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Make Money Online by Selling Used Clothing

Updated on October 13, 2010


Money can be made by selling used clothing from a storefront and also by selling used clothing online. The market is established, the customer base is in place, and product awareness is high. You don’t have the expense of convincing your potential customers that used clothing is an attractive alternative to retail shopping.


Used Clothes are purchased by virtually everyone who wears clothes.

Virtually everyone needs to cover up. There are thousands of clothing stores around the world that create awareness and buzz for styles and fashions. Customers can go online and place orders for themselves, for family members, for community members who might need a little help now and then. Many people simply don’t have the time to browse in stores looking for exactly what they need. Many people can’t get to a store or have specific requirements that make extended shopping trips problematic.

Used Clothes are purchased by people who have children.

Used clothes are wildly popular for children. Children often outgrow their clothes before wearing them out. Parents with no other smaller children in the house tend to resell their ‘gently used’ children’s fashions rather than store them in the closet forever. Your customers understand that used children’s clothing is often as good as new and are willing to pay a premium.

Most children don’t care where their clothes come from. As they grow older, they may develop a sensitivity to wearing ‘used’, but parents generally understand the value that can be realized by seriously shopping for appropriately priced second-hand wearables. In some age demographics, used clothes are actually considered to be in-style.


Any clean piece of outerwear clothing can be resold. Fashion trends ebb and flow, but not simultaneously all over the world. Given the extensive reach of the Internet, chances are that someone somewhere will have a need for virtually anything you list on your web site. You only need one customer per clothing item. The cost of your ‘store front’ is minimal compared to the number of potential buyers that can be reached through the ‘net.


To get started, check out local yard sales, flea markets, and church sales. Clothing that is out of style or outgrown in your community will be in demand in another community. As you learn the nuances of the market, branch out a little. Visit second-hand stores. Another little-known source for clothing is manufacturer’s warehouses and distribution centers. These locations often have surplus supply and slightly damaged stock that they can’t sell as new. Some locations have small (and discrete) outlet stores where they dispose of their less desirable merchandise.

Adjunct Product Lines

Shoes, jewelry, and coats are also viable products that dovetail with your business. Your sources for these products are the same as your sources for used clothing. Your customer base includes all the same shoppers who might purchase your used clothes.

Shipping and Handling

Used clothing is generally lightweight and reasonable to ship. Packing requirements are minimal; use packing peanuts or wadded newspaper to cushion your shipments.

Mechanics of Selling

A web site can be created that allows customers to browse product offerings and place orders. Any competent web site developer should be able to create an attractive site that does the job. Many components are already available; there's no reason to start 'from scratch' with this type of project. Look for a web site developer that is willing to combine existing software products into a working site for you. Components such as the Shopping Cart, the database, and the product photo gallery are available individually and can be combined into an effective sales and marketing tool for your business.

Learn to Shoot

Master your digital camera. Don't even consider selling merchandise online without providing attractive photographs.


Do a little research and select an appropriate domain name for your business. Advertise your site using these strategies.

Some images may be courtesy of


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    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 8 years ago from Ohio, USA Sorry! I moderated it. My bad.

    • profile image 8 years ago

      Nicomp, I thought you would moderate my comment! I know I was joking around but on a serious note, some second hand clothing is actually very well made and if you're supporting the Salvos or St Vincent de Paul or any other charity all the better! I can think of postage and hosting; but overheads are pretty low online.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 8 years ago from Ohio, USA : If you can sell worms, you can sell moths!

      @The Old Firm : anonymity ! great point.

    • The Old Firm profile image

      The Old Firm 8 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

      This makes a lot of sense. One of the most popular "shops"in town is the Salvation Army second hand shop, which has a lot of clothing. I'm sure that it would be even more popular if the customers could be guaranteed the anonymity of the internet (few lawyers' wives want to be seen buying used jeans, even if they're only to do the gardening in.)

    • profile image 8 years ago

      what about moth-ridden clothes my grandad wore? Could you sell the moths as pets using an online shopping cart?