If you’re in need of a fun way to earn money, there’s a fast-growing niche emerging in the fashion world—apparel resale.
Apparel resale involves finding items for a lower price and reselling them for a profit, often on media platforms like Poshmark or eBay– and it’s never been bigger. Resale company ThredUp estimates it to reach $41 billion by 2022, and it’s growing 24 times faster than retail. About $20 billion, or 49 percent of the market, comes from apparel resale.
Long story short—it’s the perfect time to jump into this market. But where do you start?
Dissatisfaction with Plato’s Closet was the beginning for Samantha Kavander, a senior nutrition major, who then looked online for other resale options.
“I wanted more money than what they gave me,” Kavander says. “I began simply by listing all of my old clothes on Mercari, and it took off from there.”
Kavander started her business in December 2017, and since then, she estimates she’s made around $5,000. She’s also expanded to Poshmark and created a YouTube channel and thrift Instagram.
The little details are what Kavander thinks push her shop past the competition.
“I have business cards, cute wrapping and postage…I take pride in what I do, and I think that’s why people come back and buy from me,” she says.
Another reseller, Shyleen Connalley, made reselling her full-time job this past May.
A degree in fashion merchandising along with a job at resale retailer Clothes Mentor helped her get into the business in October 2017.
“I got to see a full picture of the process,” Connalley says. “The only difference now is that I have to go out and source my own items instead of people bringing them to me, and I can price my items however I want.”
“Reselling isn’t easy money. It’s an art…”
But how does reselling even work? There are millions of users on Poshmark, so once Connalley posts an item, buyers and sellers can all it.
“I try to share my items at least three times a day, which bumps them to the top of the feed,” Connalley says. “More people can see them that way as well.”
Connalley recommends starting off simply by browsing through your own closet. Once you sell those, you can take that money and start sourcing for more inventory. After that, head on to local thrift stores, yard sales, and retailers like TJ Maxx and Burlington.
“Find items at low prices that you know someone will pay more for,” Connalley says. “Don’t be afraid to stand in the store on Poshmark looking up items to see what people are selling it for and what it has sold for.”
All of Connalley’s items can be found in her Poshmark closet, @shawns_wardrobe, and her Mercari closet. She also shows off her items on her resale Instagram and YouTube channel, which has helped her make sales from her followers.
Brands Connalley prefers to buy and resell include Eileen Fisher, Lulus, Tularosa, and Madewell. Eileen Fisher, for example, can be expensive, but the garments are high quality, so people are willing to pay for them secondhand.
Plus-size clothing, like Torrid, tends to go fast.
“The average U.S. woman wears a size 14 today,” Connalley says. “It’s hard to find plus-size clothes in stores so sometimes people have to go secondhand…I can never keep enough plus-size items in stock.”
Reselling isn’t easy money. It’s an art, as Connalley calls it, and takes hard work.
“This isn’t a business that booms overnight, and you shouldn’t expect it to,” Connalley says. “Put in the work, do lots of research, buy things people want, and you’ll do great.”
Follow these resellers on their respective social media:
Poshmark | @Samkav
Mercari | Sam’s Closet
Instagram | @samkavfinds
YouTube | SamKav
Poshmark | @shawns_wardrobe
Mercari | Shyleen Shawn
Instagram | @shawns_wardrobe
YouTube | Shyleen Shawn