How to Sell Your Stuff

The Budget Fashionista’s Annual “Being Broke Ain’t Cute” Series features tips and advice to help you improve your personal financial health. For more personal finance information, please visit our Financial Health Series.

Plenty of Fashionistas have the same problem, although many of them will claim that it’s no problem at all: Their closets are stuffed to the gills with clothes they found on a great discount but don’t really wear anymore. It might be a case of some clothes that are no longer in style, or clothes that you bought on impulse and didn’t wind up liking after you brought them home.

Whatever the reason, a stuffed closet is a prime opportunity to make some money that you can either put toward your debt or instead use to invest in some new threads. Either way, it’s time to clean out your closet and get to work.

Pull everything out of your closet…yes, everything. You should even pull out your very favorite items that you know with a high degree of certainty that there is no way you will ever part with these beloved pieces. Start making some piles:

1. The I’m Going to Keep These for Sure pile
2. The I’ll Probably Keep These pile
3. The I Haven’t Worn These in a Decade pile, also known as the I Didn’t Know I Still Had These pile
4. The Get Out of My Closet, Vile Clothing! pile

Out everything back into your closet from Pile #1. Reevaluate everything in Pile #2 to see if there is anything you want to get rid of. Review Pile #3 to see if there is anything that might pass as vintage, and toss everything else in with Pile #4.

Now here is how you make your money.

Anything that might fetch a decent price should go to a consignment shop or get sold using an online auction. You can try a garage sale, but most sellers make the claim that you’ll make more money using the other methods.

You make the decision whether to put your profits toward your debt or to fill your closet back up. The financially savvy woman will promptly put any profit toward debt, but the Fashionista inside you will probably insist on a couple of purchases nonetheless.

Anything that will probably not make you any money should get plopped into a bag and sent off to Goodwill or some other charity. Here is a financial tip when donating clothes: no matter how horribly out of style: Request a receipt. Hold on to the receipt until tax time. File the receipt with your taxes and get a nice deduction. Viola! You’ve made money from your discards without even having to sell them. You’ve also helped out a worthy cause.

In the end you’ll have a cleaned out closet and a little more money in your pocket. Fabulous!

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  1. Target-Addict says

    Great tips, TBF!  Definitely DO request a receipt when donating items to Goodwill or other charitable organizations, and save them for your tax returns.  In my area, I’m lucky because I give to a Junior League resale shop that once you register with them generates receipts FOR YOU, and mails them to you on a quarterly basis.  Try to find one of these in your city if you can.  Another tip: if you cannot find a decent consignment shop to sell your goods at, try a chain like Buffalo Exchange or Crossroads Clothiers.  You get a little less (percentage-wise) for your stuff, but they give you cash up front vs. having to wait until your stuff sells.

  2. dms1987y says

    If you live in eastern Iowa, travel to Iowa City to consign at the The Savvy Boutique if you have clothing/accessories in good shape that are under two years old!

  3. Skyler says

    Be aware that if you are itemizing deductions on your taxes, there is a “floor”, so if you don’t donate a certain amount worth in a year, you won’t actually get anything back for it. By itemizing, however, you are forfeiting your “standard deduction” which would most likely be much more than whatever you would get deducted for your donation.

    If you’re young, you should NOT be itemizing your deductions. Take the standard deduction!!!

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