Rags To Riches: 5 Ways To Earn Cash From Your Closet

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Mens dress shirts

Mens dress shirts. Image courtesy of Dan Budiac

Let’s face it – most of us have a plethora of clothes in our closet, but only wear about 20 percent of what we own, according to Ginny Snook Scott, chief design officer of California Closets. While fond memories make it difficult for some people to part with their beloved pastel prom dress or tailored taffeta bridesmaid threads, consider the joy that paying your clothes forward to someone in need will bring.

And, while donating clothes to your local Goodwill, Salvation Army or Vietnam Veterans of America is a wonderful way to give back via their free pickup services, if you’ve got some designer duds, you can quickly turn your closet into cash. There are now multiple outlets that allow you to buy, sell and trade; most from the comfort of your own home – or convenience of your Smartphone.

Clothes for cash

Say sayonara to Craig’s List and EBay. These new outlets offer quick payouts, convenience and simplicity. Plus, you’ll clear out the excess clutter from your closet, making room for some new, fresh looks for 2015. Remember, most places seek clothes in good condition without visible stains or tears and will not buy back fast fashion brands such as Forever21, Charlotte Russe or Wet Seal.

I advise steering clear of these items all together. Independent testing reported by the Center for Environmental Health found consistent lead contamination in purses, belts and shoes sold to budget-conscious teenagers and young women. Some, sold fashion accessories that contained more than 10,000 p.p.m. (parts per million) of lead or higher.

Here are five sites that may help in your quest to extract cash from your closet.

  • ThreadflipI tried this service myself for the first time and have earned a little cash for clothes that were collecting cobwebs in my closet. Create your own online closet via two service options. 1.) Upload, sell and ship the clothes yourself to individual buyers – or – 2.) Take advantage of their full service package where they send you a free mailing kit including a bag and label. They will select the items they deem most sellable, photograph, list the item and notify you when it sells. Threadflilp will even ship the item for you before issuing payment directly into your PayPal account.
  • PoshmarkThis one’s for the ladies as they only buy and sell women’s clothing. You can list an item from your Smartphone in less than 60 seconds. You can even host or attend a posh party using their app to create a virtual shopping party. This site is best for do-it-yourselfer’s who are fine photographing, uploading and shipping items since they do not offer full service.
  • Tradesy – This began as a popular site for buying and selling gently used wedding items (read: Vow To Hold An Eco Friendly Wedding: 5 Easy Tips To Green Your I-Do’s) and still offers a large selection, but has emerged into a full blown website to buy, sell and trade clothes – hassle free with no listing fee. Tradesy takes 9% of the sale and you keep the rest (you can buy and sell fast fashion on this site) via secure PayPal transactions.
  • Buffalo ExchangeWith convenient brick and mortar retail locations spanning from Los Angeles to NYC, it works like this: You bring in your fashionable or vintage clothes and/or accessories and a buyer will review each item and offer a cash or trade in value on the spot for men’s or women’s items. Obviously, you get more value to trade. Be sure your items are clean and in good shape. Designer jeans do really well here and you’ll want to call ahead of time to find out what season or style they are currently looking for.
  • TwiceI haven’t personally used this service (yet), but am quite intrigued by the simplicity of it. You mail them your bag of clothes via their free mailing kit (or by printing out a free shipping label). Once they receive and review your items, they’ll make you a lump sum offer which you can either accept or reject. If accepted, you’ll receive the funds via check or wirelessly via your PayPal or Venmo account. Find out what brands they buy by clicking HERE.

Buying and selling used clothes maximizes resources and reduces (clothing) waste.  Try that one on for size!

Got a favorite website or service? Let us know in the comments below.

Feature image courtesy of Emily May 

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Lisa Beres
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Lisa Beres

Lisa Beres is a healthy home expert, Baubiologist, published author, professional speaker and Telly award-winning media personality who teaches busy people how to eliminate toxins from their home with simple, step-by-step solutions to improve their health. With her husband, Ron, she is the co-founder of The Healthy Home Dream Team and the 30-day online program Change Your Home. Change Your Health. She is the author of the children’s book My Body My House and co-author of Just Green It!: Simple Swaps to Save Your Health and the Planet, Learn to Create a Healthy Home! Green Nest Creating Healthy Homes and The 9 to 5 Greened: 10 Steps to a Healthy Office. Lisa’s TV appearances include "The Rachael Ray Show," "Nightly News with Brian Williams," "TODAY," "The Doctors," "Fox & Friends," "Chelsea Lately" and "The Suzanne Somers Show."
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