We’re in the golden age of the so-called “side hustle.” Or, maybe we’re just hearing that buzzword a lot as of late.
It seems that we’re out of the era of striking it rich on eBay a la Nasty Gal, but there are a few apps that keep getting major mentions both online and off.
So, what’s the deal—can you make any cash?
Like any other seemingly easy money-making schemes, there are several articles from questionable sites that tell you how a student or a stay-at-home mom made six figures selling clothes on Poshmark or Depop.
We came across a UK sneaker seller who made his living flipping shoes, as well as several sellers who made a decent chunk of change through these platforms, but you likely won’t be able to quit your day job.
You’ve got to know what sells
One thing that’s always a challenge with reselling clothing, shoes, and bags is knowing whether anyone will want your old stuff.
Think back to anytime you’ve ever dropped a few bags off at your local Crossroads or Buffalo Exchange.
You probably went in thinking you had some real gems in those old grocery bags but walked out with a measly $10.
Online, there are more chances to impress the buyer. But, clothes need to be in good shape.
You’ll also need to have some knowledge of the trends, the seasons, and how much items are supposed to cost.
Picking the right app for your wares is also a big part of whether you’ll make any money.
Some apps specialize in high-end items, while others cater to a trend-driven crowd or bargain hunters.
Here’s the quick rub on some of the more popular apps.
Top apps to sell your clothes
Depop is a social selling app that allows you to list your old clothes for free and build a personal store. The app is formatted a lot like Instagram, making it a natural fit for sellers that use the social media site on the regular.
Depop makes you do a bit more work than competing apps, but the benefit is, they only take a 10 percent commission, plus PayPal fees.
Sell anything from vintage wares to gently used mall brands, as well as things like records, accessories, and more. The main thing to remember is that looks matter a ton.
According to the company’s CEO, Maria Raga, the secret to successful selling lies in a combination of top-notch photography and an accurate description.
Poshmark has become super popular over the past couple of years. The platform is stuffed with millions of users, who put together virtual closets by uploading photos and descriptions.
Selling your clothing on Poshmark means taking some pics, and enhancing them with one of eight provided filters. Then you’ll add a description, as well as category, size, and price. Poshmark determines your fee — it’s a flat fee of $2.95 for items $15 and under or 20 percent on anything over that $15 threshold.
It’s worth pointing out that Poshmark has a distinctively social aspect to it. To drum up attention on the app, you need to like comment and follow other users. The more you engage, the more you’ll sell. So, this isn’t the best option for people who don’t enjoy participating in social media.
High-end labels and designer clothes do well on the platform, as do trendier brands like Anthropologie, Madewell, and Lululemon.
Tradesy is similar to Poshmark, but they have a different commission structure. The site also only takes women’s clothing, no kids stuff or menswear, allowed. Tradesy is the best place to sell your old handbags, as well as wedding attire you’ll never use again.
This app allows shoppers to browse by brand or category, and the site guarantees that all items are authentic and in good condition.
Selling on the app is relatively easy, too. Simply download the app and snap a few shots of your items — from there, Tradesy will enhance your images by removing distractions. Add your details, and you’re good to go.
Sellers can request a free shipping kit from the app or use their materials, and send items on their way. The app does take a 19.8% commission—which may seem pretty hefty. However, what we did like about this app was, you don’t need to do a ton of socializing as you do on Depop or Poshmark.
The RealReal is your destination for offloading the high-end stuff that just didn’t work for you. While you won’t be able to ditch your whole wardrobe here, if you’ve got a decent amount of designer duds, this is a great hands-off option.
To start selling, you’ll need to make an appointment with The RealReal’s luxury managers, who come to your home. Or, you’ll have the option to mail items to the warehouse for free.
Sellers earn 70 percent of the selling price, which seems like you lose a big cut, but you don’t need to do anything other than provide the items.
The RealReal handles the sales, photography, and advertising, so the higher commission may well be worth the time saved, especially if you’re not a confident photographer.
ThredUP is an interesting one, here. It’s not necessarily a reliable source of cash. Rather, it’s a nice way to earn a few bucks when your closet needs a good purge.
ThredUP does everything for you; you’ll order a clean-out kit and pack up your clothes. Then, they’ll sort through your clothes and pay you according to the selling price of each item they accept.
The benefit of working with these guys is, even if they choose not to use your clothes, you don’t have to take back the rejects. They’ll go ahead and donate your old stuff for you.
In the end, you kind of need an endless well of nice inventory that’s on the pulse of what’s cool. As a side hustle, selling clothes online seems like you’ll need to invest a lot of time and energy into selling — from the photography, the keywords, and understanding the market.
It seems that most people earn enough to exchange their old clothes for new ones, meaning, it’s a solid way to get a fresh wardrobe without breaking the bank.
All of those “six-figure sellers” likely treat their digital stores like the online business it is, which requires a full-time commitment, much like other types of online hustles.
Where eBay resellers once did alright by scouring the local Goodwills and Salvation Army for carelessly discarded gems, it seems too many people got in on the secret.
Now, the local thrift store is loaded up with discarded Target and H&M options that don’t quite hold up the second time around.
As such, app-based resellers will need to get savvy about finding their stock. Whether that’s through sample sales, discounts, or an online shopping habit, it’s more work than it may initially appear.