Covid-19 lockdowns resulted in a record number of people purging their wardrobes of clothes and accessories they no longer wear. According to a recent ThredUp survey, 50 percent more people cleaned out their closets in April and May 2020 than they did prior to the pandemic.
And as consumers become increasingly aware of the way their fashion and spending habits impact the world around them, they’re turning to resale services to give their items a second life and keep them out of landfills—and earn some extra cash in the process.
If you’re clearing out your closet and searching for the best resale apps for clothing and accessories, try some of these easy services.
With more than 17 million members to its name, The RealReal is a destination for luxury consignment. Each item on the website is authenticated through a process overseen by a team of more than 150 luxury brand authenticators, horologists, gemologists and home and art curators. To sell an item, users can either book a complimentary consultation via video chat or simply ship items directly to the company with free UPS pickup. The site notes that items typically sell within three days. From there, users can either be paid by direct deposit, site credit or mailed check.
While many resale sites experienced increased activity as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, ThredUp fared especially well. Compared to prior months, customers ordered 6.5 times as many of ThredUp’s donation clean-out kits in April, and in May spent 2.2 million hours—a 31 percent increase from before the pandemic. The site accepts women’s and children’s apparel, and currently offers more than 35,000 brands, “from Gap to Gucci.” Users can order a “clean out kit,” which they can fill up with their items and drop off at a FedEx or UPS location. When items sell, users can either cash out or get shopping credit. ThredUp has partnered with a number of retailers including Frame, Banana Republic, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch and Reformation to encourage shoppers to trade in their items in exchange for shopping credit at their favorite store.
Since launching in 2011, Poshmark has attracted more than 70 million users and facilitated the sale of more than 130 million items. The site is home to pre-owned fashion spanning women’s, men’s, children, home, footwear and accessories. Sellers take control of their items, listing each piece individually and pricing it as they see fit. For all sales under $15, Poshmark takes a flat commission of $2.95. For sales of $15 or more, Poshmark takes 20 percent. Users can cash out on their own schedule and either opt for a mailed check or a direct deposit.
More than 18 million users turn to Depop for streetwear, rare sneakers and vintage fashion. It was founded by co-founder of PIG magazine and RetroSuperFuture sunglasses Simon Beckerman. Users can easily list and sell their own items, taking up to four photos and describing them in detail. Depop charges a 10 percent flat rate fee on every item sold.
Tradesy is a peer-to-peer resale marketplace for luxury designer fashion, and authenticates items with smart technology that automatically detects and removes fakes listed on the site. It offers clothing, bags, shoes, accessories and even has a category dedicated to wedding apparel. Sellers can either set their own price on a garment or Tradesy will recommend a fair one accordingly. Tradesy collects a 19.8 percent commission on sold items of $50 or more and a flat commission fee of $7.50 for sold items less than $50. Users can withdraw earnings using Paypal, debit card or an ACH transfer.
Grailed is a curated peer-to-peer marketplace for pre-owned luxury menswear. Users list their items and, once sold, Grailed deducts a 9 percent commission fee. As of October 2020, Grailed enhanced the platform with new features including digital authentication, a field for measurements and listing tags. It also launched Dry Clean Only, an editorial platform that provides content on designers, drops and more.
Vinted USA is a community of 34 million members interested in men’s, women’s and children’s secondhand apparel. It works like many other peer-to-peer selling apps, but with one caveat: Vinted charges zero selling fees, so all of the earnings go directly to the seller. Users simply take photos of their items, describe them, set a price and ship it for free once sold.
With more than 15 million users, Mercari is a prime destination for pre-owned items and apparel, ranging from men’s, women’s and kids’ clothing to electronics and toys. In July, the company identified women’s handbags, shoes and athletic apparel as the hottest items that its community was hunting for. Formal wear for kids, as well as men’s accessories, were also among the most popular. Sellers list their items for resale and price them accordingly, and are charged a fee of 10 percent for each sale. Payment processing fees apply to select sales.
Curtsy is a resale site for women’s apparel, handbags, jewelry and accessories. Users upload photos and a description of their items and set their own prices. Curtsy then deducts a 20 percent commission for all sales, or $3 for items under $15. Sellers get paid the day the item is scanned by the post office.
Vintage is a “virtual flea market” that connects you with other vintage lovers in your area who are selling vintage items such as shirts, dresses and shoes, as well as games, electronics and home goods. There are no fees, and posting an item only requires uploading photos, describing the product and setting a price. It’s similar to Craigslist in that interested buyers can connect with sellers through the app, establish a safe place and time to meet, and make the exchange.
Rebag is a platform that allows users to buy and sell luxury handbags and accessories. Even in the height of the pandemic, the platform secured a $15 million series D funding, demonstrating investors’ faith in the luxury resale market. With the Clair feature, users search the database for the item they want to sell, and receive the estimated value that they can accept as ACH/check or app credit. Users can also visit a Rebag store and sell items at the Rebag Bar in less than an hour. All items undergo an in-person review process performed by experts with 100+ years of combined experience.
Launched in 2009, Vestiaire Collective now has more than 7 million members located in 50 countries. The platform caters to users looking to buy and sell pre-owned luxury bags and accessories from labels such as Louis Vuitton, Celine, Gucci, Hermes, Rolex and Cartier. Every week, 25,000 new items are added to the site. Sellers simply take a photo of the item, fill in the relevant information and wait for a sale. Each item is inspected by a team of experts to verify its authenticity.
Resale is especially helpful for children’s fashion, as kids are constantly growing out of their clothing and footwear. Kidizen is a marketplace dedicated to children’s clothes, shoes, accessories, toys, books and decor. It also accepts maternity clothes, diaper bags, baby carriers and other new baby essentials. Sellers can list and manage their items in seconds, and listings can also be shared on Facebook Marketplace for added exposure. Kidizen keeps a 12 percent marketplace fee on transactions once a listing sells, and users can cash out or keep earnings right on the app to apply toward future purchases.