Selling Your Clothes? The Do’s and Don’ts of Fashion Resale

Fashion resale is an alluring concept: to get something in return for years of closet investments sounds like a dream you’ll wake up from as soon you cash the check. But as with any business, all you need is a little know-how.

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A woman’s style evolves along with life events—it goes from college to career, dating to marriage, to motherhood and beyond—not to mention fluctuations in size and keeping up with new designs available. When the clothes no longer fit your life, selling comes in; it’s a way to take control of your closet and your wallet. At Tradesy, selling clothes is kind of our bread and butter, and over the years we’ve come to know quite a few facts about the biz:


Make sure you are ready to let go. When purging your closet of things you don’t wear, it’s easy to be idealistic. Before throwing your colored dress shirts Gatsby-style all over the bedroom floor, think about whether you’ll miss each piece. If it’s something you still love, money won’t make it easier to part with it. If you’re not sure whether you want to keep or sell an item, wait a few days before listing it. As a seller, you have the same obligation as a store: to provide customers with goods in exchange for payment, so make sure you’re ready to let it go.

Do a little research. See what’s hot by checking out trends featured by fashion authorities like Lucky and Elle – that way, you’ll know if something you want to sell is in demand. As Heidi says, in fashion, “one day you’re in, the next you’re out.” Certain things will just sell better this month. And don’t forget to consider the season – your pea coat is more likely to sell faster and for a better price if you offer it in fall rather than spring.

Spruce it up a bit. Used items can have high resale value, but scuffs and stains will lower it. There are home remedies for quick cleaning – like buffing out scuffs on your patent leather heels with a Q-tip and nail polish remover – that may be worth a shot. Just be sure to use the right cleaning supplies for the right materials, or you may end up with other issues.

Spill the details. When creating an online listing for your clothes, a good description is key. Would you rather spend $600 on a Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag that has a photo and no description, or would you feel more comfortable buying from someone who shared the condition, including any visible wear? By divulging the details you ensure that the buyer has no surprises.

Returns can be messy with extra shipping and payment claims (though less so if you sell via Tradesy’s hassle-free platform). Detailing the condition of your item, in essence, covers your butt… because you never know!

Take bright, clear photos. The #1 conclusion in any online business, including resale? Good images are a must. As a rule, images of high quality, size, and clarity prove to be the best for products. A white background usually helps. This article from Econsutancy has some photography tips for beginners.

Sell it! Really sell it. If you want to sell that hard-to-find designer bag all your friends are jealous of, shout the brand name from the rooftops. Let people know what’s so great about your piece. Is it designer? Vintage? Rare? Seen on all the celebs? Then let people know!


Account for sentimental value. The sweater you bought with your very first Big Girl paycheck or the dress you wore the night you fell in love with your now-husband do not increase in value simply because they were worn on special occasions. If that were the case, I’d have cashed in on my high school formalwear long ago, fake jewels and all! Value depends on original retail price, condition, designer, rarity, authenticity, and a whole lot of other things that aren’t sentiment. Price accordingly!

Underestimate your stash. Just because you think those Louboutins you spent a small fortune on are donezo doesn’t mean they don’t still have a few miles on them. Somewhere out there, someone is looking for Louboutins in the right fit at the right price. Exciting, right?

Sell your underwear. There are exceptions to every rule, buuuut unless you have some rare vintage piece (and actually, even then…) your panties have no place on the internet. Same goes for socks and the 5-pack of tank tops that came wrapped in plastic. My point? Don’t waste your time selling things that weren’t worth much to begin with or only work for you. Of course, this changes with bras and swimwear – if they’re name-brand or like-new, go for it!

We hope these do’s and don’ts give you a head start with fashion resale – let us know if they helped!

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