I hate Eminem but I get his stupid song stuck in my head every time I try to declutter. Tonight I am cleaning out my closet!
Every time I’ve moved in the past five years I’ve done a deep clean. Each clean gets deeper and deeper as I become ready to part with more items, and of course I accrue new stuff on the way. When we moved from Oregon to Massachusetts everything happened on a far more expedited schedule than anticipated, and I left two months before Manbeast. Our plans to carefully consider each item before packing where thrown out the window for the foolproof technique of Buy a Lot of Bins and Shove Everything in Them Hooray!
The problem was that then all those things had to be carried up three flights of stairs to our attic apartment, and when we move (hopefully) this year they will have to be carried down three flights of stairs and then who knows what awaits at the next destination?
So I’ve decided to do some serious downsizing, and if I can make a couple bucks before I crack and dump it all at Savers/H&M Conscious then that’s great. Security deposits are expensive.
THE FOLLOWING POST IS ALL AFFILIATE LINKS AND LINKS TO WHERE MY SHIT IS BEING SOLD, BUT MY REVIEWS OF THE SITES AND THEIR USABILITY IS MY OWN OPINION
Ok, disclaimer done, let’s look at our options for minimizing and getting cash:
Buffalo Exchange/ Plato’s Closet/ Local Consignment
Living in Eugene was a thrifter’s dream. Great cash-up-front consignment stores like The Clothes Horse and The Buffalo Exchange were everywhere, and anything they didn’t take you could bring to amazing local thrift stores that benefited the community like S.A.R.A’s Treasures. I haven’t had great luck finding things like that near me. There are two Buffalo Exchanges outside of Boston but both are terrible hassles to get to. I haven’t been to Plato’s Closet, but it is the same idea in equally inconvenient locations. A local place did open near me but having been in it they don’t seem to do much contemporary dealings, and I don’t own much ugly 80s stuff.
Still, if you have one of these less than a traffic-riddled hour away from you they are easily the best way to sell your stuff. Cash up front, no concerns about shipping, if you’re looking to rotate your wardrobe you can try on stuff while you wait. Selling at the types of consignment stores is my preferred method to unload clothing.
The cons are, at least with BE, that they can be incredibly picky and sometimes snobby about it. They are trying to maintain a certain hipster aesthetic and it can be difficult to sell even new items to them. A pro is that they accept menswear.
ThredUp is an online consignment store that handles all the photographing and shipping for you. Order a clean out bag, fill it up, and send it back with the prepaid label. Currently the order fee is waived, but usually it is $5 to order a clean out bag. I’ve done two cleanouts with ThredUp, one is currently in processing and one paid out a whopping 8.70. Considering that one, just one, of the 8 items I sent in sold for $13, it feels like they were stingy with their payout.
They also make you pay $12 to get anything they don’t accept back. Last time I let them keep what they didn’t want, this time I’ve requested “return assurance” and created a spreadsheet of the items I’ve sent in so I can track what has been accepted.
Not getting return assurance and sending while the bag is free though, you really are only making money while unloading items. And the parts that I hate about selling online (descriptions, photos, packaging) are all taken care of. So that is nice.
They don’t take any menswear or jewelry, but they do have a large selection of children’s clothing. A lot of items are returnable to ThredUp, so if something doesn’t fit you can send it back.
I don’t love ThredUp, but it’s better than nothing. Here’s my “store page.”
Poshmark is… truly born of the internet. Like ebay, you are in charge of creating your listings, but the lack of bidding makes the site feel more like an Amazon Seller Page. But it’s still not exactly that either.
In many ways, it’s an online yard sale for (women’s) attire and makeup. You create a “closet” using their app and display items for sale. You set the price but users can also make their own offers, which you can accept or reject. I tried selling on ebay in the days before I had a smartphone, which meant creating listings was a giant pain. The Poshmark app eliminates that giant painy-ness of creating listings upfront, but they cannot be edited from a computer which makes crafting thoughtful descriptions frustrating (for me at least).
I’m still not sure I understand Poshmark, if we’re being honest. It seems like it is 90% a social networking site and 10% an actual sales site. People leave comments, follow each other, share items, like items… but there doesn’t seem to be much actual buying going on! There are accounts and listings just dedicated to gaining more followers. Well the four items I’ve sold haven’t even been to followers. I don’t care about growing my follower count, I care about growing my customer count! I have 700 followers and have only sold 4 things!
Also there are items that are not “posh compliant” but you can’t tell that by reading their seller guidelines or searching items for sale, you have to hope someone who isn’t an asshole directs you to the year-old blog where they tell you what isn’t “compliant!” Three of the four items I’ve sold were apparently non-compliant, but I found that out after making the sale. Oops. Apparently I have one more non-complaint listing if you count the fact that I’m selling a bundle of ties because they aren’t “womenswear” but I’d fight someone on that. Ladies can be wearing neckties.
A lot of makeup is being sold for higher than retail value, and a lot of people seem to be in this not to clear out their closet while making some extra money, but to straight up Make Money. And there are a lot of silly memes about bundles and pricing and all that shit and it’s like a game but I don’t want to play.
Poshmark takes $2.95 off every order you sell, so if you sell anything for less than $3 you get nothing for it. At least they’re upfront about that fuckery. They charge all users $6 for priority shipping but it doesn’t cost you, the seller, anything. So that’s a plus.As a buyer thought that high shipping rate can make or break a sale. I’m coveting this (non-complaint) listing, but when I tack on what I’ll pay for shipping I’m not actually saving any money not buying directly from Urban Outfitters.
Someone commented “is this still available” next to a listing I posted yesterday that doesn’t have a sold banner. Why wouldn’t it still be available? Is this a frequent problem on Poshmark?
So I’ve sold four cosmetic items. That makeup bag did need a clearing out but I was hoping to move some clothes, they’d be heavier! And then I bought some stuff- good times. I could literally dedicate an entire post to be baffled by Poshmark
I guess Poshmark is easy enough to try but it gets overwhelming fast. Here’s my closet.
Thrift stores all seem to be more interested in name branding than quality. I suppose I understand that online because it’s very easy to search for high end brands. In a traditional thrift shop I’m too focused on finding things that fit and that I like to care about what brand it is. I usually don’t think to check til I’m home. Maybe I’m an anomaly.
Honestly, Amazon is my favorite selling platform but it’s only really usable for books. I just appreciate the set up and the payout, and the ability to select different shipping methods as a seller and consumer. Here’s a link to my Amazon inventory… those books are heavy.