How to sell clothes online—everything you need to know about selling your old clothes

The expert guide on how to sell clothes online and make money from your closet

Hat, jumper and jeans with flowers
(Image credit: Unsplash)

Have you taken the plunge and cleared out your closet recently? Whether you tend to have an annual throw-out, a spring clean, or you were given a nudge by lockdown, learning how to sell your clothes online can turn that chore in a money-spinner. 

Creating a capsule wardrobe is a great way to really look at your collection of clothes and understand what you need and what you don't. If you've decluttered and found yourself with a pile of unwanted clothes—that are still in a decent condition—reselling them online is an easy way to earn a bit of extra money. 

The 2021 thredUP resale report found that 76% of people who have never resold clothing are now open to trying it and it’s predicted that the resale market will be bigger than fast fashion by 2029 thanks to the rise in popularity of resale platforms.

How to sell clothes online

The hardest part is actually getting started and Nina Leibenfrost, founder of Ida—a new second-hand clothes selling platform — has a tip for those starting out. 

“The main tip for beginners would be to approach reselling as a decluttering exercise. See it as the perfect opportunity to go through your closet, ask yourself what you still use and like (be honest and harsh with yourself.) The stuff that no longer gives you the pleasure it once did should be sold. When you resell you can then continue to update your style and closet with a good conscience.”

With so many resale sites and apps available, it can be hard to know where the best place to sell clothes online is. Our fashion experts have rounded up the very best ways to resell your old clothes and make money from your closet. 

  • Make sure you’re transparent about what you’re selling: If the item has any faults or marks, be honest about it. It’ll save you time dealing with any complaints.
  • Always post on time: If you’ve outlined when you’ll post it or when the buyer will receive it, stick to this. Unless, of course, it can’t be helped due to delays. 
  • Take good pictures: No one is going to buy something they can’t see properly, so check that lighting is bright and clear, your background is plain and details are captured. If your item still fits you, i's best to show the item on potential buyers may want to see how it looks IRL. If not, make sure it is nicely hung on a clothes hanger crease-free if possible. Also, upload as many images as you’re allowed – the more images the more likely your piece will sell. 
  • Communicate: Be quick at replying to questions or potential buyers, if you waste their time you may lose a potential sale. 
  • Be as detailed as possible: Think of all the questions you may get asked e.g. size, fit, material, if it’s coming from a smoke and pet-free home, and answer them all in the description. It’ll save you time in the long run. 
  • Check similar products: Unsure of how much your item is worth? Search the platform you choose to sell on for similar pieces to see how much other sellers have listed them for. Sites such as eBay allows you to filter by 'sold' items so you can see how much similar items have sold for. 
  • Do seasonal sales: Think about what people may be buying at particular times of the year. For example you're more likely to sell sweaters in pre-fall and sunglasses before or during summer. 
  • Know your brands: Make sure you know what you're selling and how much its original price would be. Knowing your labels can help determine which platform to sell items on and high-end/luxury pieces that retain their value are likely to sell better than unknown of less-er known labels. If you have lower price point pieces to get rid of, Gumtree and Preloved are good places to try out. 
  • Research what you can and can't sell: Each platform is different, so make sure you check which type of products are listed. For items such as lingerie or swimwear, this is best to only sell if new due to hygiene reasons. Instead, donate to a clothes bank which will responsibly recycle these as a textile. 
  • Package your pieces correctly: There's nothing worse than buying something online secondhand for it to turn up damaged. Make sure you use protective packaging and opt for biodegradable or recyclable iterations if possible. The buyer will mostly pay for P&P but this can be discussed with your potential buyer, but make sure you check the weight and size of your package and find out the price it will be online so you don't lose money having to cover these extra costs. 
  • Check the commission costs: To make the most money from selling your old clothes, it's best to check how much commission each platform will take from each sale you make before listing items.

The best platforms to sell clothes online

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Depop

Best for selling cult brands and vintage clothes

Specifications
Available: Worldwide
Commission taken by platform: 10% of sale
Reasons to buy
+Can build a community of potential buyers+Great for selling Instagram-loved brands+Free and easy to use app
Reasons to avoid
-Best used as a social app

The most widely used platform of the second-hand clothes world, Depop is predominantly aimed at the Millennial and Gen Z generations, but it’s easy for everyone to use. It’s easy-to-use interface and simple uploading steps have seen it become one of the most popular resale sites, boasting over 2million users in 2020. Even celebrities like singer Lily Allen, actor Maisie Williams, and model Dita Von Teese sell their old clothes on the app.

Best for: One of the best apps to sell clothes, it’s ideal for finding vintage one-offs and tracking down items you’ve seen online that may have sold out.

How to use it: Sign up and create your account with a bio and picture – people buy from people so make it friendly and approachable. Upload pictures of your item and make sure you fill in all the details making sure to be as descriptive as possible. Once you’ve listed, share on your social media platforms - the more potential buyers who see it, the more likely you are to make that sale. 

Costs: The app is free to download and list an item but Depop will take 10% commission of any items sold. How much you sell your items for is up to, and be prepared for people to haggle with you. P&P is also in your hands, so you decide the price and are responsible for posting it. 

Depop tip: “Taking good pictures of the items is everything. Style the pieces how you have worn them or would suggest wearing them. Depop works like Instagram – you want to inspire people’s outfit so they buy the item for sale and recreate the look!” says regular seller Abby Worrallo (found on Depop @abbeyworrallo94).

Start selling at: depop.com


Vestiaire Collective

Best for selling designer clothes

Specifications
Available: Worldwide
Commission taken by platform: 15-25% of the selling price
Reasons to buy
+Great destination to sell vintage designer pieces+The platform checks authentication of all products+Easy to upload items on the app
Reasons to avoid
-Only high-end brands

A fashion insider’s best kept secret for those designer buys that not everyone will have, Vestiaire Collective is the global marketplace where you can sell, and discover pre-loved designer treasures. From Saint Laurent runway looks to retro vintage Fendi bags, anything can be listed as long as it’s 100% authentic. It’s a highly reputable site, which is why so many sellers head here. 

Best for: Selling pre-loved and vintage luxury, designer clothes and accessories.

How to use it: Download the app, create your account and in less than 60 seconds you can list your old clothes. Simply fill out the quick form, describe your item and upload clear, high-quality images. When you sell your item, you can post it for free to Vestiaire Collective who will check its authenticity and then send it to the buyer for you. 

Costs: The app is free to download and list an item, once it’s sold Vestiaire Collective will take between 15-25% of the selling price. You decide the price it’s listed at but it’s a good idea to check the site for other similar items already on there, along with considering the condition and original RRP. 

Vestiaire Collective tip: “I love Vestiaire Collective because there is a respect for the garment itself – it is not only for people on a price hunt. And when you sell a piece, you’ll get the excitement of letting it go to someone else who will love it.” says Laura Roso Vidrequin, seller and founder of kidswear resale site Kids O’clock. 

Start selling at: vestiairecollective.com


Ida

Best for selling mid-priced clothes

Specifications
Available: Worldwide
Commission taken by platform: Up to 35% of sale
Reasons to buy
+Great for selling cult labels+The platform lists everything for you+Great pictures will be taken of your items for you
Reasons to avoid
-Items have to be checked by platform first

Bridging the gap between pre-loved, vintage and luxury pieces, Ida is the newly-launched site that helps you to sell your unwanted items from mid-market brands. Focusing on labels that retail between £80-£800, it’s all about the cult labels that kick up a storm on Instagram. The easy-to-use marketplace does all the usual listing parts for you, so you just have to sit back and wait to make money. 

Best for: Including some of the best sustainable brands such as Stella McCartney, Ida also sells mid-market fashion brands: Ganni, Acne Studios, Isabel Marant and Nanushka.

How to use: Cutting out all the fiddly parts of selling online, the Ida team does all the hard work for you. All sellers have to do is show what they have (with photos via WhatsApp or over a video call), and once it has been approved, they can organise a free collection of the items. Ida will then sort the pictures, price (agreed with you), communicate with all potential buyers and seal the deal. They’ll even post it out for you and then you can choose to take payment or credit to use on site. 

Pricing: It’s free to use the site and once your item is sold, you’ll get to keep up to 65% of the fee. For anything that resells over £65 sellers keep 65% (Ida takes 35%), and for resale prices under £65 sellers keep 35% (Ida takes 65%).

Ida tip: “We try to keep the site seasonal, so think about what people will be buying at the time when you show us what you have. This way, you’re more likely to sell it quicker.” says Nina Leibenfrost, Ida founder.

Start selling at: idayourbrand.com


Vinted

Best for selling cheaper clothes

Specifications
Available: Worldwide
Commission taken by platform: 0%
Reasons to buy
+Perfect for selling a lot at once+Takes just 60 seconds to upload an item+You get to keep 100% of sales made
Reasons to avoid
-Buyers are looking for a bargain

With 45 million members worldwide, Vinted is basically a virtual car boot. With so many eyes on the prize, you can guarantee interest in what you’ve got on offer. There are no limitations on brands, so you can have a wardrobe clear out and get rid of everything from high-street pieces to designer items. However as this isn’t a specialist destination for designer clothes, you might not get as much money for those high-end pieces, so best to use this app to sell the clothes you aren’t too worried about making a lot of money off. 

Best for: Selling high-street pieces in a hurry. 

How to use: Download the app, upload pictures (try flat-lay shots or hanging pieces up), write a description and set a price for the piece you're selling. Unsure on how to price your clothes? You can easily search by brand or item to look at what other members have listed pieces at as a guide. Once it’s sold, package up, fix the pre-paid label and post. Simple. 

Pricing: The site is completely free to use. From downloading the app to listing and even selling, you get 100% of what you make. Vinted makes the commission from buyers instead of sellers so it’s a great platform to make as much money as you can. 

Vinted tip: Seller Ana Vitorino has two top tips for using Vinted. “Firstly, keep the back and forth with prospective buyers to a minimum by uploading pictures of care labels which give all the information you need to know about materials and washing instructions. I also like to source the original model picture of the item I’m selling from the retailer’s website or Google image.  These are usually quite easy to find and will make items more attractive to prospective buyers, as opposed to just having those lacklustre pictures of an item drooping on a hanger.”

Start selling at: vinted.com


eBay

Best for selling popular clothing brands

Specifications
Available: Worldwide
Commission taken by platform: 10% of sale
Reasons to buy
+Thousands of potential buyers+Can scan items with barcodes to automatically upload details+Can add bidding starting price or a set price
Reasons to avoid
-Unbranded items don't sell for much money

Globally trusted, eBay is one of the most common ways to sell clothes—and everything else—online. The community-based site uses feedback to give buyers and sellers good ratings so you can feel confident that you’ve found a trustworthy buyer for your pieces who will pay. It’s also great if you want to sell to people who can collect locally and avoid P&P costs. The auction function means you can list items without a set price and wait for bids to come in. This is particularly useful if you have something you’re unsure of how to value, or cult pieces you think could go above asking price. 

Best for: Selling items from easily-searchable popular brands. 

How to use: Create an account and either use the site or the app to upload what you have to sell. If it has a tag you can scan the barcode to auto-fill most of the information needed. Or, you can search eBay’s database and similar items may pop up to do this. Choose a category your piece fits into, upload multiple images and either set to auction or a ‘buy now’ price. Once sold, the buyer will pay you and then it’s time to post. 

Pricing: eBay takes a 10% cut of any item you sell and the buyer usually pays for postage. If they pay for the item via PayPal, expect for the service to also take a 2.9% fee to use it. 

eBay tip: “Always take a picture of you wearing the clothes if possible, you'll only end up with people asking for them if you post flat lays or hanger shots. People will always ask if something runs small or large, so add measurements just in case. You can also search items by 'sold' under the filters tab to check pricing before you list something.” says seller Christen Garner.  

Start selling at: ebay.com 


Farly

Best for selling photogenic clothes

Specifications
Available: UK
Commission taken by platform: 10% of sale
Reasons to buy
+Can be creative with selling your items+Interact with buyers and sellers+Try out a fresh new way to sell your old clothes
Reasons to avoid
-Items have to be aesthetically pleasing to sell

A bit like Pinterest, but with virtual shop windows instead of boards, this new platform is made for sellers that want to show off their used clothes in the best way possible. With carefully curated edits that are aesthetically pleasing, it gives creatives the space to be inspiring and be inspired by other user's 'windows' to see how best to sell their items. 

Best for: Sellers who are looking for fresh and exciting ways to sell their clothes and interact with other sellers, designers and buyers.

How to use: Once you sign up on site, you can upload images and descriptions of the items you want to add to your own virtual shop windows. Other users can then directly message you with any questions and check-out to buy. 

Pricing: It’s free to create your virtual windows, but Farly takes 15% commission of any item sold on the site. 

Farly tip: “To make sure items stand out from others, it’s really important to take a good photo. I recommend offering more than one image of each item to give users an overview of what the item looks like (front/back, special features). Emphasize detail with close up images and use a plain background that allows potential buyers to focus entirely on the item.” says Farleigh Hungerford, founder of Farly. 

Start selling at: farly.co