One day I realized that I had a rather expensive wardrobe (for which I’d paid full price) that was bursting at the seams, but somehow I never had anything to wear. I decided to try reorganizing my closet only to discover that it consisted of a hodgepodge of mismatched (designer) items. So I made a decision to dedicate some time to selling mostly on Tradesy, Poshmark, & Mercari. I eliminated the 75% of my wardrobe that I never wore, made nearly $4,000, and started buying new-to-me clothing online, with a purpose! Now I have a functional wardrobe that I love wearing and pocketed 1,000 bucks in the process. I have a strong desire to help others, so I’ve decided to share what I’ve learned so you can do it too (no schedule clearing required)!
If y’all are packrats like me, the thought of getting rid of anything can be traumatic. Also, selling the wrong things can be an expensive mistake, so I’ll walk you through how I decided what to sell.
First, for 14 days keep track of everything you wear by putting it in a pile after you wear it. This step is crucial, but don’t overthink it when you reach for your outfits. When your two weeks are up look at the items that you’ve chosen to wear and make a list of the reasons you chose them instead of items that you rarely or never wear. Here are some personal things to consider when you’re comparing your 14-day pile with the items in the back of your closet.
- Is it practical for your lifestyle (job, leisure activities, travel)? I can’t stress this one enough and it’s so rarely part of our conscious thought process when shopping or eliminating clothing. For example, my last job required lots of traveling, standing, and moving around. I was in a cycle of not being able to pack enough clothes, buying more, and then giving away what didn’t fit. Also I never had the time to wash all of the beautiful dry clean only items I owned. Had I taken the time to think this over, my wardrobe would look more like it does now – thin, layerable mix and match knit tops & tunics, packable jackets, leggings (mostly black), lightweight skinny pants, a couple vests, a few scarves & jewelry pieces to liven it up, and of course comfortable shoes.
- Fit: does it fit you and flatter your figure? For me, the majority of the items that don’t were impulse buys (bought at department stores’ big clearance events, funky legging prints that looked great on the Lululemon model, etc.).
- Care instructions: During this experiment I was very honest with myself. I discovered that I’m not wearing my silk Tory Burch tunics and cashmere Vince sweaters because of a little tag that says “dry clean only”. It can be hard to sell such beautiful blouses (regardless of the fact that they were impulse buys), but these types of items are where I made a lot of money.
- Does it meet your comfort standards? If you never reach for it because of a comfort issue, it’s time to sell!
- Stains: I’ve found Resolve Spray & Wash, followed by Grandma’s stain remover usually does the trick. If this doesn’t work, time to sell (or toss)! Items with holes & excess pilling should go too! Some brands like Lululemon and Free People have a cult following and will sell regardless of a couple holes or stains! Just make sure to clearly photograph & describe any flaws – more on how to sell later.
- Style: I just don’t wear flared pants anymore (for example) and was pleasantly surprised to find that people were interested in buying my flared legged pants online!
After deciding what to sell, set it aside in a separate closet or large bin, away from the rest of your clothes. If the separation anxiety pangs are strong, go ahead and wait for a while. I must warn you though – knowing the right amount of time to wait is delicate balance. On one end of the spectrum – accidentally selling something you’ll miss when the weather changes. On the other end – waiting too long, and the item goes out of style resulting in a tougher sell. Personally I’ve found that making the decision to add something to the “sell closet” is the hardest part, but once it’s there, it’s dead to me!
When you’re ready to sell, choosing the appropriate selling platform(s) is crucial. My next article will include an overview of the different platforms and how to choose the right one for what you’re selling that’s also best suited for your schedule.
Not on Poshmark, Mercari, Tradesy, or ThredUP yet? Look below to save money on your first purchase!
Join me on Poshmark – use code NEUOK to save $5 off your first purchase.
Join me on Mercari – use code TZQHMB to save $2 off your first purchase.
What I’m Wearing
Denim J. Crew Jacket purchased here on Poshmark. Find similar by searching for “J. Crew jean jacket” on Poshmark. I sized down in this style.
American Eagle chevron parachute pants/joggers purchased here on Mercari. Find similar by searching for “American Eagle chevron pants” on Poshmark or Mercari.
Anthropologie pink tank top, a survivor of my pre-thrifting days wardrobe. Similar style can be found here or by searching for “Anthropologie tank” in Poshmark or Mercari.