My Four Favorite Apps for Selling Used Clothing and Household Items

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Today when I woke up, I was greeted by a beautiful notification: A pair of my shoes sold on Poshmark. For a few months, I’ve been obsessed with selling my shoes and bags on the app. It’s a big part of the overall decluttering journey I’ve been on for the past year. A lot of the popular decluttering techniques ask you to sort your items into three categories—keep, throw, and donate—but by adding the fourth category of things to sell, I’ve been able to make a little extra money and, hopefully, make the day of some folks out there with the same sense of style I have. Here’s what I’ve learned about the best apps and approaches. 

A few notes on selling online

The other day, I popped into a vintage shop to see if there were any shoes in my size and got to chatting with the curator, who came to the mistaken conclusion I consider myself a professional reseller and tried to give me some advice because of it. There are people on these apps who do this in a hardcore way, sourcing cool, rare, or expensive items and turning them for a profit. You don’t have to be like that. I’m certainly not. Everything I sell is something I wore and enjoyed. Don’t worry about the listings that feature professional-grade photos and hundreds of listings; someone out there who wants the thing you’re selling will find it by searching for it—it won’t really matter if you’re displaying the item on a mannequin in studio lighting as long as it’s the right size and price for the buyer. Here are my tips:

  1. Don’t list something unless you’d actually want to get rid of it if it sold. It seems obvious, but this has happened to me: I’ll get a little too gung-ho, list something I still use, and feel sad when it gets bought sooner than I wanted it to. 

  2. On the other hand, don’t list something if you really want it out of the house. You can’t determine how fast something will sell, even if you undervalue it in price and promote it on the apps every day. I have a shelf on one of my bookcases that is dedicated to the items that are waiting to be bought on my Poshmark; it does take up space. If this impedes your decluttering, the apps might not be for you. Consider a brick-and-mortar consignment shop if the item is truly valuable or just donate it if you want it gone. The free space could be worth more than the money you’d get by waiting three months for the thing to sell. 

  3. I still use my items while they’re listed on my app, but be wary with this. If something happens to a bag, like it gets a scuff or a stain, it reduces its value and you’ll have to update the listing at the very least. Don’t try to trick people by showcasing something in perfect condition, then sending it a little worse. They can send it back, and this can have an impact on your seller rating. 

  4. Take a lot of pictures. You don’t need fancy lighting or a backdrop, but I at least try to set my items on a nice rug and keep other stuff out of the frame. Take pictures from every angle, close-up photos of any damage, and a shot of the date stamp or serial number if it’s a luxury or high-end item. Tags, defining features, and details are important to include. (If you don’t do this upfront, be prepared for people to ask for them later.) 

  5. Be open to offers and respond to inquiries. Most of the time, you won’t get the price you ask for, at least not in my experience, but accepting reasonable offers or being willing to lower the price will help you get the thing out of your house.

  6. Always search for the item you’re selling to see what other people are selling theirs for. If yours is a comparable quality, consider listing it for a little less than your competitors to get it sold faster.

The best apps to sell clothes

Even though I only really got into this recently, I’ve done it off and on for a few years with less dedication. I recommend Poshmark, Vestiaire Collective, TheRealReal, and Depop. To me, these four have the best interface and are easiest to use for buying and selling. Let’s go over their details. 

Poshmark

When you sell on Poshmark, you keep 80% of your sale as long as it’s over $15. For anything under $15, you pay the app a fee of $2.95. On this app, buyers can offer lower prices than what you’re listing your item for and you’re free to accept or decline their offer. Declining gives you the chance to submit a counteroffer, so you may end up negotiating for a little bit, but the app always notifies you of what, exactly, you’ll make if you sell something at a certain price. The app also allows potential buyers to like items and you can send private discount offers to all of a listing’s likers at once. Lowering the price of an item is easy, too, and you can share listings to “parties” that match your item’s description. For instance, Poshmark regularly hosts luxury bag parties, creating a landing page for shoppers looking for those, and I share my listings for bags to those parties when they’re happening. If there’s a downside to Poshmark, it’s that you do need to be pretty active and engaged. Offers expire after 24 hours, you can only share listings to a party when the party is happening, and users expect timely responses to their comments. 

Poshmark selling

Credit: Lindsey Ellefson

Best for: Anything. You can sell a Louis Vuitton bag or a Nike T-shirt on Poshmark. Some people sell housewares. I’ve bought some Diptyque candles and have a baseball bobblehead for sale in my shop. If you want an app where you can sell everything, not just a certain kind of clothes, it should be Poshmark. 

Vestiaire Collective

Vestiaire Collective is meant for higher-end items, which usually means luxury goods, but I’ve seen it include plenty of other quality stuff, like Lululemon. Where it shines is its authentication process. Most of the time, items you sell will be shipped straight to VC, where a staffer will authenticate them and send them out to the buyer. This extra security is great, especially for really high-ticket items, and VC has low selling fees: You pay 5% on every sale, plus a 3% payment processing fee. You don’t get charged on your first listing, either, as long as it’s below $2,000. Right now, they’re running a special where you pay no seller’s fees on 4,000 brands, and specials like that pop up all the time. Like Poshmark, buyers can send offers, but here, you have two days to accept or decline them.

Selling on Vestiaire Collective

Credit: Lindsey Ellefson

Best for: Higher-end items you want to maximize your profit on. 

TheRealReal

TheRealReal is only for designer, luxury items, and it operates more like a consignment store than direct selling. How much you actually make depends on your “loyalty tier” at the time of sale, so if you’re just starting out, you get 55% commission on anything sold for more than $195. If you earn $1,500 in annual net sales, you move up to a new tier and earn more. You can also just fork your goods over to TRR in exchange for site credit and let them sell as they will. I won’t lie: It’s a little confusing, so only go with this one if you have really expensive items to sell that require authentication and can still bring in a hefty chunk of cash, even with fees. 

Selling on TheRealReal

Credit: Lindsey Ellefson

Best for: Fancier stuff you just want out of your house.

Depop

Depop is another site where you can sell anything. It can be fancy, it can be basic, it can be handmade—you can sell whatever. You don’t pay a listing fee, but you pay a 10% selling fee for everything you sell. That’s it. It’s super straightforward, and what’s also nice about Depop is that it helps you fill out the listing by populating suggestions based on your pictures and text inputs, which speeds up the process so you’re not spending five minutes on every listing, pulling brand names and sizes from drop-down menus. You can offer likers discounts and, like Poshmark and VC, field offers from potential buyers. 

Selling on Depop

Credit: Lindsey Ellefson

Best for: Getting rid of anything you have, from mall finds to more luxe items.

No matter which you choose, you’ll have to fill out a listing, usually including photos, a title, a description, dimensions, colors, sizes, and a price. Don’t list until you know all that information, but filling it out doesn’t take much time.

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