Is Selling Clothes Online or at Consignment Shops Worth It?

Many people find themselves with an overabundance of clothing, especially items like jeans that are in excellent condition but seldom worn. The dilemma is whether to sell these clothes online or through consignment shops or to simply donate them. 

Here are some insights based on various experiences shared by individuals we’ve worked with who have faced this decision.

Selling Clothes Online

Platforms like Poshmark, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and others are popular choices for selling clothes online. Those who have succeeded often highlight a few key factors.

Brand and Condition

Clothes from popular or designer brands, especially those in very good condition or with tags still on, tend to sell better. For instance, a vintage jacket or high-end designer pieces can fetch a decent price.

Time and Effort

Selling online requires patience and consistent effort. You need to regularly update listings, respond to inquiries, and ship items promptly. Some sellers find this process time-consuming and not always worth the minimal financial return.

Pricing Expectations

Sellers should temper their expectations regarding the amount they can earn. Often, the sale prices are lower than anticipated, especially for non-designer brands.

Algorithm and Activity

On platforms like Poshmark, actively engaging with the app and promoting your items can help increase visibility and sales.

Consignment Shops

Consignment shops offer an alternative to selling clothes online, though experiences here vary as well.

Profit Split

Typically, consignment shops operate on a profit-sharing basis, taking a percentage of the sale price. This split can range from 40-60% to 50-50, depending on the shop’s policies .

Selection Criteria

Many consignment shops are selective about the items they accept, often preferring high-end or designer brands and clothes in excellent condition. Items that do not meet these criteria may be rejected.

Policy Awareness

It’s essential to understand the shop’s policies regarding unsold items—whether they are returned to you or donated, and how prices may be reduced over time.


For those looking to declutter quickly and help those in need, donations are a highly recommended option:

Women’s Shelters

Many suggest donating to shelters for women escaping domestic violence, as these women often leave their homes with little to nothing. Clothing donations can significantly aid them in starting anew.

Homeless Shelters and Other Charities

Other recommended places include homeless shelters, veteran organizations, and local churches that run clothing drives. These organizations ensure that the items go directly to those who need them.

Tax Deductions

Donating clothes can also provide a tax deduction, which might be a small but tangible financial benefit.

Is Selling Clothes Online or at Consignment Shops Worth It?

Ultimately, whether selling clothes online or at consignment shops is worth it depends on individual priorities and circumstances. If maximizing financial return with patience and effort appeals to you, then online selling might be the way to go.

If quick decluttering and helping those in need are more important, donating is a rewarding and effective option. Each method has its pros and cons, and the best choice varies based on personal goals and values. Personally, I’m all for donating and moving on, but that’s just me. There are a lot of ways to part ways with items in a way that will sit right for you.

Learn more about decluttering here, or reach out to schedule a consultation. I’ve been professionally transforming spaces into livable and lovable environments since 2003.