Clothes rail

Three ways to make money from your old clothes

I’ve got a confession to make: I’ve been doing a lot of clothes shopping recently.

It’s a combination of shifting seasons, summer sales and of course lifestyle changes.

More specifically, I mostly work from home these days, but need a slightly different set of clothes for when I’m travelling for work – four summers ago I would have been commuting to the office everyday.

It means my clothes collection has swelled, and a clear out is long overdue.

Of course, you can take it all to the charity shop – and I do for some items – but there’s a lot of monetary value too.

With that in mind, here are some of the ways you can make money from your old clothes.

Sell your clothes

The most obvious way to make money from your clothes is to sell it – but don’t expect to get anywhere near what you paid for it unless it’s designer stuff.

Many people still turn to Ebay first, but I’ve found selling fees to be pretty extortionate lately – unless you wait for a special promotion before listing your item, which isn’t always convenient.

Besides, it’s not that great for clothes and there are lots of alternatives.

Vinted for example is hugely popular because it’s so easy to sell on there – there are no selling fees; the buyer pays for this and shipping.

I’ve listed a bunch of stuff, and I’m constantly surprised by what gets sold.

The downside for sellers is that average prices are very low so you’re unlikely to shift higher value items.

Depop and Shpock might also be worth trying – there’s nothing to stop you from listing the same items everywhere, save for the lack of time. 

Vestiaire Collective* is the go-to website for offloading designer stuff.

It’s free to list, and you can leave your item up there for as long as you want, but you do have to log in regularly to say you still want to sell your item or they’ll delist it.

They won’t accept everything, and they have very specific requirements for photos, but it’s a much better option for higher value items.

The downside is the high fees – there’s a 15% commission plus a 3% payment fee, which doesn’t leave you with a lot of profit.

Don’t forget to try your local second hand shop, especially for vintage stuff. Some will sell your stuff on concession while others will buy it off you.

Swap your clothes for vouchers

A few high street shops have clothes swap schemes where you get a voucher when you take in your unwanted items.

One of the earliest starters is M&S, which launched its Shwopping scheme* in 2008 in partnership with Oxfam.

There are a few sub-schemes within this: you can get £5 towards a £35 shop if one of the items you donate to Oxfam is from M&S; a treat instore via the Sparks app when you drop off your items in the designated recycling bins; or 20% off kids’ daywear when you donate kids’ school uniforms.

H&M launched its Garment Collecting programme in 2013.

You get a £5 voucher towards any purchase of £25 or more when you take in a bag of unwanted clothes in any condition and from any brand.

There’s also John Lewis’ FashionCycle scheme*, where you’ll get £5 towards a £20 shop when you bring in five items or more to be recycled.

Rent out your clothes

Got some nice clothes and not short of wardrobe space? Why not rent them out?

There are now a few platforms that make this possible, including Hurr* and By Rotation.

I haven’t tried these yet, but it’s worth reading the terms and conditions before you sign up.

Some things to consider include fees, postage and of course what happens with laundry and if the item is damaged or lost in transit.

Don’t forget your taxes

If you’re extraordinarily good at making money out of your clothes, don’t forget to do your taxes.

Any profit you make over £1,000 becomes taxable if you get paid on a PAYE basis. If you’re self employed however, this automatically becomes part of your income.

This is more applicable if you rent out your clothes, but can also apply if selling turns into a regular trade.

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