Ultimate guide to selling your second-hand clothes for cash

PHOTO: Pixabay

"Girl ah, can you go and clear/tidy your wardrobe?"

I can't even count the number of times my mum nagged at me about it but I will always procrastinate until we do spring cleaning during Chinese New Year.

Whoops, sorry mummy…

Every year, without fail, I will find some preloved gems that have yet to see the light in a long while.

Yeap, I'll end up thinking why I wasted my money on them in the first place and set my New Year's resolution to NOT waste money.

Thing is, the next day, I'll forget all about that and go shopping for clothes again.

And the cycle repeats…

Sounds familiar?

What happens to those clothes we don't want anymore?

Just throw them by the carpark or do I donate them to the Salvation Army?

What a waste, right? I feel you!

Did you know that Singapore generated 156,700 tonnes of textile and leather waste last year, which includes used clothing, linen and bags?

But, only 8 per cent of these wastes are being recycled.

Not only does buying too many clothes wastes money, but it also harms the environment. Jialat, GG liao.

Now, what if I tell you that you can earn money by selling away these second-hand clothing and save the environment at the same time?

That's right, you heard me.

TL;DR: SELL YOUR SECOND-HAND CLOTHING AND EARN SOME CASH: REFASH VS CAROUSELL VS SOCIAL MEDIA VS FLEA MARKET VS SWAPATHON

Let's assume that I have a dress from a decent known brand that has a retail price of $40.

Given that it has been hidden in my wardrobe for 3 months, it is still relatively new of 8/10 condition.

Platforms To Sell Second-Hand Clothing Earnings Costs Profit From Sale Cons
Carousell $25 Prices subjected to negotiation $18-$25 Negotiating with buyer can be a chore and takes a long time for deal to go through.
Refash 19% Handling fee $20.25 Handling fee applies
Social Media - $25 May not be as effective as sale platform
Flea Market $5 Usually priced lower when sold in bulk $5 Requires man effort and hours
Swapathon $0 $15 Registration fee Other clothes instead of cash You get clothes in return

Do keep in mind that, the clothes you choose to sell should be of a decent quality.

How do you know if it is decent? Just think from the point of view of a customer.

HOW IS IT SUSTAINABLE YET PROFITABLE?

"One man's trash is another man's treasure"

We have now come to the Golden Age of second-hand shopping. This happens through recycling the use of these second-hand clothing to another user, which creates a fashion circular economy.

With that, the increased use of clothing helps to reduce waste pollution.

If you have yet to read the news, you are late to the game bro. Forever 21, one of the big players in Fast Fashion has just declared bankruptcy and is likely to close down!

It's the same thing that happened to American Outfitters or even Factorie, it just shows how fast fashion took a big impact with the rise of this new Golden Age.

HOW DO I SELL THEM? IF SO, HOW MUCH CAN I PROFIT?

PHOTO: Recycling International

Sure, you can't sell your second-hand clothes at the retail price you bought it for, but hey, at least you can get back some cash by selling it.

It's definitely better than throwing them away or leaving them to rot in your wardrobe, whereby you get nothing in return.

CAROUSELL

Carousell is a mobile app that allows you to buy and sell things online. It is really simple - just create an account, take a photo and post it up with a listing. That's it.

Now, you just got to sit back and wait for interested people to negotiate with you. As easy as 1,2,3.

Well, if you need some help pricing your items, there are some factors to take into consideration.

And it doesn't harm checking out the market rates…

REFASH

This store is one of my personal favourites!

Fun fact - I got my prom dress here for $14, a whopping $28 cheaper from the retail price if you buy a new piece from Love Bonito. I express my gratitude to the person who sold it so if you happen to be reading this, Thank you. GDLL.

Back to my point, Refash provides a platform for people like you and me to sell our used clothes, which will then be sold to another who wants it.

There are 2 ways to sell them:

Offline Store Online Store
1. Drop your clothes off at any of the Refash Outlets. Sign up for an account on Refash
2. Get a quote, as evaluated by the Refash team. 2. List your items with the agar-agar price you think it is worth.
3. If you accept, you can get your money as fast as within 30 days. But if you reject, your clothes would be sold on a consignment basis. 3. Mail your items (They will reimburse you the postage so mai kanchiong)
4. Cha-Ching! Money comes in!

Refash will handle all of the sales and enquiries for a 19 per cent handling fee on each sale, which means that you can get up to as high as 80 per cent of returns!

DOLLAR DOLLAR BILL Y'ALL~

You gotta be patient though.

It may take some time for your clothing to get sold, as it has to be found by the right owner at the offline stores. It is akin to finding a needle in a haystack.

Buyers have to find a design they like and it is probably after digging through all the piles of clothes, can you find a few suitable pieces.

Pro-tip: The higher quality and known brand your clothes are, the higher the probability that it can be sold!

SOCIAL MEDIA

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Thrift shopping & selling on Refash - plus, more secondhand stores to check out!
Thrift shopping & selling on Refash - plus, more secondhand stores to check out!

Yea! Social media platforms are also a good way to sell off your clothes.

A few of my friends post pictures unwanted clothes online, either via through Instagram Stories or by creating a business out of it.

I mean, as long as you can sell them isn't it?

You can be your own models, pursue that mini Influencer career you've always dream of and curate the styles you like!

FLEA MARKETS

If you have a truckload of clothes and want to clear it once and for all, you can jio a friend along in renting a store at flea markets

Popular options include the pop-up bazaars or even the renown Lucky Plaza.

Though this option renders you a sunk rental cost so the profit may not be as high as the other options.

Don't say I bojio but here are some other flea markets you can consider:

Flea Market Venue Rental Cost Remarks
Flea Party Lucky Plaza Level 6, Beside Value Dollar $100/booth for 1 weekday Hours: 1pm – 7pm
$250/booth for 5 weekdays (Mon - Fri)
$100/booth for Saturday
$160/booth for Sunday
The Luggage Market Grandlink Square, Level 1 (Paya Lebar MRT Exit D) $58 for Outdoor Booth Demarcated booth space of 1.3 x 1.0m - Includes 1 Lawn Mat (1.3m x 1.0m) and 2 stools
$68 for Indoor Booth

Pro-tip: The early bird catches the worm, I heard that these rental booths run out really fast so plan in advance if you do consider selling your clothes here.

Faster fingers first, just like how you bid for your modules in University or when you are waiting for the JB train tickets.

Note that this list here is non-exhaustive as there are various ad-hoc flea markets that pop up here and there.

SWAPATHON/ENVIRONMENTAL

As the name suggests, it's not really a sale for clothes, but rather a mutual exchange of preloved clothing.

Just register via their website and pay a registration fee, which depends on how many clothes you are swapping for.

It costs you about $15 for 1-3 items, $30 for 4-20 items.

Then, just put the clothes that you no longer want in a single sealed box with your name on it.

Read Also
How to sell your pre-loved clothes: Top resale sites in Singapore
How to sell your pre-loved clothes: Top resale sites in Singapore

Easy right?

These will then give you swapoholic points for you to 'buy' the preloved clothes at the event!

Hold up, one last thing!

Brands like H&M allows you to donate your clothes in exchange for vouchers on your next purchase. In a sense, you still earn because it's a discount on your next purchase.

CONCLUSION

Now, I bet you will finally heed your mum's nagging and dig your wardrobe to reap some cash in exchange! All you need is to pack that mountain of clothes that have been in the dark for the past god knows how long.

It will probably be easier if Marie Kondo could come and help with the packing. But there is another way. Just use the magic word: "MUMMYYYYYY!!"

Trust me when I say, your hard work with reap off.

Food for thought, you can also sell your designer bags too if you have extra ones lying around…

This article was first published in Seedly.