With another holiday season just around the corner, it's time to prepare for the onslaught of steep discounts from retailers. For some, that means cleaning out the clothes closet to make way for all the new outfits. But dragging bags of used clothing to the local consignment shop or Salvation Army takes effort and time. Instead, you can sell, trade, and give away used clothing in minutes with a few taps on your smartphone. We researched six clothing resale apps, all available at Google and Apple app stores.
Clothing Resale Apps: Marketplace Approach
Vinted.Listing items is free at Vinted, whether destined for selling, swapping, or donating. Vinted posts an excellent tutorial about taking photos that can help move your goods. The site calculates how much you'll take home, net its 19 percent commission, after you enter the original retail price and your asking price. We noted many of the popular brands, ranging from Forever 21, Dahlia's, and Kohl's to Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Ralph Lauren. The app claims listings for more than 1.5 million items.
Vinted earns an average 4.4 stars from thousands of reviews found at the Google Play store. Still, some users grouse about overpriced items and other members who post unkind comments about the offerings. A critical review at Ripoff Report claims the site is marred by counterfeit goods and scammers, and asserts that moderators don't take action against reported problems.
Poshmark.Poshmark is a user-friendly app that showcases higher-end brands, such as Michael Kors, Coach, 7 For All Mankind, Kate Spade, and Juicy Couture. The listing process will be familiar to anyone who has tried Vinted, but here you can apply filters to a photo's cover shot so it stands out in the feed. You can choose to include your item in an ongoing "party" (a group of items currently on sale) or share it through social media. The site maintains "showrooms" for most brands, a real plus for sellers eager for more exposure. If your item sells, Poshmark deducts a flat $2.95 for pieces priced below $15 and 20 percent for pricier items.
Based on our experience with the respective Android apps, Poshmark bested Vintner for design and organization. Still, the app earns a solid four stars out of five at Apple's app store from users who appreciate the diversity of the offerings and the app's internal structure.
But grievances do arise. "The biggest issue is that it seems there are more sellers on the app than buyers," said Vivian Fung, who responded to a question we posted on Facebook. "I feel like a lot of people are looking to trade goods rather than purchase." A review on the Better Business Bureau's San Francisco page urges caution about scammers interested in offline trading and paying, and another at the Apple app store mentions aggressive sellers who insist on payments through PayPal to evade the commission. Concern about counterfeit items is noted at Purse Forum.
Carousell.Like Vinted and Poshmark, Carousell's listing process is free. And like the latter, filters can be applied to photos to enhance the image, but here sellers also can adjust brightness, saturation, contrast, and other visual effects. The Android app seems less sleek and polished than the other two, although Carousell presents many more categories. The feeds include For Her, For Him, Beauty Products, Luxury, Furniture & Home, and more, displaying two to four items at a time.
Unlike Vinted and Poshmark, Carousell demands no commission. (We haven't figured out the business model.) When a buyer sees something she likes, tapping on "chat to buy" initiates the sales process directly with the seller. Buyer and seller can then negotiate a price or the buyer can name the price she's willing to pay and the seller can take it or leave it or continue negotiating. The support page suggests payment methods such as bank transfer, PayPal, or cash if the transaction goes down in person (be sure to follow safety protocols).
Although this clothing resale app garners an average four stars at the Google Play store, it's probably no surprise that with such an open system, some reviewers complain about poor reporting and seller feedback features, and a lack of protection for both buyers and sellers.
Clothing Resale Apps: Thrift Store Approach
ThredUp.This site purchases used clothing that it deems acceptable and then manages the entire selling process, from taking and posting photos on the app to shipping and charging the buyer. You can request a "clean out" bag for unwanted items and ship it to ThredUp at no cost. For accepted goods the company pays an upfront price or 50 percent to 80 percent of the resale price (standards include like-new, clean, and quality brands, such as Anthropologie) following a sale. Rejected pieces can be returned to you for $12.99 or donated to one of its charity or textile recycling partners.
ThredUp earns an average of four stars and above in app reviews at Google and Apple app sites, but a quick scan of online reviews in general turned up some unhappy sellers. At Site Jabber many posts comment about items that were never returned and one grouses about the futility of selling clothes here because the subjective scrutiny knocked out most of her offerings. Reports on the Better Business Bureau's San Francisco page mention poor handling of mailed items.
Twice.This clothing resale site also lets you request a clean-out bag, which comes with a prepaid shipping label (contents insured for $100 in case the bag goes missing). Twice is particular about its inventory, specifying acceptable and unacceptable brands (e.g.: yes to Gap, J. Crew, Theory, and no to Walmart, Forever 21, and H&M); vintage (less than five years old); and condition (clean, unstained, gently-used). It makes a flat offer for the contents, in part based on the number of items, and pays upfront. If you don't like the price, you pay $4.95 for return shipping. Note that the option to request a shipping bag appears on the website, not on the Android app. Currently the site deals only in women's wear.
Reviews at the Google and Apple app stores are upbeat, with the average rating exceeding four stars at each. One post approvingly points out the option of donating rejected items to the site's charity partners. (You get a receipt for tax purposes.)
Threadflip.Something of a hybrid, this apparel resale app takes full control or leaves you in charge. You can send in unwanted clothing (with a prepaid shipping label) and the site photographs, prices, and lists whatever is approved. When a piece sells, you receive up to 80 percent of the total. If you prefer to be more hands-on, you can list and price the item yourself. Threadflip offers image filters for your photos, but in general the app has fewer filtering and sorting options than the others. It also hosts themed "trunk shows" -- i.e., for fall fitness apparel -- that run for a limited time.
A quick search of Threadflip reviews turned up frustrated sellers who complained in posts at Webutation about late listings, items that never sold, and items that were not returned. The apparel resale app's average ratings at the Google and Apple app stores fall slightly below those of its peers.
4.4 stars; 13,394 ratings
|4.5 stars; 2,914 ratings||List and sell items;
pay 19 percent commission
4 stars; 2,715 ratings
|4 stars; 3,974 ratings||List and sell items; pay 20 percent commission for items above $15 ($2.95 for cheaper pieces)|
|Carousell||100,000+ ; 7,517 ratings||4.5 stars; 55 ratings||List and sell items; no commission|
4.3 stars; 2,047 ratings
|4 stars; 1,391 ratings||Mail items for upfront offer price or consignment price (50 percent to 80 percent)|
4.3 stars; 406 ratings
|4.5 stars; 779 ratings||Mail and sell approved items at site's offer price|
3.6 stars; 613 ratings
|4 stars; 1,499 ratings||List and sell items to other users; mail and sell accepted items for up to 80 percent of sale price|