I'm sitting in my closet as I type this, hiding from children, but I'm also doing a huge clear out. We are moving you see (to La in June!) and I promised myself I would begin purging sooner rather than later. Over a year ago I dutifully read the NY Times BestSeller "The Life-Changing Magic of Cleaning" and cleared out 36 trash bags (I'm serious!) of clothes. 36! But as I mentioned that was some time ago and well things have erm started to build back up. If you haven't got around to reading this magical book, I highly recommend you do, but either way the the basic take away is to ask yourself the question (when staring at that sweater you've only worn once) "Do I REALLY love it". My learning, is that with the majority of items I truly love I don't even really need to ask that question and the treasured Chanel or Zara bag goes back into the closet. However, if there's doubt then it's time for it to go. Easy in theory, super hard in practice, yet once you get going. I personally become so impatient that the process gets easier and easier, and you soon have piles of clothing ready to find a new home. I haven't had any regrets well maybe one - an orange silk Chloe dress which I should have held on to, but other than that it's been great. Cue today and I have filled 6 IKEA bags fit to burst! I'm so proud of myself I tell you! But what next?! Here are my discoveries of the best places to make some cash and also donate.
These guys are great. In addition to earning 70% of the selling price from your designer items, first time consigners also earn a $100 gift card to Saks Fifth Avenue. But more importantly if, like me, you don't want to deal with the hassle of photographing and then shipping out your items, The Real Real will send a professional buyer up to collect your consignment picks. After an authentication team goes over your items, the site claims most will sell within three days. Sellers can consign clothing, shoes, accessories and even artwork - but check their designer list first, if your items aren't on there they'll send them right back.
2. Thred Up
Thred Up is wonderful because it takes less pricey designers (think J Crew, Madewell, Topshop, Zara, ie the contents of most people's wardrobe) and the good news is, they also accept children's clothing. How it works: They will send you a plastic bag and pre-paid shipping label (in their words, a Clean Out Kit), and you just fill it up, send it back, and hope for the best. Sellers also have the option to earn the selling price back or donate the money to a charity of their choice.
So I've only ever bought from Vestiaire Collective but the broad assortment is wonderful (from H&M studios to Chanel) and they sell childrens, home stuff and even pet accessories. It works slightly differently than the first two, in that you snap a picture of your item first and then submit it with a description to Vestiaire Collective. Once it is approved and sold, you send them the item, free of charge. VC double check it, and you get paid once it gets sent to the buyer.
Tradesy is a cross between the sites that let sellers do their own listing and sites that have you send your stuff in first. You can create your own listing on Tradesy and set your own price, but after the listing goes up, Tradesy will send you a pre-paid shipping box and label to send your goods off to them, before they've sold. This way, you don't have to worry about coordinating shipping or returns after the buy, and Tradesy can keep an eye on quality control.
One thing that sets this shop apart that I found super interesting: Tradesy has a full-fledged weddings section that sells everything from old bridesmaid dresses to unused wedding stationery.
5. Donate your bra!
Isn't this fantastic! I went on a search as I have so many new or barely worn bras and now (after two kids) no boobs to fill them. Most Charity shops don't except undies so I went on a google spree and discovered donateyourbra.com with proceeds going to Breast Cancer Survivors. They are a distribution center that sends out bras and items for breast cancer post-surgery to shelters, breast cancer survivor support groups, charities and others all over the world all year long. They also except swimming suits and lingerie! I'll be mailing mine off tomorrow in confidence they are going to good homes.