It might be high time to sell clothes you’ve had hidden in your wardrobe that are in excellent condition but you just never seem to wear.
Here are a few ways to make a little buck from your hand-me-downs (#SideHustle) and save your clothing items from heading straight to the landfill (or spending another few years in the back of your closet).
1. Consignment stores
There are lots of great consignment stores around Metro Vancouver that you can bring your clothing to – from casual clothing to kids to luxury to vintage to even sporting apparel.
First, find out what style of clothes they are selling and whether your items are a “fit” for the store. No matter what, they will want clothing that is still in good condition, no rips or stains. A vintage store may be looking for unique pieces of well-known brands, whereas a more casual contemporary store will look for brands you see everyday. Find out what their requirements are as some will only take clothing that is a few years old or specific brands, while others may be more open in what they accept.
Consignment stores will usually recommend a price for you to sell clothes at, as they are familiar with what sells and what doesn’t. If you think it’s worth more you may be able to suggest a price depending on their standards.
So how do you get paid? There are two main approaches. The most common is receiving a percentage of the profits – anywhere from 25-60% – with the consignment store keeping the rest. The other approach is when the consignment store pays you upfront. The second approach can be great because than you get the money right away, even if it doesn’t sell, but you may take a hit on how much you earn (usually less than 50%). Also, keep in mind that sometimes you have to pay a consigner fee of $5-10.
- Luxury: Mine & Yours (Vancouver), The Main Exchange (Vancouver)
- Contemporary / casual: Front & Company (Vancouver), Clothesline Consignment (Cloverdale), Unika (Langley & Chilliwack)
- Kids: Cobblestone Children’s Consignment (Vancouver), Once Upon A Child (Abbotsford, Coquitlam, Langley, Surrey)
- A mix of everything: Turnabout (Vancouver)
2. Online buy & sell
There are a wide variety of online platforms and mobile apps you can use to sell clothes that currently have a lot of different users (think potential buyers). The benefit to these platforms is you get to keep the full profit of the sale, unlike consignment stores. Some are location based so you can sell to people within Metro Vancouver, whereas others have a wider reach and you can sell to people all over Canada, or even globally, depending on how you set up your shipping options.
The downside of selling clothes on these platforms is that there is more work for you to do in terms of posting the product, managing the posting, replying to emails and meeting up with potential buyers.
The best way to go about online selling is to take a look at what is being offered on the platform already and see which platform you think your clothes might sell best on and at what price. Also, try to take good quality photos that highlight your product well or style it in an outfit!
- Craigslist – Vancouver
- Facebook Marketplace
- Facebook Groups (for example, Community Closet is a popular Vancouver group)
- Trend Trunk
3. Clothing swap
Consider organizing a clothing swap, with a buy-in fee, for your friends. A clothing swap usually works where everyone brings a certain number of clothing pieces and then gets to ‘swap out’ their clothing with new (to them) items.
In this version, you focus on creating a well-organized swap, so you can request a small buy-in fee that allows each person to join in and swap a certain amount of clothing. For example, if everyone donates 10 items and pays $20 to join in the swap, they each get to select 10 items to take home. You can set the buy-in and clothing donation amounts to what you feel comfortable with collecting.
The work here for you comes in making sure it is a well-organized clothing swap. First, you collect all the clothing prior to the swap. Second, you set up everything by sizes and styles. Keeping it organized makes it easier to see all the garments, pick through them and find the right size – making the experience more enjoyable for everyone.
If you want to have a little more fun, donate a portion of the fee to charity, or serve some drinks and snacks. And voilà, your friends get new clothing, for a tiny price tag, and you make a few dollars while also getting some new items!
There are lots of markets popping up around Metro Vancouver. If you and your friends feel like you’ve got a lot of clothes to sell and items that other people would love, why not set up your own booth at a market?
The benefit to selling at a market is setting your own prices and keeping all the profits from your clothing sales. You will have a lot of walk by traffic and a room filled with potential buyers. This has become a lot easier for the average person to do as mobile credit card payment apps have made selling clothing so much easier.
Of course, the downside to this is that there is usually a small fixed price for a booth space and there is a lot of set up that comes with prepping clothing for a market.
- Cloverdale Market (Cloverdale)
- Eastside Flea (Vancouver)
- Check out your local community center for upcoming markets they may be hosting.
5. Traditional garage sales
Who said that the traditional garage sale was dead? I personally love a good sunny Saturday spent garage sale hunting. Garage sales are great because you get the full profits, you can sell more than just your clothes and will have a variety of customers show up. The downside there is a lot more work for you in terms of set up and, usually, garage sale prices are lower than online or consignment prices. You can advertise for your garage sale on posters, in the local newspaper and online (like Craigslist).
Good luck with selling your clothing and extending their life cycle!