If you’re anything like me (AKA, a shopoholic), you’re constantly editing your closet, getting rid of clothes and accessories that you’re not feeling anymore, but what to do with those items? You can donate them, sure. But wouldn’t it be awesome to get a little cash to fund your next shopping trip? Luckily for me, I have a few buy-sell-trade stores in my area that I can bring my unwanted clothes to in exchange for cash or store credit. Usually, it’s a pleasant experience, but there are those times when I get the “judgy girl” behind the buying counter (see picture), who evaluates my clothes with utter disdain. That’s never a fun experience. All the while I’m on the other side of the counter thinking, “Who is she to judge my amazing clothes? But man, I could really use the cash…Oh my god, this is so nerve-wracking! Did she just pass on those Sam & Libby strappy sandals?! Oh my god, I can’t take this!”
To avoid this stress, or if you don’t have a buy-sell-trade store in your area, there are now some sites where you can send in your clothes via mail. That’s right–you can send away your clothes, shoes, and accessories from the comfort of your own home! Take a look at my round up of the top mail service companies.
What do they take? ThredUp takes women’s clothes, shoes, and handbags, as well as maternity and children’s clothes.
How does it work? Request a pre-paid shipping “clean out bag” and mail them your gently used, on-trend items, which can be picked up from your house or a FedEx office.
How long does it take? After the bag has been received, it takes 2-4 weeks to process.
What is the payout? Payouts depend on “quantity, quality, and adherence to ThredUp standards.” The site features an earnings estimator so you can get an idea of what you’ll earn per item (i.e., an American Eagle Outfitters dress has an estimated payout of $1.25 while a Kate Spade shoulder bag has an estimated payout of $20.20).
For items listed under $60, you’ll receive an immediate payout once your items are processed. For items listed over $60, you’ll be paid via Visa gift card or given a credit to spend on their site when the items sell.
What happens to the items they don’t choose? At the time you request a bag, you can select if you’d like to donate any unwanted items, which are donated to third party sellers or their textile recycling partners or you can have the items returned for a $12.99 fee.
Thoughts: Of the four companies I recommend in this post, this is the one I’ve used. I requested a bag and filled it with a few pairs of shoes and some clothes. Unfortunately, ThredUp lost track of the bag and never received my items. Customer service was on top of it and I got a $25 Visa gift card shortly after lodging my complaint. While that was a decent way to handle the situation, I don’t think I’ll be using the services again.
Crossroads Trading Company is a buy-sell-trade company has had retail stores across the country featuring used clothes, shoes, and accessories, but they’ve recently expanded their services to include selling by mail. This would be particularly convenient for those not near their retail stores (take a look at their locations here).
What do they take? Crossroads takes men’s and women’s current styles in great condition. They look for high-end brands like Kate Spade, J.Crew, Madewell, and Anthropologie and do not accept fast fashion brands like Old Navy and Forever 21.
How does it work? Request a pre-paid shipping bag and mail them your gently used, on-trend items.
How long does it take? No information provided on website.
What is the payout? You’ll receive 30% of the value of the amount they assign each item in cash (paid by check) or 50% of the value in a Crossroads gift card.
What happens to the items they don’t choose? At the time that you request a bag, you can choose if you’d like to donate the unwanted items or you can choose to have the items returned to you for a $15 fee.
Thoughts: Crossroads always surprises me with the items they end up selecting to purchase. That said, I think their mail services could prove successful. It’s also nice that you can use credit toward in-store purchases.
Buffalo Exchange is one of the original buy-sell-trade stores, with stores across the country. They too, have just started offering their services via mail. Again, if you’re not near one of their retail stores, you may want to take advantage of this service.
What do they take? Buffalo Exchange is looking for current styles and trends and mid-range brands including Zara, Anthropologie, Ralph Lauren, and Urban Outfitters. They don’t accept brands like Forever 21, Old Navy, Target, or Kohls.
How does it work? Request a pre-paid shipping bag, then drop it off at a UPS office.
How long does it take? The selling process takes between 2-6 weeks.
What is the payout? After processing your items, Buffalo Exchange will offer cash or in-store credit for the items they purchase. No information on payout percentage provided on website.
What happens to the items they don’t choose? At the time that you request a bag, you can choose if you’d like to donate the unwanted items to their Charity Dollar Sale or you can choose to have the items returned to you for a $14.99 fee.
Thoughts: It’s kind of a bummer that you have to drop the bag off and that they don’t provide more payout information. Buffalo Exchange has always been a little more edgy, so you may want to consider them if you have clothes that fall in that kind of style.
Swap is touted as an “online consignment” site and features clothing for men, women, children, and maternity. They also have toys, games, books, and movies for sale.
What do they take? Per their website, they take “new and pre-owned clothes as well as baby and kid’s toys and games.”
How does it work? Order a pre-paid label or request an “inbound box,” then send your items from home. It appears there is a fee to send your items–$11.90 if you have your own package and $14.90 if you need a package sent to you. The fee is deducted from whatever you make on the items that are sent in. If they select any items, they photograph it and list it on their site. If your item does not sell in 45 days, they buy the item outright.
How long does it take? No information provided on website.
What is the payout? Swap pays a guaranteed price of up to 30% of the item’s average new retail value, which is given if your item doesn’t sell within the first 45 days. They do share that “on average, their sellers earn $150 per box when sending in-season high quality items.”
What happens to the items they don’t choose? After they make their selections, you can opt to have items sent back or Swap can donate them on your behalf.
Thoughts: I’m a little disappointed in the lack of information about what you can expect to make on your items. There also seem to be A LOT of guidelines for selling with them–I wish it was more straightforward. I do like that they take more than just clothing, giving you more opportunity to make money on other items around your house that you might be thinking of getting rid of.
I hope this information was helpful! If you’ve used any of these services, please leave your thoughts about the process in the comments!
Lucky you, there are two thrift events happening in one week!
On Monday, the 12th, there’s going to be a clothing swap in Rocklin. Trendy Trade Clothing Swap Events will be putting on this swap at Origin Coffee. It’s $12 to get in and you need to bring a minimum of 5 items to swap, but you get unlimited number of items to take home. Check out all of the event details here. You know how much your girl loves a clothing swap, so I’ll be stopping by this event!
I’m excited to share with you that on Saturday, the 17th, Kathleen from Kathleen’s Closet and myself will be styling models for a fashion show at the Sacramento SPCA Thrift Store! They’re celebrating the grand re-opening of their thrift store on E between 15th and 16th.
with the Barkains and Brunch event. Join me for some fun, fashion, and of course, thrift shopping!
Hope to see you at one of these events!
Who else is excited for the 3-day weekend? Yeah, I know I’m ready for it, especially because there are going to be some awesome sales to shop on Labor Day! Take a look at the sales going on in Sac:
WEAVEWorks Recycled Fashion will have 50% off all clothing on Monday
TRUE will have 50% off everything on Saturday
St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store is having 50% off store wide on Monday
Thrifters rejoice! We have a national holiday to celebrate the joys of thrifting!
Wednesday, August 17th has been deemed “National Thrift Shop Day” and I cannot wait to celebrate it.
National Thrift Shop Day was started as a way to highlight the amazing benefits of thrifting–helping the environment, saving money, and of course, finding one-of-a-kind pieces!
What better way to celebrate this most amazing of holidays than treat yourself to a little thrift shopping or host a clothing swap with your girlfriends? Make sure to check if there are any special sales going on at your local thrift stores and use #NationalThriftShopDay to show off your awesome finds!