What to Do with Clothes You Can’t Sell?

PrettiBoneHacks2 Comments

Reselling clothes is all fun and games until you realized there's inventory that's been sitting around for months or in some cases even years. So what are some ways you can get rid of this inventory?

Understand This Upfront

You have to first accept that you're more than likely to end up at a loss when trying to get rid of unsold/stale inventory. When you accept this, you'll become less emotional and more rational when making a decision on what to do with said inventory.

Let's Talk Storage

Before you even consider getting rid of inventory in other ways beyond just selling them as individual listings, first assess your storage situation. If you are running out of physical storage to store the items, by all means get rid of the inventory to get new stuff in that you can profit faster from. On the flip side, if you have room to store it, I would definitely keep the items. From my personal experience, it's not uncommon for me to sell something that's been listed 4 months ago. 

Another reason why you should keep the inventory is because of something I call a "bundle pawn". If someone happens to create a bundle that includes a stale item, use that item as a pawn to offer the customer a price they can't pass up on. I do this a lot and it's EXTREMELY effective. Here's an example:

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I love this technique because everyone wins in the end, customers get more bang for their buck and I get to get rid of a piece that's been sitting around. I was also able to make a healthy profit from this transaction.

Now let's go through some ways you can get rid of sitting inventory. Remember, whatever technique you used to get rid of your sitting inventory, MAKE SURE TO REMOVE THE LISTING FOR THE ITEM!!!

Give It Up

Literally, give it up. Donate the items you can't sell and take the loss. This is the most obvious but fastest way to get rid of unsold inventory. Simply gather all the items you can't sell and would like to donate and take it to the nearest Thrift store that you feel is the most ethical. I always like to donate to the thrift stores I shop most at, I guess you can look at it as my way of giving back. 

Bundle Up

If you can't sell the item at a single listing, then bundle them up. I don't mean using the bundling feature, I mean selling the items together as 1 listing. Needless to say, you should be listing this bundle at a price that people can't pass up. And since the bundle is going to contain mixed sizes, resellers are going to be your best bet to sell to. With that said, you're definitely going to have to price it really low for them to bite. You're not going to make what you wanted to initially but hey, you got rid some stale inventory.

Mystery Boxes

We all know what this is and this is something I personally do not recommend using myself. The reason why I don't participate in Mystery Boxes is due to a thing called Reputation or should I say the loss of reputation. That's not to say I don't have my own way of doing mystery boxes, I just don't give someone a weight or piece count and slapping a price on top. That's not to say don't do it, it's just something I don't do myself. 

To do this is pretty straight forward. Choose how you want to quantify the mystery box you're making. The 3 main ways are to do it is by weight, MSRP or piece count. I might change my position on this in the future about this but for now, I don't participate in this technique.

Cross Promote/List

What might not sell on one platform might sell on another. Try eBay, Depop, OfferUP, Tradesy or other selling platforms. Make sure you read up on what kind of demographic or item tiers these platforms cater to so you're not wasting your time listing on these platforms. For example, ANY American Eagle piece will not sell on The RealReal due to the platform catering only to luxury items and brands. Who knows, you might just find your new favorite platform.

Remember What Didn't Sell

While getting rid of sitting inventory is important, it's probably more important to take note of what didn't sell so you can avoid those items next time when sourcing. Save those pictures on a file, write down the brand and piece type. What are some details about the piece that you should avoid next time? By doing this, you're not only learning from your mistakes but this will definitely make you more effective when buying in the future.

One Last Thing

Before you embark on getting rid of your sitting inventory, look at all the possible ways your item isn't selling so you can make adjustments when listing new inventory in the future. Alternatively, you can make adjustments while you still have the inventory to "give it a new life". You can read my post on this topic here.

2 Comments on “What to Do with Clothes You Can’t Sell?”

    1. A pawn actually creates itself. You can use items that you can’t sell as a pawn for any bundle as long as the customer bundled an item with a pawn. For example they want to buy a dress for $30 along with a piece that’s been sitting around (the pawn) that costs $15. You can offer them $35 saving them $10 on their end. That’s usually a good enough discount for them to bite on the deal.

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