THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO RESELLING YOUR CLOSET WITH FLORRIE THOMAS
Florrie Thomas has always been drawn to buying and selling second-hand designer clothes. Having cultivated her eye for style and taste at Harper’s Bazaar, where she worked as a junior fashion editor, she launched her online vintage fashion platform in 2020. With sustainability, second-hand luxury and recycling fashion becoming increasingly crucial, THE OUTNET has partnered with global resale platform Reflaunt, so you can resell your pre-loved treasures easily and conveniently. To get you off to a flying start, Florrie has offered a step-by-step guide to circular fashion and how to sell your beloved designer pieces online – from how to decide which items to sell in the first place to the brands guaranteed to sell fast.
I’ve always liked the idea of my clothes having a past life. This has led to a love – bordering on obsession – with hunting down vintage and second-hand pieces, particularly designer ones that I might have missed the first time around, but still dream of. This is matched by a strong desire to pass on unwanted clothes. One man’s trash is another’s treasure, and my policy now is ‘one in, one out’. This applies to my bank balance too: money earned from reselling can be spent on rebuying, preferably second-hand. While I donate a lot to charity, some of the pricier pieces I will resell, and collaborations such as THE OUTNET x Reflaunt provide the perfect opportunity.
To quote Patrick Grant, we now have enough clothes on this planet to dress six generations of the human race - a shocking, if not surprising, fact that surely means recycling what we own and buying second-hand is critical. Circular fashion – a system in which all garments can be reused, recycled, or returned to the earth – has never been more important, and recycling clothes is a great way of ensuring your partaking in a more environmentally-friendly model.
Commit to a wardrobe cleanse
First up, when faced with a wardrobe cleanse, a clear head (and a strong coffee) is a must. Don’t choose the end of a long day. Work through your wardrobe, challenging yourself with these questions. Firstly: ‘When did I last wear this?’ If it’s more than a year ago (and not black tie or your wedding dress) then it’s out. If the answer is ‘Never!’, it’s definitely out. ‘Is it who I want to be?’ A harder question to answer, perhaps, but I find a ‘mental mood board’ of your style is useful — this can vary from ‘office mode’ to ‘partying-with-friends mode’. If it doesn’t fit in any of these categories, it’s out. Finally, to quote tidying guru Marie Kondo, ‘Does it bring me joy?’ If not, out. That post-clear-out feeling should be bottled and sold; there’s nothing like it.
Big brands and stand-out pieces sell fast
Assess what you’ve edited out. I find that big, well-known names sell well, particularly commercial designer brands like Tory Burch or Kate Spade. You might think simpler, plainer, more versatile pieces would appeal more, but it’s the stand-out luxury pieces that I’ve found get snapped up.
Timing is everything
A beautiful shearling coat, however lovely, might not sell in July, but try again in September and it will fly. The same goes for summery pieces: be sure to list sandals and summer dresses as people begin to ponder them.
Pricing is key to a quick sale
Unfortunately, as soon as we buy something, unless it’s a Hermès Birkin or super rare vintage (N.B. something becomes ‘vintage’ when it’s twenty years plus), it starts to lose value, so overpricing can hold you back. However, more expensive pieces will have lower demand but higher earning potential, so it’s always worth listing and waiting.
Refresh your garment before selling
Once you’ve compiled your edit it’s vital to vet fully for damage, inspecting for marks, stains or any sign of wear and tear. If it needs it, a dry clean or wash is imperative. If you’re unsure, THE OUTNET has a guide of how to hand wash your clothes. When buying I do the same: scour the description for mentions of damage and double-check the size.
A quick breakdown of the reselling fashion lingo
Finally, a few key terms for the re-selling novice: selling on ‘consignment’ means you only get paid when the piece actually sells. ‘Commission’ is the money the company takes to sell your product on their platform, in the case of Reflaunt, a percentage of the price it sells for. Lastly: ‘patience’. It really is crucial. Something might take a while to sell, but it will often go when you least expect it.