I’m a big fan of minimalism and making sure everything I own is something I love. So after a few months of staring at a few pairs of pants I hated wearing, I decided to try my hand at making a profit from my underused wares.
My parents are pros at selling on eBay so I decided to try their method first. I had bought a pair of burgundy suede pumps at a yard sale, but later realized that there was no way in hell I could wear them without falling on my face.
I took a few photos and posted them on the site. I primarily use eBay for buying so it was a little scary putting something on sale. eBay favors the buyer, my parents warned me. Be honest, take lots of detailed photos and don’t pay for shipping, they told me.
I managed to sell the shoes for $9.99, but I underestimated the shipping cost and had to buy a box from the post office. Total profit? $4.99.
I still had a few pairs of pants to sell and wanted to see if a local thrift store would offer me more. I had 2 pairs from Ann Taylor Loft and one from a Banana Republic factory store so I was hopeful that I’d be able to make at least $20 (not including some earrings I wanted to get rid of). I contacted a couple consignment stores I shopped at regularly to see what their process was like.
One required a minimum of 10 items and both required an appointment. I didn’t feel like driving 20 minutes or more just for the chance that they would take my clothes (consignment stores only pay you when they make a sale, so even if they accept your clothes, there’s no guarantee you’ll see a penny).
I stopped into a local thrift store today to see what I could get. The owner told me she doesn’t do consignment – she just buys clothes outright. I dropped off three pairs of pants, one shirt from H&M and a few sets of earrings I no longer wore. The owner offered me $20 for the whole thing. Once I remembered how much I had spent on all those items, my heart sunk. $10 earrings don’t seem expensive until you’re trying to get rid of five pairs you never wear. All in all, I dropped off $100 worth of clothes and accessories only to receive $20 back.
I left the store glad that I was able to sell my stuff, but unsure that I got the best deal. Maybe I could have taken them to a consignment store and waited it out. Maybe I could have dug through my closet and see what else I had. But maybe the key is realizing that it’s better to pass on a good sale than to buy something that’ll sit in your closet for three months until you find a way to get a rid of it.
I recently learned about ThredUp – an online consignment store that takes your clothes and sells them for you. You can start making money right away! I wish I had done this sooner. Have you tried ThredUp? Note: this is an affiliate link.