According to a Nielsen survey conducted in cooperation with eBay, the average U.S. household has 52 unused items around the house, of which a little more than half are clothing. The amount of clothes all of us possess has grown dramatically. Forbes reports that the average woman in 1930 had nine outfits. Now that number has increased to 30 outfits. If you have a few extra things in your closet that you no longer wear, it might be the time to clean your closet.
What do you do with all those clothing items that might not fit you (or your tastes) anymore? If it was a warmer time of the year, it might be garage sale time. With cold weather and snow still on the ground, you might want to consider selling them online.
Locally, you can list items on Craigslist or take them to one of our consignment stores. There is a robust market on Facebook with the group called Fairbanks Free or For Sale.
If you want a wider audience, there are great options on the web. Here are six options to sell your clothes. Each one has different rules — some accept only certain brands and have different levels of service. Make sure you read the rules and understand everything before you participate.
EBay is the perennial favorite when it comes to selling online. It has launched a new fashion section that can be a good place to sell. It has a commission fee of 10 percent for most items.
Poshmark is my daughter’s favorite. She uses its app, but the computer page works quite well. Take pictures and price your item. When it sells, you get a postage-paid label that you print out. Package the items and send them off. You keep 80 percent and Poshmark gets a 20 percent commission.
If you have designer clothing or accessories, you might want to check out Material World at www.materialworld.co. It has a pricing estimator that you fill out and it sends you a quote. You fill in the form for selling and the company will send you a shipping bag to send your items. It is very selective, so be sure to check their guidelines carefully.
ThredUP is truly an opportunity to clean your closet. You order its “clean out” bag and fill it up with your “like new” items. An estimator on the site allows you to estimate what you will receive. When your items arrive, the company puts the sellable ones on the market and donates what doesn’t make the cut to charitable organizations or textile remanufacturers.
Tradesy takes any brand name item in good repair. You take a picture and, if needed, the business will clean up the background for you. You price it or it will suggest a price for you. When it sells, Tradesy sends you a shipping kit and you’ll pay it a 9 percent commission.
ReFashioner is more of a community garage sale where you shop, swap or sell your items. You take pictures and upload them, at which point the company will accept or reject your items. Whatever they accept, they will price it and it will go up on the site. When it sells, you can get credit that applies to whatever you want to buy on the site, or you can get a check.
It’s easy to recycle your unused clothing and it just might bring you a few extra dollars. In fact, that same survey by Nielsen that we mentioned earlier reports that most eBay sellers say that they received more for their items than expected. So take that spring cleaning one step further and declutter your closet.
Roxie Rodgers Dinstel is associate director of Cooperative Extension Service, a part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Questions or column requests can be e-mailed to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (907)474-7201.