The fashion resale market has grown 21 times faster than traditional retail over the past three years. This trend isn’t slowing down. It’s projected to grow four to five times faster over the next five years as well. If you’re looking to get started as a fashion reseller, you’ll need a steady stream of quality and unique items to operate a sustainable business. The following is a list of the best places to find secondhand clothing to sell.
Local Thrift Stores
Clearly the fashion resale industry is experiencing significant growth. Much of the growth comes as consumers become more conscious of the environmental impact of fast fashion and seek out more sustainable alternatives.
Thrift stores and consignment shops are excellent sources of secondhand clothing. These stores receive donations of gently used clothing and resell them at affordable prices. Though there are differences as to the type of product they accept. Below we outline strategies for shopping your local thrift store.
Tips For Finding High Quality Apparel At Thrift Stores
Research – Do some research ahead of time to find out which brands tend to hold their value and have a loyal following. This can help you identify which items to look for and which brands to pass on.
According to ThredUp’s joint industry report from 2022 the following are the most desired resale brands with the highest resale value: Madewell, Levi’s, Zara, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Free People.
Visit often – Thrift stores receive new donations regularly, so it’s important to visit frequently to see what’s new. Plan to visit your local thrift stores at least once a week, if possible, to maximize your chances of finding high-quality items.
Look for quality materials – Pay attention to the materials used in the clothing you’re considering. High-quality fabrics such as wool, cashmere, and silk are good indicators of a well-made garment.
Check for signs of wear – Look for signs of wear, such as fading, pilling, and fraying, as these can indicate a garment that has been well-loved and may not hold up to further wear and tear.
Shop in upscale neighborhoods – Thrift stores located in upscale neighborhoods may be more likely to receive high-end designer items. These stores may also have higher prices, but the quality of the items may be worth the extra cost.
Goodwill stores are one of the best places to find secondhand clothing to sell. In addition, they offer jobs and work placement programs for those who have a hard time finding work. So when you buy from a Goodwill you can also feel good you’re helping to provides in your community.
Shop during off-peak hours – Thrift stores can get crowded, especially during peak hours. Shopping during off-peak hours, such as early in the morning or later in the evening, can give you more time and space to carefully browse and find hidden treasures.
Local Consignment Stores
You may not realize it, but there is a difference between a thrift store and a consignment store. The primary differences are in the quality of items accepted, the brands, and return policies.
Consignment stores generally curate their inventory more selectively compared to thrift stores. They often focus on higher-end or designer brands and strive to offer items in good condition. Consignment stores typically have more stringent quality standards, and items are usually more carefully inspected before being accepted for consignment. but at a higher price point.
The same strategies for finding quality apparel at thrift stores apply to your local consignment store. You won’t have to look as hard, but you will pay a little more. So be sure to make up the difference when you price your items for sale. We discuss pricing and other resale strategies in our Ultimate Guide To Reselling Clothing.
*Pro tip – Be patient. It may take some time to find the right items at the best price for your burgeoning business. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find what you’re looking for right away.
Online marketplaces such as eBay, Poshmark, and Depop offer a wide variety of secondhand clothing for sale. These platforms allow sellers to reach a larger audience and offer more convenience for both buyers and sellers. When sourcing clothing from online marketplaces, it’s important to thoroughly inspect the items before purchasing to ensure that they are in good condition.
Top Online Marketplaces For Secondhand Apparel Deals
Unlike many thrift stores that overcharge customers, Goodwill is known to charge very reasonable prices. They’re also known for their wide selection. Goodwill receives a vast amount of donated clothing, resulting in a wide variety of options for shoppers. You can find clothing for all ages, genders, and styles, including casual wear, formal attire, and vintage pieces.
Goodwill’s online platform, called Shopgoodwill.com, is typically where they list the best donated items. These items can be the most unique, most rare, highest quality, etc… So this is definitely a place you’ll want to check along with visiting local stores.
Offerup was launched in 2011 as a Craigslist competitor. It’s focused on connecting local buyers and sellers. Similar to ShopGoodwill, Offerup also has a mobile app. In this article we’re looking at top local places to find secondhand clothing to sell. Alternatively, check out our post on the top global online platforms to buy and sell secondhand clothing.
*Pro tip – It may seem obvious, but before you buy anything, be sure to read the seller’s feedback. This will give you an idea of their reputation and whether or not they are a reliable seller.
Garage and Estate Sales
Garage sales and estate sales can be a great way to find high-quality secondhand clothing. Many people use these sales to declutter their closets and get rid of items they no longer need.
Sellers look to offload items quickly, making it a lucrative source of inventory for those looking to sell secondhand clothing. However, it’s important to be respectful of the sellers and their property and to carefully inspect items for quality and condition before making a purchase.
Many communities have started to host regular garage sales, search your area for local listings. Add dates to your calendar to incorporate these events to your regular clothing acquisition plan.
*Pro tip – Be willing to negotiate. Many sellers are willing to negotiate on price, especially if you’re buying multiple items. This holds true for both in person shopping and online.