I own clothes that are 20 years old and I still wear them – I treat it with care almost like a family member.
However, sometimes I fail and purchase things that do not pass the test of time. Interestingly, when I feel a twinge of insecurity when deciding to spend money, it comes back as a disappointment during use.
But unfortunately – although I do not buy compulsively, I have a lot of clothes and accessories in my wardrobe that I don’t wear anymore.
In some cases it’s because I lost weight and they don’t fit anymore. But there are also those “shopping sins”, that result in remorse, and additional work related to the sensible disposal of them.
Let it go!
What to do with clothes we have paid (sometimes considerable) amount of money, and which only occupy the storage?
I have mixed feelings … First of all because when something is expensive, it just pisses me off to loose on that investment. Second – because the recipient is often unaware of what they are getting.
The pain of loss would be, of course, be sweetened by a reasonable “compensation” of selling clothes and giving them a new life or a “new family”.
I have tested several ways of reselling, so I’m tempted to do a little review so that you can decide for yourself which model suits you best.
There are basically two main ways of circulating unwanted fashions: direct selling or deferred selling.
You know how it works: bring the item to a special store, set up the price, commission, discount rules, and the method of transferring money when the item finds a buyer and … we wait.
So far, I have tried three places:
In Wrocław, you can buy my treasures at Egoist-a-Porter at Święty Antoni 26 street. It is run by an incredibly energetic stylist, Małgosia Cetera, who has an eye for real gems.
In Warsaw I found a Chosen by boutique – first at ul. Mokotowska, and now at Elektrownia Powiśle. Chosen is a high-end concept – you won’t find high street stuff there. But birkins happen there, and chanels are the daily basis. A lot of luxury fashion and a bit of a mid-range, but great quality and immaculate condition. Chosen by also operates as an online boutique and online platform to sell and buy vintage clothing and accessories.
The third place that I keep testing is the Miejski Bazaar. I was attracted by their location in Wrocław at ul. Henryka Brodatego 11, but you can also find similar points in Warsaw. The concept in this case is to rent a shelf for which a fee is payable regardless of the effect of the sale, plus commission for items that will find buyers. Everything is self-service here – from entering goods on the online platform, through labeling and pinning security devices, to placing them on shelves and hanging on hangers.
Pros: No need to prepare or watch over the sale. All we have to do is bring items to the point of sale, set the price and agree on comission. There’s no need to photograph or measure clothes, because sales are offline and the customer can touch and try on the item before making a decision. No refunds also reduce problems.
Cons: Costs. The commission is usually between 30 and 50% of the value (in case of more expensive items it can be negotiated), and often reserves the right to discount the item after a certain period of time. In addition, there is a risk that our clothes will be damaged or get additional signs of wear when many hands will touch it for a long time.
Typically sales transactions can be conducted in many different ways. I started on auction platforms. In the USA it was eBay, in Poland – Allegro.
Probably everyone knows what it is: we have to prepare a description of the item, measure it, take photos (lots of photos!), set the form of sale (buy now / auction) and the price, decide on the minimum price (or not) and wait for bids. Promoting an item high in the search list is paid but not compulsory, so you can keep the entire amount as profit.
Pros: low listing cost, reaching a large group of potential customers. The item is safe with us until it’s paid.
Cons: arduous preparation, time-consuming supervision (answering buyers’ questions), packaging and shipping, strong competition on platforms. For me, the downside was that my branded items were sometimes questioned by buyers, because Allegro and similar platforms are full of fakes. And it’s hard to prove authenticity remotely (counterfeit products also have certificates!).
I’ve tried two: Vinted and Less App. To sell anything there, we have to follow a similar path as in the case of listing the item for auction, with the difference that the application guides us through the fields of the form. There’s no need to figure out what information is necessary. While they don’t require entering the exact dimensions, it’s sometimes expected from buyers.
The Lass App has one major drawback – you can list items on it only for a week, then the sale expires. In my case, there was not a single success, so I quickly passed on it.
It was a bit better on Vinted – I managed to sell a few clothes, but it’s not a channel for expensive designers fashion. There are mainly high street goods sold, so Fendi pants worth EUR 700, and listed for PLN 400 are unlikely to find a buyer.
Pros: The scheme for entering product information is easy. Large database of potential buyers of second-hand goods.
Cons: arduous preparation, time-consuming supervision (answering buyers’ questions), packaging and shipping, strong competition on platforms.
Social platform groups
Invited by a friend I joined a few Facebook grupups- the model of such sales is very attractive, because it’s a community of people who appreciate designers fashion for discounted proces, even second-hand. UInfortunatelly it happened to me many times that my items (Mulberry, Mary Katrantzou, Vera Wang – to name a few) were rejected as “not matching” the group which nevertheless positioned itself as “luxurious”. I opted out of this group, but fortunately, more sensible versions were created. And sales – I must admit – are going pretty well here.
Pros: a group of people who understand the second-hand market and know designers and brands. No selling costs, no returns and complaints (possible risk of being excluded from the group for unfair practices).
Cons: arduous preparation, time-consuming supervision (answering buyers’ questions), packaging and shipping. Channel isn’t stable – it depends on rules set and changed by administrators.
Growth of the second-hand market
Of course, there are many more applications for fashion resell. I have tried all mentioned above. If there are other ways to recover at least some of the value of your possessions and give them new life, make sure to share them! Let’s create a guide to conscious fashion buying!