Everyone loves a bargain, right? Whether it’s a new cashmere coat on the back rack for $15, or a barely-worn pair of Manolos you stumble on at your local thrift store.
So it’s funny that, when it comes time to sell OUR clothes, we’re often trapped in a delusional story about value and what we think is an acceptable price for our treasures.
Because it always comes down to time or money.
It takes two people for something to have value—the seller with a number in her mind and the buyer willing to pay that amount. Without the buyer, you have a thing and a story.
So if you have the time and space to wait for someone to show up and pay you what you think something is worth, then you can sit on these items for as long as that takes …
But if you’re eager to get some space AND some cash, adjusting your expectations for what something is worth to someone else is a great place to start.
With that mindset, you are primed to clear out your closets, harvest some money, and get on with the rest of your life.
And to be clear, you CAN turn your gently-used clothes, purses, and accessories into cash. Me and my team have made thousands of dollars liquidating clients’ gently used furniture, clothing and other items.
Now, keep in mind that like most online retailers, these sites aren’t just tracking data on the lifespans of different designers—they’re also paying attention to you and your shopping habits.
Which doesn’t mean you should avoid them—it just means you should know what you’re getting into before you click.
ONLINE CONSIGNMENT SHOPS
Here are some of the most popular and successful sites for selling designer and other quality clothing:
- Current Boutique
- The RealReal
- Material World
- Crossroads Trading
- Couture USA
For the New Yorkers out there, here are some of my favorite local options:
You can find even more in this list from Time Out New York.
If it seems weird or sketchy to you to just bundle up your quality items and ship them off to be sold on consignment, consider the time savings built into this process.
All you do is is make sure the clothes are clean, then bag them up, and ship them out. They’ll do everything else: take all the pictures, create the postings, and market the items for you. They’ll handle the sale. You get a check in the mail.
Sure, they take a cut—but they also take all the headache of getting your stuff sold.
Often, they’ll donate or recycle whatever doesn’t sell on your behalf, so your closet stays clutter-free, and you don’t have to wrestle with deciding what to do with the clothes you didn’t wear anyway.
I’ve used several of these vendors for years and they are always a net win for me and my clients.
And if you’re clearing out a large closet stuffed with serious designer clothing, several of these companies will send someone to your home to collect everything for you!
Now, if you don’t mind handling individual item transactions and going back and forth with buyers in a marketplace like eBay, go for it.
Just know ahead of time what your hours are worth, and how many of them you’re willing to trade for cash.
ONE IN, ONE OUT
So many people focus on getting organized instead of staying organized. Sound familiar?
That’s why the 3rd leg of The Organizational Triangle®, Something in, Something out, is the secret weapon our students learn for keeping their closets free of clutter after they get organized.
Once everything has a home and all like objects are together, you are organized—it really IS that simple.
So when you hit that perfect point of clothing equilibrium, consider your closet “locked.”
And the criteria for that is simply that there is enough room in the closet or closets for all of your things WITHOUT having to push or shove to make it all fit.
There are no hard and fast rules about quantity so let that story go.
If you have room for 150 pairs of shoes and you can easily see them and get to them, then that can be your number. Your only limitations are your space and your budget.
And that goes for dresser drawers, boxes, bags … anywhere you put your things.
So with that in mind, when your space is full and everything is still accessible, just use the rule of “Something in, Something out” to keep it that way.
And that is exactly HOW you stay organized.
Just bought a brand new scarf? Get rid of an old one.
Splurged on this season’s hottest trend? Sell or donate something that’s on its way out and unlikely to return for another decade or more.
If you buy only what you need, you’ll discover several benefits:
- You’ll only have an item or two to sell or donate at any given time, making it a much easier task to get rid of than a whole closet full of stuff
- You’ll only buy clothes that you will wear and look GREAT in
- Your closet will STAY organized and tidy long after you put in the effort to get it looking that way
THE BOTTOM LINE
If you have several high-quality items to sell, consignment shops (online or in person) are an excellent way to earn money without spending much time on the process.
And once you’ve let go of everything you no longer wear and love, the easiest way to keep your closets clutter-free is to avoid buying too much stuff in the first place. Make mindful purchasing a practice.
If your extra stuff is a source of tension in your household, check out our 90-minute masterclass on How to Stop Fighting Over Stuff. You’ll learn exactly how to get along AND get organized!