Cleaning out your closet may be a cathartic experience, until you look down at the piles of clothing and see dollar signs. Consignment stores and secondhand clothing shops willing to buy gently used clothing solved this issue for a couple of decades. But going into a Buffalo Exchange or Plato’s Closet to have your clothing appraised by a snarky, hipster who shoots judgmental looks and over-the-top eye rolls about your questionable fashion sense makes it easier to just save face and donate your clothing. That was, until Threadflip and Tradesy came along in 2012.
Both sites offer women an opportunity to sell gently used clothing, accessories, shoes and handbags without leaving the comfort of their homes. Goods can range from Gap to Chanel, and the sites differ in how much control you –- the seller -– has over what’s being sold and for how much.
How Threadflip Works
Threadflip is the ideal site for taking the hands-off, but potentially less lucrative, approach. Sign up for the site and then request a free shipping kit. Threadflip will send you a kit with everything you need to ship your clothes, shoes and accessories back to it or just provide you with an instant label if you’ve already boxed it all up. Your items are insured for $300 –- more if you’re selling high-priced items and contact customer service.
ThreadFlip does not accept clothing from Sears, JCPenney, Walmart, Costco, Kmart, Old Navy, Target and dozens of other lines. Ship your clothing off, and Threadflip takes care of the rest. Employees will inspect, photograph, price and ship your clothes to the buyer. Any clothing deemed unsellable will be donated to Goodwill or returned to you for a $10 fee per kit shipped back.
In exchange for all the work, Threadflip takes a 20 percent commission on sold items. Money earned on Threadflip can either be cashed out via PayPal or used as a credit to shop on the site.
How Tradesy Works
Tradesy offers a more hands-on approach for sellers and only takes a 9 percent commission. Unlike consignment stores, your items remain available to you until they sell or you take them down.
You’re responsible for taking pictures of your items, describing them and setting prices. A simple interface allows you to upload your photos, answer some questions and set prices. You have the option of disclosing the original retail price, and Tradesy makes pricing suggestions based on the market, but you can set your price higher or lower.
Within 24 hours of uploading a cover photo, a Tradesy employee will freshen it up and cut out any background and hangers to just feature the clothing.
Once an item sells, Tradesy will send you a shipping kit or mailing label based on your preference. You simple pack your items up and send them off to your buyer.
The cost of shipping the item is put on the buyer, so if you price an item at $22, Tradesy will display it as $29.50 to include $7.50 for shipping. You’d make $20.02 after the 9 percent commission. Tradesy also handles returns.
Men, Millenials and Money
Currently, neither site sells men’s clothing, but this will change soon for Tradesy.
Tradesy and Threadflip both feature popular bridesmaids dresses. If you’re trying to be a frugal bridesmaid, see if you can get your dress deeply discounted. Most have only been worn once. Or consider selling your old bridesmaids dresses to fund future ones.
Tradesy and Threadflip both use PayPal to send money to customers. You pay PayPal’s processing fee: 2.9 percent of the transaction plus 30 cents. Tradesy also allows you to deposit funds directly into your bank account. If you would prefer to shop, either site will let you use your earnings toward store credit to buy products from other sellers.