As I was mentioning last week, I'm on a big minimalism kick since we're about to move into a smaller apartment.
One of the big things I did was try to minimize my clothes. I have a lot of clothes that I NEVER wear but have been hanging on to for who knows what reason. I basically wear the same 5 items over and over again, so all the extra clothes that I really don't like just sit in my closet taking up space and stressing me out.
(you know those times when you’re getting dressed and see that one dress hanging in the closet and you feel guilty for having it but never wearing it, but truth is you don’t really like the dress but don’t want to get rid of it because you spent a lot on it and then you feel extra guilty for both not wearing the dress and for also spending money on something you don't like? yep. that's me)
Here’s how I pared down my clothing:
Step 1: Sort
I went through my closet and dresser and took out everything I didn't want to keep. I separated the clothes into three piles: donate, consignment shop, and Ebay.
Step 2: Sell the easy stuff
I figured selling some clothes at a consignment shop would be an easy place to start. Unfortunately, after researching and realizing what consignment shops actually are - I pictured them like Plato’s Closet where they just take your stuff and pay you for it but in reality they take your stuff, put it up for sale, and only pay you when/if the items sell. (you might be saying, "DUH ASHLEY THAT'S WHAT CONSIGNMENT SHOPS DO" but I did not know this information) - I ended up going the easy route, with Plato's closet.
I took 2 bags to Plato's and got a whopping $11.90 for 3 items (two of which were cardigans from Target... basically the least nice clothes of the whole bunch?). This was a slight bummer because I was really hoping to get rid of a lot more clothes there. But oh well.
Step 3: Sell the harder stuff… on EBAY!
Now that I had a slight momentum from the minorly-successful Plato’s sale, I was ready for the bigger sale venue: Ebay. I gathered up the clothes from the Ebay pile and photographed them all. I used my iPhone for the pictures and laid out the clothes on the carpet in front of a window with natural light- they turned out pretty well that way. I made sure to take a lot of pictures of each item- front, back, tags, care instructions, etc.
Then I created an Ebay account listed everything. That step was easier than I thought it would be- Ebay is pretty helpful when it comes to creating listings. I looked at a few other example listings to see what to include in my descriptions and just winged it from there.
The hardest part of listing on Ebay was choosing shipping. I have learned a LOOOOOT about shipping through this process. In my first sale, I estimated the dress I was listing weighed 6 oz... yeah it was triple that, so after all was said and done, I barely broke even on the sale. But it was a good learning experience :)
I think I'll write a whole Ebay post once I get a little better at it but my tips right now are:
- take the item to the post office BEFORE you list it and use their scales to weigh the item so you can get a good idea of how much shipping will be (also add a bit to take into account the envelope/packaging you'll use)
- Or, just decide to use flat rate envelopes from the post office. The Padded Flat Rate envelope is perfect for clothing- they're somewhere around $6 or $7 for shipping but are SO MUCH EASIER to use than having to figure out shipping on your own. My experience is that they keep these behind the desk at the post office, so you might have to actually ask an employee for them.
Step 4: Donate the rest
Now that you've sold everything you can, it's time to just cut your losses and donate the rest. Add whatever didn't sell from the Ebay/Consignment piles into the donate pile, and get it all out of your house! Sure, you could hold on to things longer and hope to sell them eventually, but this is an exercise in minimalism and sometimes it's best to just donate the rest and get it over with.
Also, just a warning: it is normal to think that your clothes are worth WAYYYY more than they actually are. There is a huge surplus of used clothing in the world... people really don't want to spend $30 to buy your shirt, even if you did keep it in really good condition and only wore it a few times and it cost $50 when you bought it and YOU think that $30 is a really good deal. Keep your expectations low and just donate if something isn't selling.
Step 5 and beyond: Don't let it pile up again :)
The most important part of this whole process is to NOT let yourself accumulate clothing like this again! Look at your newly pared down closet and be happy that you've minimized your stuff down to just the necessities.
Note: I also checked out ThredUp for reselling clothes, but was turned off by the fact that if they don't like your items, you have to pay $6.99 for them to donate the stuff for you (or ~$20 for them to send the clothes back to you). My clothes aren't that fancy so I figured I might not even break even after that $6.99 donation fee. But if you have a lot of name-brand stuff in good condition, that might be a good option for you! They send you a pre-paid envelope to put your clothes in so it really is super simple.
Have you ever sold clothes (or anything else) on Ebay? Or have you used any other methods to sell your stuff?
My text task is to list a bunch of old electronics on ebay- old phones, a calculator, digital camera, etc- wish me luck! ;)