Willing to Sell Some Clothes and Shoes? You Could Make $1,000 a Year

Sell clothes online
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Is your closet cluttered with tops, dresses, shoes, handbags and accessories you never wear? Instead of letting them take up space and collect dust, turn them into cash by selling them on Tradesy.

The average seller on the site brings in about $1,000 each year, Tradesy CEO Tracy DiNunzio told USA Today, while one of the top sellers rakes in close to $1 million.

If those numbers made you start mentally sorting through your closet for potential sales, here’s what you need to know.

A Busy Marketplace for Women’s Fashion

DiNunzio created Tradesy as a place for women to sell secondhand clothing, bags, shoes and accessories online. And fashionistas love it: Tradesy’s likely to have more than 7 million members by the end of this year. On any given day, the listed merchandise’s value totals a staggering $300 million. For now, the site focuses on women’s fashions, but it plans on expanding into menswear in the near future.

While you could easily take your clothing and accessories to a local consignment store or sell them on eBay, Tradesy offers a couple of advantages. The site focuses exclusively on fashion, which makes for a more luxurious shopping experience. Plus, while many consignment stores take a 50 or 60% commission on your sales, Tradesy’s cut is only 9% if you use your earnings toward a Tradesy purchase, or 11.9% if you prefer to cash out.

How to Use Tradesy

First, scour your closet, ask friends or shop local thrift stores to find good (preferably name-brand) items to sell.

Take a photo of each item with your smartphone and write a short description. The site will recommend a price for each piece, but you’re free to override its suggestion and set your own price. That’s all it takes, and your listing is generally live within 30 seconds — the company compares the process to posting on Instagram.

Once an item sells, Tradesy will send you a shipping kit complete with packaging and a pre-paid shipping label.

If a customer returns an item for a reason outside your control, like it didn’t fit or they didn’t like the color, Tradesy will handle everything — and you keep your earnings. The only time you’ll need to refund a buyer is if you misrepresented the item, like listing a dress as Lilly Pulitzer when it’s really a knockoff.

How to Make the Most Money on Tradesy

Once you’ve decided to turn your clothes into cash, take a few simple steps to make sure you get the most profit from your items.

Choose Your Items Carefully

To cash in on Tradesy, you can either aim for selling high-priced merchandise or you can go the “volume” route and sell a lot of items.

If you don’t have a lot of designer clothes and purses, you’ll likely go the “volume” route. To gather a number of pieces to sell, consider asking friends and family members if they have anything they’d like you to sell. Work out a way to split the profits or earn a commission for helping them sell their items.

Be sure your items are in good shape, with no damage or stains — especially if you’re buying items at a thrift store. As much as possible, look for brand-name clothing and accessories, as they generally sell better. Top selling items include Tory Burch shoes, J. Crew and Lululemon clothing, Gucci and Burberry accessories.

Take Great Photos

While Tradesy does touch up some photos, the better the photo is to begin with, the better off you are.

Items usually look best in natural light, and show up best in front of a backdrop. Don’t just hold up a handbag and take a photo of it in your cluttered living room. Take the time to lay out a sheet by a window or outside, smooth everything out, make it look nice and then take a photo. For ideas on staging different types of items, scroll through photos on the site

Write a Clear, Detailed Description

Describe the item as fully as possible, including size, designer, color, fit and whether it has tags attached. Some sellers include ideas for how to style the item, like that a sweater can be dressed up with a pencil skirt or dressed down with jeans and flats. You might also want to note whether your items come from a smoke- or pet-free home, if applicable, as this could help you clinch a sale.

Be sure to note if there’s any damage to the item, such as a small stain or a tear in a purse’s lining. It may not be a dealbreaker for a buyer, but not disclosing this could lead to a return.

What Could You Earn?

Selling high-priced items is a good way to have a big payday. Recently, a Cartier watch sold for $1,185 on the site (the same watch retails for $3,500) and a Celine Trapeze bag sold for $2,025 (retail price: $2,800). Of course, most of us don’t have those high-priced designer items laying around our houses.

But much of the merchandise on the site is far more moderately priced, such as an Alice + Olivia dress for $47 and a J. Crew dress for $27.50. Some of the small clutches, totes, and bags on the site are just a few dollars. So you’ll need to sell more items if you want to earn a lot of cash, but you can likely earn a little bit of money from what’s already in your closet.

Your Turn: Have you sold clothing or accessories on Tradesy? We’d love to hear about your experience!

Kristen Pope is a freelance writer and editor in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.