You Have Cash in Your Closet
Whether I’m giving eBay advice to friends or consulting clients, the first question I’m always asked is, “How much is my stuff worth?”
Well, it depends.
Pre-Owned Clothing is So Hot Right Now
There is no doubt that pre-owned clothing is an ever-growing industry – resale clothing one of the top producing categories on eBay worldwide, there are a slew of up-start consignment-style websites like ThreadUp, Rebag, and TheRealReal, and that isn’t even considering the volume of business that traditional brick-and-mortar stores like Goodwill or Once Upon A Child do. However, the value of your items depends on a number of factors: amount, age, condition, style, and market demand.
If you want to make the most bang for your buck, the best option is to sell it yourself on eBay, Facebook, or another direct sales website. But if you don’t have the time, patience, space, or desire to sell it on your own, a resale or consignment site is your next best bet. Be aware that resellers will take anywhere from 50% – 85% of the profits in return for the time, work, space, and overhead required to sell your items for you.
You’re not going to get rich cleaning out your closet, but you will probably be able to pay a few bills or buy yourself a few new items in exchange for your old, unwanted stuff. As a reseller, I’ve had client payouts range anywhere from $30 to several hundred dollars – again, it all depends on what you have and the current market.
Every year, I sell thousands upon thousands of items worldwide and here are a few things I’ve learned about the value of items.
How to Value Your Items
First, if an item is not clean (i.e. covered in pet hair, placed in a dirty cardboard box, left in a garbage bag in your musty basement for months, etc.) don’t even try to sell it. As a reseller, I have often refused and returned items to clients that are unclean. If you’re serious about selling your stuff, launder it first.
The best brands for resale always correspond to the hottest brands in retail. Here are some of the top sellers of 2017: Eileen Fisher, Old Navy, Calvin Klein (Men’s), Nike, GUESS, Under Armour, Quacker Factory, The North Face, Torrid, and Forever 21. Children’s Clothing and anything Plus Sized – Men’s or Women’s – are always top sellers.
On the flip side, brands that have declined in popularity have less market demand and a lower price. Brands like DKNY, Wilson’s Leather, GAP, Coldwater Creek, Banana Republic, Michael Kors, and COACH, have all taken a tumble as trendsetters move on to the next hot brand.
High end and very expensive items don’t always do well in the resale market. For example, COACH and Michael Kors handbags are a-dime-a-dozen in consignment shops, saturating the market and lowering the price buyers are willing to pay.
Finally, the value of getting rid of your unwanted stuff isn’t always just monetary. Cleaning out clutter, gaining extra space, freeing yourself of things that no longer serve you, saving time in the mornings by not having to try on a million things before finding something that fits or feels good – priceless.