If you’re passionate about fashion and looking for a business to start, you may want to consider clothing reselling. Resellers can make a good living by shopping at thrift stores and looking for hidden gems to sell on eBay like designer purses and high-end sneakers. For example, Natalie Gomez made $100,000 flipping clothing for profit on a resale site called Poshmark. She was able to quit her 9 to 5 as a merchandise planner and make reselling her full-time job.
My sister also has a successful clothing reselling business that I’ve been helping her with. She was having trouble scaling it by herself and needed assistance with listing and sourcing clothing from the thrift store. I’ve learned a lot about how to resell clothing for profit by working with her. So I thought I’d share some of the tips I’ve picked up over the past few months with you today.
5 Tips to Help You Run a Successful Clothing Reselling Business
Want to know how to turn the items collecting dust in your closet into cash? Here are some tips to help you start a successful clothing reselling business.
Research Comps Before You Buy
Some resellers focus on retail arbitrage and source their clothing from discount stores like Ross and Nordstrom Rack. However, I’ve found that the best place to source items is usually thrift stores. Their price points are usually lower than stores like TJ Maxx, which means more profit in your pocket.
Before you buy an item of clothing at the thrift store though, you should always research the comps. Certain pieces may not be worth as much as you think. For example, I found a Marc Jacobs coat at a thrift store for $10 that originally retailed for at least $300.
But when I looked for similar coats that had sold on Poshmark, I saw that Marc Jacobs jackets were only selling for $20 to $40. There just isn’t a big demand for Marc Jacobs coats, so I decided to pass on it.
Even if something was expensive when it was first sold in stores, that doesn’t mean it has a high resale value. That’s why you should always check Poshmark and eBay before you buy something so you don’t end up with clothes with low profit margins.
Know Your Brands
When you’re reselling clothing, it’s really important to know which brands have good resale value. The brands that sell well on Poshmark aren’t always popular or well-known. You’ve probably heard of J. Crew and American Eagle, but they don’t sell for much money on Poshmark because they’re too commonplace. Everyone’s trying to sell clothing they got from Abercrombie and Fitch at the mall. But if you can find pieces from more exclusive, expensive designers like Veronica Beard or MOTHER, you’ll earn a higher profit.
Believe it or not, you can find these items at regular thrift stores like your local Goodwill. Although it helps to shop in thrift stores located in wealthy areas, I live in a small town and have still been able to find luxury brands. As a bonus, all the luxury items I’ve found have been cheaper than clothing from mall brands like J. Crew. The employees who price donations recognize clothing from popular brands and mark up the prices accordingly, but often miss luxury brands.
It pays to study fashion and know your brands inside and out. You can learn more about luxury brands and which items are on-trend by following fashion influencers and heading to the mall. Walk into your local Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus and take note of the high-end brands on the racks. Those are the brand names you should look for at the thrift store.
Improve Your SEO
Resale platforms like eBay, Poshmark, Mercari, and Depop are similar to search engines. Shoppers can type in what they’re looking for (i.e. pink ski jacket) and get results that match their query.
Since items that match their search terms exactly will show up higher in the results, you should try to provide as much detail about your item as possible. The size, brand, color, and market (whether the item is for men or women) should all be visible in the title. You should also include the style number if you have it and the original product name the designer gave the item.
Additionally, I like to include keywords that set the item apart. If it has any special details like crochet or lace, I put that in the product description. I also mention what occasions or seasons the piece would be good for, like weddings, work, or cold winter days. If the item has a distinct style like boho or grunge, put that in the listing as well. The more keywords you use, the better.
Cross-List Your Items
Listing your items on multiple resale platforms can help them get more visibility and sell faster. It’s a lot of work to post your inventory to multiple platforms. But luckily tools like List Perfectly and Vendoo will do it for you automatically. You’ll have to pay a monthly fee, but it’s well worth it.
Cross-posting your listings will give you multiple streams of income from several different platforms. So if business slows down on one resale site, you’ll have other revenue streams to fall back on.
Be Active On Resale Platforms
Being active online is key if you want to become a successful reseller. When customers ask you questions about the items you’re selling, you should always aim to respond quickly. This will not only make your customers happier but could also give you extra SEO points and make your listings appear higher in the search results.
Some resale sites like Poshmark also reward sellers for being active on the platform. Sharing your listings and interacting with other users may boost your closet’s position in the search rankings. Listing new inventory frequently can also have a similar effect, so make sure you’re always shopping for the latest fashion finds.
Have you ever thought about starting a clothing reselling business? Let me know in the comments section below!
Vicky Monroe is a freelance personal finance and lifestyle writer. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite money saving hacks or tinkering with her budget spreadsheets, she likes to travel, garden, and cook healthy vegetarian meals.