After my bi-annual closet purge, I am usually left with a pile of clothes, shoes, and accessories - some nice, some hideous, some in new condition, some clearly used. So what to do?
I have 3 options:
1) Donate for Tax Credit. If I'm out of time, impatient, and just want the stuff out of my apartment, I will opt to take the clothes to a local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or a Green Tree Textiles drop-off site. I get a receipt, jot down an approximate donation value (pennies on the dollar) and hand off to my husband for when he files taxes. This is the easiest option but also has the least return.
- Super fast and easy disposal of unwanted stuff.
- Tax write off is a plus.
- Happy the items will be put to good use or recycled responsibly.
- They take anything and everything so this is a great repository for my old, ugly items.
- You make next to nothing.
- Getting the items to any of the above mentioned locations can be a hassle - especially for those without a car.
- The nice items yield far less then they are worth.
2) ThredUp. I have mixed feelings about sending my items to ThredUp. It is an online consignment shop akin to Buffalo Exchange + Second Time Around. In short, you request a pre-paid mailing bag that you fill and drop off at USPS (they claim you can schedule a pickup but USPS is so unreliable in NYC that it usually results in a bag sitting in my lobby for a week+ and then me dropping it off in the end). ThredUp accepts gently used women's and kid's clothes and accessories and pays you directly for the lower cost items accepted and consigns, on your behalf, higher end goods.
- It is super easy to get your clothes there (except dealing with USPS *fist shaking in the air*)
- They have a huge market place so instant customers for your consigned goods. You can also manage the price and request the item(s) be returned (for a fee) at any time.
- They pay you outright for your low end items accepted. You can get store credit or paypal after about 2 weeks.
- They donate anything that doesn't get accepted (which is great for people who don't have cars to drive to a local thrift store - like us).
- It's kinda expensive - the initial processing costs $12. Since they don't pay much, you might not make much after the upfront cost.
- It's risky if you don't pay an extra fee to get your rejected items returned. This makes me a little nervous with items that I know are worth something but am not certain will be accepted.
- You don't get as much money as you would if you sold directly to a buyer. ThredUp will give you pennies on the dollar anything they buy directly. You can, however, make a decent amount via consignment.
- You can only send labeled items.
- You can only send relatively new items (no vintage).
- Dealing with USPS. Don't.Get.Me.Started.
- You have to wait up to 2 weeks for your money.
3) Poshmark. I'm relatively new to Poshmark so for those not in the know, Poshmark is a C2C marketplace where you quickly and easily list items for sale (mostly clothing, shoes, and accessories but I've seen random stuff like toys and household items as well). You set the price, snap a few pics, and up it goes to the Poshmark sales platform. If someone is interested, they might negotiate or buy outright. Once the sale is made, you print a free shipping label, Poshmark takes a cut, you pack your item and into the mailbox it goes.
Sounds so easy right? It is and it isn't.
- You can make more money selling directly than through Thredup. For example, I had an older pair of Frye Harness boots and based on the condition, Thredup would have rejected them. Instead, via Poshmark, I made ~$15.
- You have complete control over your items and don't have to worry about something being rejected and donated never to be seen again.
- It is super easy to use. You can literally list something in under 5 minutes.
- Shipping is simple - you can print at home, tape it to your box, and drop it in the local mailbox (means I don't have to deal with USPS AT ALL. Major bonus).
- Money comes through almost immediately. No two week wait here.
- You can sell unlabeled and vintage items (something ThredUp does not take).
- It takes work to get followers and make sales. You have to spend some serious time following a bunch of people, sharing and re-sharing your items or other people's items. While there are a massive amount of people on Poshmark, you still have to hustle to make sales. This can be a major deterrent for anyone who doesn't have the patience to deal with it.
- Items can stagnate. Because it takes time to build up followers, it can take weeks and weeks to sell something (if at all). If you are eager to move product, Poshmark might not be the best option.
- Sometimes you have to deal with spam or annoying low ball offers. Par for the course with online public spaces but no less irritating.
Overall, all are solid options and I typically do a combination of the three. I dump my ugly stuff at donation and then take a stab at selling on Poshmark. Anything that lingers for 3-4 weeks, I usually add to my ThredUp bag and drop it (begrudgingly) at the post office.
When you get rid of clothes, what do you do?
Feedback on ThredUp or Poshmark? Let me know.