Now that I am confident that we have turned the corner on winter and the warm weather is here to stay, it is time to commit to that timeless ritual: change of season, change your closet. I actually like it, that chance to get reacquainted with my favorites and to question once again why some things were actually purchased in the first place. I am totally guilty of falling into that trap of loving something, never wearing it, remaining positive that I will eventually, and it ends up in that seasonal cycle of pack and unpack without ever having been worn.
Guilty, that is, until a friend reminded me that I was paying a mortgage to store these white elephants, these symbols of materialism and want versus need. No need to remind my husband of that! However, I rarely miss an opportunity to indulge my entrepreneurial spirit and to find the most fun and rewarding way to look at my closet through a new lens with the calendar as my master.
Fortunately, as everything in my world has shifted to a digital platform, I can now shrink and grow my closet, and my bank account, from home while engaging in a new social and socially conscious environment. This week’s diversions are not the ones that take me out and about, but they do provide purpose and perspective and free up time and clear out (both mental and physical) clutter that will enable us all to get back outside to enjoy the rest of the spring and summer ahead. I am totally addicted to using the following platforms to help me change up my closets. Each one is slightly different but all provide an outlet in the sharing economy to re-sell and re-purpose your closet, which benefits you, the environment and others. If you are not already drinking the Kool-Aid, you should, and here are my favorite places to do so.
Poshmark is one of a number of digital fashion marketplaces where one can clean out your “closet” by listing and sharing your clothing and accessories. And not just yours, but your husband’s and kid’s, too. This platform is the most social and the way you sell the most is by engaging, following, connecting and sharing your virtual closet and others. Pretty much anything sells but primarily brands that everyone has heard of and are easily searchable on the app. Take a photo (through the app), set your price and create your listing and post. The fees are straightforward: $2.95 for any sale under $15, over $15 the fee is 20 percent. Poshmark is a true community and really requires engagement and interaction for sales success. There are Posh Parties where you can participate and get your closet or brands in front of a targeted audience. It takes dedication to clean out your closet this way but you can easily make regular sales. Your proceeds are available as soon as your buyer receives and accepts your item. You may keep your cash in your account to make purchases to re-fill your actual closet or request a check or direct deposit.
Why I love it:
Full disclosure: I am a Posh Ambassador. Yes, me and a million other people, but I put in the work, connected and collaborated, and I make sales all the time. It is a great way to purge and feel good about getting my never or rarely worn clothes in the hands of those who will enjoy them.
Thredup is another fashion marketplace but the more passive for a seller. If you are not looking to make a ton of money, don’t want to spend a lot of time “working” to clean out your closet and are happy to donate what isn’t selected to charity, Thredup is your platform. Sign up, request a “Clean Out” bag (a huge white and turquoise polka dotted pre-paid bag) and toss in your unwanted items. Fill it to the absolute top because it is pre-paid and weight is not an issue. Thredup accepts most major brands, but since they do most of the work, I recommend that you check the brands that they accept and the items that they are looking for on their site before you start packing the bag. They usually want in-season items and have specific needs.
Once filled, drop your bag at the nearest post office and wait to hear that your bag is being processed. It can take several weeks. Accepted items are paid based upon Thredup’s determination of quality, condition and seasonality. You don’t set a price, Thredup does. Items that are within their current guidelines but perhaps not in season will be accepted as consignment (at a rate of 5 percent to 80 percent commission) with a set selling time frame. Items that are not accepted are either donated to charity (you must specify this when ordering your clean-out bag or pay a flat rate to have those items returned). Payout is in your account after an item is sold and shipped and can be converted to PayPal, a Visa gift card or remain in your account as a cash balance. Thredup is not a social platform and doesn’t hinge upon your regular engagement for you to be successful. They also only accept women’s and children’s items.
Why I love it:
Because sometimes I just have more stuff than time to spare. Because it is fun to have options and I keep a clean-out bag regularly positioned in my real life closet for easy filling.
Tradesy is another digital fashion marketplace with a signature community: women only. Tradesy is known for being a platform created by women for women and that is the only market it supports. Tradesy also typically has the most high-end merchandise. It has a familiar model for listing: Take a photo through the app, set your price, describe your item and list it. Fees are straightforward: sales under $50 are 19.8 percent and over $50 a flat $7.50 is applied. Payout is either bank transfer or PayPal. There are no expectations for following, sharing or connecting.
Why I love it:
Because the process is simple and seamless, I can list with ease. Because this platform presents more like an online store where your listings are part of the overall site, which is cool and different.