Secondhand shopping is having a real moment and, even though I personally have been shopping secondhand for years, I’m here for it. I love the thrill of the hunt in a new-to-me consignment store or revisiting my favorites to fill out my kids’ wardrobes. Selling your items can be a great way to make some cash (or store credit!), though navigating the secondhand market can be a bit overwhelming.
Before we start, it may be helpful to define the difference between thrift, resale, and consignment stores. Certainly they can be used interchangeably in casual conversation, but there are some distinct differences between the three:
Thrift stores sell donated items, where the donor doesn’t get paid for their wares (though they may be eligible for a tax write off). Goodwill, Salvation Army, and others fall into this category. Prices are typically lowest at thrift stores, and you’ll like have to do the most digging.
A resale store “buys” from sellers (you and me) and pays out up front either in cash or store credit. Stores like Plato’s Closet and Once Upon A Child fall into this category.
Consignment stores, however, don’t pay out until an item is sold.
Below are some of my top tips for selling and buying secondhand.
>> RELATED READ ::Thrifting Queen: How to Stretch Your Clothing Budget <<
Tips for Selling Your Items Secondhand or Consignment
- Clean and dust items. If you’re consigning clothing, make sure it’s as wrinkle-free as possible — stores don’t wash or iron clothing for the most part. They simply hang what they’re going to sell. Lay kids’ clothing flat in your bin to avoid creases.
- Take well-lit (and even well-styled) photos if selling online. A blurry photo of a jumperoo in the garage is not going to sell as well as a photo that’s well-lit with a clutter-free background.
- Research what similar items are going for. The more photos the better — get close-ups and different angles of each item.
- Post as much information about an item as you can. This helps buyers make an informed decision and will save you work on the backend of having to answer questions about dimensions and other details over and over.
- Be upfront and honest about any damage or imperfections. Contrary to popular belief, this won’t necessarily drive away potential buyers.
- If consigning at a store, check to see if you need an appointment. A lot of stores are walk-in friendly but some are appointment only.
- Check out where to thrift and shop second hand in Tarrant County — but don’t forget about online venues. Facebook Marketplace has exploded over the past few years and you can find almost anything you’re looking for. ThredUp, Poshmark, and eBay also are options for online selling. You’ll have to do a little more work with Poshmark than eBay, and less with ThredUp. Be sure to read each sites rules and tips for being successful on their platform.