How to Make Money Selling Clothing Online

Clothes and laptop on the bed
Letizia Le Fur / Getty Images

While there are many surprising things you can sell online, clothing is one of the most versatile products. You may sell on a seasonal basis when you clean out your own closet or go through that pile of outgrown kids’ clothes. Or, you can do it consistently as a business by buying at a local thrift store for resale. To make a business of it, you will need an eye for bargains on designer or vintage goods.

Either way, you will also need to know how to time your sales to the season, have a critical eye for defects that could cause your garments to be rejected, and know the latest trends and styles buyers want. These six sites each work a bit differently, in terms of what items they buy and sell, how they pay (taking a commission or purchasing directly from you), and how shipping works. Read the descriptions and visit the sites to see which one will work for you.

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    With this website that buys and sells women's and kids clothes, handbags, shoes, and accessories, you send off your clothes in a bag with a pre-paid mailing label and then wait to see what they are worth. ThredUp determines the value and pays you via PayPal, a pre-paid Visa, or store credit. In a few cases, items might be consigned instead of purchased from ThredUp. In the case of consignment, you can set the price, and have the ability to lower the price after a pre-determined amount of time (if the item doesn't sell). The clothes must be defect-free and sought-after brands. You can use an earnings estimator on the site to help determine if your items are likely to be accepted. There is a fee to have items that are not accepted returned.

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    This company is essentially an online consignment shop focused on high-end brands. Check the site to determine if the brands you are looking to sell are accepted. If so, use your phone to photograph, price, and list your items for sale. When your things sell, the company takes a commission. Shipping is paid by the buyer, and when you make a sale, Poshmark provides a pre-paid, pre-addressed label for you to send it to the buyer. Poshmark is only available in the United States and its territories. Poshmark sells women’s, children’s and men’s clothing, purses, shoes, jewelry, accessories, and makeup. It pays via electronic transfer to your bank account or check.

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    Lil Jelly Bean

    This children’s consignment store in New Jersey also accepts clothes from “consignors” via the internet, though it works more like ThredUp than a true consignment shop. Rather than listing item and paying a commission on sales, sellers are paid per item and a shipping fee is deducted from the proceeds. There is also the opportunity for event consignment in which items are sold at real-world events. This is paid via a more traditional consignment arrangement. Either way, payment is via Paypal or store credit. It accepts maternity clothing and children’s clothing sizes newborn to size 12.

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    The RealReal

    This luxury consignment company only accepts certain high-end designers. The commission rates are 50 percent for all items with an original resale price of $200 or less and all home items. The rates vary for higher priced items. Sellers do not set their own prices. In addition to men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, the company sells jewelry, art, watches and certain home goods and furniture. If you have more than 10 items in a certain price range, The RealReal will send someone to your home to pick up.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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    While this company is a lot like Poshmark, it has a different commission structure. They will deduct a flat commission fee of $7.50 for sold items less than $50. On sold items $50 or more, they will deduct a commission rate of 19 percent. It only takes women’s clothing, shoes, bags and accessories (no children’s or men’s). In addition to clothing, it specializes in weddings. This includes wedding gowns, veils, bridesmaid dresses, and groom and groomsman clothing as well as decorations and stationery. 

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    The Material World

    This company works very similarly to ThredUp (determining the value of the items you mail in than paying you) with one big difference—it pays via store credit or via PayPal. It has a more generous policy on rejected items, sending them back to you for free.