With the recent rise of resale apps like Depop and Poshmark, the idea of selling vintage clothes online is becoming more fashionable. Many people have resale clothing In a lucrative side gig or even a full-time job, gaining thousands of followers and making dozens of sales per week.
According to a 2021 study by reselling platform Mercury and research firm GlobalData, the market for secondhand clothing is projected to more than triple by 2030, as more fashion enthusiasts clean out their closets and look to find valuable pieces for resale. Thrift store searches.
But whether you have a collection of band t-shirts or office attire, it takes time and effort to find success on these platforms. Before diving into your closet, there are a few things to know.
you set your prices
Unlike consignment and resale shops, you can price items yourself on online platforms. Before listing a piece of clothing, check it out on multiple platforms to find out what it’s currently selling for. Depending on age, condition and brand, prices can vary widely.
You can also take advantage of direct messaging to interact with shoppers and use features on apps like Depop and Poshmark that let you accept offers and create multi-item discounts.
“Sales can be sporadic,” says Andres Castillo of Los Angeles, who sells rare designer pieces through Depop, eBay, and Instagram under the name Debonair Vintage. With rare or high-value items, finding the right buyer can take some time, especially if you want to break even or make a profit.
is a big time commitment
“I like my job[reselling clothing],” says Eve Perez, a full-time student in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, who sells under the name Fitsfines and was featured in Teen Vogue. For her Depop success in 2021. She responds to messages daily by taking photos of products, sewing custom pieces, and on top of packaging and shipping orders.
It’s essential to communicate clearly with first-time buyers: “If you don’t build that relationship, you won’t get sales and returning customers,” she adds.
Although you have control over the prices, online resale takes more time and energy than selling consignment stores. according to depotSellers who list consistently—about 15 items per week—sell more over time.
“It takes a lot of time and dedication,” Castillo says. Top-notch sellers need to learn to take attractive photos, understand shipping rates, negotiate text, and research brands and trends to get the most out of their inventory.
add overhead cost
Yes, you can set your own prices – but there are some overhead costs. Online resale platforms charge a commission fee, plus additional fees for shipping through the platform or accepting payment through a processor such as PayPal. Depop takes 10% of each sale and eBay takes 15%; Poshmark takes $2.95 for items under $15 and 20% for items over $15. PayPal, which integrates with Depot, Poshmark, and eBay, charges 3.49% plus 49 cents per transaction for payment processing.
On top of that, you’ll need to pay for packaging, label printing, and possibly storing inventory, including bins, hangers, and shelves. Top sellers also recommend adding a personal touch to a shipment, such as free stickers, small accessories or thank you notes. When all those costs are added up, you may find that only high-value items are worth listing.
You can cut costs by reusing shipping mailers and boxes and printing labels at your local FedEx or UPS store instead of buying a label printer. Or, reduce shipping costs for shoppers by bundling multiple items into a single shipment, which can prompt shoppers to shop more from your store.
Social aspect is a priority
The most successful online resellers have one thing in common: a strong personal brand. Finding your niche and building a loyal following is essential to long-term success on a resale platform.
“It’s like Instagram, but for selling,” says Perez, who focuses on a consistent aesthetic and markets her shop on social media platforms like TikTok.
Castillo grew its business by catering to a very specific market: vintage designer collectors, specifically for Moschino and Chanel. He sells across multiple platforms, using his Instagram to hire stylists for photo shoots and red-carpet events. Though he targets a fairly small community, his narrow focus helps him reach his ideal buyers.
Other top sellers on resale platforms can be seen taking a similar approach, with bands ranging from t-shirts to vintage gowns to the theme of the shop. “Lean into your personal tastes,” Castillo says. Even if you don’t have a curated collection to sell, personalized packaging or a unique photo background can help your item stand out.
Both Perez and Castillo stress the importance of cross-linking social media platforms to reach as many potential customers as possible. Creating a dedicated Instagram Business account and following other online sellers and designers can help drive shoppers to your store. Check popular pages for trendy hashtags and add them to your posts. Taking the time to promote on social media can help turn your wardrobe into some serious income.