Resale apps like Poshmark, Depop and The RealReal are easy, inexpensive ways to sell your clothes, earning you money and giving them a new life instead of dumping them in a landfill. Most platforms will sell your new, unused or used items, including vintage and designer apparel.
If used correctly, you can make a ton of cash and clean out your closet. But if you don’t have patience or an understanding of how to use the apps, your clothes might never sell.
We spoke with expert sellers and shoppers, who shared their top tips on how to make the most of resale apps.
Start with a closet cleanout
Lilly Russell has made a full-time career of being a top seller on Depop. Since 2017, she has made over 16,000 sales and has gained 92,000 followers. She ranked as a top-five Depop seller fresh out of high school for selling vintage ’90s and Y2K pieces.
“I started off by clearing out my closet, and when I saw how quickly the pieces sold, I knew I could make my closet clearout into something much bigger,” Russell explained.
Poshmark seller Anna VanDeKerchove sells pieces that no longer fit.
“I had a rapid size change, so I sell clothes that are now too big on me,” she said. “Shopping on apps is a great way to recycle clothes in a world of fast fashion.”
Engage with your audience
The more you respond to followers’ questions about your clothes, the more likely you are to make a sale. Often, they will request additional photos or attempt to bargain a lower price.
“Offer discounts to likers and respond to inquiries in a timely manner,” VanDeKerchove suggested.
She also makes sure to be fair with her pricing. “I ask myself, ‘What would I pay for this, really?’” she said.
Russell recommends cross-promoting on Instagram and TikTok.
“I market myself anywhere and everywhere, and that’s brought a lot of success to my shop,” Russell said. “Marketing yourself is just as important as marketing your items.”
Russell now has over 43,000 followers on Instagram. She keeps to a schedule for sourcing clothing items and shooting photos for Depop, while juggling content creation on social media.
“It’s hard to keep up with it all,” Russell admitted. “My best friend helps me ship out my orders, and that has made everything flow much better.”
Be specific with your listings
When listing your items, be as detailed as possible about the material, quality and color.
“The more exact your description is, the more ‘likes’ you’ll get,” Poshmark seller Christina Romano explained. “Once I have a ‘like,’ I either send shoppers discounts on the product or shipping to seal the deal.”
Poshmark allows you to offer a discounted price on multiple items through a “bundle” feature.
“I’ve had the most success offering buyers deals versus waiting for them to purchase an item as priced,” Romano said.
Photo quality also is important. Sellers see the most success when they include several high-quality images.
“I always take photos of front, back, any tags and brand logos,” said Poshmark seller Giselle Diaz. “Make sure you have good lighting to ensure the true color of the item is shown.”
Consistency is key
If you’re not securing sales right away, don’t give up. Staying consistent is important, even during times when online shopping is quiet.
“It can be stressful and discouraging to invest in inventory that sits and doesn’t sell,” Russell said. “You have to push through the extremely slow weeks and the extremely busy weeks.”
VanDeKerchove often gets frustrated with The RealReal, where it may take months to sell an item.
“You may also not get much more for the item than you would on Mercari or Poshmark,” VanDeKerchove added.
Brands that have sold closest to original price for VanDeKerchove are Peloton Apparel and Good American.
“Good American jeans are great to find … and part of that is the great quality of the denim and how well it wears over time,” she said.
Keep in mind that most resale apps take a percentage of your sale. For sales under $15, Poshmark takes a flat commission of $2.95. For sales of $15 or more, Poshmark takes 20%. Depop and eBay both take 10%. The RealReal fee depends on what you’re selling, and it can be as high as 45%.
Know that the audience on each platform is different
Each resale app has a unique audience. The RealReal and eBay tend to draw older audiences seeking nostalgic designer pieces. VanDeKerchove bought a vintage YSL cashmere blazer on eBay for approximately $100, as well as old-school Kate Spade and Marc Jacobs.
“If I’m shopping, I’m always mindful of the quality and authenticity of older items,” she said.
Depop has become popular among Gen Z due to a large push from social media influencers like Avani Gregg, who share their closets.
“The way Depop is formatted to almost resemble social media is really clever,” Russell said. “On Poshmark or eBay, you have to hope someone searches your exact listing keywords to find your page. But on Depop, people get my items suggested to them. It’s easy to see everything I have posted in one spot like an Instagram feed.”
Depop also has encouraged the younger generation to become entrepreneurs, like Russell.
“If you had told me a few years ago that this would be my full-time career, I wouldn’t have believed you,” she said. “I don’t need a 9-to-5 office job to be successful. I just need to do what I love.”
What draws the most income?
It depends! Russell has made the most money selling vintage Forever 21, Charlotte Russe and clubwear brands from the ’90s on Depop.
“A lot of people don’t know that Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe were founded in the ’70s and ’80s,” Russell said. “They have a ton of incredible pieces floating around from when their pieces were made with much higher quality materials than today.”
But it isn’t the brand name that matters as much as the style of the piece on Depop.
“I’ve sourced some of the most insane vintage pieces, and the brands on them are almost never brands I’d consider shopping for,” Russell said.
Romano said the items that have sold the quickest for her on Poshmark are well-known brand names.
“My closest currently consists of big brands like Old Navy, American Eagle, and Stoney Clover,” Romano said. “Those items all sold fast and first compared to smaller brands, such as ones I’ve gotten over the years through Stitch Fix.”
Beware of scams
Take safety precautions when communicating with strangers, particularly on Poshmark. The RealReal is reliable, since it handles the sale for you. But with Poshmark, communicating with your buyers may be dangerous.
“Don’t ever respond to someone who wants to take a conversation outside of the app,” said Poshmark seller Olyasha Novozhylova. “They might ask you to email them. All sales should take place on the app. Block that person right away.”
Novozhylova recommends covering your address on the shipping label and purchase receipt, as well.
Choose whichever platform you’re most comfortable using.
“It’s easiest for me to sell on The RealReal because they do everything for you,” Novozhylova said. “You get a dedicated account manager that will text you and schedule an appointment. They tell you where to drop your items off, or will even pick them up.”
The RealReal will take all the photos, price the items and post them. Novozhylova has sold Louis Vuitton bags and wallets, and Burberry shoes on the app with a direct deposit payout.