How to Sell Clothes Online

Here's everything you need to know, from what can be resold to how much you can sell it for, according to thredUP.

How to Sell Clothes Online
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Looking to make a quick buck? Learning how to sell clothes online is a solid option, in theory. In practice, it can take a lot of work.

Some services require the seller to take high-resolution photography of each item, write enticing product copy to accompany said photo, and research an appropriate price point for resale. There are also services that have strict policies about what type of products are allowed to be sold on their platform. Suddenly, what was supposed to be a simple side hustle feels more like a part-time job.

If you have no idea how to sell clothes online beyond logging into an app or website to create a storefront, you're in luck. There are a handful of services that do the grunt work for you. All you have to do is ransack your closet and make a pile of items you want to sell. Once you have all of your belongings primed and ready to put up for sale, they'll do the rest.

One of the top online consignment companies with a stellar user-friendly reputation is thredUp. The second-hand retailer was founded back in 2009 by co-founder and CEO James Reinhart, whose mission was to make thrifting more accessible, as well as give buyers and sellers an easier way to purchase and sell smarter, in a way that benefits people and the planet. So far, so good.

How to Sell Clothes Online
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"Did you know that buying an item secondhand instead of new can reduce CO2 emissions by 82%?" asks thredUp's brand director, Madeline Cronin Aaronson. "Thrifting keeps clothing in use for longer, and really respects the resources used to produce new clothes. It's a win-win for your wallet and the planet."

Ahead, Cronin Aaronson breaks down how easy it is to sell clothes online through services like thredUp that require minimal effort from its sellers, but that are simultaneously making a huge impact on the fashion industry and the environment.

What are the benefits of buying and selling clothes online through thredUP?

In a word: Convenience.

According to Cronin Aaronson, your only responsibility as a seller is to "fill a thredUP Clean Out Kit or print a prepaid shipping label [and] send in your gently used women's and children's items." The rest, she says, is handled internally. Another selling point of the site, Cronin Aaronson says, is that you can cash out your earnings, or use them as store credit.

What kind of information do you include in a product's description to make it more appealing to buyers?

Cronin Aaronson tells InStyle that thredUP product descriptions are highly detailed so shoppers can make informed decisions about the items they're looking to buy.

"Details include item measurements, condition, fit description, and fabrication to help you get a good sense of the item," she explains. "You can also use thredUP's filters to surface the right color, pattern, brand, and more."

How to Sell Clothes Online
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What sort of clothing items/conditions are unsellable?

When assessing your unwanted items to determine which pieces you want to sell, Cronin Aaronson tells InSyle a good rule of thumb is to imagine you're giving these clothes to a friend. "Have an amazing top with a tiny stain on it? Try spot cleaning it before trying to sell it to increase its resale value and extend its life," she says, adding garments with holes, rips or unremovable stains are a no-go.

How do you determine an item's resale price?

A bunch of factors are considered when deciding how much an item will retail for, including data from past purchases. "Selling data allows us to develop algorithms that help us estimate how much we should price items in the future," Cronin Aaronson explains over email. "The brand name, quality, condition, and the seasonality of the item all contribute to its final selling price on thredUP. We also consider how rare the item is in the resale market."

How much commission do sellers make on thredUP?

The quick answer is that it varies.

"Sellers on thredUP can earn anywhere from 5% up to 80% of the listing price depending on the retail price, seasonality and condition," Cronin Aaronson tells us. That said, sellers have the option to review thredUp's Payout Estimator before sending in their clothes. "This gives them an idea of what they could potentially earn."

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