Thriftamore: Edition 5 – Spring Cleaning

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We’re back and this time we’re here to tell you about the other side of thrift shopping: selling clothes! Around this time of year, we were looking to get rid of some clothes (and of course to buy some too) and found a few places to sell or donate clothes. We visited Buffalo Exchange and Goodwill before the beginning of quarantine, but added some websites as well to give you options right from your home. Here’s what we found!

Buffalo Exchange

As any thrifter knows, Buffalo Exchange is definitely one of the more high-end thrift stores, selling clothes from Urban Outfitters, Madewell, Anthropologie and designer brands. They also keep in line with current trends and as such, are pretty picky when it comes to selling clothes.

We went in with a few bags and were unable to sell anything to them, because most of our clothes were styles from last year or a few years ago rather than clothes that are trendy right now. The store buys clothing for all genders, sizes and ages (excluding children’s clothes under legal obligation) but overall, they look for items matching current trends–or vintage clothes that have become trendy again. This means that, unlike most thrift stores, they don’t really sell anything that could ever be deemed “one man’s trash.” If sales representatives looking through your bags don’t believe an item will sell in the near future, the store won’t buy it.

However, while many thrift stores receive their supply through donation bins, Buffalo Exchange will actually pay you money for items. Once they decide to buy an item, they will price it based on brand, condition and age. Unlike some thrift shops that specialize in vintage items, at Buffalo Exchange older items are cheaper than new ones. After determining a price estimate for the piece of clothing, the seller is then offered 30% of that price in cash, or 50% in store credit. For example, Urban Outfitters jeans often sell for around $30, meaning selling your jeans to Buffalo Exchange would get you around $9 or $15 store credit.

Clothes from H&M would be around $5 or $6 (making you about $1.50 or $3 in store credit), but you might be able to sell higher-end clothes like Madewell, Free People, and Anthropologie for $20 or $30 (making you somewhere between $6 – $15). Shoes are another big seller – they can stay in style for a decent amount of time and if they are in good condition, you can sell them for pretty good prices.

Goodwill

Goodwill is pretty easy for giving clothes away, but they won’t buy them from you. There are two big barrels that you can drop your clothes (or anything else you might want to donate) which makes the process really simple.

Unfortunately, you can’t make any money off of your clothes at Goodwill, which might be a setback for some. However, since they don’t buy clothes, what they sell is much cheaper.

The Internet

In an era of quarantine and online shopping, in-person thrifting—or selling items to thrift stores—is, needless to say, difficult. One solution to this is online thrift stores. Websites like Depop, ThreadUp and Poshmark offer the opportunity to buy and sell your clothes through the internet.

We did not sell anything over any of these websites ourselves, but we consulted a friend, junior Emelia Gauch, who’s familiar with the buying and selling systems. We also looked through the website and saw what the prices looked like for clothes to buy.

The prices were pretty high with some clothes priced between $30 and $40 and others cost as high as $150. Because you make a majority of the profits, this means that these kinds of websites offer a real opportunity to make money off your clothing.

According to Gauch, you can sell any item you like on Depop and set the prices yourself; however, you do have to make an account. Depop does take a share of the money, but it’s much smaller than that of Buffalo Exchange.

Another important thing to mention about Depop is that it requires you to connect your store account to a Paypal account in order to sell clothes.

Gauch shared that Poshmark works similarly, but ThreadUp is more like an in-person thrift store. For this site, they select from items you mail them and manage sales from there. Items are listed typically for 60 days and you get paid when your item sells.

According to the ThreadUp website, for cheaper items, you only get about 10% of the profits, but for anything over $100, you can make as much as 80%. Urban Outfitters jeans sell for about $14, meaning you make only around $1.50.

Overall, during this quarantine, selling your clothes and spring cleaning don’t have to be put on hold! In fact, it’s a great time to try and sell clothes online, and to help keep those websites running. But if you’re looking to sell or donate clothes in person, that doesn’t have to be out of the question, just put it on hold until the quarantine is over.

Wash your hands, stay inside as much as you can and keep thrifting!