an app, it’s surprisingly easy to make a quick buck on the things sitting in the weirdest corners of your closet. Happy selling!
The RealReal is still the mother of all luxury resale sites. The consignment process is easy: If you have 10 or more items to sell and live in a qualifying city, the site will send someone to pick up your stuff for you. If you don’t meet that criteria, The RealReal will send you a pre-paid shipping label and mailer to pack up your items. They accept designer women’s, men’s, and kids’ clothing (you can see the full list of brands here), as well as luxury accessories and fine art.
It takes about 10 to 15 days to list your items after they’re received, but take note: Things that are deemed inauthentic or aren’t included on the site’s approved list of designers will be returned at the owner’s expense. As for that commission, sellers pocket 55 percent of the selling price for items under $1,500, and 60 percent for items over $1,500 but under $10,000.
Vestiaire Collective launched in Paris over five years ago and has offices in Europe and the US. It’s a behemoth of a resale site, with stats that claim an influx of 20,000 new items per week, all under the umbrella of luxury consignment. If you want to sell, you have to get approval on prospective items before they go live, and then once they’re listed and sold, Vestiaire will send for the items and take care of any returns.
The commission rates range based on sale price, but Vestiaire Collective will take a flat $25 out of anything sold for less than $70, 33 percent out of anything sold for $70 up to $140, 31 percent out of anything sold for $140 to $345, and so on. You can check out the full range of commission rates here.
It’s worth noting that, for luxury resale buyers, Vestiaire Collective does offer a more flexible payment system where you don’t have to plunk down the full price immediately. You have the option of paying in installments over a three-, six-, or 12-month pay period for all orders up to $17,500. The interest rate is killer though, so plan accordingly.
Material Wrld basically does the work for you. The site will send you a free trade-in kit complete with a plastic shipping bag and a pre-paid label; from there, all you have to do is load it up (with accepted brands only) and send it back. If the site wants the goods, they’ll send you an offer with three payment options: you can put what you earn towardshopping on Material Wrld, you can receive a pre-paid debit card that you can use at other retailers, or you can get cash via PayPal with a 15 percent deduction.
If the goods aren’t re-sellable, you can choose for Material Wrld to either send them back or donate them to Housing Works, a New York City-based nonprofit. On the upside, you’ll never have to cover the shipping costs, regardless of whether the company decides to buy your clothes or not. On the downside, Material Wrld is pretty strict on what items it’ll buy — no men’s, children’s, or mall brands accepted.
Like Material Wrld, ThredUp isn’t set up to let users do the selling themselves. Instead, the site will send you a plastic bag and pre-paid shipping label (in its words, a Clean Out Kit), and you fill it up, send it back, and hope for the best.
However, ThredUp is a lot more lenient in the brands it will accept; it’ll take J.Crew alongside Coach, and it'll consider both women’s and kids’ clothing and accessories. Before sending anything through, play around with the site’s payout calculator, which will give you an idea of what you can expect back. (For example, a pair of like-new Gap jeans may only get you $0.70 to $4.20, but a Theory dress could pull in $30.)
The Poshmark app is great for getting listings up in under a minute. All you have to do is upload a couple of photos of your item, select category tags, and set the price; it’s the actual selling of the clothes that may take a little longer. But if you’re really active on Instagram or Facebook, Poshmark is a good place to send your stuff; the site says that social engagement drives 90 percent of its sales.
Once a sale is made, Poshmark keeps a 20 percent commission for items over $15 and a flat $2.95 commission for items under $15. You can sell pretty much everything here: women’s, kids’, and men’s clothing and accessories are accepted from a giant swath of brands.
At Depop, buying and selling happens solely on the app. Users create a profile that looks pretty similar to Instagram that displays items you’re selling, items you like, and saved items. The listing process only takes a few minutes, but the key to a successful sale is good imagery and social promotion, which inevitably takes a bit longer. Sellers set their own prices and connect directly with buyers via DMs, and they're responsible for shipping merchandise out.
The app takes contemporary and designer brands as well as vintage, with the common thread being things that are cool (download it and you'll see what we mean). Depop takes a 10 percent selling fee, but there are some additional costs if you're checking out via PayPal or in a currency other than USD.
Reese focuses on rare vintage pieces from high-end designer labels; the site includes curated collections handpicked by founders Sofia Bernardin and Sabrina Marshall, but also allows users to sell their stuff, too.
To do so, you need to head to the site and fill out a form explaining what you have and what condition it’s in. From there, you’ll hear back within five days with a yes or a no. Note: Resee prefers "collections" as opposed to one-off items, and makes it clear that it’ll only take clothes in excellent or very good condition.
Tradesy is a cross between the sites that let sellers do their own listing and sites that have you send your stuff in first. You can create your own listing on Tradesy and set your own price, and after the listing goes up, Tradesy will send you a pre-paid shipping box and label to send your goods off before they've sold.
The good thing about this is you don’t have to worry about coordinating shipping or returns after the buy, and Tradesy can keep an eye on quality control. Tradesy takes a 14.9 percent commission if you turn around and use the money on the site, or 17.8 percent if you cash out via PayPal, debit card, or bank account.
Rebagg is another site that will pay upfront for your items, which is great for those looking to make money right this second. It’s zeroed in specifically on luxury handbags, and the accepted designer list is tightly curated.
If you do happen to have a bag you’re looking to resell, the process is really straightforward. Upload pictures and a description of the bag, and Rebagg will deliver a quote within one to two business days. If you decide to take the offer, the site will either provide free pickup (for NYC residents) or send a pre-paid box and shipping label to collect it. Payment is delivered in two to three business days after Rebagg receives the items.