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Guide to Reselling Clothes From Pay by the Pound Stores

We’ve been reselling clothing on eBay for many years and find that pay by the pound stores are great places to find clothing items for resale.

Finding clothes at pay by the pound stores can be very overwhelming because there could be 20-30 bins with clothes piled high to sort through. Here are some helpful tips for reselling clothes that you find from pay by the pound stores like Goodwill Outlet and the Salvation Army.

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Don’t Wear Gloves

Any other time I would tell you to always, always, always wear gloves. It can be dangerous to dig through bins of household items without gloves because there are many broken and sharp things you could cut yourself on.

When digging through clothing items, you might not want to wear gloves. You’ll want to be able to feel the material and fabrics of different clothing items because you’ll be able to tell if it’s a quality brand just by feel. This will be easier for you if you’ve been selling clothes for awhile. With some brands, you’ll be able to tell what brand they are just by looking at them.

If you decide to not wear gloves, just be careful about reaching into pockets. You never know what could be in them and if could be dangerous.

Know Your Brands

It’s helpful to know what brands can sell well before heading to the outlet. This will require less research time when you already have an idea of what you’re looking for. Some of our favorite brands to look for include:

  1. Brooks Brothers

  2. Ralph Lauren

  3. Burberry

  4. Eileen Fisher

  5. J. Crew

  6. North Face

  7. Lululemon

  1. BKE

  2. Under Armour

  3. Columbia

  4. Anthropologie

  5. Banana Republic

  6. Free People

  7. Michael Kors

It will take you a few extra seconds to look the brand on the items you pick up, but if you do your research ahead of time, you’ll know some of the characteristics that make each brand different from others. For example, Ralph Lauren items almost always have a horse and rider embroidered on the chest. You can also get to know a high-quality item by the feel of the material as discussed earlier.

Look For Non-Obvious Flaws

We all know that you have to check for holes and stains, but we’ve often gotten home to discover some other flaw that we didn’t think to check for.

One of the biggest that I’ve run into is missing size tags. Some people cut of the tag that tells the size for whatever reason, even on a high end brand item. Also, if you’re looking a dress pants or suits, often they were custom tailored so there is no size on the inside. These are much more difficult to sell. Sure you can give the measurements in the description, but a lot of people don’t go by the actual measurements. They want to know the size number so we’ve found it hard to sell these items without an actual size.

Also look for missing buttons and non-working zippers. If you find a shirt that is missing a button, make sure to check out the inside seams for extra buttons that you might be able to use to fix the shirt. If the zipper ends up not working, just throw the item back in the bins. It’s not worth the time to try to fix it.

Lastly, the other flaw we often miss is pant legs that have been altered. We run across this ALL THE TIME. A lot of people end up shortening their pant legs because they’re too long so they sew them up. You can tell when someone does this by looking at the stitching… it might not be as neat as the rest of the stitching on the pants and it will be a slightly different color as the other stitching on the pants.

Keep an Eye Out for New Tags

You might be surprised by how many new with tag items you’ll find at a pay by the pound stores. If you find something that has new tags but it’s not a brand you would normally buy, it might be worth picking up just because it has new tags. Items will sell better and faster when they have new tags, so definitely pick them up and do some research.

You can also get a good idea about whether you should resell a new with tag item by what the MSRP is on the item. If the item sells at retail for $19.99, it probably isn’t worth your time and effort to resell it. We always estimate that we can get about 50% of the MSRP price on the tag.

Get Your Items Listed ASAP

When you get your pile of clothes home, don’t let them sit around too long before listing them on eBay. Make it your goal to have your entire purchase listed before going back to the pay by the pound store for another round. Many people have so much fun buying that they they don’t give themselves enough time to list everything.

Don’t be a hoarder, list your items! 😉

If you are a clothing seller that uses pay by the pound stores to find items for resale, leave your tips in the comments below!

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