Are you looking to make money by reselling your clothes?
The consignment market has been exploding in the past couple of years, especially among Millennials and Gen Zers. In fact, 1 in 3 women shopped secondhand last year, with a 26% increase from 2016.
“Thrift clothing” is only becoming more popular for women who are looking to buy high-end fashion at discounted prices. Women buy secondhand to try out new designers and styles that they wouldn’t normally wear or pay full price for. Consumers are also becoming more environmentally conscious, so they see the value in wearing and re-wearing “secondhand” clothing that has lived a previous life.
This boom in the consignment industry opens doors for you and your closet as well. You don’t have to get stuck with old clothes you don’t wear anymore (but that you also don’t want to throw out). You can clean out your closet, focus on the wardrobe essentials, and even make a little money by optimizing on this increasingly popular demand for “thrift.”
But there are a lot of questions we get when women look to resell their clothes:
How do I know if my clothes and accessories are worth anything?
Which brands are most popular?
How much should I sell each article for?
Are my clothes in good enough condition?
We’re going to address these common questions and concerns about selling your clothes with consignment by giving you the top 15 brands that resell best, why they are in such high demand, and how YOU can make money by reselling.
Note: We’ve included those brands that are in high demand with high earning potential. There are hundreds of other brands that resell well.
1. Kate Spade
Kate Spade has made a name in the designer apparel, accessories, and lifestyle space. Because of the design’s broad reach, the flirty and fun Kate Spade look has yet to go out of style. Everyone—from those who grew up in the Kate Spade blossom to new-on-the-scene purchasers—falls in love with the feminine and playful Kate Spade style.
Because Kate Spade has continued to make such a splash, their bags and designs rarely go out of “trend.” Last year’s Kate Spade becomes an instant classic that girls can’t wait to get their hands on to show their dedication to the brand.
This long-term brand loyalty makes Kate Spade one of the top resellers for consignment.
2. Rebecca Minkoff
Like Kate Spade, the Rebecca Minkoff brand has exploded in just about every area of fashion. The difference is that RM customers constantly want new and trending. They won’t settle for last year’s styles because they want to strut with Rebecca Minkoff’s hot and current trends.
This actually bodes very well for Rebecca Minkoff consignment. There is a fast turnaround of Minnkoff goods. The original purchase usually happens before the season hits, reselling begins towards the end of the season, and a fast resale occurs before the post-season hits. There’s high demand for secondhand RM towards the very end of the trending season, which bodes well for resellers who are also looking for the next hottest trends.
3. Tory Burch
The famous Tory Burch ballet flats are one of the most popular and successful second-use items. Because they come in an array of colors and sizes, the variety of supply perfectly matches the high thrift demand. These shoes also hold up well against wear, making them one of the best re-sellable shoes on the market.
Tory Burch purses are also popular. Their logo instantly denotes high fashion to a young purchaser, which is the primary audience of the consignment world.
The Tory Burch brand is durable, which means it’s resellable.
4. Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs has remained a steady following for some time, but a lot of consumers feel the retail price is creeping too high. To offset rising Marc Jacobs prices, brand fans are starting to buy more and more Marc accessories on consignment.
Most of the styles of Marc Jacobs don’t change. Rather, the seasonal colors vary. This means that consignment shoppers aren’t looking for the “hot” trend, but their favorite hot color. Consumers can see a color they like and then wait for it to pop up on their consignment shop.
5. Rag & Bone
Rag & Bone is casual, effortless fashion. It carries a heavy reputation for status, but prices are hefty. You could end up paying $200 for a tank top.
Women want the comfort and cut of this gorgeous brand, but they’re hesitant to pay such high prices for their everyday wear. This gives Rag & Bone one of the top resale values on the market because there’s an incredible demand for their products with a lower price tag.
Theory is almost always in high demand because it’s simple, elegant work wear. Girls feel comfortable shopping at Theory, knowing that their professional wardrobe will be cared for. But for fashionable girls who want to show off their style at work, constantly buying new professional clothes can be a strain on the budget.
With Theory’s high-quality fabrics and cuts, women are finding that they can get that same elegant boardroom look for a fraction of the price. Lower costs mean more outfits to wear Monday through Friday.
7. J. Crew
J. Crew creates simple, refined clothes for a range of generations. It has a more consistent, enduring style that appeals to a specific audience. It’s common for J. Crew pieces to pop up in thrift stores not because the outfit went out of fashion but simply because the original purchaser is looking to update their J. Crew wardrobe.
Reselling J. Crew brings with it a more dependable and stable response, which appeals especially to newcomers to the consignment world.
Gucci is the most popular luxury designer that you’ll find on resale. This is likely due to Gucci’s wide target audience, meaning there’s generally a more expansive demand for product at a discount.
Consignment shops love purchasing Gucci because it instantly increases the value of their stock. If you’re looking to get some Gucci off your hands, you’re usually in a good negotiating position.
Similar to Theory, Vince is known for its professional style and quality of clothing. This graceful, refined style stomps on fast-fashion by emphasizing long-term quality.
Vince sweaters are one of the most popular resale items. Vince is known for its comfortable yet chic sweater collection, and women love buying these up at a steal.
10. Alice + Olivia
Alice + Olivia consists primarily of more formal or specialty dresses and outfits. Women want to strut with a trendy Alice + Olivia dress for a special occasion, but they don’t want to re-wear that expensive dress again for their next occasion. That means a lot of women want to buy Alice + Olivia at a marked down price for a one-time wear, and then they’ll turn around and resell it to secondhand shops as well.
Alice + Olivia is the “Rent The Runway” of the consignment world. Consumers purchase a unique outfit at a discount before reselling it to make back some of their money.
Burberry is a luxury item with instant brand awareness. This street credibility has remained in high demand for decades, and it’s not subsiding anytime soon.
Burberry purses purchase well on consignment, because they are easy to care for and maintain their high quality. Burberry dresses and capes are also popular. Women who want to invest in a Burberry item but don’t want to pay the price tag are bound to find a strong supply at any consigner.
Athleisure is still one of the hottest clothing styles, but it also requires a lot of wardrobe upkeep. Constantly paying high prices for “workout clothes” can feel overbearing to a lot of women, especially younger women who are wearing their athleisure outfits nearly every day.
Women love the comfort and versatility of Lululemon. They’re excited to purchase Lulu secondhand so they can expand their athleisure lineup without extending their budget. That makes it easy to make money by reselling your gently worn Lulu clothes.
13. Diane von Furstenberg
Diane von Furstenberg is a dress designer favorite even 40 years after inventing that iconic wrap dress. The styles are uniquely elegant, which makes them perfect for the urban-fashionista.
What makes Diane von Furstenberg especially popular in consignment are the materials of the outfits. A silk bodice is common for these designs, and silk is surprisingly resilient and strong. This makes it a great candidate for cleaning and rewearing for decades to come.
14. Lilly Pulitzer
That preppy, pastel Pulitzer is a favorite for consignment shops. These articles are made of a sturdy, durable material that makes them ideal for cleaning and reselling. In fact, they’re one of the easiest designer lines to be purposed and they coming out looking newer than new.
Lilly patterns come and go quickly. However, a lot of Lilly purchasers aren’t too concerned about this season’s pattern. They’re often more concerned about how the color scheme works with their own coloring or style. This essentially makes Lilly seasonless, timeless, and lasting.
Longchamp is one of the best investment bags you can make. These bags withstand just about any type of wear and tear, and they’re easy to fix if anything happens to them. Women get heavily attached to their Longchamp bags, often keeping them for decades until they’ve completely worn out their use.
But Longchamp bags are on the pricier side, so not all women—especially young professionals—can afford them. Because most women get attached to their Longchamps, supply on the consignment market is low. That means there is a lot of high earning potential for any women out there looking to part ways with their Longchamp.
What NOT to consign
Below are some of the brands that are having a bit more trouble selling for big bucks on consignment.
Brands with high demand but low earning potential:
- Forever 21
- Who What Wear
(Some thrift shops might buy these from you, but often for a low price.)
Brands with low demand but high earning potential:
- Rebecca Taylor
- Nicole Miller
- Club Monaco
- Max Mara
- Free People
- Giorgio Armani
(If you have these in your closet, consider reselling them. They might take longer to sell, but you could still get a good price for them.)
Brands with more supply than demand:
- Ann Taylor
- Banana Republic
- Calvin Klein
(These brands are hard to sell)
TIP: Make the investment.
You’re not “splurging” on quality, designer clothing. Think of your clothing and accessory purchases as an investment. A superior brand won’t lose its value on the market, which means you can still resell it after you’re done wearing it. Although you won’t make all of your money back due to the slight depreciation of worn clothing, you’ll still be able to get a nice return that you can use to update your closet once again.
Quality clothes never go out of style.
Have something you’re thinking about consigning? Learn more about selling with Current Boutique here. We look forward to chatting about your wardrobe!