How to sell clothes online - top tips for selling unwanted adult and baby clothes

Need to know how to sell clothes online to free up some space in your home and earn a bit of extra cash? Here’s how to do it

Woman working from home prepares shipment
(Image credit: Getty images)

Knowing how to sell clothes online is a handy skill to have. Not only can selling unwanted clothes ease space pressures in your home, it can also be a relatively simple way to make some extra money (opens in new tab) to help at a time when inflation has hit a 40-year high (opens in new tab).  

We’re also falling out of love with fast fashion as we become more conscious of its effect on the environment and so selling clothes on helps to extend their lifecycle and avoids sending garments to landfill. 

Here’s how to make money selling your clothes, and your kids’ clothes, online. If you’re looking for ways to save money (opens in new tab), you could always consider buying clothes via any of the services we mention in this article.

How to sell clothes online

Thankfully, there’s no need to get up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning to head off for a car boot sale as you can save time selling online or using apps on your phone. But there are key tips to remember to maximise how much you can get for your items.

Think about what you’re selling and who’s going to buy it. Potential buyers might be less likely to buy a winter coat during a heatwave, but might be super keen to pick up any pre-loved school uniform items during the summer holidays. While you can list items for sale at any time, you might find that you can sell items quicker or for a higher price if you sell at the right time. 

Take good clear photos and write a clear and accurate description - this goes a long way to bagging you the best price. You can often spot the same dress listed on eBay but one version, with a clear photo, has loads of bids, while the other poorly lit photo barely has any interest. Taking several pictures including close ups showing the brand label or any detailing along with washing instructions can also help net you a sale.

When taking your snap, ideally hang clothes up and photograph them in good natural light in front of a plain background.

You can sell items individually or in bundles. Bundles can be a great way to shift a lot of stuff quickly - especially when it comes to baby or children's clothing.  However depending on the labels and the condition of the items - you may be able to get a higher price selling items individually.

Be clear with sizing and always go by the label size. Measure the length of dresses or jeans and put this in your description along with any details like the pattern or texture of the material.

Check items for any snags, pulls, rips or marks. Be honest about the condition of the items you are trying to sell. If you describe something as new when you’ve actually worn it 10 times, you could find yourself having to offer discounts and refunds. It could also lead to negative reviews of you as a seller which could impact your ability to sell other items in the future.

Check postage costs before listing clothes. While sites like eBay will often calculate a rough postage price, this can change according to the way you pack items. Generally, the flatter and less bulky the parcel, the cheaper the cost. You can use the handy price checker tool on the Royal Mail’s price checker (opens in new tab) to see how much you could be paying in postage.

Where can I sell clothes online?

eBay 

eBay (opens in new tab) is probably the site most of us think of first and you can set items for auction, set a buy now price or even accept offers. It’s free to set up an account and you just need to take some good clear snaps of your clothes and write an honest accurate description.

With eBay, it’s free to list up to 1,000 items a month and if you go beyond that you pay a 35p listing fee for each item. If you sell something then eBay takes a cut of between 1.5% and 15%. Check out our tips for buying and selling on eBay (opens in new tab) before you start.

Depop

Depop (opens in new tab) tends to be popular for vintage or quirky items, including handbags, clothes and shoes. 

There’s a 10% fee on everything you sell and the buyer pays for postage.  Payment is via PayPal.

Vinted

Vinted (opens in new tab) is another easy way to sell your clothes online or with its app.  It’s free to sell as the buyer pays fees along with postage costs.

Vinted uses its own payment system and once your item is sold, its app transfers the money straight to your bank account.

Preloved 

It’s free to sell with Preloved (opens in new tab) as there’s no listing or selling fees.  And it’s not just adult and childrens’ clothes you can sell, you can also list kids’ toys and games.  

The emphasis here is on community and selling locally rather than packaging items to post miles away.

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace (opens in new tab) can also be a great way to sell items to people in your local area. Again, you’ll need to make sure you take the best photos you can, provide a really accurate description and set a realistic price. Potential buyers may try to haggle so always have a minimum price in mind as to how much you want to make from each item. 

How to sell baby and children’s clothes

While you can sell these items on eBay or Facebook Marketplace, if you’ve got piles of baby or children’s clothes that you don’t want to sell individually you can bundle them up and sell in bulk to places like Katie’s Kids Clothes (opens in new tab). They take newborn and children’s clothes up to age 13 and you’ll get paid £4 per kg or £5 if you opt for in-store credit.

To get started, fill out the online form to let them know what you’ve got and weigh it. If they want it – they’ll arrange a free collection service. Once items arrive with Katie’s Kids Clothes, they will be checked and you should get your money after about 10 days. Payment is by PayPal or bank transfer. 

Other ways to sell clothes

Car boot sales

If you prefer to sell in person – then you could go for a car boot sale.  Apart from the hassle of having to box or bag up your stuff and turn up early – you’ll have to pay a pitch fee which can vary from around £10 upwards according to where the sale is and how big it is. If you’re selling clothes best to have a rail so people can look through them easily.

Host a swishing party with your friends

While you won’t actually sell clothes this way, it’s a great way to swap stuff you don’t want, don’t like or no longer fits for something you love more.  On a smaller scale, you can do this with friends or keep an eye out for bigger events that anyone can go to. You may have to pay a small entry fee for a bigger, public event.

NCT table top sales

If you’ve got baby or kids’ clothes, toys or games to sell then check to see if there is a  local NCT Nearly New sale (opens in new tab) happening soon. Each group may work in a different way. You may either pay a fixed fee for your table and then any money you make is yours to keep.  Or you may pay a commission to the NCT group on items sold – which can typically be around 30%. 

Look out for retailer recycling schemes 

If you don’t think you have the time to sell the clothes, then you can still benefit from taking unwanted clothing to a retailer or charity shop with a recycling scheme. At Oxfam (opens in new tab), for example, you can get a £5 Marks & Spencer voucher for every M&S item of clothing you drop off. 

H&M also offers a Garment Recycling Programme (opens in new tab) in its stores. Simply take your donations to the cash register and you’ll get a voucher to put towards future purchases.

Sue Hayward is a personal finance and consumer journalist, broadcaster and author who regularly chats on TV and Radio on ways to get more power for your pound. Sue’s written for a wide range of publications including the Guardian, i Paper, Good Housekeeping, Lovemoney and My Weekly. Cats, cheese and travel are Sue’s passions away from her desk!