I live in a city of about 95,000 people who, obviously, need to purchase clothing from time to time. We have Big Box stores such as JC Penney’s, Sears, and the like, but Chico, CA. also has a fair share of used clothing stores where business is booming. How do I know this? Well, my wife Renee shops at these used clothing stores and every time she’s there, the stores are filled with people filling shopping carts. I guess people would rather pay $6.50 for a shirt versus $29.99 at the local Bog Box.
We have several different types of used clothing stores such as Goodwill, Clothing Revival (trendy boutique retailer), Funky Trunk (trendy vintage used clothing), & Elite Repeat (Salvation Army). Each one of these stores is filled with clothing that hasn’t been sitting on the racks very long, in fact, Renee reports new stock each and every time she visits.
Whether it’s a down economy or just the thrill of the bargain hunt, used clothing resellers provide another viable option for people when it comes to purchasing clothing.
It used to be that I only spoke with people who were interested in exporting used clothing, but today I hear from a lot of people who want to open up their own used clothing business. I think used clothing alone is great, but when added with liquidation (shelf pull apparel), I think profits can be explosive!
A traditional storefront is not needed to take advantage of used clothing profits, as used clothing can be sold through several different channels including:
Flea Markets – for $10-$20 per weekend, you can get a used clothing business started at your local flea market. If done properly, one can work up to an actual storefront in no time.
eBay – perhaps the king of online used merchandise, eBay provides a platform for anyone to get started selling gently used name brand apparel.
Craigslist – people looking for a deal cruise Craigslist daily! Sellers can take advantage of no listing or final value fees on this resell channel.
Facebook – in an ever increasing trend, people are setting up groups based upon specific geographic locations to sell used goods, including apparel. Search within your zip code for Facebook groups or start your own!
I’ve assembled a few wholesale resources for those who might be interested in exploring the option of a used clothing business:
Mid West Textile – based out of San Antonio, Texas, buyers can purchase used clothing in small and large quantities.
Rusty Zipper – way cool, funky vintage used clothing in bulk.
Bulk Used Clothing – used clothing sold by the container (20-40′) in various quality grades
Our 2020 Liquidators Guide chronicles 12 years of wholesale product sourcing experience and includes my personal black book of direct source contacts! As an industry expert, I'll share the success I've enjoyed along with the mistakes I've made buying and reselling liquidation merchandise.
If you are thinking about buying pallets of liquidation merchandise from a liquidator, broker, or direct from department stores, you need to check out The Liquidators Guide