Reduce, Reuse, Rewear: A Shopaholic’s Guide to a Successful Side Hustle

. January 9, 2019.

So, maybe you went a little crazy at Briarwood and now you’re trying to figure out what to do with all those sweaters piling up in your closet. Or, maybe you don’t need another pair of jeans, but buy another pair of jeans anyway. It’s okay, we’re all guilty. Ready to clean out your closet? Donating is always an option, but stuffing a brand new jacket with the tag still dangling into a garbage bag because you never got a ‘chance’ to wear it can break hearts and wallets. Savvy shopaholics everywhere are saving money by thrifting and reselling. Ready to join them? Follow these tips and become a successful thrifter:

STEP ONE: BUYING

When you’re ready to take on the racks, put yourself into the mindset of a buyer. That denim jacket you’re swimming in is exactly what someone else is looking for, and you get the profit.

Know the promotions

Thrift shops items have color-coded tags to signify special sales for certain days. Learn the schedule. Yeah, those pants are still a deal for $8, but how much better would it be to pay $4 instead?

Look in the men’s section

If you’re into athleisure by Nike or Adidas, check out the men’s racks to find vintage pieces that other stores would be selling for quadruple the price. Discover yourself and cut out the middleman.

Don’t skip denim

Now, I get it, jeans shopping has to be second-most intimidating quest ever (bathing suit shopping is obviously first on the list), but it doesn’t have to be so awful. Don’t let pant size determine your choices. Ditch your body shaming and look for washes and fits that you actually like and think will fit your body. $98 for a pair of Levi’s at the mall? No thank you; I found mine for $4.

Be creative

If you find an absolute gem but the length is weird, buy it anyways. Almost everything can be DIY’ed, and if it doesn’t work out, you only lost a couple bucks. Make crop-tops and cut-offs, attach patches and gems, or hem maxis into minis.

Thrift while traveling

If you’ve shopped at an Ann Arbor thrift before you will agree: U of M apparel is everywhere. This isn’t unusual—every city in America is full of hometown apparel. Keep this in mind when you’re in a city that boasts a national, or international, following. In Cambridge? Buy up Harvard swag. In Oakland? Leave with a bag of Raiders hats. Near a vacation town? Profit off of those beach vibes.

STEP TWO: SELLING

So thrifting was a success, and now you’re at home with a $20 haul of denim and vintage tees, but what do you do about your overflowing closet? Nobody wants to waste money, so download a clothing resale app and start selling. Here’s how to maximum profits:

Brand names have value

When someone logs onto Poshmark or Depop, they search for their favorite brands. MAKE SURE you list the brand name as the very first word in the description. Brand searches will increase your reach beyond your followers, and shoppers will already be familiar with the sizing.

Stay current

Be as quirky as you’d like, but don’t ignore trends. Even if you don’t participate, other people are always on the lookout for an Instagram-worthy find. Mom jeans, crop tops and high-top sneakers are on the rise, so now would be a great time to ask mom if you can raid her closet, too.

If you haven’t worn it in six months, reconsider

Be honest with yourself and go through your closet with timeliness in mind. Your most-worn clothes will be the most accessible. You know what doesn’t sit at the bottom of the closet waiting to be worn and getting ignored? Money. beautiful-beauty-blond-761999

Post tons of photos

To save yourself time answering questions, post as many photos as the app will allow. Your customers, and your wallet, will thank you.

Ship quickly

A successful business requires happy customers. From your very first sale, ship out your product within 24 hours. Bonus points for a thank you note. But please, for the love of God, make sure the item is washed before you box it up.

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